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Why Was He Named Jesus and Not Emmanuel?
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 01-02-17 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 01/03/2018 10:28:23 AM PST by Salvation

Why Was He Named Jesus and Not Emmanuel?

January 2, 2018

Yesterday we continued our meditation on the Eighth Day of Christmas by pondering the meaning of the Lord’s circumcision, which occurred on that day. In today’s post we consider another thing that took place on the same day: The name “Jesus” was announced and ascribed to Him.

Was this really the best name for Him? Why did the angel say that He should be called Jesus? Was He not referred to by other names (e.g., Emmanuel) in the Old Testament? What is the significance of the name “Jesus”?

St. Thomas Aquinas, through his Summa Theologiae, will be our teacher in this analysis. His teachings are presented below in bold, black italics, while my commentary appears in plain, red text. St. Thomas takes up the following question:

Whether His name was suitably given to Christ? (Summa Theologiae III, Q 37, Art 2).

A name should answer to the nature of a thing. This is clear in the names of genera and species, as stated Metaph. iv: “Since a name is but an expression of the definition” which designates a thing’s proper nature.

Now, the names of individual men are always taken from some property of the men to whom they are given. Either in regard to time; thus men are named after the Saints on whose feasts they are born: or in respect of some blood relation; thus a son is named after his father or some other relation; and thus the kinsfolk of John the Baptist wished to call him “by his father’s name Zachary,” not by the name John, because “there” was “none of” his “kindred that” was “called by this name,” as related Luke 1:59-61. Or, again, from some occurrence; thus Joseph “called the name of” the “first-born Manasses, saying: God hath made me to forget all my labors” (Genesis 41:51). Or, again, from some quality of the person who receives the name; thus it is written (Genesis 25:25) that “he that came forth first was red and hairy like a skin; and his name was called Esau,” which is interpreted “red.”

What St. Thomas discusses in terms of names is somewhat forgotten today. In our era, at least in the West, names are simply a sound associated with us. There is very little sense that names mean something or signify something. For example, my name, “Charles,” means “strong” or “manly.” In addition, I was named after my father and carry a family name forward. My full name is Charles Evans Pope IV. In its entirety, my name speaks to both a legacy and a quality.

Today, however, parents more often seem to choose names based on what is popular, or clever, or that “sound good.” In some cases, whim and/or frivolity replace thoughtful consideration. In biblical times the ancient Jews waited until the eighth day to name a child. This permitted some time to observe something of the nature of the child, of his or her qualities. This was especially important when the child was not going to be named after a relative.

As St. Thomas notes, most Jewish names were highly meaningful; they brought forth images and concepts such as “God has been gracious” (John), “A sojourner there” (Gershon), “The Lord has judged” (Jehoshaphat), “Pleasant” (Naomi), and “Ewe” (Rachel).

God also hints that He has a name for us, a name by which he knows us. Revelation 2:17 says this regarding those who persevere: I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.

The key point for us is that names are not merely random sounds assigned to us. They convey meaning and something of our nature or personality. Thoughtful consideration should be given when naming a child.

But names given to men by God always signify some gratuitous gift bestowed on them by Him; thus it was said to Abraham (Genesis 17:5): “Thou shalt be called Abraham; because I have made thee a father of many nations”: and it was said to Peter (Matthew 16:18): “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.” Since, therefore, this prerogative of grace was bestowed on the Man Christ that through Him all men might be saved, therefore He was becomingly named Jesus, i.e. Savior: the angel having foretold this name not only to His Mother, but also to Joseph, who was to be his foster father.

Yes, God knows our essence and destiny better than we or any others do. For most of his life, Abram (father of many) considered himself to be anything but the father of many nations. He did not have even a son! Yet God knew him differently and called him Abraham (father of many nations). Today, a vast multitude look to Abraham as a father—Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Indeed, he is the father of many nations. Peter, too, seemed anything but a rock when Jesus named him. He was impetuous and was not to be found during the crisis of the Crucifixion; but the Lord knew that Peter would become a rock and named him accordingly.

In Hebrew, the name Jesus is “Yeshua,” which means “Yahweh is Salvation.” This name is most suitable for Jesus, as St. Thomas sets forth. The angel instructs both Joseph and Mary to name him Jesus: You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Mat 1:21; Luke 1:31).

