Hebrews 4:8 “For if JESUS had given them rest…”

Bible correctors frequently drag out this dead fish and try to raise a stink about how the King James Bible is in error when it refers to “JESUS” bringing the children of Israel into the promised land.

These noted scholars try to place you in the position that you can never read your Bible and know for certain, “Thus saith the Lord”, unless you first consult with them to find out if you have the correct text they approve of, and that the text that you have is translated properly according to what they declare to be the correct rendering. Yet none of them believe any single Bible out there is totally infallible and without error. They themselves become the Final Authority for what God REALLY said.

Daniel Wallace, who himself does not believe that any Bible in any language is the complete, inspired and 100% true words of God, is one such critic.  He writes: “The name ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua. In the New Testament, there are three references to Joshua. (Note: Wallace is wrong about this too, as we shall soon see.) 

On two of these occasions, the KJV translators translated the name as ‘Jesus.’ But in each instance this rendering is misleading, in the second case badly so.


Acts 7:45 in KJV: “Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David”

Acts 7:45 in the NET: “Our ancestors received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, until the time of David.”

The context is clearly about Joshua and the Hebrews going into the promised land and conquering the nations there. Why the KJV has ‘Jesus’ here is a mystery to me. Perhaps they were trying to be literal here (by transliterating the Greek word Iesous as ‘Jesus’), but if so why did they not do this in Luke 3:29, where Jesus’ genealogy is enumerated (and Iesous, an ancestor of Jesus, is rendered ‘Jose’)?

Far more troublesome is Hebrews  4:8.


KJV: “For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”

NET: “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken afterward about another day.”

Again, the context is somewhat clear that Joshua is in view. But to the reader who is not paying careful attention to the context and who does not know that “Jesus” here is really Joshua, he could easily be misled into thinking that Jesus Christ was not able to give his people rest.”

(End of comments from Bible Agnostic “scholar” extraordinaire Daniel Wallace.)  Now, to address his silly points.

There is no legitimate excuse for a renowned scholar of the magnitude and caliber of a man like Dan Wallace to write an article criticizing the King James Bible and yet be so utterly mistaken in his facts and mystified concerning the meaning of the King James Bible.

 Daniel Wallace tells us: “In the New Testament, there are three references to Joshua…On two of these occasions, the KJV translators translated the name as ‘Jesus.’…why did they not do this in Luke 3:29, where Jesus’ genealogy is enumerated and Iesous, an ancestor of Jesus, is rendered ‘Jose’?”

Sorry, Daniel, but you are clearly wrong when you tell us that Luke 3:29 reads “Iesous” (ιησους ) and is translated as Jose in the King James Bible.  The simple fact is that the vast Majority of all Greek texts, as well as Alexandrinus and the printed Greek texts of Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, Elziver and Scrivener, as well as the Modern Greek Bible,  all read just as the King James Bible has it – Jose (Ioosee – ιωση).  Rather it is the corrupt Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts that read Jesus (Ieesou – ιησου ), which his Vatican Versions translate as “Joshua”. 


Had Mr. Wallace bothered to actually check something other than his UBS or Nestle Aland critical texts (which omit hundreds of manuscript references in their footnotes to anything that doesn’t agree with their theories) he could have easily found out about this information.

Even when the modern versions follow their Vaticanus-Sinaiticus readings, they don’t agree with each other.  In Luke 3:39, following the Westcott-Hort texts, we find their Greek word Ieesou translated as JESUS in the Revised Version, American Standard Version, Douay-Rheims, Amplified Version, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, and the Bible in Basic English 1960; But as JOSHUA in the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV and Holman Standard.

However the Majority of all Greek texts, Alexandrinus and the Byzantine traditional texts all read Jose as does the King James Bible and Tyndale 1325, Bishops’ Bible 1568 the Geneva Bible 1587, Beza’s New Testament 1599, the NKJV 1982, Green’s interlinear, Youngs 1898, Darby 1890, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, Luther’s German bible 1545, Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the French Martin 1744, French Ostervald 1996 – Jose – , the Italian Diodati 1602 and the New Diodati 1991, the Spanish Reina Valera Gomez 2005 – José – and the Modern Greek N.T. used by the Orthodox churches all over the world today. 

Now to address the issue of why the King James Bible and many others correctly translated the literal Jesus as Jesus in both Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8, concerning which Daniel Wallace says: “Why the KJV has ‘Jesus’ here is a mystery to me. “ –


In Hebrews 4:8 we read: “For if JESUS had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”

Likewise in Acts 7:45 we have: “Which also our fathers that came after brought in with JESUS into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David.”

The Greek texts all literally have the name JESUS (ιησους) in these two places, though the contexts refer to the man Joshua. Joshua himself is a pictorial “type” of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Joshua, along with Caleb, did believe God had given them the promised land, but the rest of the people entered not in because of unbelief. Later this same Joshua (‘Jesus’ in Greek) led the people into the land. The promised land typifies the spiritual rest from our own works which was accomplished by the greater Jesus, the Son of God Himself.

