I am Viv. My son is Viv.
Well, not really. My son’s name is Michael and my name is Heather. But we call each other Viv.
All of the time.
So, here’s how it happened. Viv (aka Mike) was born Michael Spencer. Which, by the time he was old enough to walk, progressed into Mikey. And when Mikey and I laughed and had fun together in his toddler years, I would cry out “I love you, Bubby-Boo.” Naturally, after several hundred times of declaring him my Bubby-Boo, the name evolved.
And then Bub.
And, Bub stuck. Through his grade school and high school years, to me he was Bub.
But as you know, in college everything changes.
I was tired and mumbling my words when I picked up my phone that day. Maybe I’d just woken up, when he called. Not sure. What I do remember, however, is that my lips and tongue weren’t at peak state of operation. I sort of mumble-slurred, “Hey Bub.”
“Um, did you just call me Viv?” He asked.
“Viv?” I laughed. “No, I said Bub.”
“Oh. Okay, Viv.” he answered.
“No really, Viv. I said Bub.” I assured him.
We sparred like that for a few more minutes before moving on to our conversation. However, from that day forward, I became Viv. And so did he.
Is he still Michael Spencer? Of course. And if I ever get mad enough at him, I might just call him that. (Probably not, however, because now he is a grown man and so when I’m REALLY mad, I call him Vivian.)
Name progressions. They happen all the time.
Josh was no different. His name originally began as Yehoshua. (Seriously, a very close match to the name Joshua, right?) Over time, His name (of Hebrew origin) was shortened to Yeshua. Later, when folks of other tongues (specifically Greeks), began to dialog about him, Yeshua was loosely translated to Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous). From Greek, it was translated into Latin. And finally to English to become Jesus. (For you etymology freaks–like me– here’s the link to an unabridged version of the name progression.)
I’m not really sure what his Mom called little Yehoshua when he was running around underfoot. Hosh? Hoshy? Boo-boo? Little Boo? I can guarantee you one thing. She didn’t call him Jesus. (Ehem… she didn’t speak English.)
To me… He’s Josh. Do I find that to be irreverent? Probably no more so than calling him Jesus, IMHO.
I know that many, many painful things in this world have been done while wrongly using the name of Jesus. (He’ll discuss that with the offenders at another time.)
However, regardless of what some misguided hearts have done (in his name) over the years, Josh hasn’t changed. He’s still the greatest man in history. And my friend.
I really want to introduce you to him. And, like I said in the previous post, He’s been asking about you.
On Friday, we’re going to begin the journey of diving into some text that will help round out the picture of Josh. Allow you see who he REALLY is, so you can decide if you want to befriend him.
Can you lay down your preconceived notions of Jesus and allow me to offer a proper introduction to Josh?
I hope so!!
See you Friday.