The name that God has for Him is “Jesus.” In assigning this name through the angel, God teaches that Jesus is both God and Savior.

This line of reasoning raises another question, which St. Thomas now takes up by articulating an objection to the fact that He was named Jesus rather than something else (e.g., Emmanuel):

It would seem that an unsuitable name was given to Christ. For the Gospel reality should correspond to the prophetic foretelling. But the prophets foretold [other names] for Christ: for it is written (Isaiah 7:14): “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel”; and (Isaiah 8:3): “Call His name, Hasten to take away the spoils; Make haste to take away the prey”; and (Isaiah 9:6): “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace”; and (Zechariah 6:12): “Behold a Man, the Orient is His name.” Thus it was unsuitable that His name should be called Jesus (Objection 1).

St. Thomas responds to that objection as follows:

All these names in some way mean the same as Jesus, which means “salvation.” For the name “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is ‘God with us,’” designates the cause of salvation, which is the union of the Divine and human natures in the Person of the Son of God, the result of which union was that “God is with us.”

When it was said, “Call his name, Hasten to take away,” etc., these words indicate from what He saved us, viz. from the devil, whose spoils He took away, according to Colossians 2:15: “Despoiling the principalities and powers, He hath exposed them confidently.”

When it was said, “His name shall be called Wonderful,” etc., the way and term of our salvation are pointed out: inasmuch as “by the wonderful counsel and might of the Godhead we are brought to the inheritance of the life to come,” in which the children of God will enjoy “perfect peace” under “God their Prince.”

When it was said, “Behold a Man, the Orient is His name,” reference is made to the same, as in the first, viz. to the mystery of the Incarnation, by reason of which “to the righteous a light is risen up in darkness” (Psalm 111:4). (Reply to Objection 1).

Many people today mention only the text from Isaiah, which indicates that He will be called Emmanuel, but as St. Thomas notes there were a many names and titles ascribed to the Messiah. This alone serves as a caution to those who take one text of the Scriptures and elevate its importance.

The key to interpreting Scripture is doing so within the context of the entirety of Scripture. One must read Scripture with the Church, not apart from it. God is not in the business of contradicting Himself.

The prophetic texts do speak of naming the Messiah in various ways. Given the variety of names it is clear that God does not intend that one name or title should prevail, but rather that all of them should complete a kind of picture of Him who comes to save us.

So, the name “Jesus” means that God comes to save us. Therefore, He is wonderful. He is God-hero, Father forever, and Prince of Peace. He is Emmanuel, God with us. The Light of His glory is like the light of ten thousand suns rising in the East (the Orient) to cast out the darkness.

“Jesus” (God saves) pretty well sums it up!


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; jesuschrist; mostholyname
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Video
1 posted on 01/03/2018 10:28:23 AM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Monsignor Pope Ping!


2 posted on 01/03/2018 10:30:01 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
For the name “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is ‘God with us,’”

Excellent treatise on the subject. I would, however, like to add my emphasis on "Emmanuel", that instead of simply 'God with us' as in the mere spiritual sense, it would be better interpreted as 'the one who walks among us, is God'. Giving more clarity to the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity.

3 posted on 01/03/2018 10:42:13 AM PST by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
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To: Salvation
The key to interpreting Scripture is doing so within the context of the entirety of Scripture.

The Msgr seems to be advocating sola scriptura again. He's getting there.

4 posted on 01/03/2018 10:52:23 AM PST by ealgeone
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To: ealgeone

Not at all.


5 posted on 01/03/2018 10:54:42 AM PST by Campion (Halten Sie sich unbedingt an die Lehre!)
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To: Campion
Yeah, who was it who wrote the NT, protected it, and authorized it?

Just so the Protestants could memorize it?

6 posted on 01/03/2018 10:58:58 AM PST by Slyfox (Not my circus, not my monkeys)
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To: Salvation
You should have read this earlier. Then you'd know.

Do you think He has just a few names and titles?

Do me a favor and listen to THIS. You might be inspired.

