🔼The name Jason: Summary
- Healer, He Will Heal
- Yah Will Save, Yah Saves
- From the future form of the verb ιαομαι (iaomai), to heal.
- From (1) יה (yah), the name of the Lord, and (2) the verb ישע (yasha'), to save.
🔼The name Jason in the Bible
Jason is more elaborately featured in the scene that describes the very curious (i.e. deliberately curious) reaction of local Jews to the preaching of Paul and Silas (Acts 17:5-9). Paul had preached for three Sabbaths straight at the synagogue, and had persuaded some Jews and a vast multitude of Greeks. But still, some other Jews became upset and decided to start a riot. For this they enlisted the services of some "wicked men from the market place", which is always an odd thing to do, but particularly so for observant Jews, and particularly also since their objections were supposedly of an intellectual nature.
The story takes an obvious allegorical turn when the rioters failed to find Paul, who had installed himself openly available in their own synagogue, which clearly reminds of scenes like Jesus' arrest (Matthew 26:55, John 1:5) and even the fall of Sodom (Genesis 19:11). Since they couldn't find Paul, they laid siege to the house of the hitherto unmentioned Jason and drag him, plus some brethren, to the authorities, shouting: "These men who have upset the world have come here also," which, again obviously, refers to Isaiah's lament over the king of Babylon: "Is this the man who made the earth tremble?" (Isaiah 14:16).
To every Greek, however, the name Jason was as specific as the name Elvis is to us, and referred unmistakably to Jason the Argonaut, famous for obtaining the Golden Fleece, and sailing all over the known world together with his Argonauts, including the Dioscuri, to "heal the nations" in the words of John the Revelator (Revelation 22:2), or at least their governments and their literary traditions.
The story of Jason and the Argonauts, like the Bible, deals predominantly with the natural evolution of information technology, and particularly the transformation of the Semitic alphabet into the Greek one (which allowed Homer to immortalize the epics he is famous for but which had long existed in the oral tradition of vulnerable human memories; see Psalm 16:10) and the general art of writing (see our articles on YHWH, Logos and Philistine).
The story of Jason in the Book of Acts discusses the same friction between Pharisaic Jews and Hellenized Jews that made the men of Nazareth drive Jesus up the hill with the intention to throw him off (Luke 4:16-30). The traditional Jews believed that only the received texts were kosher, whereas Jesus and Paul insisted that all texts (πασα γραφη, pasa graphe; all writing) are God-breathed (θεοπνευστος, theopneustos) and suitable for teaching (2 Timothy 3:16). The debate rages until today.
🔼Etymology of the name Jason
There are two ways to arrive at the name Jason. Our name may have a Greek origin, in which case it comes from the future form of the verb ιαομαι (iaomai), meaning to heal:
The verb ιαομαι (iaomai) means to heal in the sense of to supply inner strength, restore one's inner order, give courage and mobility. It mostly relates to curing forms of lameness (any inability to go somewhere), whereas the verb θεραπευω (therapeuo), also to heal, mostly relates to curing, that is removing forms of blindness or any kind of darkness or coldness, and thus any inability to sense where to go.
Noun ιαμα (iama) means a healing, a repair, a cure. Noun ιασις (iasis) describes the act or process of healing. Noun ιατρος (iatros) describes a healer.
The future form of this verb is ιασωμαι (iasomai), and thus the name Jason means One Who Will Heal or He Will Heal, which has a decisive Semitic ring to it (many Semitic names come from future forms of verbs). The Hebrew equivalent of our verb would be רפא (rapa'), from which comes the name Raphael, which belonged to the angel who helped Tobias, the son of the blind but righteous Tobit (Tobit 5:4).
The quest of Tobias to retrieve Tobit's money from Media seems specifically designed to deliver a commentary on the story of Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece, and ultimately the subsequent Homeric tradition upon which classical Greek was founded. Tobias, of course, healed his father's eyes with the gall of a fish (John 9:1-41). The name Homer is traditionally explained by the noun ομηρεω (homereo), which described a blind person.
Homer himself asserted that Jason's "uncle" was none other than Cretheus, the king of Aeolis, whose name comes from the same root as the name Crete, which in turn relates to the Greek noun κριτης (krites), a judge, from the verb κρινω (krino), to separate or to distinguish.
Our name may also have a Hebrew origin, in which case it's an alternative form of the name Jesus, which is a transliteration of the name Joshua, which consists of יה (Yah; short for YHWH) and the verb ישע (yasha'), meaning to save or deliver:
The verb ישע (yasha') means to be unrestricted and thus to be free and thus to be saved (from restriction, from oppression and thus from ultimate demise). A doer of this verb is a savior. Nouns ישועה (yeshua), ישע (yesha') and תשועה (teshua) mean salvation. Adjective שוע (shoa') means (financially) independent, freed in an economic sense.
Verb שוע (shawa') means to cry out (for salvation). Nouns שוע (shua'), שוע (shoa') and שועה (shawa) mean a cry (for salvation).
That means that the name Jason also means Yah Will Save or Yah Saves.