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 Vol. 4, No. 6 

June, 2002

Since You Asked

~ Page 17 ~

Image Names of God

By Louis Rushmore

I am looking for the name of God in the Bible. not titles. what was it in Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic or whatever  languages were used? was it Yeshua? Yahweh? or? Did Jesus have a different name? thank you ~ Michael Vantrease

Names are primarily means of identifying persons or things and distinguishing them from other persons or things. In so doing, names may involve descriptions or relationships as a part of that identification or distinction. Hence, most of the names of God in the Bible fall into the category of describing him or his relationship to his creation. Besides these descriptive terms or titles, many of which are applied to idol gods as well, there is a single, unique name ascribed to the God of the Bible. That name is commonly rendered as "Jehovah." "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them" (Exodus 6:3). "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth" (Psalm 83:18). Strictly speaking, Yahweh is the only 'name' of God."1 However, God had this to say when Moses inquired as to whom he should tell the nation of Israel sent him.

"And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exodus 3:13-14).

This designation depicts the eternal nature and omnipotence of God who has no peers.

Originally, the name of God was constituted by four Hebrew letters, YHWH. As indicated below, eventually Jews substituted references (e.g., Lord) for the name of God, out of respect for the holy name of God. Still later, vowels were inserted between the consonants to make it easier to pronounce, resulting in Yahweh or Jehovah.

Strictly speaking, this is the only name of God in the Bible. The other terms point to aspects of His character or of His relations with people Jehovah is actually a word that was created in the Middle Ages by the rabbis. Reverent Jews traditionally did not pronounce the proper name of God when they encountered it in the Hebrew text. That word was apparently to be pronounced as Yahweh. Instead they substituted the word Adonai, "Master," "Lord." Several centuries after Christ Jewish scholars inserted the vowels of Adonai between the semivowels and consonants (h and h) of Yahweh, thus creating Jehovah.2

The Hebrew name of the God of Israel, probably originally pronounced Yahweh. Eventually the Jews gave up pronouncing it, considering the name too holy for human lips. Instead they said Adonai or "Lord." This oral tradition came to be reflected in the written Greek translation of the Old Testament as kurios or "Lord," and it is often so quoted in the New Testament (Mark 1:3; Rom 4:8). English versions of the Old Testament also tend to translate this word as "LORD."3

The all caps appearance of the word "LORD" throughout the Old Testament in the King James Version of the Bible represents where the name "Jehovah" ought to appear in the text.

Regarding Jesus, especially the word "Jesus" is his name, which means "Savior." The word "Christ" means "anointed" or "Messiah." "JESUS CHRIST (1) 'Jesus' (Iesous) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew 'Joshua' (yehoshua`), meaning 'Yahweh is salvation.'"4

Matthew opens his gospel as "the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David." Both designations are used here as a personal name ...5

Jesus also bore the name "Emmanuel" (Matthew 1:23), which means "God with us." In addition, several titles are applied in both testaments to Jesus, including, Lord.
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1 The New Bible Dictionary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1962.

2 Paul S. Karleen, The Handbook to Bible Study, (New York: Oxford University Press) 1987.

3 Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

4 International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft.

5 The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.

Image Located Preacher or
Mutual Edification?

By Louis Rushmore

A sometimes critic of our efforts through Gospel Gazette Online challenges the hiring of a preacher as unscriptural. Proponents of this view typically oppose what they refer to as a located preacher and purport that mutual edification is the biblically required means of preaching in any established (with elders) local congregation. These people mean well and are sincere.

See the following Gospel Gazette Online URLs for a treatment of preachers, ministers or evangelists. The current page will not redo what appears there, but will address the debate suggested in the title above.

http://www.gospelgazette.com/gazette/2001/nov/page12.htm

http://www.gospelgazette.com/gazette/2002/jan/page20.htm

The apostle Paul, we are told, cannot be used as an example of a preacher because he was an apostle. How convenient to attempt an exclusion of invaluable evidence with merely one's "say so." Paul stated that he was appointed both a preacher and an apostle; he did not argue that they were one in the same (1 Timothy 2:7). Further, Paul's traveling companions are categorized as just that, traveling companions, in an additional attempt to exclude from review crucial evidence respecting the question under consideration. However, especially Timothy was a preacher (2 Timothy 4:1-8). Instead of jettisoning the evidence, the following lines propose an examination of some of the evidence, without a prejudicial predisposition respecting it.

Preachers Besides the Apostles

The previous articles (cited in the URLs above) establish that the words preacher, minister and evangelist essentially describe the same function, though each of the words suggests a slightly different emphasis. The biblical evidence teaches that persons beyond the apostles also functioned as preachers of God (Ephesians 4:11). The apostle Paul did not distinguish himself from others as a minister, but included those with him as ministers of God (2 Corinthians 6:4). "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?" (1 Corinthians 3:5).

The "traveling companions" of the apostle Paul (Barnabas, John Mark, Silas, Timothy and others) were not merely buddies along for the adventure and to keep the apostle from getting lonely. Barnabas and John Mark preached the Gospel on the island of Cyprus (Acts 15:37-39); formerly, Paul and Barnabas labored in the Gospel in Cyprus and Asia Minor (Acts 13:2ff), and later, Paul and Silas revisited the Asia Minor (Acts 15:40-41). Timothy also served with Paul as a preacher (Acts 16:1ff; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy) and so did Titus (2 Corinthians 8:23).

