A Compendium of Christian Theology

By William Burt Pope, D.D.,

Volume Two

Chapter 10

Names of the Redeemer


            Pretemporal Dignity

            Divine Names

            Of His One Person

            Official Names


            Practical Use

Almost all the elements of Christian doctrine may be connected with the appellations which the Scripture gives to our Lord, as they are supplemented in some cases by theological nomenclature. What the names of God are in Theology proper, the names of Christ are in Christology. They define all we know of His pretemporal being, of His general Mediatorial relations, whether as the humbled or as the exalted Christ, of His specific Messianic offices, and of His relations to the Church in administered salvation

They have passed in review already, but may with considerable advantage be classified

I. The names of the supra-human, supra-creaturely pretemporal being who became man are twofold: those which belong to Him absolutely as Divine, and those which belong to Him as the Second Person in the Deity

1. He is GOD absolutely, or the GREAT GOD, GOD BLESSED FOR EVER.1 He is JEHOVAH OR LORD; the LORD OF GLORY;2 the FIRST AND THE LAST; the BEGINNING AND THE END:3 words implying both the Shaddai and the Adonai of the Old Testament, both the interior selfsufficiency and the external omnipotence of the Divine Being

1 Rom. 9:5; 2 1 Cor. 2:8; 3 Rev. 22:13

2. As the Second Person in the Godhead He is the SON,2 he SON or GOD, [God] ONLY BEGOTTEN, 1 WISDOM, the ANGEL OF JEHOVAH, the WORD OF LIFE, the WORD OF GOD, the WORD, the [MAGE OF GOD, the EFFULGENCE OF HIS GLORY, the FIRSTBORN3 before every creature; the BEGINNING or Author OF THE CREATION OF GOD,4 of His own creation as God. With reference to most of these names it may be said that, while they are based upon the original dignity of the Son, they are given to Him in His incarnate relations; not one of them but has some indirect reference to the Divine-human estate

1 John 1:18; 2 Heb. 1:2; 3 Col. 1:15; 4 Rev. 3:14 II. The names that expressly formulate the union of the two natures in the One Person of Christ are in the Scriptures few

1. Obviously IMMANUEL, 1 God with us, 2 takes the lead: a name once used symbolically and typically in the Old Testament; in the New so applied as to become personal; yet never adopted after its first proclamation. It is the first in the Gospels, and will in reality be the last, surviving as the expression of an eternal truth when most others have become historical. Some descriptions of the one Incarnate Person found in the prophets have not been transmitted to the New Testament. Such is the term THE BRANCH. This belongs to our Lord's human nature: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots; 3 but also to His Divine: In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely, 4 where the human is the fruit of the earth and the Divine the Branch of the Lord

THE SON is one of those Divine names of the eternal Second Person which connect Him with the temporal Manifestation: so in the baptismal formula, 5 where it is difficult to detach the word from its connection with the Incarnate. With special reference to His Person as including the Manhood the name SON OF GOD6 is also sometimes used

1 Isa. 7:14; 2 Mat. 1:23; 3 Isa. 11:1; 4 Isa. 4:2; 5 Mat. 28:19; 6 John 9:35

2. One designation stands out with peculiar prominence, as derived from the Redeemer’s relation to mankind: THE SON OF MAN. Once occurring in Daniel, it was adopted habitually by our Lord; under peculiar circumstances it was used by St. Stephen; and then is heard no more. It suggests that instance of the term MAN where He is called MEDIATOR, the solitary example which permits us to employ the word as describing the Person of our Lord: ánthroopos Christós Ieesoús,1 Christ Jesus, not a man or the man, but MAN

1 1 Tim. 2:5

3. None of the phrases used in Scripture has been retained in the language of theology to express the union of the two natures in the Person of Christ. The source of the word GODMAN is lost in obscurity: Origen's claim to it is doubtful. In theological language such terms are used as THE INCARNATE, the DIVINE-HUMAN PERSON, the THEANTHROPIC PERSON

III. The designations of the Son of God in His official aspect towards the universe and to mankind are of course the most numerous and the most important. They are based on a variety of principles, and require arrangement

