From: Clayton Bartholomew (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Aug 26 1997 - 15:15:54 EDT
From: Jonathan Robie wrote:
Rev 3:4 ALLA EChEIS OLIGA *ONOMATA*
EN SARDESIN hA OUK EMOLUNAN TA IMATIA AUTWN
But you have a few "names" en Sardis
who have not soiled their clothing.
This caught my attention. ONOMATA, meaning literally "names", is used to
refer to people here. This usage also shows up in Acts 1:15:
Acts 1:15 HN TE OChLOS *ONOMATWN* EPI TO AUTO hWSEI hEKATON EIKOSI
And the crowd of "names" gathered together were about 120.
In each of these verses, "name" is used as a synonym for a person. How
common is this usage? Does this have ramifications for our understanding of
the phrase "in the name of Jesus"? If we believe in the name of Jesus, is
this the same as believing in Jesus?
I don't think that *name* is a synonym for *person* here. What you have
here is a figure of speech (metonymy?) where one thing is used to represent
another thing. Even if this were not the case. If *person* was simply one of
the values in the semantic domain for *name*, you still would not say that
the two terms are synonymous. Terms are synonymous only when their
semantic domains are nearly identical.
In answer to the second question about "in the name of Jesus" I think the
answer is no. It has no ramifications because in this phrase the word *name*
is not a figure of speech. Arguing from a case of metonymy to make a point
about non-figurative usage will not produce valid results.
An example: The White House demanded that Sadam Hussein withdraw. A
light plane crashed into the White House. If the White house can make
demands, it must be able to speak. Did the White House cry out in pain when
the plane crashed into it?
Three Tree Point
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