7 posted on 01/03/2018 10:59:59 AM PST by Ken Regis
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To: ealgeone; Campion

The key to interpreting Scripture is doing so within the context of the entirety of Scripture.

- - - - -
Campion is correct. Listen to what Pope, Charles says, because it is what Jesus said: The entirety of the Scriptures testifies to Him.

LUK24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:  LUK24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?  LUK24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

God. KING JAMES BIBLE TOUCH - KJV (Kindle Locations 41423-41426). Kindle Edition.


8 posted on 01/03/2018 11:10:45 AM PST by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR)
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To: SubMareener
The entirety of the Scriptures testifies to Him.

On this I agree. Everything we need regarding on how to have salvation is in the Scriptures. They are the only inspired texts we have.

And Scriptures were given to us so we could come to understand this. Only Scripture gives us the truth.

9 posted on 01/03/2018 11:16:00 AM PST by ealgeone
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To: Slyfox
"Yeah, who was it who wrote the NT, protected it, and authorized it?"

The Holy Spirit

10 posted on 01/03/2018 11:16:35 AM PST by circlecity
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To: Salvation

Why Was He Named Jesus and Not Emmanuel?

Because Isa. 7 is written about a young woman in Isaiah’s day (about 700 bc) who would bear a son and name him Immanuel.

Gabriel told Mary and Joseph to name him Jesus. Matthew borrowed the idea from Isa. 7 to suggest that Jesus is God with us.


11 posted on 01/03/2018 11:25:11 AM PST by lurk
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To: Ken Regis
Or THIS

Why do people think they can put God in a little box on a big table?

12 posted on 01/03/2018 11:35:22 AM PST by Ken Regis
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To: lurk

So Isaiah 7 is not fulfillment prophecy?


13 posted on 01/03/2018 11:59:18 AM PST by Phinneous (Moshiach Now!)
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To: ealgeone
Thank you, thank you...

Thank you, but...

It's not "sola Scriptura". It's Scriptura in Ecclesia. The principle of "interpreting Scripture within the context of the entirety of Scripture" is thoroughly Catholic, ecclesial; and Traditional.

Look at Scripture itself: in it and woven through it is "the context of" God's people Israel: the Church.

Y'see. :o) Scriptura Si, Sola No.

Scripture itself says so. Taglinr.

14 posted on 01/03/2018 12:13:35 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: ealgeone
<>"Only Scripture gives us the truth."

The one wrong word in that sentence is 'only". Scripture does NOT say that Scriprure "alone" gives us the truth.

15 posted on 01/03/2018 12:16:11 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; ealgeone
Nor does it tell us to go looking for it somewhere else.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

16 posted on 01/03/2018 12:26:10 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith..)
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To: Salvation

Why Was He Named Jesus and Not Emmanuel?.....After 2000 years, translation from Aramaic to Greek to whatever, we don’t know what the true Bible says or what his name was. Sheesh! Get a grip!! We could NEVER converse with Shakespeare.


17 posted on 01/03/2018 12:27:24 PM PST by Safetgiver (Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: Salvation

Because Hay-zeus is up on the roof putting up shingles, Manual’s in the field picking lettuce, Jose is weed whacking out front, and Maria is giving the baby a bath in the Nursery.


18 posted on 01/03/2018 12:34:15 PM PST by Alas Babylon! (Keep fighting the Left and their Fake News!)
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To: metmom
"John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. "

AMEN!

AMEN!

. And it's not just a Sacred Text, the Bible, that's "Your Word."

The Apostles and the local Churches they planted before 100 AD, and many after that point as well, didn't have the New Testament in writing. They had it in walking and talking, in preaching and teaching, in living and in dying, in life and death. They didn't read it. They lived it.

That's why St. Paul didn't say "First, printing presses!"

No, he sees the writing as being embodied in people:

2 Corinthians 3:2
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.

2 Corinthians 3:3
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

He's very clear that his spoken words are authoritative whether they are written or not:

2 Thessalonians 2:15 (King James Bible)
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."

.

19 posted on 01/03/2018 12:53:27 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." - 2 Thess 2:15)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Look at Scripture itself: in it and woven through it is "the context of" God's people Israel: the Church.

Yes [except believers are God's people also]...and as noted before...so much of what Rome teaches is not found in Scripture.