1. First, those names of our Lord's Divine and eternal nature which connect Him with the creation generally must be distinguished; especially as they form a transition to His redeeming relations. Going back to the pretemporal titles, we find that the Eternal Word is the PRINCE or LIFE.1 As the Author of all life, He is THE LIFE absolutely. Thence He is OUR LIFE; the PRINCE or Captain OF SALVATION,2 the PRINCE or Author OF THE FAITH,3 Archeegón in these passages meaning nothing less than that He is the eternal Source and Beginning of that life which is to us salvation, and is obtained in faith: whence, combining them all, He is a PRINCE AND A SAVIOUR.4 Though these titles bring the Lord within the redeeming economy, they have their ground in an eternal relation of the Son in the Trinity as the Originator of all creaturely existence

1 Acts 3:15; 2 Heb. 2:10; 3 Heb. 12:2; 4 Acts 5:31

2. There are some which belong to the times of prophetic preparation, and are not continued in the New Testament: such are the ANGEL OF JEHOVAH, the MESSENGER of the Covenant,1 and the SERVANT OF THE LORD.2 These three should be marked in their unity and gradation: the last of them reappears in the New Testament when Christ is called a MINISTER,3 and in the words of St. Peter, who speaks of God having raised up in our nature for His Messianic work His SON Jesus,4 where Pais is used as in some sense intermediate between Son and servant. Reference may be made to the names, or the cluster of names, given to the coming Redeemer in Isaiah: And His Name shall be called WONDERFUL, COUNSELLOR, THE MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.5 In earlier times He was foreannounced as SHILOH,6 PEACE,7 which suggests the PRINCE OF PEACE, and He is our PEACE: there is no word more intimately and sacredly bound up with the Lord and His work. And earliest of all we find Him designated the SEED:8 of the Woman, of Abraham, and of David

1 Mal. 3:1; 2 Isa. 42-43; 3 Rom. 15:8; 4 Acts 3:26; 5 Isa. 9:6; 6 Gen. 49:10; 7 Eph. 2:14; 8 Gen. 3:15

3. The names which denote the relation of the Incarnate Son to His work generally occupy the central place in this classification

(1.) Some of them define His office in its widest range and in its universal issues. The largest and broadest of these is JESUS,1 from the Hebrew Jehoshua or Joshua, Help of the Lord, or Lord-Savior: the NAME OF JESUS2 has a supreme meaning in the New Testament

He is the PRINCE OF SALVATION, THE SAVIOUR: of all men from the penalty of original sin; and, of those who believe, from all evil: from its guilt and from its indwelling, that is from sin and from sinfulness. He is the SALVATION of His people: Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy Salvation cometh; beheld, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.3 He is the Hebrew MESSIAH, and the universal CHRIST, as the Anointed Agent of the Divine will, and the source of the anointing of His saints by the Spirit. In both Testaments He is the HOLY ONE,4 as THE LORD'S ANOINTED. In the execution of all His offices combined He is our REDEEMER5 from the penalty and power of sin, and from Satan its representative, and the world its sphere; but this name is not generally given to Him in Scripture, though constantly applied to His work. When our Lord, approaching His passion, said, The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many6, He all but called Himself THE MINISTER OF REDEMPTION, which is the New-Testament form of the Old-Testament SERVANT of God

In His whole manifestation He is the LIGHT of the Gentiles,7 the GLORY of Israel,8 the DESIRE9 of all nations: according to the beautiful but doubtful Vulgate translation, Desideratus cunctis gentibus

1 Phil. 2:10; 2 Heb. 2:13; 3 Isa. 62:11; 4 1 John 2:20; 5 Isa. 59:20; 6 Mat. 20:28; 7 Isa. 42:6; 8 Isa. 17:3; 9 Hag. 2:7

(2.) Besides these appellatives, which have become, as it were, proper names, we find almost every aspect of the benefit of His work providing a title for Him. He is not called the Justifier: it is God that justifieth;1 but as both the ground and the administrator of that justification He is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS;2 and He is Jesus Christ THE RIGHTEOUS.3 In the temple where holiness reigns He is Himself emphatically THE SANCTIFIER,4 and THE HOLY ONE,5 sharing these titles with the Father and the Spirit

