Re: Onoma in Mt. 28:19
While we're waiting for the TLG search, I thought I'd prematurely suggest
(for those who may be unfamiliar with the suggestion) that the passage is
Micah 4:5 uses a construction for describing the nations walking "in
the name of their gods," "beshem elohayv" (shem=name, singular;
elohayv=their gods, plural) while Israel walks "in the name of YHWH our
God," "beshem YHWH eloheynu." Here I think it is meant that the pagans
had many gods with distinct names, but that "shem" here does not mean
"name" in the English sense, but rather some other English word, such
as "reputation," "manner," "authority," etc. The gods had many proper
names, but they had only one "shem," contrasted with YHWH's "shem." It
certainly doesn't suggest that the pagan gods are melded into a unity
like the "Trinity" just because they all have one "shem."
The usage "in the name of YHWH" is familiar in the Psalms and Prophets,
esp. the famous Psalm 118, "barukh habbah beshem YHWH," "blessed is he
who comes in the name of the LORD," as well as Psalm 20:5 (Heb. v. 6).
Proverbs 18:10 says the "name" (shem) of God is a fortress people can
run "into/inside" to be saved. Joel 2:32 (Heb. 3:5) includes the equally
famous "everyone who calls out in the name of the LORD will be saved," that
is, "Vehayah kol asher yikra beshem YHWH yimmalet." In none of these
passages is "shem" used literally in the English sense of "name," and in
none of them (except Proverbs 18:10) is there a sense of "in" as "into,
towards," but rather, the "in" ("be") is used in a nonspatial sense.
The Peshitta New Testament rendered the phrase in Matthew 28:19,
"baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the holy
spirit" [baptizontes autous eis to onoma tou patros kai tou huiou kai tou
hagiou pneumatos], as "bshm 'b' ubr' urw'kh dqwdsh'" with the obvious echo
of the Old Testament, and the ASRSI (1986) translators render into modern
Hebrew, "beshem haAv vehabBen veRuakh hakKodesh."
Oddly enough, the Delitzsch-based version renders the phrase
"utevaltem otam leshem haAv..." - LESHEM instead of BESHEM, literally
"towards, into" the name, which is probably a mistaken understanding of
the Greek, which one can see by comparing it to Matthew 10:41-42. The
Delitzsch edition thus masks the Old Testament echoes. But in this I
think it is mistaken. Of course, the trend now is to attack any
suggestion of Semiticism in the Greek New Testament, but here I think it
likely is an Old Testament usage rather than a standard Koine one.
Of course, I say this rashly since we haven't seen the Greek evidence yet.