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We hear St Peter testifying before the Sadducees , of the authority under which he had healed a lame man, in Acts 4:10-12:

....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. 11 Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”.

< In flashback, we see the Angel telling Mary at the time of the Annunciation that the Saviour to be borne of her would be called Immanuel, meaning ' God is with Us'( Mtt 1:23) .In Acts 4 however, we hear St Peter saying that no name other than Jesus, has been given for redemption of mankind. My question therefore is: How do Bible scholars reconcile Acts 4:12 with Mtt 1:23 ?

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    Perhaps we ought not to be over-literal in applying the Biblical word "name" to the sound that comes through the lips. Apr 20 at 16:43
  • Do you mean Jesus vs Emmauel?
    – Dottard
    Apr 20 at 21:38
  • Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (Matt 1:23, ESV).
    – Perry Webb
    Apr 20 at 22:57
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    Jesus of Nazareth is the name of God-Man who died for our sins. It is quiet natural, Peter would say that. Immanuel on other hand was not Messiah's name. It is more of His identity than, to connect Him with prophesied Messiah than actual legal name that would put on His birth certificate, was he born today! Salvation is a legal transaction. No wonder legal name is used! Apr 21 at 16:19

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The one and only name of Messiah was "Jesus" (of Nazareth). He is addressed as such countless times by this personal name throughout the Gospel records.

However, Jesus has numerous other titles such as:

  • "Christ" = Greek word for "anointed" and thus equivalent to the Hebrew "Messiah"
  • "Lord" - a term of respectful address
  • "The Son"
  • "The Son of God"
  • "The Son of Man" (compare Dan 7:13)
  • "The Savior", 2 Peter 3:18, Luke 2:11, 2 Tim 1:10, etc (Compare Isa 43:3, 11, 14, 44:24, 45:17, 21, 49:7. See also Hos 13:14, Isa 49:7)
  • "The Good Shepherd", John 10:11-16, Heb 13:20, 1 Peter 2:25, 5:4, Rev 7:17 (Compare Psalm 23:1, 28:9, 78:52, 53, 79:13, 80:1, 95:7, 100:3; Eze 34:11ff, Isa 40:11)
  • "The Rock", 1 Cor 10:4; Matt 16:18 (Compare Isa 44:8; Deut 32:3,4,15; Ps 92:15)
  • "The Bridegroom", Mark 2:19, Matt 9:15, Luke 5:34, 35 (Compare Isa 49, 54, Jer 2, Hosea)
  • "First and Last", Rev 1:17, 18, 2:8, 22:13 (Compare Isa 41:4, 44:6, 48:12)
  • "The Light", John 1:9, 8:12, 9:5, 1 John 1:5-7 (Compare Ps 27:1, Micah 7:8)
  • "I Am", Mark 6:50, Mark 13:6, 14:27, 62; Luke 21:8, 22:70, John 4:26, 6:20, 8:24, 28, 58, 13:9, 18:5-8 (Compare Ex 3:13-15; Deut 32:39, Isa 41:4, 43:10, 13, 25, 45:19, 46:4, 48:12, 51:12, 52:6 (LXX))
  • "The One who search hearts and minds, Rev 2:23 (Compare Jer 11:20, 17:10, 1 Sam 16:7)
  • "Lord of Lords", Rev 17:14, 19:16 (Compare Deut 10:17, Ps 136:3, 26)
  • "Lord of All", Acts 10:36, Rom 10:12, Col 1:15 (Compare Deut 10:17, Josh 3:11, 13, Ps 97:5, Zech 4:14, 6:5, Mic 4:13)
  • "Seven Eys of the LORD", Rev 5:6 (Lamb) (Compare Zech 4:10 (& Zech 3:9))

To this list could be added many more but in particular - the important title, "Emmanuel" which in Matt 1:23 we are told means, (literally) "The God with Us". A quick look at Jesus' other titles as listed above shows why this is true.

