As far back as Exodus, God told the Jews not to give YHVH's angel/agent a hard time because "my name is in/upon him":

[Exo 23:21 KJV] (21) Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

הִשָּׁמֶר מִפָּנָיו וּשְׁמַע בְּקֹלֹו אַל־תַּמֵּר בֹּו כִּי לֹא יִשָּׂא לְפִשְׁעֲכֶם כִּי שְׁמִי בְּקִרְבֹּֽו׃

The Greek has "UPON him":

23:21 πρόσεχε σεαυτῷ καὶ εἰσάκουε αὐτοῦ καὶ μὴ ἀπείθει αὐτῷ οὐ γὰρ μὴ ὑποστείληταί σε τὸ γὰρ ὄνομά μού ἐστιν ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ

This is remarkable and an incredibly important verse for understanding why there appears to be an invisible and a visible YHVH throughout the OT.

But in the NT we are told repeatedly that Jesus "inherits" God's name because of his obedience:

[Heb 1 NWT] 1 Long ago God spoke to our forefathers by means of the prophets on many occasions and in many ways. 2 Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things. 3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power. And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 So he has become better than the angels to the extent that he has inherited a name more excellent than theirs. 5 For example, to which one of the angels did God ever say: “You are my son; today I have become your father”? And again: “I will become his father, and he will become my son”? 6 But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all of God’s angels do obeisance to him.” 7 Also, he says about the angels: “He makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But about the Son, he says: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness. 9 You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions.

Since God had already put his name into his angel/agent, is it possible that what God is speaking about in the NT is MORE than even that... God bestows his covenant name upon his only begotten son and heir (though there are many co-heirs) such that God is now no longer YHVH himself but is "the God and Father of our YHVH, Jesus Christ"?

[Phl 2:9-11 CSB] (9) For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, (10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow -- in heaven and on earth and under the earth -- (11) and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

It seems to me that we should certainly see Zechariah 14:9 as being behind this event:

[Zec 14:9 ASV] And Jehovah shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall Jehovah be one, and his name one.

[Zec 14:9 LXX] καὶ ἔσται κύριος εἰς βασιλέα ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἔσται κύριος εἷς καὶ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ἕν

[Psalm 97:1 NWT] Jehovah has become King! Let the earth be joyful. Let the many islands rejoice.

[Rahlfs LXX 96:1] τῷ Δαυιδ ὅτε ἡ γῆ αὐτοῦ καθίσταται ὁ κύριος ἐβασίλευσεν ἀγαλλιάσθω ἡ γῆ εὐφρανθήτωσαν νῆσοι πολλαί

Psalm 97/96LXX Brenton: 1 For David, when his land is established. The Lord reigns, let the earth exult, let many islands rejoice. 2 Cloud, and darkness are round about him; righteousness and judgment are the establishment of his throne. 3 Fire shall go before him, and burn up his enemies round about. 4 His lightnings appeared to the world; the earth saw, and trembled. 5 The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. 6 The heavens have declared his righteousness, and all the people have seen his glory. 7 Let all that worship graven images be ashamed, who boast of their idols; worship him, all ye his angels. 8 Sion heard and rejoiced; and the daughters of Judea exulted, because of thy judgments, O Lord. 9 For thou art Lord most high over all the earth; thou art greatly exalted above all gods. 10 Ye that love the Lord, hate evil; the Lord preserves the souls of his saints; he shall deliver them from the hand of sinners. 11 Light is sprung up for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. 12 Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks for a remembrance of his holiness.

Brenton Septuagint Translation, 1884. Versification mapped to KJV for coordination with other Old Testament Bible texts.

Is it possible that the reason that God is no longer known by his covenant name (YHVH) is that he did not share that name with Jesus but rather bequeathed it to Jesus as his inheritance? In other words, since Philippians 2 there is only one YHVH and that is Jesus. Now God is known as "God and Father". Jesus is now YHVH:

[Eph 4:5-6 KJV] (5) One Lord [IE: "one KURIOS" - or possibly, "one YHVH"], one faith, one baptism,

Of course, the Father is "the God and Father of all" including his Son of unique origin, Jesus:

(6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

  • This ignores the Hebraic meaning of 'name.' It isn't something you 'attach' to someone, but an identity or authority (authority can be delegated, but need not be 'given up' or 'lent'). You can't 'relinquish' or 'surrender' it. The New Testament constantly distinguishes between the Father and the Son. Jesus isn't 'now God the Father.' The idea that you can become The One Who is, the I am, God, is contrary to the very essence of the Name and God's essence. To be God is to be eternal; to be eternal is to be God. If the Word is God, then the Word is Yahweh. "Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one." Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 14:56
  • 1
    I understand your philosophic objection but what do you propose the text says?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 15:13
  • You quoted a few texts. Did you mean Phil. 2? In that case, I suggest a Hebrew would understand this to refer to a higher status (name) than all given to Christ in His human nature, even, which God exalts high above even the angels. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 15:26
  • 1
    Feel free to offer an answer based on your understanding of how a Hebrew would see "Trinity". But please don't try to dismiss the question based on "same substance" dogma as I've already shown that that conflicts with Hebrews 1:3. What if Paul was right (1 Cor 8:6) and the Emperor was wrong?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 15:32
  • I don't know what you mean. Homoousios is identical to saying the Son is not a creature, as is that He is God. And 1 Cor. 8:6 is the basis of the Nicene Creed, not contrary to it. "God the Father" refers to a person, "God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God" uses the word "God" to refer to the kind of existence the person of the Son has—His nature. He isn't another God with a new nature. One Nature, one God. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 16:13

