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 Vol. 6, No. 1 

January 2004

~ Page 18 ~

The Name "Christian"

By Hugo McCord

Image It is sad that the "Contributors to the Study Aids" in regard to the New King James Version assert that "in Acts 11:26, we have the inspired record of the Antiochians coining the word Christian," and that the "Antiochians were witty, worldly and rather wicked." On the other hand, as Moses was the mouthpiece of God for divine revelations (Exodus 19:17-25; Hebrews 12:25), so were Barnabas and Saul (Paul) mouthpieces of a divine revelation first predicted as "from the mouth of the LORD" (Isaiah 62:2). God used Barnabas (a prophet, Acts 13:1) and Saul (an apostle, Galatians 1:1) to teach [didazai, active voice] a large multitude a whole year in Antioch, and to call [chrematisai, active voice] the disciples "Christians" (Acts 11:26).

The "Contributors" do not believe that the name "Christian" came "from the mouth of the LORD," but that it "was no doubt . . . a term of reproach." On the contrary, the inspired James wrote that the "name" by which Jesus' disciples were called was kalon (honorable, good, worthy, beautiful) (James 2:7).

The "Contributors" in 1 Peter 4:16 failed to follow the majority of Greek manuscripts in removing the word "name" in favor of "matter": "Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter." Why they changed the reading in the old KJV "behalf" to "matter" they do not say. But thank God the new KJV, as well as the old KJV, preserves the word "Christian."Image

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