Thursday, November 24, 2016

New Names in Scripture (Edit of Material That Originally Appeared in My Dissertation)

In the Tanakh, names are directly associated with an individual's personality or quiddity (Borchert, John 1-11, 117). Isaiah 62:2 speaks about Israel acquiring a new name. The apocalyptic NT book of Revelation also contains references to Christians being given a new name by God or Christ (Revelation 2:17; 3:12; 14:1). Ben Witherington (Revelation, 104) suggests that the "new name" which the exalted Christ mentions in Revelation 2:17 "implies a new identity and being someone special in the kingdom." Significantly, the Platonic One purportedly transcends "all being, names and knowledge" (McLelland, God the Anonymous, 10). In the renowned Athenian's grand political dialogue, we read: "The good therefore may be said to be the source not only of the intelligibility of the objects of knowledge, but also of their being and reality; yet it is not itself that reality, but is beyond it, and superior to it in dignity and power" (Republic 509b). Nevertheless, compare Symposium 211a-b.


Duncan said...

Just picked up something interesting in relation to Isaiah 62:2.

ABP Gen 34:26 τον τε Εμμωρ και Συχεμ τον υιον αυτου απεκτειναν εν στοματι μαχαιρας.

The possible meanings of στόμα does not appear always as something spoken but what does it mean in this instance?

Edgar Foster said...

The Septuagint reflects what's found in the Hebrew, namely, an idiomatic use of "mouth." See the Cambridge Bible Commentary. Alter's Genesis translation and commentary has a brief note explaining that we have an idiom in 34:26. The sword devours or eats like a human or animal mouth does.

Duncan said...

It seems that the near eastern understanding may be a little more complex than that:-

I thought it may also denote a tongue, interestingly the LXX of Isa 11:15 ommits the tongue ( אֵת לְשֹׁון - lâshôn) or should I say, it translates.

Edgar Foster said...

See Exodus 4:10-16 to see one way the word is used elsewhere. The mouth of the sword imagery is also found elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible. Within the context of Genesis 34:26, mouth seems entirely appropriate as the idiom. I am also reminded of Joshua 11, though I am not sure whether the same word/idiom is used there.