6 Answers 6


In Semitic culture, the semantic range of "name" is explored more in than in English and most modern languages, although we have similar uses in English, which are less common (e.g. "he made a name (i.e. reputation) for himself; "in the name of the Queen, ..." i.e. "as one delegated by the Queen, I say"). In Semitic languages, a name can refer to the word used to address a person ('Peter,' 'James,' 'John'), their reputation (Dt. 22:19: "brought a bad name upon"), their memory (25:6: "shall carry on the name of their dead brother, so that their name shall not be wiped out from among Israel"), etc. (Needless to say, English probably just absorbed the Semitic use of name from the Bible rather than organically using it this way.)

In Exodus 23:21, it appears to be that God granted his angel His full authority to judge—even the on their sins. In this case, His name refers to His authority, the holiness of which demands respect and results in judgement if not obeyed.

Luke 10:16 (DRB) He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.

In Hebrews, the Son is He "through whom" God made the world (or "ages"), and we know from John 1:1-14 this same information. So the inheritance speaks to the fact that the Son as a son inherits, not that there was an event or day when He began to be eligible to receive an inheritance or 'was adopted'—a garbage theory, which isn't only 'anti-orthodoxy' but simply against the context of the Bible itself, which says that God sent forth His Son, that the Son chose to become a man (an act which involved relinquishing of the exercising of certain rights He already possessed, etc.) to accomplish redemption of the human race; among other things.

The granting of His authority to an angel doesn't make Yahweh not Yahweh anymore, since it essentially amounts to the granting of jurisdiction, or authority—something which can be delegated without being lost or transferred in the sense of being now possessesd by one to the exclusion of all others; and Philippians 2 (at least I'm arguing) doesn't speak of the bestowal of the name Yahweh, or attribution of a divine nature to Christ, but the status exceeding all statuses, including that of angels, in His human nature (He already excelled angels as the pre-incarnate Word). "The/a name above every name ... that at the name of Jesus" doesn't mean, "was granted the privelege of being Yahweh now," but "was elevated to such a status that..."

The oneness of Yahweh in the Old Testament has a specific meaning, and that is His uniquely being God—His being the only God. Hence, "Yahweh shall be one, and his name one" means, de-Hebraized, "Yahweh shall be acknowledged as the only true God, and he shall be esteemed identically by all."

  • The Greek of Hebrews 1:2 says that God "made him heir" which is the language of adoption: blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/… He is not his natural born son. [Heb 1:2 KJV] (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed [ἔθηκεν] heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 18:06
  • Excellent Answer +1
    – user25930
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 21:16

No, the text does not say God gives Jesus His own name and it is quite impossible for grammatical reasons.

(NA28) Philippians 2:9 διὸ καὶ ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν ὑπερύψωσεν καὶ ἐχαρίσατο αὐτῷ τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα,10 ἵνα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ πᾶν γόνυ κάμψῃ ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων.

In Philippians 2:9 we find the noun ὄνομα (name) and in the same sentence (v10) it is both articular and identified as the name of Jesus (Ἰησοῦ).

The grammatical feature of Greek anaphora identifies the name of Jesus as the name above all names, the same name.

See my paper for proof that there are no exceptions where the anaphoric article does not identify an antecedent within one verse.

  • Hi Thomas and thank you for your thoughtful response. +1. I am not trained in Greek so I ran your suggestion by the pros at B-Greek and received the following responses: ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/… I'm still encouraged to think my original proposition has merit.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 0:32
  • @Ruminator Yes, I had already seen it. The way you presented it was different than here. My argument is specific to a claim that όνομα is not Jesus. If you ask on B-Greek does anaphoric work the way I explained in my answer you would likely not confuse them. Give it a shot. I'll be your wing man.
    – user33125
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 1:44
  • Feel free to post your case to them in your own words.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 9:53
  • @Ruminator The subject of your question on b-Greek is not the same as here. Your "original proposition" has not been advanced there. Its your question not mine, however I have already refuted your proposition.
    – user33125
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 10:53

Unless one initially establishes the exactness of terms and the notions/meanings expressed by those terms, one is doomed to commit a blunder in interpretation of any text, including the Bible.

Thus, when we say "God" what do we mean? Do we not mean with this term a notion of eternity and immutability? Why? - because mutability is an aspect of time, whereas time is an aspect of a created universe, but the one who is uncreated is necessarily eternal and immutable, totally out of reach of time or any temporal succession. Thus, when Jesus says that He enjoyed one and the same glory with the Father before the world was created (John 17:5), He expressly asserts His own co-eternity and co-divinity with the Father, thus for all eternity He is as God as the Father is God (cf. John 1:1-3).

