Church Education Trust

Christian Belief



The Names of the Redeemer.

I am indebted for this section to Dr.B.Pope in the second volume of his "Compendium of Christian Theology" where a much fuller study will be found.

a. The Practical Use of the study of the Names of our Lord.

Dr.Pope gives four reasons for this study,

  1. It is the divine method for teaching us the doctrines of Redemption. A study of the meaning of the various names is the best of theological studies. It gives precision to the language of the theologian and the preacher.
  2. It exalts our Lord. It makes us feel that there is no place worthy of Him, that no words can describe the greatness and dignity of His Person. He is the preciousness indeed, beyond human estimation. (1 Peter 2:7 R.V.).
  3. It makes us cautious in the use of uninspired terms. Some of these terms are valuable and necessary in the study of theology, but it should be noted, none have become part of the common language of Christendom except those in the Bible.
  4. It assists to remain reverent in the way in which we speak of our Lord and Saviour.

b. The Names given to the Pre-Temporal Being.
To Him absolutely as Divine - Great God, God blessed for ever; Jehovah
or LORD; First and Last, Beginning end Ending. (Rorr.9:5, 1 Cor.2:8; Rev.22:13). These imply interior self-sufficiency.

(1).To Him as Second Person in the Trinity.

Son, Son of God; Only Begotten; Wisdom; lmage of Jehovah; Word of God; Image of God; Effulgence of His Glory. (John 1:18; Hob.l.2; Coll:15; Rev.3:14) . All these have some indirect reference to the Divine -Human estate.

c. Names expressly stating the union of the two natures.

These are few. Immanuel takes the clear lead (Isa.7:l4; Ihtt.1:23) and
yet strange to say is never used after its first application. The Branch
(Isa.11:1); the Son of Man (frequent use), the terms which specially brings His modiatorship (1 Tim.2:5). Other words not scriptural, are used in theological works e.g. God-Man, the Incarnate, the Divine-Human Person, the Theanthropic Person.

d. Names which designate, Christ`s official aspects.

Those which have reference to Creation general. The Prince of Life and the Life (Acts 3.15; John 14:6). These names likewise form a transition to His redeeming work. Prince or Captain of Salvation; Author or Prince of Faith (Heb.2:10: 12:2) i.e. the eternal Source and Beginning of that life which is to us salvation.Thus He is Prince and Saviour (Acts 5:31).

Those which are used in the time of Prophetic Preparation. Not continued in New Testament. The Angel of Jehovah, the Messenger of the Covenant (Malachi.3:l); Servant of the Lord (Isa.52-53) though Christ is called Minister in the New Testment; Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God. Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6).

Those which denote the relation of the Incarnate Son of God to His Work generally. The Widest Range, Jesus (which means the salvation of the LORD, LORD—Saviour : Prince of Salvation; Saviour, Messiah, Christ (which means the Anointed).

Names which refer to various aspects of His Salvation i.e. the Lord our Righteousness (Jer.23:6); Sanctifier (Heb.2:11); the Holy One (Acts 3:14); Prince of Life (Acts 3:15); Mediator (Hob.9:15); Testator (Heb.9:16); Surety (Heb.7:22); Finisher of the Faith (Heb,12:2); Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25).

e. Names derived from Christ`s specific Offices of prophet, Priest and King.


Revealer of the divine will. Rabbi, Master; Wisdom of God; the Light of the World; the Truth.


High Priest (Heb,3:1); Propitiatory or Mercy Seat (Rom.3:25); Lamb of God (John 1:29); the Advocate and living Propitiation (1 John 2:1-2).


King of Kings, Lord of Lords. (1 Tim.6:15) .

f. Names which arise from the combination of Titles.

Jesus Christ, it is incorrect to make "Jesus" the personal name and "Christ" the official; both are official; the Saviour, the Anointed One; Jesus Christ our Lord; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; the Great God and Our Saviour Jesus Christ (Tit.2:10,13); Shepherd and Bishop (1 Peter 2:25); Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End (Rev.l:8a 22:13); He that is Holy, He that is True, He that hath the key of David (Rev.3:7). The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David (Rev.5:5); the Root and Off-spring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. (Rev.22:16).

g.Titles which arise from metaphors and Symbols.

This class of names is very helpful in poetical literature and of great spiritual advantage. The names are derived from all regions of thought, from the mental, moral and physical worlds. The only ones given here are those which are applied to the Redeemer distinctively, as apart from those used of Him because they belong to God.

Rock or Foundation; Chief Corner Stone (1 Peter 2:6); Good Shepherd; Vine (John 10 & 15); the Head (Eph.l:22); the Way (John 14:6); Bridegroom (Matt.25:6); Water and Bread of Life (John 6); All, and in all (Col.3:ll).
Under this heading three other abbreviations and titles which have come down from antiquity, deserve to be mentioned and explained:-

  1.  I.H.S. found on the pulpit of many churches are the initial letters of the Latin words Jesus Hominun Salvator, which mean Jesus, the Saviour of Men.
  2. I.N.R.I. arc the initial letters of the Latin words, Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judaeonun, which means Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.
  3. The Geek word for "fish" which transliterated into English is I CH TH U S (ichthus) was a common password along the early Christians during the dangerous days of persecution. While quite an innocent word, it formed a useful acrostic to declare one`s faith in a way only understood by a fellow Christian.
    I e s o u s............................Jesus
    Christos ...............................Christ
    Th e o u...............................of God
    Ui os.................................... Son
    S o t e r............................... Saviour
    i.e, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.

< back to previous page >

©2008 Church Education Trust