William Andrew Dillard
It gives one pause to think that some of the grandest deeds mentioned in the Bible do not carry with them proper names of those who did them. On the other hand, a number of proper names are given without much if any detail of what they did except in a general way. Could it possibly be that such is another way of underscoring that any worthwhile thing done in the sight of God is actually attributable to God rather than the human instrument? Could it also be that the mention of many proper names without detail of what they did is another way of the Bible underscoring the importance of the individual being dedicated to God, and to the things of God so that they forever share in the blessings of dedicated discipleship?
Truly, one cannot be held responsible for living in a day of smaller things. But every person in every age is accountable to God for how he is faithful in that to which he has access.
It is in this line of thought that the following host of proper names are brought forth for consideration.
Gaius, Erastus, Quartus, Tertius, Sosipater, Jason, Lucius, Timotheus, Olympas, Nereus, Julia, Philologus, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, Phlegon, Asyncritus, Rufus, Persis, Tryphosa, Tryphena, Harcissus, Herodion, Aristobulus, Apelles, Stachys, Urbane, Amplias, Junia, Andronicus, Mary, Epaenetus, Aquila, Priscilla, and Phebe.
Aside from being somewhat difficult to pronounce, most of them are also foreign to a great many Bible readers. But there they are, penned into the eternal Word of God. They are noted specifically as being helpers or blessings in other forms to the apostle Paul. This may be found in Romans 16. Moreover, the brief paragraph of names is far from inclusive of all whose names may be found in the divine sixty-six books.
However, that these are there shouts loudly to all of God’s people of covenant down through the age of names that are not known to us, but names that are well known to God. The role of their kind has swollen the magnificent books of life, and nothing could be more humbly rewarding than that names of modern saints should continue to swell those pages.
To believe what God has said, and to walk within the constraints of that belief is of far greater value than most people realize. The host of folks that ran through the mind of the apostle Paul as he neared the finish line of his course brought him thankfulness and joy. They blessed the apostle, and they were a blessing to one another in the sweet fellowship of God’s work, and folks, that is so right!
Tag Archives: names
William Andrew Dillard
WRITE HIS NAME: SPELL IT CORRECTLY
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
More frequently recently I see in the writings of others a purposeful refusal to spell out correctly the name of God. This originates in Jewish quarters, but is often employed by Protestant writers and others who may simply think it pious to so reference the Almighty. Perhaps that needs to be rethought. So, think with me for a minute!
When Moses met God at the burning bush in the Sinai desert, he asked Him His name so he could reply to his brethren in Egypt. God told him, “ ‘eheyeh mah ‘eheyeh” (I shall become Whom I shall become). “Tell the children of Israel that ‘eheyeh (the becoming one) sent me to you.” Exo. 3:14. Then in Exodus 6:3, God told Moses that His name was “Yehovah” (Jehovah) a slight variation of the same term used in Exodus 3, and has the same meaning. Now here is the point in all of this.
Men far afield of a right relationship with God think themselves to be showing due reverence to deity by not calling or writing His name. Both Jew and some gentiles will write “G – d” instead of “God.” In dealing with the name “Jehovah,” they will refer to the tetragrammaton (four letters) of yodh, he, waw, he, (the Hebrew letters of the name) instead of writing it out or saying it, to show their piety (supposedly) toward God, when they are far removed from His teachings.
The names of living entities are important. Moses and the people of his day recognized this. He asked God for His name because he knew his brethren would ask that up front. So, names should be employed as nearly correct as possible. Although I respond to names I may not care for, and are not commonly used to address me, I still prefer to have my name written or spoken correctly. Most everyone does. How much better then is it that the name of God should be written or spoken as correctly as possible. He did not reveal Himself in the Old Testament by about sixteen names by which He met the needs of His people simply to have them all ignored. misspelled, or misused. In the New Testament, His name is Jesus. That name came from heaven’s messenger because He would save His people from their sins, Matthew 1:21. So when referencing the Creator/Redeemer, call Him by His Holy Name and get it right. It is God, Jehovah, Jesus. To try to show piety by the misuse of His name is to underscore hypocrisy while adding insult to the Deity being referenced.