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Jesus's or Jesus' ?

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:58 pm
by StillWaters
I seem to be having quite the dilemma with this. :?

If Jesus is possessive without being plural, it should read "Jesus's", right? (e.g. "Jesus's mother, Mary.)

I'm assuming that there must be some exception to this? So often I see this written as "Jesus' ".

Is there some rule where its determined by how many "S" sounds the word makes or something?

I read that possessive Biblical names ending in "S" always end with an apostrophe. ? Is this correct? I'd never heard that before.

I hope that this doesn't sound too ignorant. :) I'm trying to write something, and would prefer not to write it incorrectly. :oops:

It seems to be written as "Jesus' " so often that I am wondering if I'm missing some golden rule/exception or something.

Thank you for any insight that you can offer. :)

Re: Jesus's or Jesus' ?

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:17 pm
by Deb Porter
Jesus is one of the exceptions when it comes to possessive nouns. It has no "s" after the apostrophe. It's just Jesus'. Same with Moses.

Love, Deb

Re: Jesus's or Jesus' ?

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:57 pm
by swfdoc1
I agree with Deb’s answer. But I note that several style manuals disagree with her and me. Also, to answer your question, there ARE rules for this. In the case of “Jesus,” two rules actually apply. Some manuals invoke the classical/biblical name rule, whereby you don’t add the apostrophe to classical and biblical names that end in a sibilant (an “s” sound). Some manuals invoke the three sibilant rule (usually without giving it that name), whereby you avoid three sibilants in a row. Usually this rule deals with two words. For example, you will see in the link below that under this rule you would write “the duchess’s hat” (only two sibilants) but you would not write “the duchess’s style (three sibilants); rather you would write “the duchess’ style (keeping it to two sibilants). But with “Jesus’s” the three sibilants would all occur in one word, so you drop the “s” after the apostrophe.

In this article, you will see how two pretty important style manuals disagree on these two and other rules. (The first several paragraphs are not germane.)

Re: Jesus's or Jesus' ?

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:35 pm
by Anja
What they said.

Re: Jesus's or Jesus' ?

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:25 pm
by StillWaters
Thanks so much. :)

I'm not sure why this is such a hangup for me.

I guess everyone probably has a grammar hangup or two.

(My other one is "Affect" and "Effect". I almost always have to look them up to remember which is which. :) Not sure why my mind doesn't want to retain that one. )

Thanks again, I appreciate the help.