Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yahweh = Adonai = Κύριος = Ἰησοῦς Part 2

Yahweh = Adonai = Kurios = Jesus

This is part two in a series of blogs on the subject of the title. It is recommended that you read part 1 first. It can be found here.  Make sure you read the footnotes as you go along.  Enjoy!

Acts 4:12: And there is salvation in no one else1, for neither is there another2 name that has been given among men under heaven in which we must be saved3.

The most interesting thing about this passage, which is normally taken for granted, is that in the power of the name of Jesus, salvation can be found. There is no denying it! Jesus is the only one who is able to offer life. The only problem is that in Israel in the 1st century, many men were named Jesus! It was a very common name. So, how did the name of Jesus become so powerful? Yes, superficially one can say it was because of the man Jesus and his death and resurrection, but God does things in a much deeper way. In fact, God is very technical in nature. We know from Philippians 2:9-11 that God graced upon Jesus the name above every name “name”. We know that name today as Yahweh. So did Peter also have this same theology? Indeed he did! Paul even says in Galatians 2:8

8 (For the one who worked in Peter in the apostleship to the circumcised, also worked in me to the Gentiles)

In fact, Peter uses a lot of language that is similar to Paul, some of which is found in Acts 2:36:

36 Therefore, let the whole house of Israel know for sure4 that God made this Jesus whom you crucified both the Lord and the Messiah5.

So what is it about a name? Is it the name or the man? Sometimes it’s both especially if the name (Jesus) is standing in place of Yahweh!

1 οὐκ... οὐδενὶ ( one) 

The double negative in Greek makes the passage emphatic.

2 ἕτερον (another) 

or “different”.

3 ἐν ᾧ δεῖ σωθῆναι ἡμᾶς. (in which we must be saved) 

or “in which it is necessary for us to be saved”.

4 ἀσφαλῶς (for sure) 

Greek: “securely”. The idea is that it is a safe thing to believe.

5 ὅτι καὶ κύριον αὐτὸν καὶ χριστὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ θεός (that God made him both the Lord and Christ)

Note that there is no article before κύριον (Lord) or χριστὸν (Christ). The article normally is used to refer to something very specific, but sometimes the article is inferred in Greek. For instance, if Christ (Messiah) was not specific, then it could refer to any messiah, and it can also be inferred that there could be MANY messiahs! Since in this case it is obvious that messiah here is meant to be “The Messiah”, then we should also treat lord as “The Lord”.

The Greek

Πράξεις 4·12 καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἄλλῳ οὐδενὶ ἡ σωτηρία, οὐδὲ γὰρ ὄνομά ἐστιν ἕτερον ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν τὸ δεδομένον ἐν ἀνθρώποις ἐν ᾧ δεῖ σωθῆναι ἡμᾶς.

Πράξεις 2·36 ἀσφαλῶς οὖν γινωσκέτω πᾶς οἶκος Ἰσραὴλ ὅτι καὶ κύριον αὐτὸν καὶ χριστὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ θεός, τοῦτον τὸν Ἰησοῦν ὃν ὑμεῖς ἐσταυρώσατε.

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