However, when Bible speaks about dynamism that Jesus received the Lordship through obedience, even up to being crucified on the Cross, it is implied that His human nature, which He, the Eternal God, received in time from the Virgin Mary, also through Jesus' salvific action for all mankind has participated in and has been clad into the Eternal Lordship of the Father and the Son. Human nature is subject to time, yet even this nature can achieve the eternal glory if it fulfils divine ordinance for it. If through Christ's working in us we fulfil His commandment of loving each other as He loved us, then our created nature also will be clad in uncreatedness of the Lord, just as He clad His own created human nature in uncreatedness of His own divine nature by leading this human nature to its supra-fulfilment, that is to say, to participation in God's infinite love towards mankind, which love He always and immutably had, but which love was dynamically revealed in time in His actions in body and in history, from birth to the crucifixion. Thus, by participating in His life and death, we also shall inherit His eternal Kingdom and being created and temporal, like His human nature is, will be clad in uncreatedness and eternity, as His brothers and sisters.


This answer should not be construed as detracting anything from the excellent answer of Sola Gratia.

The names of Jesus in the NT almost completely mirror the exclusive names and titles of YHWH in the OT. Here is a sample:

  • God: OT - Deut 4:35, 6:4, 32:39, Isa 44:6, 45:5, 6; NT - Matt 1:22, 23; John 1:1, 18 20:28, Col 2:9, Tit 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, etc.
  • Creator: OT - Isa 44:24, 45:18; NT - John 1:3, Col 1:16, 17
  • Saviour: OT - Isa 43:3, 11, 45:17, 21; NT - Matt 1:21; Acts 4:12; 2 Tim 1:10; Tit 1:4, 2:13, 3:6; 2 Pet 1:1, 11
  • Divine Glory: OT - Isa 42:8, 48:11; NT - John 17:5, 24
  • The Rock: OT - Isa 44:8; Deut 32:3,4,15; Ps 92:15; NT - 1 Cor 10:4; Matt 16:18
  • First and Last: OT - Isa 41:4, 44:6; NT - Rev 1:17, 18, 22:13
  • Venerable: OT - Ex 20:3, 34:14; Deut 8:19; 2 Kings 17:35-38; NT - Matt 2:11, 14:33, 28:9, 17; Luke 4:8; 24:52; John 9:38; Rom 10:9, Heb 1:5, 6, Phil 2:10
  • The Great/Good Shepherd: OT - Psalm 23:1; Eze 34:11ff; NT - John 10:11-16; Heb 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25, 5:4; Rev 7:17
  • Bridegroom: OT - Isa 49, 54, Jer 2, Hosea; NT - Mark 2:19, Matt 9:15, Luke 5:34, 35

In most of these cases, the title given to Jehovah is an exclusive eternal title which is also applied to Jesus in the NT.

  • Jesus is described in the scriptures as "the image of God", the "reflection of his splendor", "the way (to God), the truth (about God) and the life (the "expression" of the life of God). But what about his name becoming one in the Messiah's day?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 21:35
  • I agree - but the evidence cited above (which is far from exhaustive) is compelling. I have not included others such as the 14 "I Am" statements in the NT. Thus, it appears that Jesus already had the titles of YHWH in the NT during His incarnation, even before His death.
    – user25930
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 21:41
  • Jesus said, [Jhn 5:43 NLT] (43) For I have come to you in my Father's name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. So he was acting in his Father's name and denied that it was his own name.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 21:44
  • Perhaps he was referencing the Catholics when he said that others would come in their own names and be received? I mean, they came in a brand new, invented name.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 21:45
  • So there is no contradiction when Paul says that God gave him the name above all names in heaven and in earth if he received his father's name as his own. It could be shared but then how would his name be one (in a way that is new in the time of the messiah)?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 21:46

The original question has a theory that is supported by the older Canaanite Pantheon wherein the god El is a father to Yhwh. Jewish Scholars speak of Deut. 32:8 as found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint as well as Psalm 82 as the evidence for this.

Under this early Israelite background, it is possible to construe that the older theology was restored in the New Testament so that God the Father points to El, the father of the gods (elohim), and Yhwh, the son of El, points to the Lord/YHWH Jesus, the son of God. A Bible scholar, Margaret Barker, actually had this as her thesis.

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  • 1
    To me, the whole shebang of scripture is too obscure to say anything with much confidence, but indeed, there is much to suggest just such a view. Thanks, Radz.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 5:18
  • 1
    @Ruminator, you're welcome :-)
    – R. Brown
    Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 5:53

No. When YHVH says that the angels have his/her name (the actual name YHVH transcends gender and is ordered yang/yin, for this I have made an omni-gendered pronoun "Yaow", like "Tao", it works for subjective and objective pronoun use), yaow is saying that the circle of their (the angel's) order touches the circle of yaow's own, such that some letter of their own name may contain one of the holy letters.

In the case of Philipians, I would suggest that when god (I use "god" here because the so-called new testament's god is a very confused thing) says that he puts Jesus' name above all others, he is referring to Man, not him/herself.

  • would you elaborate what is your understanding of "the so-called new testament's god" and why it is confusing? Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 2:27
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