Other Bible versions that read JESUS in Acts 7 and Hebrews 4 like the King James Bible are the Latin Vulgate,  Wycliffe 1395 – “For if Jhesus hadde youun reste to hem, he schulde neuere speke of othere aftir this dai.”, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, Douay-Rheims 1852 – “For if Jesus had given them rest, he would never have afterwards spoken of another day.” then it footnotes “Jesus”… Josue, who in Greek is called Jesus.”, the Geneva Bible 1587, Beza’s New Testament 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, the Clarke N.T. 1795, Webster’s 1833 translation, the Hussey N.T. 1845, The Morgan N.T. 1848,  Etheridge Translation 1849, the Hewett N.T. 1850, Julia Smith Translation 1855, the Kenrick N.T. 1862, the Emphatic Diaglott 1865, the Smith Bible 1876, The Dillard N.T. 1885, The New Covenant N.T. 1888, The American Douay-Rheims Bible 1889, Darby’s translation 1890. 


Other English Bibles that read JESUS are the Interlinear Greek New Testament 1997 (Larry Pierce), the Urim-Thummin Version of 2001, Tomson New Testament 2002 – “If JESUS had given them rest”, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Pickering New Testament 2005, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, The Accurate New Testament of 2008, Faithful New Testament 2009 – “If JESUS had caused them to rest”, the Holy Scriptures English Jubilee bible of 2010, Online Interlinear N.T. 2010 (André de Mol), The Bond Slave Version 2009 – “For is JESUS had given them rest”, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version goes back to the Greek reading and reads: “For if JESUS had offered them rest, he would never have spoken, afterward, about another day.” and The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible 2011 – “If JESUS had given them rest”.

The Spanish Las Sagradas Escrituras of both 1569 and 1999 also read like the KJB, as does Cipriano de Valera 1602 (in both Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8) the Reina Valera Nuevo Testamento of 1858, Spanish Jubilee Bible 2000 and the 2010 Reina Valera Gomez bible, all reading: “Porque si Jesús les hubiera dado el Reposo…” The Latvian N.T. also says Jesus – “Jo ja Jēzus būtu ievedis tos mierā”, and the 2009 Romanian Fidela Bible – “Isus” in both Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8. 

John Calvin’s Latin translation kept the name as Jesus – “Nam si Iesus requiem illis praestitisset” 

The Geneva Bible also comments regarding Hebrews 4:8 – “For if (b) Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.” – (b) He speaks of Joshua the son of Nun: and as the land of Canaan was a figure of our true rest, so was Joshua a figure of Christ.

Joshua himself was called by four different names including Jeshuah Nehemiah 8:17; Joshua in Joshua 1:1; Jehoshuah in Numbers 13:16, and Oshea in Numbers 13:11. He is mentioned only twice in the New Testament, once in Acts 7:45 and again in Hebrews 4:8. In Greek his name translates as Insous, or Jesus in English. This is exactly the same way “Jesus” is spelled in every case.

There are also other people in the Bible whose name was Jesus. In Acts 13:6 we come across a false prophet and a sorcerer. He was “a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus.” Bar-Jesus means “son of Jesus”. We also meet a fellow Christian worker in the book of Colossians 4:11 – “And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision.”

In the genealogy of Christ, the Traditional texts, the Majority of all manuscripts including A, and the Syriac all read like the King James Bible, by mentioning “the son of Er, which was the son of JOSE…” (or Joseph). However the corrupt manuscripts of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus read: “the son of Er, the son OF JESUS”, and so do the RV, ASV, RSV, Goodspeed, and the J.W. versions. The NASB, NIV have changed this to read: “the son of JOSHUA”.

It is obvious that many people in the Bible were called by several names, as Peter, Cephas, Simeon, and Simon Barjona (all one man), and that there were many people with the same name. It is not too hard to figure out who is who just by reading the context.

Both Hebrews 4:8 and Acts 7:45 the literal Greek “Jesus” refers to the man Joshua, who himself believed God and is the “type” of the true Jesus, who indeed does lead us into the promised land and gives us rest from our own labours. The type and the antitype both have the same name. God Himself inspired the Bible in this way to teach a spiritual lesson.

John Gill remarks in his commentary that Joshua “was an eminent type of Jesus Christ. There is an agreement in their names, both signify a saviour, Joshua was a temporal saviour, Christ a spiritual one; and in their office they were both servants; and in their qualifications for their office, such as wisdom, courage, faithfulness, and integrity. Joshua was a type of Christ in many actions of his life; in the miracles he wrought, or were wrought for him; in the battles he fought, and the victories he obtained.”

Bible commentator Matthew Poole (1852) also notes: “Joshua was a type of Jesus, who brings believers into the true rest of the heavenly Canaan as he did Israel into a literal one – Acts 7:45.”

The King James Bible and all the others are not in error, as some allege. Rather it gives a literal translation of the Greek name Joshua, and reveals the “type” or divine foreshadowing of the fulfillment which was completed in the Son of God.


More on Dan Wallace


To get a better idea of just how loopy bible correctors like Daniel Wallace really are, let’s take a look at another place where Wallace’s ever changing NET bible version has now ADDED the name JESUS twice in a place where it does not belong.

