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[Jhn 17:6, 11-12, 26 NKJV] (6) "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. ... (11) "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. (12) "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. ... (26) "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

Which name does Jesus mean when he says "I manifested your name"? And what does Jesus mean when he says "I protected them by the power of the name" you gave me and "kept them in your name"?

What is the keeping power in God's name?

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The name which Jesus manifests to the flock, the name which Jesus declares to the flock, the name in which Jesus keeps the sheep ... is the name which appears as the very first word of Jesus' prayer in John 17.

Father ... [John 17:1, KJV.]

This is the same name to which the sheep pray :

Our Father which art in heaven ... [Matthew 6:9, KJV.]

And it is the same name to which they cry in all distress, and in all times of jubilation :

Abba, Father ... [Romans 8:15, KJV.]

Abba, Father ... [Mark 14:36, KJV.]

Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying :

Abba, Father ... [Galatians 4:6, KJV.]

The keeping power of God is a matter of a relationship. This is not the relationship of a Creator and a creature. Nor is it the relationship of a Judge and a Law. Nor is it the relationship of a Master and a hired servant.

The Father begets sons : they share the same life. There is a relationship that involves the Son of God, who is come like unto his brethren.

This relationship is a matter of redemption. This relationship is a matter of a new birth. This relationship is a matter of the Love of God shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Thus are thy kept in life, in love and in holiness.

Thus does the Father bring many sons to glory, Hebrews 2:10.

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  • I agree with your answer but it doesn't seem to address in what way it has "keeping power". Can you comment on how the name/title is used to "keep" the sheep? Thanks @NigelJ.
    – Ruminator
    Nov 25, 2019 at 21:23
  • @Ruminator Done, as required. Edit.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 25, 2019 at 21:27
  • Nice. Sorry to be a pain, but can you please cite the Hebrews passage (with appropriate context) and perhaps another passage to support it. I think you have made your point well but with another witness or two it would be more compelling, I think. But as is I can already accept it as the answer. Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Nov 25, 2019 at 21:43
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Well the first five verses Jesus prays for His own glorification that the world might know the Father, (vs3) the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent." This is important because it sheds light on the following verses especially John 17:6.

"I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were and Thou gave them to Me, and they have kept Thy word." The Greek word for "manifested" is (Ephanerosa) and is in the active voice verb indicating the whole of what Jesus did.

Specifically the word means "to make visible, clear, or known." In other words, Jesus made known the reality of God's nature and character. So, the Father gave the disciples to the Son for special care for the provisions of His redemptive work. "Thy word" refers to the revelation of the Father through the Son and they kept it, which means they treasured and guarded what they received. From this I can assure you that the name Jesus meant is not a proper name.

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The word translated as manifest in the NKJV (and other versions) is φανερόω (phaneroō). It means to reveal, make evident, or simply show. It is the same word used, for example, by John the Baptist (in Greek translation):

This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed [φανερωθῇ] to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water. (John 1:30-31)


Keep through Your name translates the phrase τήρησον ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου. Tηρέω (tēreō) means to guard or watch over, with more or less the same scope as the English words. For example:

If you keep [τηρήσητε] My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love (John 15:10)


The name that Christ is referring to is Father (John 17:6). That which has been manifested is the person of God the Father. Cyril of Alexandria explained this passage in John:

The Son made known the name of God the Father to teach us and make us fully comprehend not that he is the only God—for inspired Scripture had proclaimed that even before the coming of the Son—but that besides being truly God he is also rightly called Father.

To call God “Father” is more exact than to call him “God.” The word God signifies his dignity, but the word Father points to the distinctive attribute of his person. If we say “God,” we declare him to be Lord of the universe. If we call him “Father,” we show the way in which he is distinct as a person, for we make known the fact that he has a Son. The Son himself gave God the name of Father, as being in some sense the more appropriate and truer appellation, when he said not “I and God” but I and the Father are one (John 10:30), and also, with reference to himself, On him has God the Father set his seal (John 6:27). And when he commanded his disciples to baptize all nations, he did not tell them to do this in the name of God but expressly ordained that they were to do it in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Commentary on John XI.7)

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    "God the Father" is a bogus term. The scriptural term is, "God, the Father." IE: The Father is the one True God, and Jesus is his son. The absence of the comma is disingenuous and does not reflect the Greek.
    – Ruminator
    Jun 15, 2023 at 13:28
  • The true scriptural term is Θεοῦ Πατρὸς - literally "God Father" (no article; see, e.g. Philippians 2:11, 1 Peter 1:2, 2 John 3, Jude 1). As to whether a comma should be inserted between Θεοῦ and Πατρὸς, you are probably aware that the original Greek contained no punctuation. How the phrase should be interpreted depends on your particular tradition. Arians and neo-Arians (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses) would interpret the phrase as you suggest. Christians who hold to at least the first two Ecumenical Councils would interpret the phrase otherwise.
    – user33515
    Jun 16, 2023 at 12:02
  • In Greek does not require a comma to indicate apposition, but the English does. This is an attempt to make "God" part of a set of gods: god1,god2,god3. No, for John there isn't a "God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost." He asserts that over and over:
    – Ruminator
    Jun 17, 2023 at 13:48
  • [John 6:27 NASB20] (27) "Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." [John 8:41 NASB20] (41) "You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born as a result of sexual immorality; we have one Father: God." [John 17:3 NKJV] (3) "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
    – Ruminator
    Jun 17, 2023 at 13:50
  • [John 20:17 NASB20] (17) Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" John 1:3c was either added, mistranslated or misunderstood because it conflicts with John's whole theology: Monotheism, with a side of confusion.
    – Ruminator
    Jun 17, 2023 at 13:50

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