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The Name (Leviticus 24:11; cf. James 2:7)

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Leviticus 24:11

The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name and cursed. So they brought him to Moses. (Now his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.) (NASB, the underlined is mine).[*1]


James 2:7

Do they not blaspheme the beautiful Name which has been called upon you? (My translation) 


 Both passages speak of the Name being blasphemed. What Leviticus 24:11 describes of what was done unto YHWH, James 2:7 teaches what was done unto the Lord Jesus as YHWH.[*2]

     1. A. T. Robertson (Acts 5:41): Note the same use of "the Name" as in #Jas 2:7; 3Jo 1:7. With the Jews this absolute use of "the Name" meant Jehovah. The Christians now apply it to Jesus. 

     2. Bruce Chilton and Jacob Neusner: Finally, we may notice that the "beautiful name" invoked over Christians according to James 2:7 is most likely the name of Jesus invoked in baptism. But it corresponds to a usage in the Hebrew Bible and later Jewish literature, according to which God's ownership of his own people Israel is indicated by referring to them as those "over whom the name of YHWH has been invoked" (e.g., Deut. 28:10; 2 Chron. 7:14; Dan. 9:19). This treatment of the name Jesus as equivalent to the divine name of the God of Israel is a piece with the considerable influence of Joel 2:32 ("everyone who call on the name of YHWH shall be saved"), understood Christologically, in early Christian usage (Acts 2:21, 38, where it is connected to baptism in the name of Jesus; Acts 9:14, 21; 22:16; Rom. 10:13; 2 Tim. 2:22). Once again the implicit Christology is high (The Brother of Jesus: James the Just and his mission, page 135).



[*1] The Name refers to the Name of the LORD (Leviticus 24:16).


[*2] It is worth noting that the BDAG (3rd Edition) applies blaspheme to the "name of Christ" (page 178), but then asserts that called is used "of God's name" (page 373).





 When Paul affirmed that he did many things hostile the name of Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 26:9) and tried to force Christians to blaspheme (Acts 26:11) it means he wanted them to renounce their belief that the Lord Jesus is God.

     1. J. R. Lumby: ‘Name’ is constantly used in O.T. as the equivalent of ‘Godhead,’ and any Jew who heard the language of such a verse as this would understand that the Christians held Jesus to be a Divine Being...They were to be forced to renounce the belief in the divinity of Jesus. Cf. on blasphemy of the Divine Name, Leviticus 24:11-16 (The Acts of the Apostles, Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges).


 Note also the following: 

     a. Matthew Poole (Acts 26:9): the religion which teacheth Christ is to be worshipped, and his name to be magnified.


     b. Adam Clarke (1 Timothy 1:13): Endeavouring, to the uttermost of his power, to exterminate all who called on the name of the Lord Jesus.


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