In the New Testament, sometimes the authors use Χριστός Ἰησοῦς ("Christ Jesus"), where Χριστός precedes Ἰησοῦς, yet other times they use Ἰησοῦς Χριστός ("Jesus Christ"). What is the difference in meaning?
migrated from christianity.stackexchange.com Feb 25 at 17:44
There is no difference in meaning. The language allows both. It's just different emphasis, like if I talk about King Bob or Bob the King it is same guy but different ways of saying same thing.
I would say that swasheck's comment regarding emphasis is most likely. It probably should not need to be said, but many people are unaware that "Christ" is not a name, and they tend to treat it almost as a surname for Jesus. (I believe Wright gets around this misunderstanding by rendering Χριστός as "King," but I'm not fully satisfied with that expedient, as it loses its Hebrew roots.) The term is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew meshiach (messiah), and while it has a special eschatological referent in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is used more generally to refer to anointed ones. The NT references to Jesus as Χριστός of course are intended to refer to the special eschatological messiah.
Given the above considerations, I would suggest that Χριστός Ἰησοῦς ("Christ Jesus") has the messiahship to the forefront: "the Messiah, Jesus," whereas Ἰησοῦς Χριστός ("Jesus Christ") would be more along the lines of "Jesus, who is the Messiah."
As said: the emphasis tends to be on the first: his humanity (Jesus), authority (Lord), messianity (Christ)
We would perhaps render the texts even more accurately (giving additional respect and emphasis) in our languages if we employed comma and article:
Iesous, the Christ, …
The Christ, Iesous, …
Our Lord Iesous, the Christ, …
Somewhat unfamiliar but nonetheless beneficial in some respect would be transliterating the Greek Name to remind of His disconnectedness with any images and paintings that exist supposedly (and assumed) to illustrate or even show Him, of whom there is no image.