Between our justification in the court, and our sanctification in the temple, comes in our new life in the house of God; and Christ as the Only-begotten is THE PRINCE OF LIFE;6 of that life which springs from union with Himself. As to the covenant ratified in His blood,7 He is THE MEDIATOR as its ground in His Person and work; the SURETY,8 as the living Pledge in heaven, both for God and man, of the observance of its conditions and the bestowment of its blessings; the TESTATOR,9 as appointing to His household those blessings by His will on death. Looking at the ultimate accomplishment of all its designs Hs is THE FINISHER10 of the Faith, and THE LIFE11 of believers: the life under its two aspects gives Him two names: He is THE RESURRECTION12 from universal death, and He is ETERNAL LIFE13 in its everlasting issues

1 Rom. 8:33; 2 Jer. 23:6; 3 1 John 2:1; 4 Heb. 2:11; 5 Acts 3:14; 6 Acts 3:15; 7 Heb. 9:14; 8 Heb. 7:22; 9 Heb. 9:16; 10 Heb. 12:2; 11 John 14:6; 12 John 11:25; 13 1 John 1:2

IV. The specific offices of the Redeemer yield Him a variety of titles, each of which describes one aspect of His work, and is inappropriate as applied to the Person of Christ generally. Of course those only are referred to which are limited to each office, and for the most part such as are found in Scripture or in the exact reproductions of Scriptural language. Some of them are too limited for common application

1. The Lord as the Revealer of the Divine will is pre-eminently the PROPHET. This was one of the earliest prophetical designations; but when once shown that in Him the fulfillment had come, the term is no longer applied: it is left to His servants the prophets, whether of the Old or of the New Testament. For the same reason those titles have been disused which were given to our Lord with special reference to His Israelitish mission: such as RABBI, MASTER, TEACHER, MINISTER OF THE CIRCUMCISION. Once, and once only, is He the APOSTLE, that is, the antitype of Moses, as He is the HIGH-PRIEST 1 and antitype of Aaron: the only place in which our Lord is directly connected with these two persons as united. It might have been expected that here He would have been termed the Prophet; but the mission of Moses is referred to as the type of that more than a prophet, Who said, As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. 2 It is with reference to His prophetic office that He is THE WISDOM OF GOD, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, THE TRUTH: from God, to enlighten men, and perfect human knowledge. There is an emphasis on His being the TRUE LIGHT that enlighteneth every man, as also on His being the Truth, both as its substance and its Teacher

1 Heb. 3:1; 2 John 20:21

2. As the atoning Representative of mankind, that is, in His sacerdotal office, Jesus has many titles, both descriptive and personal. He is the HIGH-PRIEST: first, as the Antitype of Aaron, and, secondly, as the Head of a fellowship of priests, the High-priest of our confession. 1 But as He is now the only Offerer for sacrifice, the offerings of His people being presented by Him, He is the PRIEST absolutely: the great Sacrificer and Intercessor for man. Thus the former sanctions the universal priesthood of Christians, while the latter abrogates every special ministerial priesthood. From His sacrificial work2 He derives many appellatives which have become almost personal names. He is the living PROPITIATORY 3 or Mercy-seat, or atoning Sacrifice. He is the Victim of His own oblation, the unity of all victims, though only one gives Him a designation: THE LAMB. The preeminence of this is that it continues to be the name of Jesus in all His offices in heaven; describing the Incarnate in the Triune glory receiving the homage of the universe in the midst of the throne, 4 as the King, taking the Book as the Prophet, and still as it had been slain. Thus the Baptist's LAMB OF GOD, 5 which does not directly reappear in the New- Testament phraseology, is given back from heaven to earth, and has never ceased to be familiar in Christian devotion. When the Christian Prophet writes as an Apostle he terms the Intercessor in heaven an ADVOCATE or PARACLETE 6 for His people: the Word being as much an appellative of Jesus Christ as it is of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. St. John rises above all former precedent in calling that PLEADER in heaven the living PROPITIATION

