Father Frank Spina’s Class

God Has A Name

The ancient world was polytheistic. In that setting, it made no sense to say that one
believed “in God.” First off, everyone believed in (a) God(s). Atheism is a relatively modern
phenomenon. Secondly, every deity had a name (e.g., Marduk; Baal; El; Ra; Thoth; Zeus).
Ancient Israel was no exception. The name of their God was YHWH. This name occurs almost
seven thousand times in the Old Testament. Also, the name of the Israelite God generated a
“theology of the name.” YHWH, who elected Israel, was in addition the deity who was
incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth according to the New Testament. But that name is never
mentioned in the New Testament, even though Jesus encouraged people to pray “hallowed be
thy name.” There are reasons for this.

In this two-session series we will touch on the “theology
of the name” in the Old Testament and deal with its “disappearance” in the New Testament.
Week 1: “Glorifying the Name of YHWH: An Old Testament Motif”
Week 2: “Hallowing (but not pronouncing) the Name of the Father: Jesus’ Use of God’s Name”