The Name (Ha-Shem)


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Donald W. Burdick: Today Orthodox Jews often address God by the title Ha-shem ("The Name") (Zondervan NASB Study Bible, c. 1999, page 1840)

It is interesting to see that three different authors of the New Testament (Luke, James and John) refer to the Lord Jesus as "the Name" which demonstrates He is YHWH.

Acts 5:40-41
(40) After calling in the apostles and beating them, they again ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus and let them go.
(41) They left the Council, rejoicing to have been considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the Name.

Steven Tsoukalas in quoting B.B. Warfield: A side-light is thrown upon the high estimate which was placed among these early Christians on Jesus' person by the usurpation by it of the Old Testament pregnant use of the term "Name." As in the Old Testament we read continually of "the Name of Jehovah" as the designation of His manifested majesty, and even of simply "the Name" used absolutely with the same high connotation, so in Acts we read of the Name of Jesus Christ, to the exclusion of the old phrase, and again of simply "the name" ([Acts] 5:41, cf. 3 John 7) used absolutely of Jesus. Those that were persecuted for His sake we are told rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name" (5:41, cf. 3 John 7). In the Old Testament this would have meant the Name of Jehovah: here it means the Name of Jesus. "The Name," as it has been truly remarked, "had become a watchword of the faith, and is consequently used alone to express the name of Jesus, as it stood in former days for the Name of Jehovah (Lev. 24:11)." Nothing could more convincingly bear in upon us the position to which Jesus had been exalted in men's thoughts than this constant tendency to substitute Him in their religious outlook for Jehovah. (footnote #29)

footnote #29: B.B. Warfield, The Lord of Glory (New York: American Tract Society, 1907), 218-19. This theme, either ignored or missed by the cults, tells of the essential deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The ease with which Luke applies "the Name" to both God the Father and God the Son must result either in Luke's utter theological perversity or his infinitely high view of Christ. (Knowing Christ in the Challenge of Heresy, page 128-129).

The "Name" in reference to Jesus (James 2:7) corresponds with the "Name" of the Lord (YHWH) in Leviticus 24:16.
James 2:7
Are not they the ones who blaspheme the noble Name by which you have been called?
Leviticus 24:16
because the one who blasphemes the Name of the Lord is certainly to be put to death. The entire congregation is to stone him to death. As it is for the resident alien, so it is to be with the native born: when he blasphemes the Name, he is to be put to death.

This "noble Name" links with what James asserted earlier in reference to Jesus (James 2:1).
And this also links with the Name of Jesus in Acts 3:16.
James 2:1
My brothers, do not let your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus, the Messiah, be tainted by favoritism.
Acts 3:16
It is his name—that is, by faith in his name—that has healed this man whom you see and know. Yes, the faith that comes through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

Note elsewhere how James equates what the prophets spoke "in the name of the Lord" (YHWH) from the Old Testament with "in the name of the Lord" (Jesus) in the New Testament.
James 5:10, 14
(10) As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord.
(14) Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

Acts 26:9-11
(9) Indeed, I myself thought it my duty to take extreme measures against the name of Jesus from Nazareth.
(10) That is what I did in Jerusalem. I received authority from the high priests and locked many of the saints in prison. And when I cast my vote against them, they were put to death.
(11) I would even punish them frequently in every synagogue and try to make them blaspheme. Raging furiously against them, I would hunt them down even in distant cities.
When Paul affirmed that he took extreme measures against the name of Jesus of Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 26:9) and tried to make Christians blaspheme (Acts 26:11) means he wanted them to renounce their belief that the Lord Jesus is God.
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)

3 John 7
After all, they went on their trip for the sake of the Name, accepting no support from gentiles.

Apart from 3 John 15 where he writes to "great the friends by name," John uses "name" in his epistles to refer to the Lord Jesus.
1 John 2:12
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
1 John 3:23
And this is his commandment: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus the Messiah, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1 John 5:13
I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Notice how Paul also links the Gentiles with the "Name" in reference to Jesus.
Romans 1:4-5
(4) and was declared by the resurrection from the dead to be the powerful Son of God according to the spirit of holiness—Jesus the Messiah, our Lord.
(5) Through him we received grace and a commission as an apostle to bring about faithful obedience among all the gentiles for the sake of his name.
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