For the past two millennia, more people on earth have known the name of Jesus in its various translations (Jesu, Yeshua, ʿIsà, Yēsū, etc.) than any other name. Over 2.2 billion people worldwide identify as Jesus followers, and billions more are familiar with His name.
The name of Jesus Christ reflects who He is, our holy Savior and Deliverer.
- “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
- “At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:10).
- “Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17)
However, some people use the phrase “Jesus H. Christ.” Where did the “H” come from? Is this a respectful way to refer to Jesus? Let’s check it out.
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is the second Person of the Trinity: Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. three separate gods, but one God in three divine Persons. Jesus said: “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30).
Jesus has always existed with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. He created everything:
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. (John 1:1-4)
Jesus always existed, but He was “incarnated” or born to a human woman, Mary. He walked this earth as a human (fully god and fully man at the same time) for about 33 years. He was a fantastic teacher, and His astonishing miracles, like healing thousands of people, walking on water, and raising people from the dead, proved H.
Jesus is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the ruler of the universe, and our long-expected Messiah. As a man, He suffered death on the cross, taking on His body the sins of the world, reversing the curse of Adam’s sin. He is the Lamb of God who delivers us from God’s wrath if we have faith in Him.
- “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10)
What does the H stand for in Jesus H Christ?
First of all, it doesn’t come from the Bible. Secondly, it’s not an official title but something included when some people use Jesus’ name as a swear word.
So, why do some people put the “H” there? It apparently goes back a couple of centuries, and the meaning of the “H” is somewhat obscure. No one is quite sure what it stands for, but the most reasonable theory is that it comes from the Greek name for Jesus: ΙΗΣΟΥΣ.
The Catholic and Anglican priests wore a monogram on their robes called the “Christogram,” formed from the first three letters of the word Jesus in Greek. Depending on how it was written, it looked something like “JHC.” Some people misinterpret the monogram as Jesus’ initials: the “J” was for Jesus, and the “C” was for Christ. No one knew what the “H” was for, but some assumed it was Jesus’ middle initial.
Some folks, especially children or adults who couldn’t read, thought the “H” stood for the name “Harold.” When they heard the Lord’s prayer recited in church. “Hollowed be thy name” sounded like “Harold be thy name.”
Why do people say Jesus H Christ, and where does it come from?
The phrase “Jesus H Christ” has been used as an exclamation of anger, surprise, or annoyance going back to at least the early 1800s in North America and Great Britain. It is said in the same way that people use “Jesus Christ!” or “Oh my God!” when they are surprised or upset. It’s a vulgar and offensive way of swearing.
What does Jesus’ name mean?
Jesus’ family and friends didn’t call Him “Jesus” as that is His name in English. In Jesus’ spoke Koine Greek (thanks to Alexander the Great) and Aramaic (Jesus spoke both). Hebrew was spoken and read in the Temple in Jerusalem and some synagogues. Yet the Bible records Jesus reading from the Koine Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament in the synagogue on at least one occasion (Luke 4:16-18) and speaking in Aramaic at other times (Mark 5:41, 7:34, 15:34, 14:36).
Jesus’ Hebrew name is יְהוֹשׁוּעַ (Yehoshua), which means “the Lord is salvation.” “Joshua” is another way of saying the name in Hebrew. In Greek, He was called Iésous, and He was Yēšūă‘ in Aramaic.
The angel of God told Mary’s betrothed husband Joseph, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21-22)
What is Jesus’ last name?
Jesus may not have had an official last name. When people of His time and social status had a “last name,” it was usually the person’s hometown (Jesus of Nazareth, Acts 10:38), occupation (Jesus the carpenter, Mark 6:3), or a reference to the person’s father. Jesus might have been called Yeshua ben Yosef (Jesus, son of Joseph), although the Bible doesn’t mention that name. However, in His hometown of Nazareth, He was called the “son of the carpenter” (Matthew 13:55).
“Christ” was not Jesus’ last name, but a descriptive title meaning “anointed one” or “Messiah.”
Does Jesus have a middle name?
Probably not. The Bible does not give another name for Jesus.
How can I know Jesus personally?
True Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ. It isn’t following rituals or living by a particular moral code, although the Bible gives ethical guidelines for us to follow in the Bible. We embrace God’s morality not to save ourselves but to please God and enjoy a happier life and peaceful society. A lifestyle of integrity brings us deeper intimacy with God once we know Him, but it does not save us.
- “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. ‘By His stripes you are healed’” (1 Peter 2:24).
Christianity is distinct from other religions in that Jesus invites us into a relationship:
- “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
God created you and all humanity in His image so you could have a relationship with Him. Because Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross for you and the entire human race, you can receive forgiveness for your sins, eternal life, and intimacy with God. Confess and repent (turn away from) the sin in your life. Through faith, believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
When you receive Christ as your Savior, you become a child of God:
- “But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
The moral guidelines God gives us in the Bible are summed up in the ten commandments, found in Deuteronomy 5:7-21. Keeping God’s commandments is essential in our walk with God. If we love Him, we keep His directives (Deuteronomy 11:1). If we keep His commands, we will be strong and take possession of all that God means for us to have (Deuteronomy 11:8-9).
The third commandment is this:
- “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave unpunished the one who takes His name in vain” (Deuteronomy 5:11).
What does it mean to take God’s name in vain? The word “vain,” as it is used here, means empty, deceitful, or worthless. God’s name, including Jesus’ name, is to be respected and honored for what it is: high, holy, and able to save and deliver. If we use Jesus’ name as a curse word, that is abject disrespect.
Thus, it is a sin to say “Jesus Christ!” or “Jesus H. Christ” when expressing anger or agitation. God WANTS us to speak the name of Jesus, but with reverence, prayer, and praise.
If we use God’s name flippantly, like saying, “O my God!” when we’re not talking to God but simply expressing surprise, that is a worthless use of His name. If you catch yourself doing this, apologize to God for using His name carelessly and only use His name with the deepest respect in the future.
- “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Luke 2:13 – “hallowed” means “treat as holy”).
- “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1)
- “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name” (Psalm 29:2).