“CHRIST” IS NOT A NAME?
Answering a Catholic Defender who insisted that the name “Christ” is not a name just to counter the biblical fact that the one true Church established by Christ has an official name, the name “Church of Christ
AFTER WE PUBLISHED the article “The One True Church has no official name?” where we showed evidences from the Bible that the one true Church has an official name and this is the name “Church of Christ,” a Catholic Defender and a stauch INC detractor tried to counter this through commenting in our FB page that the name “Christ” is “not a name.” He insisted that “the word Christ is an office, not (a) name.” He also insisted that “Christ’s name was Jesus” and thus concluded that “NO OTHER NAME (mentioned in Acts 4:12) refers to Jesus.” This is what he said:
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN GIVEN AMONG MEN BY WHICH WE MUST BE SAVED.” (Acts 4:12 NKJV, emphasis mine) - I was reminded by someone that the word "Christ" is an office, not name. Christ's name was Jesus. "NO OTHER NAME" refers to Jesus. “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. ." Matt 1:21
THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO ANSWERS: Your statement is based on opinion and not on facts written in the Bible. The used of Matthew 1:21 as a proof that “Christ is an office, not (a) name,” “Christ’s name was Jesus,” and that “NO OTHER NAME refers to Jesus” is ERRONEOUS indeed because the said verse doesn’t say so:
“She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus--because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21 TEV)
The angel said to Joseph that “She (Mary) will have a son, and you will NAME HIM JESUS…” Nowhere in the verse that says “Christ is an office, not name,” “Christ’s name was Jesus,” and that “NO OTHER NAME refers to Jesus.” It’s non sequitur.
The verse indeed said “She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus.” But it doesn’t follow that “Christ is an office, not name,” “Christ’s name was Jesus,” and that “NO OTHER NAME refers to Jesus.”
Let us further examine his arguments:
(1) The word “Christ” is not a “name”?
This shows gross ignorance of the Bible. He uses Matthew 1:21 (but as we have seen, he erroneously used the verse), however, he missed the verse just five verses away from it. This is what we can read in Matthew 1:16:
“And Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born JESUS, WHO IS CALLED CHRIST.” (Matthew 1:16 NIV, emphasis mine)
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) translated Matthew 1:16 as follows:
“And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was begotten Jesus, who is named Christ.” (Matthew 1:16 YLT)
YLT is right in using the term “named” because the Greek term used here is “legomenos”:
“Iakob dé egénnesen tón Iosef tón ándra Marías, ex hes egennethe Iesoús ho legómenos christós.” (Matthew 1:16 Nestle-Aland 27, trasliteration)
It is also the same word used in Matthew 9:9 which also translated as “named”:
”Kaí parágon ho Iesoús ekeíthen eíden ánthropon kathemenon epí tó telo¡nion, Maththaíon legómenon, kaí légei auto: akoloúthei moi. kaí anastás ekoloúthesen auto.” (Matthew 9:9 Nestle-Aland 27, trasliteration)
Matthew 9:9 is translated in English as:
“As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him.”
The phrase “a man named Matthew” means that this man is called in the name “Matthew.” It is not wrong to conclude that this phrase proves that “Matthew” is a name. The Bible also explicitly said, “Jesus, who is NAMED Christ.” Based on this fact, it is also not wrong to conclude that this man, Jesus, is also called in the name “Christ.” Thus, the reason why Apostle Peter said:
“If you are reproached FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” (I Peter 4:14 NKJV, emphasis mine)
Clearly, those who say that the name “Christ” is “not a name” contrdicts what the Bible explicitly teaches and show gross ignorance of those written in the Bible.
(2) “Christ’s name was Jesus”?
Let us again quote Matthew 1:16:
“And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was begotten JESUS, WHO IS NAMED CHRIST.” (Matthew 1:16 YLT, emphasis mine)
Mary’s Son was indeed called “Jesus,” but the Bible explicitly said, “Jesus, who is NAMED Christ.” Thus, if we are going to ask Jesus Himself, this is what He says about His “name”:
“For many will come IN MY NAME, claiming, 'I am the CHRIST,' and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:5 NIV, emphasis mine)
(3) “‘NO OTHER NAME’ refers to Jesus”?
This is again based on opinion and a gross ignorance of the Bible. The Bible clearly says that “Jesus” is the name that Joseph gave to Mary’s son:
“She will give birth to a son, and YOU ARE TO GIVE HIM THE NAME JESUS, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21 NIV, emphasis mine)
The Bible also explicitly tells us that the name “Jesus” is “the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived”:
“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, THE NAME THE ANGEL HAD GIVEN HIM before he had been conceived.” (Luke 2:21 NIV, emphasis mine)
He is indeed named “Jesus,” but this name is the name given to Him by Joseph, the name given by the angel before He had been conceived. However, the “name” referred to in Acts 4:12 is the name GIVEN BY GOD in which we must be saved:
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven GIVEN AMONG MEN by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NKJV, emphasis mine)
This is the “name” God gave to Jesus and which Jesus asked God to protect the Christians through the power of this name:
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you…
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me-so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” (John 17:1,11-12 NIV)
This is the name the Christians are called:
“Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?” (James 2:7 NKJV)
This is the name “Christ”:
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36 NIV)
Thus, the Church established by Christ is called “Church of Christ”:
“For just as the human body is one and yet has many parts, and all its parts, many as they are, constitute but one body, so it is with the Church of Christ.” (I Corinthians 12:12 NTME)
Even Catholic authorities agreed and prove that the Church established by Chist is called “Church of Christ”:
“5. Did Jesus Christ established a Church?
“Yes, from all history, both secular and profane, as well as from the Bible considered as a human document, we learn that Jesus Christ established a Church, which from the earliest times has been called after Him the Christian Church or the Church of Christ.” Cassily, Francis B., S.J. Religion: Doctrine and Practice for use in Catholic High Schools. 12th and revised edition. Imprimi Potest: Charles H. Cloud, S.J. Provincial of the Chicago Province. Imprimatur: George Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago. Chicago: Loyola university Press, 1934, p. 442-443.)
THUS, THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE ONE TRUE CHURCH ESTABLISHED BY CHRIST HAS AN OFFCIAL NAME, AND HER OFFICIAL NAME IS “CHURCH OF CHRIST,” AND “NO OTHER NAME GIVEN AMONG MEN WHICH WE WIL BE SAVED.”
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“The One True Church has no Official Name?”
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