In Matthew 27:16-17 in the King James Bible and virtually every Bible in any language we read: “And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. 


Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? “

However Daniel Wallace’s NET version reads: “At that time they had in custody a notorious prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. 27:17 So after they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ?”

Then he adds this footnote: “Although the external evidence for the inclusion of “Jesus” before “Barabbas” (in vv. 16 and 17) is rather sparse, being restricted virtually to the Caesarean text the omission of the Lord’s name in apposition to “Barabbas” is such a strongly motivated reading that it can hardly be original. There is no good explanation for a scribe unintentionally adding ᾿Ιησοῦν (Ihsoun) before Βαραββᾶν (Barabban), especially since Barabbas is mentioned first in each verse (thus dittography is ruled out). Further, the addition of τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν (ton legomenon Criston, “who is called Christ”) to ᾿Ιησοῦν in v. 17 makes better sense if Barabbas is also called “Jesus” (otherwise, a mere “Jesus” would have been a sufficient appellation to distinguish the two).                                 

  In other words, even though the overwhelming textual evidence (including the bible agnostics favorites of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) reads “Barabbas” and not “Jesus Barabbas”, Daniel thinks the traditional reading which rightly omits the two extra Jesus’s “can hardly be original”.

As for Wallace’s comment about there being no good explanation for a scribe to add the word “Jesus” before the name Barabbas, I can think of a very good reason why some scribe presumed to add his own thoughts to God’s words, just as Daniel Wallace frequently does.  The name Barabbas means “son” (bar) of the Father (abba), and it is a highly significant “type” that the guilty “son of the father” would be released and the “Son of the Father” would take his place in the crucifixion.  


So it is quite possible that a scribe thought this beautiful “type” could be embellished even more by adding the word Jesus to the name Barabbas, and thus we have “Jesus the son of the Father” being released from the death penalty and “Jesus who is called Christ” taking his place.  


However all three other gospel writers (nor Matthew, as Wallace contends)  did not add the word “Jesus” to Barabbas’ name in Mark 15:11, Luke 23:18 nor in John 18:40.  The very reason Wallace suggests why the added word “Jesus” would make a better reading is probably what some lone scribe also thought, and so he added the word “Jesus” to the text.

Even when Westcott and Hort came out with their new critical text they did not even mention the odd variant readings that twice added the name of Jesus to the text.  Years later it still was not mentioned even in a footnote in the Nestle critical text 4th edition.  


Then later on they began to put this minor variant at the bottom of the page in a footnote, and NOW in the newest Nestle-Aland, UBS texts these spurious additional readings are added to the text in brackets.  This is the nature of the ever changing merry-go-round they like to call the “science” of modern textual criticism.

The two additional names of “JESUS Barabbas” are NOT found in Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops’ bible, Geneva, NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, NIV 1978 and 1984 editions, the RSV, ESV, Holman Standard or the ISV of 2010.

However the NRSV, the Message and Daniel Wallace’s NET version and NOW the NIV 2011 edition add the name Jesus twice to the text in Matthew 27:16-17. 

Notice the RSV did not add these names, then the NRSV did add them to their texts, but then the latest revision of the revision of the revision – the ESV – once again took them out!  And the NIVs 1973, 1978 and 1984 editions did not add this extra name, but now the NIV 2011 DOES. 

And they call this rigamarole “science”. 


Judas or Judah?  When Judas is Judah.

Matthew 1:2-3 – “Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat JUDAS and his brethren;


And JUDAS begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;”

In Matthew 1:2-3 the man named Judas is Judah, but in Greek his name is Judas.



2 αβρααμ εγεννησεν τον ισαακ ισαακ δε εγεννησεν τον ιακωβ ιακωβ δε εγεννησεν τον ιουδαν και τους αδελφους αυτου

3 ιουδας δε εγεννησεν τον φαρες και τον ζαρα εκ της θαμαρ φαρες δε εγεννησεν τον εσρωμ εσρωμ δε εγεννησεν τον αραμ


In verse 3 we have “and Judas begat Phares…” ιουδας 


This is literally Judas, not Judah. But it refers to Judah by giving his name in Greek. The KJB followed the literal Greek reading.



Many versions translate this as Judah, but the KJB actually follows the Greek and says Judas in verses 2 and 3. . Others do the same thing and have Judas.


Some who have followed the literal Greek like the KJB here and say JUDAS are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great bible 1540, Matthew’s bible 1549, the Bishops’ bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Douay-Rheims 1582, The Beza N.T. 1599,  the Mace N.T.,1729, Whiston’s N.T.1745, the Haweis N.T. 1795,  The Thomson Translation 1808, the Julia Smith translation 1855, Emphatic Diaglott N.T.,  God’s First Truth 1995,  The Tomson New Testament 2002 and the Jubilee bible 2010.

The Spanish Cipriano de Valera 1602 – “Y JUDAS engendró de Thamar a Phares y a Zara: y Phares engendró a Esrom: y Esrom engendró a Aram: “


The Spanish Reina Valera Antigua – “Y JUDAS engendró de Thamar á Phares y á Zara:”




I hope this helps explain why the KJB and others went with Judas instead of Judah.