Images of Christ & the 3rd Commandment

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Ravens

Puritan Board Sophomore
So I don't normally start threads on this board. And the question I'm about to ask certainly isn't one of burning conviction; just more of an intellectual curiosity.

This board was instrumental in changing my stance on the 2nd commandment, that is, towards the historic Reformed view. But I'm still thinking through the implications of the reasoning, and I think this question will throw light on the 2nd commandment.

If a picture of Christ is, due to His person, a picture of God:

Then would not the "name" of Christ, due to His person, be the "name" of God?

So, would naming your child "Joshua" or, if you were Spanish, "Jesus", not be just as "blasphemous" as naming your child YHWH?

And if you say that "Joshua" or Y'shua was just a common human name that was taken up by Christ, and that the taking on of a name (albeit very special to His purpose) shows His full humanity, therefore we can still use it as a human name...

that just sounds very similar to the Orthodox saying that Christ's assumption of a body placed him squarely in the flow of this world and this time, and therefore we can make icons of His humanity.

So if we don't allow pictures of Christ, why do we name children Joshua?

And I know that "Y'shua" is God-referential, i.e. YHWH saves or YHWH is salvation or what have you... but, even though it was a Hebrew name that, in essence, "praised" or "proclaimed" YHWH, now the whole *phrase*, "Yahweh saves" or "Yahweh is salvation" is the "name" of a Person in the Godhead.

Just curious.
 

Ravens

Puritan Board Sophomore
Well, I know that the name of Christ isn't covered by the 2nd commandment. I'm just wondering why the rationale of the 2nd commandment isn't applied to the 3rd. I'm not saying it should be, I'm just curious what people will say.

Y'shua had previous usage in history, but so did human bodies. But now we are forbidden from making pictures of a particular human body (that of Christ's), now a common name has become the name of a Person of the Godhead. I mean, would you name your kid YHWH?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I think the issue can be resolved fairly simply by asking the question:
"Is there any evidence in the NT that those whose names were already Y'hoshuah (joshua) abandoned them? This seems far-fetched to me.

I also don't think the "body" analogy is correct. Jesus took one of our names, like he took one of our bodies. But just because he took one of our bodies, doesn't mean we can't have our own bodies (on account of the fact that his body is now deified). Jesus' taking an earthly name was part of his taking on our humanity. Names are in one sense "shared" commodities. Two ordinary people sharing a name doesn't give one more right in it than the other.

Now, am I comfortable naming my son "Jesus"? No sir. But I don't have similar reluctance with "Joshua" or "Isaiah" (which is a close equivalent). We are culturally constrained at that point, and perhaps biblically too. But could it be foolish prejudice instead? I do know that naming a person "Joshua" is not going to bring our Lord to mind in most English-language settings.

I don't know why Hispanics (and others?) don't seem to have a problem with "Jesus", but it could be cultural again. Does naming a person after another person of renown glorify the latter, rather than smacking of irreverence or theft?

Or maybe "Hey Zeus" is not the way Christ's earthly name is pronounced in Spanish? Maybe that pronunciation is our familar "Joshua" instead? Or conversely, maybe they shy away from "Joshua" or an equivalent because that was Christ's name in Hebrew/Aramaic--i.e. his actual given name?

Or maybe they just aren't as superstitious as we northern Europeans are? Perhaps in Spanish Bibles there are 6-7 people including Jesus Christ whose names are all identical--unlike our English Bibles. Then, naming someone "Jesus Christ" would be equally unthinkable, because that is not distinguishing the divine person.

Interesting conundrum, but I don't think that naming someone with a name that is not easily confused with the Lord (thus contributing to confusion or irreverence) is wrong, or violating the 3rd commandment.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Bruce,

People are often names Jesús in Spanish --it is not at all uncommon, and yes it is Jesus' name (kids are also named Josue = Joshua, though it is not so common). However, people named Jesús (which is not quite pronounced Hey Zeus!) are often called Chucho or Chuy. I have only once or twice heard someone who was named this actually called Jesús in conversation.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Hi Reuben,
So there is some apparent unease with calling someone directly by a name usually reserved for the Savior? Interesting, but not surprising, I guess. Still would like to know how "Jesus" came to be such a common Hispanic name. Culture is complicated.
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
Hi Reuben,
So there is some apparent unease with calling someone directly by a name usually reserved for the Savior? Interesting, but not surprising, I guess. Still would like to know how "Jesus" came to be such a common Hispanic name. Culture is complicated.

I'm sure the influence of Roman Catholicism and superstition had something to do with it.
 
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