The integral part of proclaiming the Word of God through preachers is obvious from the New Testament Scripture below, which quotes an Old Testament passage.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:13-17).

Preachers are no less useful today in God's plan for evangelization and edification (Romans 1:15; 1 Corinthians 14:12), long after the apostles no longer walk the earth, than they were in the first century. Among the preachers who were not apostles in the first century are men like Apollos (Acts 18:24-28), Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7), Epaphras (Colossians 1:7), Timothy (1 Thessalonians 3:2), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25) and others.

Preachers Were Paid

Not even the apostle Paul received enough remuneration at times and suffered (2 Corinthians 11:27), besides he sometimes refused support (2 Corinthians 11:5-15) or received support from afar to do local work in new areas (2 Corinthians 11:8). However, the apostle vigorously defended the right of a preacher to be supported financially.

"Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?  Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn.  Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?  Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:3-14).

Some of those Paul specifically mentioned were not apostles: "the brethren of the Lord" and "Barnabas." The principle is firmly established that preachers may be paid, and paid enough that they can support themselves and their families ("lead about a sister, a wife") without pursuing secular employment. Further, the church is obligated to provide this remuneration (Galatians 6:6-8).

Preachers May Locate

Preachers may preach for a single congregation as those styled messengers of the church did. Epaphroditus was a preacher working with Paul, but who was especially the minister (called by the apostle their "messenger") of the church in Philippi (Philippians 2:25). Titus and others were referred to by the apostle Paul as "the messengers of the churches" (2 Corinthians 8:23); incidentally, the word for "messenger" is apostolos, which is also translated "apostle." References to "the angels of the seven churches" (Revelation 1:20; 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14) refer to the ones who respectively in each congregation were charged with conveying Christ's message -- each congregation's preacher. The basic meaning of the word "angel" is a messenger. Whereas ordinarily we think of those heavenly beings styled "angels," who served as God's messengers, in the Book of Revelation that concept is applied to mortals.

The apostle is a case in point regarding the length of time that he stayed on two occasions with congregations to whom he was preaching. He stayed a year and a half at Corinth (Acts 18:11) and three years at Ephesus (Acts 20:31). None of the several passages regarding preachers laboring with their respective congregations say anything about a minimum or maximum time they were permitted to preach to them. None of the several passages regarding preachers laboring with their respective congregations say anything about whether there were elders at those congregations; there is every reason to believe there were elders at the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2:1 since there were elders there earlier (Acts 20).

Congregations tend to grow spiritually better when they have a steady, uninterrupted diet of preaching, which follows a routine that will more nearly accomplish the proclamation of the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). This more nearly comes to pass when a preacher remains with a congregation for an extended number of years. Unfortunately, often preachers move from a congregation on the average of every two years (which, incidentally, falls within the time the apostle Paul stayed with two congregations of which we are aware).

Mutual Edification

Mutual edification occurs all at once when we sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19). Assembling for worship itself contributes to mutual edification (Hebrews 10:24-25). A significant reason for worshipping together includes edification (1 Corinthians 14, especially verses 4, 12). Obviously in that context, several persons, one at a time, in the same congregation, can contribute to the edification of a congregation. Yet, that does not nullify the foregoing references to preachers working with particular churches for extended periods of time.

The preacher is not the only edifier, but he is one whose role and suitability for edification is unique and has a definitive place in the local work of a congregation. That the preacher or minister edifies the church does not displace a role of edification for elders or teachers, which roles the New Testament also records for the local church.

A dogmatic resort only to mutual edification from church members, many of whom are ill studied or lack experience, is counterproductive and contributes in many instances, not to edification, but a decidedly lack thereof in a congregation. Well-meaning brethren who have neither the time nor the resources (reference works, training how to use them, familiarity with the original biblical languages, etc.) are unable to sufficiently edify themselves and they cannot edify a congregation. Ideally, teachers, elders and preachers each will do their parts toward the edification of each local congregation.

The Matthew
22:1-14 Parable

As a growing Christian what is the conclusion of the parable for John 22:1-14. Bless you. ~ Lorraine C. Watson

You must mean Matthew 22:1-14. That parable is similar to the parable of the Great Supper that may be found in Gospel Gazette Online at:

http://www.gospelgazette.com/gazette/2001/jun/page2.htm

The marriage feast represents the church or kingdom, which finally will be taken to heaven when Jesus returns again (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The King is God; the King's Son is Jesus Christ. The ungrateful guests and murderers of the King's servants are those who disregard God's invitation into the church or kingdom (even abusing and killing some of God's messengers). Between the invitation to the original guests and the replacement guests, all mankind (Jews and Gentiles) are invited by God. However, even some who accept the invitation do not make adequate preparation to be permitted to remain; not everyone who becomes a child of God will be saved finally (2 Peter 2:20-22). The outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth represent removal from the presence of God into hell (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). The many called but few chosen represents the sad fact that the majority of accountable souls will be lost and comparatively few will be saved in heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).

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