1 Heb. 3:3; 2 Eph. 5:2; 3 Rom. 3:25; 4 Rev. 5:6; 5 John 1:29; 6 1 John 2:1,2

3. In His regal office our Savior is LORD of all, His highest name; KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS: 1 all power is of God; all lower dignities are given to the supreme Authority, and hence His many crowns. 2 KING absolutely Jesus is not named, save indirectly in one of His own parables; but He is the KING'S SON. PRINCE He is of peace and of life; but the term PRINCE OF LIFE does not refer to authority so much as to priority and origination: He is the Archeegón tos zoween. 3 St. Peter calls Him a PRINCE and a Savior

And He is the CAPTAIN of salvation. As Lord He is also the JUDGE; but as He Himself said, / came not to judge the world, but to save the world, 4 so He does not assume this title. Though the Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son, 5 yet that Son scarcely bears the name: God is the Judge of all.6

1 1 Tim. 6:15; 2 Rev. 19:12; 3 Acts 5:31; 4 John 12:47; 5 John 5:22; 6 Heb. 12:23

V. It is profitable to mark also the permutations and combinations of the titles that are bestowed on the Redeemer, or by which He is invoked. The most obvious is JESUS CHRIST: this does not mean only, as is sometimes said, the personal and the official name: both are official names. The variation in the order is arbitrary. Both Jesus and Christ are found as proper names, and without the article. But when the term Lord is connected with them there is generally some reason in the context. Especially is this the case when the full assemblage of His august titles is given Him: mark the predominance of our LORD JESUS CHRIST in the first Epistles referring to His coming; 1 when He is also called THE LORD absolutely. Once we read of the fellowship of His SON JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.2 GOD OUR SAVIOUR3 and THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST occur only in the Pastoral Epistle to Titus. St. Jude calls Him THE ONLY WISE GOD OUR SAVIOUR.4 St. Peter, THE SHEPHERD AND BISHOP5 of our souls; and he gives the most enlarged formula: OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.7 But the Lord perhaps most magnifies His own name: I am ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE FIRST AND THE LAST, THE BEGINNING AND THE END;6 the same as the Divine name in Rev. chapter 1 And again: These things saith HE THAT is HOLY, HE THAT is TRUE, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID.8 And again, These things saith THE AMEN, THE FAITHFUL and TRUE WITNESS, the BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD.9 One of the Elders called Him THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDA, THE ROOT OF DAVID.10 Once more it is said of Him that He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.11 His last testimony to Himself is: I am the ROOT AND THE OFFSPRING OF DAVID, and the BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.12 The final words of the Bible invoke the grace of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. But a NEW NAME13 has yet to be revealed

1 1 Thes. 2:19;5:27,28; 2 1 Cor. 1:9; 3 Tit. 2:10,13; 4 Jude 25; 5 1 Pet. 2:15; 6 Rev. 1:8; 22:13; 7 2 Pet. 1:11; 8 Rev. 3:7; 9 Rev. 3:14; 10 Rev. 5:5; 11 Rev. 19:16; 12 Rev. 22:16; 13 Rev.2:17

VI. There is another class of appellatives which refer to our Lord's relations to His people. These are metaphors, or symbols, or abstract terms expressing qualities personified in Him: not precisely names, they are yet more than mere adjectival descriptions, and are used in the Christian Church very much to the advantage of its practical and devotional literature. They comprise also figures derived from almost every region of the mental, and the moral, and the physical worlds. As our Lord has many crowns, so has He many names: He is clothed with more titles and epithets, attributes and properties, than any other object in the universe. Omitting all those which are His because they are God's, we find in Scripture an endless abundance applied to the Redeemer distinctively

The largest number of these indicate His relations to His Church: though rather as defining that relation than as giving Him appellatives. He is the ROCK or FOUNDATION on which the Church is built: that is, the underlying primitive foundation on which the foundation of Apostles and Prophets rests: what devotion has termed THE ROCK OF AGES

