The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Jesus Christ as a Swear Word

Have always felt a bit queasy when someone says ‘Jesus Christ’ as a swear word - just seemed always out of place and a weird thing to say. But I was really questioning this recently.

Jesus’ original Hebrew name was ‘Yeshua’ which if you were to translate it to english would closer be referred to as Joshua - Not Jesus.

The original term for ‘Christ’ was Messiah. Messiah has actual meaning to the word as ‘the anointed’ or ‘anointed one’ whereas Christ is from Greek origin and just a biblical add on. The term ‘Christ’ really doesn’t provide the same connotations to what is really meant by the word Messiah.

So the term ‘Joshua Messiah’ or ‘Yeshua Messiah’ should be the actual swear word if people knew what they were talking about. So If someone says ‘Jesus Christ’ should we be all upset by it?

That is a very technical way of looking at it. I look at it as the total opposite. I use the term ‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph’ when I really want to make a point. (It’s the Irish in me) And that is what it is all about… Making a point. Saying Jesus Christ in heated conversation is a statement. And even if a none believer was to use the statement for shock purposes, what a great witness to the son of God that he be held in such high regard. :smiley:

It is true that the stronger the language the weaker the argument. Great writers can step around this. Douglas Adams for example has “Holy Belgium!” at one point in HHGG.

So surely we can do this in real life. When I was an undergrad there was a tendency to avoid swearing by using “Oh Lumps!” Chaucer’s Prioress swears “By St Loy” which is a very clever trick. St Loy was opposed to swearing, so swearing by him is “an apology for not swearing” (Coghill IIRC)

Maybe your spirit is grieved because they are using Gods name in vain? That seems like the simplest scriptural explanation to me. Why do Atheists and belligerents and movie characters all use “Jesus Christ!” convey outrage and shock or anger?
When was the last time you heard an atheist say, “Mohammed!” or “I’ll be Hari Krishna!”
Strange how Jesus name gets all the abuse.

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When I hear “Jesus Christ” used in this way I am horrified. How would you feel if someone used your mother’s name as a cuss word? Well, I would be greatly shocked, but much more so when they abuse the name of the Lord whom I love!


All very good points and I respect each of your views on the issue. On a side note I’d like to pose this:

Lets say we are in an end time scenario and are faced with the coming Messiah. There is one person claiming to be ‘Jesus the Christ’, and one person claiming to be ‘Yeshua the Messiah.’ Which one are you going to follow? Which one would most Christians follow? Do most Christians know the actual name of whom they are following?

Mik, this is mere terminology. It doesn’t matter what name is used for our Lord as long as we know what Person is denoted.

The word “Christ” means “Anointed One.” In English the word “chrism” means “consecrated oil.”

In the Hebrew Bible, a “messiah” is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil.

To answer your question, I am not going to follow anyone who merely claims to be either “Jesus the Christ” or “Yeshuah the Messiah” unless he demonstrates by his actions that he is the genuine one.
Mere words are not enough to establish his authenticity.

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Sometimes it’s hard to separate, clean from dirty words:

Sometimes we need folks, to set standards

But seriously. Folks shouldn’t take God’s name in vein. Can you really go in the right direction…when everyone else, is going the opposite way? I sincerely hope so!