The Immaculate Conception for example. Rome's own Catholic Encyclopedia online admits "No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture."

http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=6056

There is even a Roman Catholic writing by Alexander VII that admits Roman Catholics worship Mary!

Antigua is the piety of the faithful Christians to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who feel in their soul, that in the moment of its creation and infusion in the body, was preserved free from the stain of original sin, by a singular grace and privilege of God , in view of the merits of his son Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind, and that, in this respect, worship and celebrated with solemn ceremony the feast of his conception; and already grown its number, and after that Sixto IV, of happy remembrance, publish their apostolic constitutions, refurbished and sent to observe by the Council of Trent, which recommends this cult, this increased.

Was again increased and spread this devotion or worship to the mother of God after erect, with the approval of the Roman popes, monasteries of religious orders and confraternities in honor of that name, and after granted indulgences in the same sense in such a way that, when the majority of universities and the most famous among them were folded to that doctrine, almost all Catholics supported it.

Apostolic Constitution "Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum", His Holiness Alexander VII, on the Immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin the 8 December 1661

The history of how the Immaculate Conception came about is very interesting.

It was not "universally" approved by the Roman Catholic Church as some have suggested. Alphonsus de Liguori notes, in the Glories of Mary, that 228 writers expressed a view on the IC: 92 were opposed; 136 in favor...59.6%.

https://books.google.com/books?id=zdZuBAAAQBAJ&pg=PT229&lpg=PT229&dq=the+glories+of+mary+this+devotion+and+worship+to+the+mother+of+God+again+increased+and+was&source=bl&ots=O0BsOlkzZQ&sig=bWUZaTAJkx1JpBFlFF-IIFy_vR4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjG4tST1bzYAhVIKiYKHTG-Ag0Q6AEIMzAC#v=onepage&q=the%20glories%20of%20mary%20this%20devotion%20and%20worship%20to%20the%20mother%20of%20God%20again%20increased%20and%20was&f=false

[note: there were no page numbers in this version on google books]

That is not a universal acceptance of the dogma.

What pushed it over the finish line?

Whilst these disputes went on, the great universities and almost all the great orders had become so many bulwarks for the defense of the dogma. In 1497 the University of Paris decreed that henceforward no one should be admitted a member of the university, who did not swear that he would do the utmost to defend and assert the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Toulouse followed the example; in Italy, Bologna and Naples; in the German Empire, Cologne, Maine, and Vienna; in Belgium, Louvain; in England before the Reformation. Oxford and Cambridge; in Spain Salamanca, Toledo, Seville, and Valencia; in Portugal, Coimbra and Evora; in America, Mexico and Lima. The Friars Minor confirmed in 1621 the election of the Immaculate Mother as patron of the order, and bound themselves by oath to teach the mystery in public and in private. The Dominicans, however, were under special obligation to follow the doctrines of St. Thomas, and the common conclusion was that St. Thomas was opposed to the Immaculate Conception. Therefore the Dominicans asserted that the doctrine was an error against faith (John of Montesono, 1373); although they adopted the feast, they termed it persistently "Sanctificatio B.M.V." not "Conceptio", until in 1622 Gregory XV abolished the term "sanctificatio". Paul V (1617) decreed that no one should dare to teach publicly that Mary was conceived in original sin, and Gregory XV (1622) imposed absolute silence (in scriptis et sermonibus etiam privatis) upon the adversaries of the doctrine until the Holy See should define the question. To put an end to all further cavilling, Alexander VII promulgated on 8 December 1661, the famous constitution "Sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum", defining the true sense of the word conceptio, and forbidding all further discussion against the common and pious sentiment of the Church. He declared that the immunity of Mary from original sin in the first moment of the creation of her soul and its infusion into the body was the object of the feast (Densinger, 1100).http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=6056

Neither Paul, Luke, John, Matthew, Mark, or Peter ever wrote an exception for Mary. The New Testament is clear...all have sinned. There has only been one person who has lived a sinless life: Christ Jesus.

This is but one reason why Christianity rejects Roman Catholic Tradition as being on par with Scripture.

20 posted on 01/03/2018 1:02:29 PM PST by ealgeone
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