That got me to thinking about how, in English at least, even Jesus’ name has lost almost all of its original meaning. For one thing, it has lost, as most names (both in the Bible and out) have, its meaning as a regular word—in this case, as a diminutive form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which once meant Jehovah saves.
I don’t know how common Jesus was as a name in Jesus’ time. Apparently not nearly as common as Simon or Joseph or Judas or even Joshua, since the Bible offers many with these names but only one person named Jesus. (A magician mentioned in Acts 13 who was blinded for trying to pervert a new convert from the faith comes close with Bar-Jesus, or “son of Jesus,” but he may have intentionally taken on the name in order to cash in on Jesus’ reputation, as another sorcerer named Simon the Magician, mentioned in Acts 8, tried to do.)
For most people today, though, the name Jesus isn’t really even a name in any normal sense. Few (with the important exception of Spanish speakers) would even consider naming their son Jesus. It is a name reserved for one and only one person who lived here over two thousand years ago: Jesus of Nazareth.
All of which I find interesting. That God chose a diminutive form of Joshua—that is, a nickname, along the lines of Joshy!—as his son’s name. That no one else in the Bible gets called that. That Spanish speakers name their sons after Jesus, but virtually no one else does.