At the beginning of creation, we find 3 names: God, Adam, Eve. There were no surnames or Christian names. Soon, however, other names were added to identify individuals, for example, David, son of Obed, grandson of Boaz and Ruth and thereafter all his forbears. We have a somewhat similar way in our culture, for example, in John whose descendants became Johnson.
Have your names been troublesome? Did your parents give you an outlandish name like FOURTHSON or FULLBLOOM? My four given names were quite ordinary: the first was my mother’s name, the second Merle, the third my mother’s maiden name and then my married surname Lamprecht. The problem arose when years ago one could sign in online to get permission to visit Britain. My problem came about when I submitted my Christian names. My third name was my mother’s maiden name. Quite rightly. the response was that this was a surname. In desperation, I wrote to the embassy explaining my predicament, got a reply to give to customs when I landed at Heathrow, and clutching it fearing I might be put on the return flight home handed it over, and breathed a sigh of relief when he said, “Welcome to Britain.” Recently there has been a trend to call babies by the pet names of their Christian names, for example, Harold Smith becomes Harry Smith, Jacob Smith becomes Jake Smith, and Margaret Smith becomes Peggy Smith, and Dorothy Smith becomes Dolly Smith.
Biblical names are popular among Christians and Jews. Some of the masculine names in the Old Testament are Abraham, Isaac, (Isaac Watts who wrote many of the greatest Christian hymns), Jacob (which was the most popular name in America for many years), Joseph, (the coat of many colours who saved his family who had sold him into slavery), David, (King), Jesse, (Jesse Waters one of the most watched programmes in America today), Jonathan, (David’s best friend),and Samuel, (judge). Here are some Old Testament feminine names: Eve, (the first woman in the Bible), Rebecca, (mother of Esau and Jacob), Naomi, Ruth,(wife of Boaz), Sharon, (the rose of Sharon), Deborah, (prophetess and judge), Esther, (Jewish queen who saved her people),Abigail, (David’s wife), Hannah, (Samuel’s mother), Judith, Dinah. Miriam, Jeminah, Leah, Rachel.
There is often confusion about disciples and apostles. They are both people who are sent on a mission. Jesus sent his disciples on a mission. This included Judas Iscariot. He was dead when the apostles were chosen, and no Christian would ever call their son Judas.
Paul heard Jesus speaking to him, and giving him instructions, as he was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians. Paul himself claims to be an apostle. In 1 Cor 9:1 he writes, “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Are you not my workmanship in the Lord?” And in 1 Gal 1 he writes, “Paul, an apostle – not from men or through men, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.” But between them, the apostles John and Paul, wrote most of the New Testament. That is why their names are so popular.
What names was Jesus called in the New Testament? He was called Christ, Lord, Master, Teacher, Word, Son of God, Son of Man, Son of David, Lamb of God, and Saviour. In Isaiah’s prophecy we read, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government is on His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9:6). What names did Jesus call the people in the crowds that followed him? Here are a few I can recall: Friend (Judas when he betrayed Jesus), his disciples (in John 15), hypocrites (Pharisees and teachers of the Law), ye of little faith (when he stilled the sea), children (in Luke 18:15-17), “Let the children come to me”… “Truly I tell you, anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
What are the names of God in the Bible that people called him, or that he called himself? The Supreme One (Gen 1:1), The Almighty (Gen 17:, 1) The Lord (with several additions, for example, The Lord will provide, The Lord our healer), The Ancient of Days (Dan 7), Abba Father (Romans 8:15), Alpha and Omega (The First and the Last, Rev 22:13).
The Holy Spirit is mentioned a great many times throughout the Bible, right from the beginning to the end. In Gen 1:2, we read, “And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In Acts 2:1-6, we read, ”And suddenly the was a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting…and cloven tongues like fire sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem, devout Jews, out of every nation under heaven. Now, when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded because every man heard them speak in their own language.” (Acts 2:1-6). Then Peter delivered a long sermon about Jesus Christ. “Then they gladly received his word and were baptized, and the same day were added about 3 thousand souls.” (v41). The Holy Spirit is called The Comforter, (John 14:26), The Spirit of Truth, (John 16:13), The Advocate and Reminder, (John 14:26). In The Revelation the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit, and it is in the Spirit that John receives his visions.
In Ex 3:14 God mentions his name for the first time in the Bible to Moses: “I AM THAT I AM”.” Jesus called himself the great I AM in John 8:58,59: “Before Abraham was I AM”. The Holy Spirit that “proceeds from the Father and Son is also I AM. (John 15:26). Three very distinct Persons form the Godhead. In every way they are equal.