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    Thanks, Dottard. The name ' Jesus' was given to so many persons in thise days , that a few versions like NIV suggest that the given name of Barabbas was Jesus ! " " when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” (Mtt 27:17 NIV) Apr 21 at 2:58
  • @KadalikattJosephSibichan Yes, Jesus was a common name, which is why Peter ensured there was no ambiguity with the 'Jesus' he spoke of, qualifying it with "...the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead." There never has been any other person called 'Jesus' who met such criteria! And the ones Peter spoke to knew full well who this unique One was, whom they had crucified.
    – Anne
    Apr 23 at 11:36
  • Thanks, Anne. Please let the Users know your considered views on the Question. Apr 23 at 12:51
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there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

The question takes the word "name" too literally.

Thayer's Greek Lexicon says this of the Greek word "ὄνομα" (onoma):

  1. By a usage chiefly Hebraistic the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is roused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i. e. for one's rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds, etc.

"Name" can be used similarly to the way in English a sheriff would say "in the name of the law" when forcing someone to comply with his orders. The law itself doesn't literally have a personal name, but the sheriff is acting not as himself but with the full authority and power of the law.

So the passage could be understood as:

there is no other authority under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

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You are having trouble with the meaning of "the name" among people in Biblical times especially among the Jews.

The “name” of Yahweh does not merely refer to the four consonants of God’s preferred name for himself, YHWH (called the Tetragrammaton). Rather, it refers to Yahweh himself. Old Testament writers at times refer to God himself as “the Name,” a practice still used by modern orthodox Jews. To avoid pronouncing the sacred consonants, these Jews substitute YHWH with the Hebrew ha-shem (“the Name”). Old Testament writers, in fact, use the same sort of substitution, at times even portraying “the Name” as a person or man (Isa 30:27–28; Ps 20:1, 7). That Yahweh can bring deliverance is a familiar idea, but four consonants do not protect the people of God—God himself protects them. -- Heiser, M. S. (2017). The Bible Unfiltered: Approaching Scripture on Its Own Terms (pp. 69–70). Lexham Press.

Thus, when Peter said "by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth," he meant you are saved by the person of Jesus Christ and Immanuel is the same person.

Note: you can get the same answer from the Greek and Hebrew lexicons. It's just not as easy to understand.

Also see:

There was and is a world-wide belief that the name of an object, man, or higher being is more than a mere label only incidentally associated with the one who bears it. The name is an indispensable part of the personality. One might say that a man is constituted of body, soul and name. -- Bietenhard, H. (1964–). ὄνομα, ὀνομάζω, ἐπονομάζω, ψευδώνυμος. In G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley, & G. Friedrich (Eds.), Theological dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed., Vol. 5, p. 243). Eerdmans

In Scripture reading in synagogue worship the tetragrammaton was read as Adonai, but in the schools הַשֵּׁם was used in quotations from Scripture. Sometimes this is also used for Elohim, -- Ibid. Vol. 5, p. 268

The fulness of the being and work of Jesus Christ may be seen in His name. -- IbId. Vol. 5, p. 272

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Naming of God Incarnate It is the custom today, and has been the tendency throughout the ages, to give a person more than one name. And sometimes a nickname. Gideon was also called Jerubbaal (Judges 7:1). James and John were called 'Sons of Thunder.' Peter was also called 'Simon'. [Evil fellows in the O.T. were called 'Sons of Belial.', 2 Samuel 20:1]. Solomon was given this name by David, but a prophet came and called him Jedidiah (2 Samuel 12:25).

So it is not out of the question for several names to be applied to Jesus. Today we call Him the Lord Jesus Christ, as if "Christ" was not a title, but a personal name. And for Him to also be named Immanuel as a second name---or even nickname---is in line with customary practices.

However, as has been pointed out, these names are not just nomenclatures, but refer to the whole persona of the individual---in this case, Immanuel referred to the actual Presence of Deity among men! Jesus speaks of His ministry of Savior to the lost.

So there is no other Name under heaven whereby men must be saved because He is the one and only Immanuel, God manifested among us with the ability to save.

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