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A Prologue to "The Names of the Believers in the Bible in Types and Symbols"
by Dr Surya Kumar Daimari
8/15/2015 / Book Reviews
Names are important because they are the manifestations of a person's identity, character, personality and nature. In biblical times, mostly in the Old Testament, the name of a person had a significant bearing in meaning as well as in the personality of the individual. For example,
Abraham in Hebrew means father of multitude,
David means beloved,
Naomi means pleasant,
Daniel means God is my judge,
Solomon means peaceful,
Jehoshua means Yahweh is Salvation etc
. In the New Testament also, the names like the following are heavily loaded in meaning.
Philip in Greek means lover of horses,
Mathew means gift of God,
John means God is gracious etc.
In the Bible, we also see that in many occasions, when there was a change in the person's character or personality, there was also a change in the name of the individual. Viz.,
(1) God changed Abram's name to Abraham
Abram in Hebrew means "exalted one" but Abraham means "father of multitude". God changed Abram's name to Abraham because God promised to make him the father of many nations. The whole families of the earth should be blessed through his posterity. Gen 17:5
(2) Naomi changed to Mara
In the Bible, 'Naomi' is an amazing name. In Hebrew language, 'Naomi' means beautiful, pleasant or pleasantness of Jehovah, my delight or my joy, my bliss. It's a name which signifies all that is charming and lovable. But what a contrast!
Mara means bitter. Naomi had a bitter experience after she had lost her husband and her two sons. She then wished that she be called Mara. "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara for Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me ". Ruth 1:20
(3) Jacob changed to Israel
Jacob in the Bible means supplanter that supplants. Supplanter means one who wrongfully or illegally holds the place of another. But God said to him," Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel, for as a prince hast thou power with God and with man and has prevailed" Gen 32:28
In Hebrew, Israel means 'My God prevail'. In fact, it is Jacob who struggles with God and prevails where God perseveres and contends. The name, 'Israel' is actually a token of God's blessing to Jacob. Alfred Jones in his 'Dictionary of the Old Testament Proper Names', looks Israel as, "He will be Prince with God".
In the Bible, God has many individual names, which truly reveal the very character of God Himself. Viz., the name of God par excellence is Yahweh. Yahweh means everlasting. God said, "I am that I am." Ex 3:14
The name signifies the meaning that our God is an everlasting God. And there is no other God but Yahweh. The names like Elohim, El Elyon, El Shaddai, Jehovah-Jereh, Jehovah-Shalom, Jehovah-Rapha are remarkable in biblical theology. They refer to God as the living God who progressively manifested Himself through actual historical events.
Elohim means the true God,
El Elyon means God Most High,
El Shaddai means God Almighty
Jehovah-Jereh means Jehovah will provide (Gen22: 14).
Jehovah-Shalom means Jehovah our peace (Judges 6:24) Jehovah Rapha means, "The Lord that health thee" (Ex 15:23-26) Etc.
Jesus Christ is the very image of God (Col 1:15). As God, Jesus has also many wonderful names. Frances Derk in his book, "The Names of Christ "# has compiled at least 272 names of Christ found in the Bible. These names in types and symbols speak of His nature and deity, His authority and power, His beauty and glory. They are the manifestations of His divine person that "He was, is and is to come." Rev 1:8
In the names of Jesus, we have seen a fulfillment of the O.T. prophecies. Also, in the names of Jesus, we have seen God revealed in all His glory and majesty.
What is more fascinating, thrilling and exciting is that believers also have many wonderful names. It is really amazing to think that many of the names of believers are identical to Christ's names. They speak of believers' status, nature and attributes on this earth and their wonderful heritages in heaven.
I have painstakingly made a fresh headway to compile at least 115 names of believers in this book in alphabetical order. These names are drawn from symbols, types, simile and metaphors etc. These names are pregnant with spiritual meanings or spiritual truths. In fact, some are not exactly names but written in adjective forms declaring the spiritual nature of the believers, viz., Holy, Pure, and Perfect etc. Jesus has also promised to give us a new name (Rev 2:17), which bespeaks of our new nature and position in heaven. We have become the partakers of heavenly things (Rev 8:17). These names are like precious jewels which carry the distinctive character of a believer and his Christ likeness. They are like different facets of glory. A diligent search of the scripture will reveal that the believers in Christ have a special identity with Christ- an identity, which bears distinctive marks of righteousness and their relationship to their creator. The search itself is an exhilarating one and at the same time full of blessings.
The names may not be all there. But the few I have compiled in this book are proof enough to show what we really are, whom we really belong to and what God really wants us to be like. Precisely, this is the heart and purpose of the book.
#Frances H. Derk
"The Names of Christ "
Dimension Books, Bethany Fellowship, INC.
Minneapolis. Minn. 55438
Name of the Author of this article: Dr. Surya Kumar Daimari, MA,M.Ed, PGDTE,D.Min.(Doctor of Ministry)
The author is a freelance writer.
Book published: The Names of the Believers in the Bible in Types and Symbols .
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