Hence He is the CHIEF CORNER STONE.1 Leaving this metaphor, He is to His Church the GOOD SHEPHERD, the Vine, its HEAD2,3 as it is a corporate body, and for its sake the Head of the universe also. Again, He is THE WAY: in which alone all men have access to God, to life, and to heaven. He is the FRIEND OF SINNERS;4 the BRIDEGROOM5 of His Church; and, by implication, the BROTHER6 of His disciples. Generally, it may be said that every blessing of which He is the source or medium gives Him a name. He is the FOUNTAIN opened,8 the WATER and the BREAD of life, and the PHYSICIAN of souls. He is the DOOR7 of access to God, and life and heaven. He is to His people ALL AND IN ALL:9 Panta kai en pasin Christos. It is deeply interesting to trace how variously these Scriptural figures have been enshrined in the devotional ideas of antiquity, and sanctified by art to the memorial of our Lord. For instance, the ancient Church has transmitted the sacred name under the letters IHS, Jesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus the Savior of men. The word ichthus, fish, was also in familiar use: being composed of the capital letters of Iesous Christos, Theos uios, sother. Sometimes the letters INRI stood for Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judseorum. But all this takes us beyond or below our Biblical theology

1 1 Pet. 2:6; 2 Eph. 1:22; 3 Col. 2:19; 4 Luke 7:34; 5 Mat.25:6; 6 John 20:17; 7 John 10:7; 8 Zech. 13:1; 9 Col. 3:11

VII. The practical use of the study of these names is obvious

1. It is the Divine method of teaching us the doctrines of the economy of redemption; he who understands the derivation, uses, and bearings of the rich cluster of terms, in their Hebrew and Greek symbols especially, which are arranged in this sketch, will have no mean knowledge of this branch of theology and of theology in general. Such a study will also tend to give precision to the language of the theologian, especially the preacher, who will observe with what exquisite propriety every epithet is used by Evangelists and Apostles in relation to the Person and work and relations of the Redeemer. There can be no better theological exercise than the study of Evangelical doctrine as based upon the titles of Jesus

2. No study more surely tends to exalt our Lord. We cannot range in thought over the boundless names given by inspiration to our adorable Master without feeling that there is no place worthy of Him below the highest, that He cannot be less than God to our faith and reverence, and devotion and love. He is precious1 beyond human estimation: hee timeé, He is all that precious-ness means to those who believe; no words can describe the greatness of His Person and the dignity it confers on all that is His. Whatsoever toucheth Him is holy

1 1 Pet. 2:7

3. The subject suggests also the importance of great caution in the use of the terms that have been adopted by uninspired theology to supplement the Scripture. Most of these have been alluded to above. It will be observed that while some of them are very valuable, indeed indispensable, in dogmatic theology, none have lodged in the common language of Christendom but those which the New Testament gives

4. Lastly, the spirit of reverence must lead us to conform our thoughts and our words concerning Him, whether in devotion or preaching or meditation, to the example of the Scriptures. Those whom He called His friends,1 and would not call His servants, those whom He, after the resurrection, termed My brethren,2 made it their practice to abstain from reciprocating these names: Jesus is never their Friend nor their Brother; nor is there one epithet of endearment applied to Him in all their writings. The Father alone calls Him Beloved: Behold, Mine Elect, in Whom My soul delighteth!3 in the Old-Testament prophecy, given back again and again with increase in the New-Testament fulfillment: This is My beloved Son.4 With regard to the Father alone is Christ said to be dear: His dear Son,5 though even then it is only the Son of His love. As to the Apostles, and all their followers, they are His bondservants, doulos; He is their LORD JESUS CHRIST. We must be guided by their example. It is our most blessed self-denial to suppress the overflowings of human affection towards Him in Whom we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.6 In every thought of Him, and word concerning Him, the Divinity in the Incarnate Person must ever be pre-eminent and govern all

1 John 15:15; 2 John 20:17; 3 Isa. 53:1; 4 Mat. 7:5; 5 Col. 1:13; 6 1 Pet. 1:8