Something in the Name?

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Joined: 02 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: Something in the Name? Reply with quote


I've noticed this before, but I took a closer look while studying something else.

"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)


Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. (John 2:23)

"And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which {comes} through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. (Acts 3:16)

"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." (Acts 10:43)

There are so many more I could post, and I'm sure you know where I'm going with this.

Have we (maybe not you, but me) missed something that they (those in that culture) understood that we don't?

Your thoughts please.
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Location: Richland Ga

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently names used to mean and carry a ton more weight than they do now. God often changed peoples names in scripture(Abram to Abraham, Saul to Paul)

I have always been taught that the phrase "in the name" is a term indicating "authority". For example, a messenger might say "I come in the name of Brody, King of Loser-ville" and one would recognize that messenger as under my authority.

But in our culture today, names don't tend to mean much unless you are dealing with Government and local law enforcement. Statements like "Stop in the name of the Loser-ville Police Dept!!" or "We are here to audit your bank account on behalf of the I.R.S" only hold weight because of the authority behind them, not necessarily the syllables or pronunciation of a name.
For our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:29
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ancients did have fuller appreciation than we do of the concept of one's "name."

In our culture, people often choose names for their children with nothing in mind but to honor a relative, who had the same name, or to be creative (like the couple who named their child Sunbeam Moondrop), or to simply christen a new vessel with a name that has always seemed pleasant to the parent's ears (like Vanessa, or Alyson).

By contrast, in old times, people were often given names descriptive either of their birth conditions (like "Heel-catcher"[Jacob] and "Shaggy" [Esau]) or else reflecting the destiny that the parents foresaw for the child (like "He will bring us rest" [Noah] and "Savior" [Jesus]). Thus the person's name often spoke of something essential to who he was, his significance, or his destiny.

This is why God and Jesus both occasionally changed their servants' names (e.g., Abram to Abraham; Jacob to Israel; Simon to Kephas; the sons of Zebedee to Boanerges). Apparently, God felt that their parents, in naming them, had not shown sufficient imagination, or had been unaware of their significance. So He remedied it by giving them more suitable monikers.

In any case, a person's name came to represent everything about the person—his character, his personality, his station and authority—in short, his very identity.

We still have remnants of it in our culture. If a man were to say, "My good name was soiled by gossip!" He is not saying that the syllables by which people address him have been somehow corrupted. He is speaking of his reputation—which is a reflection of his character and station in life. If a person can skillfully forge your name on certain negotiable documents, that person can access all of your assets.

As Brody pointed out, if one is given authorization to act in the name of another (e.g., in the name of a king), that means that his ability to legitimately wield that name practically confers upon him the very identy of that person. If one speaks in the name of a king, it is as if the king himself stands in that man's shoes speaking.

We have the concept of "power of attorney." A person with power of attorney for another person can speak and act in that persons "name," and can bind that person (whose name it is) to any course of action to which his agent commits him.

These concepts lie behind all the references to Christians acting, speaking or praying "in Jesus' name." Likewise, believing in "the name of the Yahweh," or "in Jesus' name" is simply the synonymous with believing in the Yahweh or in Jesus. The name stands for the person of Yahweh or Jesus Himself.

There are those today who make a great fuss over calling Jesus by the correct (Aramaic) form of the name by which His Aramaic-speaking friends addressed Him, which would have been something like "Yeshua." They think that any other pronunciation (like Yesu or Jesus) is a dishonor to His all-important name. But they are thinking of names in the modern sense that we normally use the idea.

My name is the sum total of correct syllables that were written on my birth certificate. Certainly, they think, if there is "no other name by which we must be saved," and if we are to "call on the name of the Lord" to be saved, then it is all-important that we pronounce the name correctly—otherwise, we are calling on the wrong name!

This misses the point of the scriptures' injunctions to believe in, or to honor, or to call on, the "name of the Lord." It is an example of a wooden literalism that is characteristic of shallow western thinking. This silly attitude was unknown among those who wrote the New Testament. They had no qualms about translating Yahweh as Kurios, and transliterated Yeshua as "Iesus." They did not get hung-up on the goofy things that some modern Christians think are important.
In Jesus,
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