Since (according to the Gra (YD 147:3), cited in this answer), there is no issue in saying the name "Jesus," would there be an issue in saying the name "Christ"?

This name might be more problematic than "Jesus," because the word "Christ" means anointed, and apparently wasn't his given name, and also is a name that deifies him.

What does halacha have to say about saying the name "Christ"?

  • 4
    "and also is a name that deifies him"--it doesn't deify, it just messiah-fies
    – wfb
    Jun 4, 2015 at 15:31
  • 1
    Cristos is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Mashiach. It simple denotes the messiah. So as @wfb noted, it does not name Yeshu as a god, but as a messiah.
    – ezra
    May 24, 2017 at 16:25
  • I've seen ימח שמו used on his name. Will post source if I find it again.
    – user6781
    Jun 18, 2020 at 3:06

1 Answer 1


It would seem to be that technically there might be no issue saying Christ

  1. Like you pointed out all christ means is anointed. Being that it has a set definition, we don't care if the connotation was changed throughout the generations, as per the sources the Gr"a brings (Mordechai, Hagahos Maamonis, Yereiym etc.)

Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz (link below) quoting Rav Ezriel Hildesheimer - differentiations between titles that are godlike and non godlike appellations. For example like “Lord of the Hosts” or “Our master” connotes a godlike attribute.

But all the word Christ means is annointed.

However Rabbi Ari Enkin in an article on Torah Musings titles “Jesus!” Says that saying Christ is problematic - even according to those that allow to say Jesus:

Nevertheless, one should probably not use the word “Christ”, as it is Greek (and/or Latin) for “the messiah”, “the savior”, and even “the lord” all of which are terms that are forbidden to be attributed to anyone.

Rav Yitzchak Berkowitz in a recent Shiur (I unfortunately do not have a recording) prohibited the use of the word Christ

Listen here from Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz who quotes Rav Herschel Schachter that says saying Christ is problematic.

  • 1
    What about when it's used as a name -- as a clear reference to an individual in history? I'm talking about uses like "C-- died on the cross" etc -- that's clearly talking about one false claimant to the title, not the concept in general. In other words, when it is used as a name, is the Gr"a still ok with it? Dec 24, 2014 at 15:14
  • @MonicaCellio the answer is yes, the name, word, appellation or whatever you want to call it, is not a name which inherently connotes lordship or godliness, so even if the meaning has changed over the generations, it doesn't matter. That is the entire point of the Gr"a, that even though yushka became a god over the generations, it doesn't change the essence of the name, it still retains the category of "shem hedyot", despite the fact that the name Jesus and "our lord and savior, the son of god blah blah" are inextricably connected. Dec 24, 2014 at 18:47
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    @Mefaresh R. Hildesheimer doesn't say "christ" is less problematic, he says it's more problematic
    – wfb
    Jun 4, 2015 at 15:32
  • @Mefaresh besides wfb's point from your quote, the tshuva says NOT to say it, even if the issur is not clear being that previous generations did not it is at least similar to a davar shel hetter shenogagim bah issur, she'ee efsher lihater lifneihem. And it is especially problematic in front of impressionable youth.
    – user6591
    Jun 5, 2015 at 17:37
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    Is it ok to refer to a well-known am ha-aretz as "rabbi"? After all, it's not a name, just a title, and a title far less lofty than mashiach. But we see people refusing to call even people who've been through rabbinical programs "rabbi" when they disagree with the issuing institution. (I am not trying to start a fight about that, only pointing out the example.) So it seems that there's probably some problem with ascribing honored titles to people who haven't earned them. Do any of these sources talk about that, or are they focused on ascribing lordship specifically? Jan 3, 2018 at 15:59

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