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. (KJV)
1. Although the King James English makes this verse a little hard to understand, it is saying that Jesus was the one who brought the Israelites into the Promised Land. This is a case of mistranslation. The name “Jesus” and the name “Joshua” are the same, and on two occasions the translators of the KJV confused them. This point is well established by William Barclay, a professor and author at Trinity College in Glasgow. He writes:
The name “Jesus” underlines the real humanity of our Lord. To us the name Jesus is a holy and sacred name, and we would count it almost blasphemy to give it to any child or call any person by it. But in New Testament times it was one of the commonest of names. It is the Greek form by which three Hebrew Old Testament names are regularly represented—Joshua (e.g., Ex. 17:10); Jehoshua (e.g., Zech. 3:1); Jeshua (Neh. 7:7). There are indeed two occasions in the AV [the KJV] in which Joshua is very confusingly called “Jesus.” In Acts 7:45, we read that the fathers brought the tabernacle into the land of Palestine with Jesus. In Hebrews 4:8, it is said that if “Jesus” had been able to give the people rest, there would have been no need to speak of still another day. In both cases, “Jesus” is Joshua, a fact which is made clear in all the more modern translations. By the second century, the name “Jesus” was vanishing as an ordinary name. Amongst the Jews it vanished because it had become a hated name by which no Jew would call his son; and amongst the Christians it has vanished because it was too sacred for common use. 
2. One of the easiest and most accessible keys to correct biblical interpretation is the context. Examine the context of Acts 7:45, and it becomes exceedingly clear that the verse is not speaking of Jesus.
(44) Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the Testimony with them in the desert. It had been made as God
directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.
(45) Having received the tabernacle, our fathers under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land
from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David,
(46) who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
There is no record anywhere in the Old Testament that shows Jesus with the Tabernacle, and, as Barclay pointed out, all the modern translations read “Joshua.”
1. Wm. Barclay, Jesus As They Saw Him (Harper and Row, New York, 1962), pp. 10 and 11. Back to top