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"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 (NASB)

Was it referring to the name of God, the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) or the name of Christ which is ''Jesus''?

i am looking for an answer that has scholarly sources.

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    Whose Name is in Joshua? - Exodus 23:21 : "Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since My-Name is in him." - The same Name which created humanity in Psalm 148:5 : "They shall praise the name of YHWH, for He commanded and they were created." Dec 15 '20 at 18:26
  • In this regard Num. 13:16 is particularly appropriate. The compound nature of this name is specifically noted, and it seems that prior to that The Hallowed Name (YHVH) was not allowed to be used in compound names. In fact I couldn’t find another such name before Exodus. While Strong’s lexicon, JPS Commentary and other sources consider “Jochebed” such a name, no hint for that etymology is in the text. Also note Joseph and Mary were not allowed any say in naming the child. The unique nature of the name in the Pentateuch implies it was chosen much earlier by The Father. Also see Prov.30:4.
    – Billy Bob
    Jun 27 at 16:01
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The answer to your question is in the text of scripture in verse 10 :

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth ... etc [Acts 4:10 KJV]

The 'scholarly source' you request is Peter, the chief apostle, as recorded by Luke.

This name is a name which many persons are ashamed to confess and to live by, publicly.


Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; [Philippians 2:9,10 KJV]

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    +1, your answer put a smile on my face :)
    – Tony Chan
    Dec 15 '20 at 19:26
  • @TonyChan Glad to be of service, Mr Chan. I looked at your profile and would like to join your daily bible reading, but I do not do Facebook, or Twitter or Whatsapp etc etc. Just not my way of doing things, I am afraid. But best wishes in your ventures, sir.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 15 '20 at 19:49
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Although as Dottard's answer shows that ultimately the savior is God the Father (whose proper name is the Tetragrammaton) acting through His Son incarnate Jesus of Nazareth, and although Peter himself in his Acts 2:14-47 sermon quoted Joel 2:28-32 which DOES refer to the Tetragrammaton:

And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ will be saved.’

the context of Acts 4:12 should make the answer obvious that what Peter meant by "the name", is the name of His Son: Jesus of Nazareth.

The enclosing passage is the pericope Acts 4:1-22 where there are many references to "the name" such as:

  • Acts 4:7-10:

When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health.

  • Acts 4:17-18:

... But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let’s warn them not to speak any longer to any person in this name.” 18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

NLT translation makes it a little more obvious by translating Acts 4:12 this way, adding the implied subject of the sentence (God the Father):

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

Furthermore, Jesus Himself gave permission to the apostles in John 4:13-14 to ask in His name in the pericope discussing His relationship to the Father (John 4:1-14). It's obvious from the context that Jesus did NOT teach the apostles to ask in YHWH's name.

For a scholarly reference, here's a confirmation from a commentary: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, Volume 1:

ἐν ἄλλῳ οὐδενί, in no other person. It would be possible to supply ὀνόματι, which would suit the preceding verses, but the clause that follows, introduced by γάρ, deals with the name, and the logic of the argument runs: In no other person is there salvation, because there is no other name than that of Jesus by which … There is a close verbal parallel in Josephus, Ant. 3:23: ἐν αὐτῷ γὰρ εἶναι τὴν σωτηρίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἐν ἄλλῳ. This suggests that there is little point in an attempt to distinguish between ἄλλος and ἕτερος. There is a parallel in a different setting in Aristophanes, Lysistrata 29f., ὅλης τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἐν ταῖς γυναιξίν ἐστιν ἡ σωτηρία, and another in Herodotus 8:118:3, ἐν ὑμῖν γὰρ οἶκε εἶναι ἐμοὶ ἡ σωτηρίη.

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  • @RadzMatthewC.Brown Does my answer fully address all your questions? What you're asking is not controversial, I'm not sure what else you're looking for. Most commentaries on that verse actually address other angles. Dec 17 '20 at 4:58
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The answer to the question is actually given both locally (in the text) and more generally by consideration of the following:

Locally in the text: (Acts 4:8-12)

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being examined today about a kind service to a man who was lame, to determine how he was healed, 10 then let this be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

This Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’a

12 Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

More general references:

  • Matt 1:21 - She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus,d because He will save His people from their sins.”
  • 2 Tim 1:10 - but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
  • Titus 1:4 - To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
  • Titus 2:13 - looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus
  • Titus 3:6 - whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior
  • 2 Peter 1:1 - To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ
  • 2 Peter 1:11 - for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you

Even more generally, and more to the OP question, most of these references to Jesus as our Savior point to the OT use of the tetragrammaton (translated "LORD" below), namely:

  • Is 43:3 - For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior
  • Isa 43:11 - I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me
  • Isa 45:21 - Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

Thus, Peter's speech in Acts 4:8-12 alludes to all thus - Jesus is the ONLY Savior and thus, by the logic of Isa 43 and Isa 45, is YHWH.

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  • Your assuredness in your logic, as it pertains here, can not be questioned by anyone "mortal" who knows you, only the "immortal" can judge with any real authority. Only time will tell if there is to be any real consequences, as to anyone's particular stance, when it comes to the portraying of the so called Godhead. If any future punishment is to be meted out, we should all be cognizant of any possible wrongful tutorials. Dec 16 '20 at 23:01

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