What does Acts 15 mean, people "called by my name"? Help needed!

by jwfacts 23 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Apostate Kate
    Apostate Kate

    John 15:27 and ye also bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. (Jesus)

    Joh 15:27
    Verse 27. Ye also shall bear witness. You shall be witnesses to the
    world to urge on them the evidences that the Lord Jesus is the
    Messiah. (Swordsearch notes)

    Acts 1:22 beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection.

    Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

    Acts 10:34-39 And Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him. The word which he sent unto the children of Israel, preaching good tidings of peace by Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all.) -- that saying ye yourselves know, which was published throughout all Judaea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom also they slew, hanging him on a tree.

    Acts 22:15-16 For thou shalt be a witness for him unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.

    Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer: for as thou hast testified concerning me at Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

    Acts 26:16 But arise, and stand upon thy feet: for to this end have I appeared unto thee, to appoint thee a minister and a witness both of the things wherein thou hast seen me, and of the things wherein I will appear unto thee;

    1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

    1 John 5:10-11 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in him: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he hath not believed in the witness that God hath borne concerning his Son. And the witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (even God is a witness of His Son)

    Luke 24:46-48 and he said unto them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Ye are witnesses of these things.

    Acts 1:1-8 The first book I wrote, Theophilus, concerned all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day in which he was received up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To these he also showed himself alive after he suffered, by many proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking about God's Kingdom. Being assembled together with them, he charged them, "Don't depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now." Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It isn't for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set within His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth."

    Acts 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, to which we all are witnesses.

    Acts 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

    Acts 5:32 We are His witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him." (The Holy Spirit also is a witness of Jesus)

    It is all about JESUS.

  • Apostate Kate
    Apostate Kate

    Acts 15:15-18 This agrees with the words of the prophets. As it is written, 'After these things I will return. I will again build the tent of David, which has fallen. I will again build its ruins. I will set it up, That the rest of men may seek after the Lord; All the Gentiles who are called by my name, Says the Lord, who does all these things. All his works are known to God from eternity.'

    Ac 15:17
    Verse 17. That the residue of men. This verse is quoted literally from
    the Septuagint, and differs in some respects from the Hebrew. The
    phrase, "the residue of men," here is evidently understood, both by
    the Seventy and by James, as referring to others than the Jews-- to
    the Gentiles. The rest of the world--implying that many of them
    would be admitted to the friendship and favour of God. The Hebrew
    is, "that they may possess the remnant of Edom." This change is
    made in the Septuagint by a slight difference in the reading of two
    Hebrew words. The Seventy, instead of the Hebrew HEBREW
    shall inherit, read HEBREW, shall seek of thee; and instead of
    HEBREW Edom they read HEBREW, Man, or mankind, i.e.
    men. Why this variation occurred, cannot be explained; but the
    sense is not materially different. In the Hebrew, the word Edom has
    undoubted reference to another nation than the Jewish; and the
    expression means, that in the great prosperity of the Jews, after
    their return, they should extend the influence of their religion to other
    nations; that is, as James applies it, the Gentiles might be brought
    to the privileges of the children of God.

    And all the Gentiles. Heb., All the heathen; i.e., all who were not
    Jews. This was a clear prediction that other nations were to be
    favoured with the light of the true religion, and that without any
    mention of their conforming to the rites of the Jewish people.

    Upon whom my name is called. Who are called by my name, or who
    are regarded by me as my people.

    Who doeth all these things. That is, who will certainly accomplish
    this in its time.Barnes

    That the residue of men. The Gentile world. This grand prophecy
    of the calling of the Gentiles makes no mention of circumcision.
    Peoples NT

    Amos 9:11 In that day I will raise up the tent of David who is fallen, and close up its breaches, and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old;

    In that day will I raise up the itabernacle of David that is fallen, and
    close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will
    build it as in the days of old:

    i. I will send the promised Messiah, and restore by him the spiritual
    Israel; Ac 15:16. Geneva Bible Footnotes

    Am 9:11

    11. In that day--quoted by James (Ac 15:16-17), "After this,"
    that is, in the dispensation of Messiah (Ge 49:10; Ho 3:4-5).
    tabernacle of David--not "the house of David," which is used of
    his affairs when prospering (2Sa 3:1), but the tent or booth,
    expressing the low condition to which his kingdom and family had
    fallen in Amos' time, and subsequently at the Babylonian captivity
    before the restoration; and secondarily, in the last days preceding
    Israel's restoration under Messiah, the antitype to David (Ps
    102:13-14; see on Cmt. on Isa 12:1). The type is taken from
    architecture (Eph 2:20). The restoration under Zerubbabel can only
    be a partial, temporary fulfilment; for it did not include Israel, which
    nation is the main subject of Amos' prophecies, but only Judah; also
    Zerubbabel's kingdom was not independent and settled; also all the
    prophets end their prophecies with Messiah, whose advent is the
    cure of all previous disorders. "Tabernacle" is appropriate to Him, as
    His human nature is the tabernacle which He assumed in becoming
    Immanuel, "God with us" (Joh 1:14).
    "Dwelt," literally, tabernacled
    "among us" (compare Re 21:3). Some understand "the tabernacle of
    David" as that which David pitched for the ark in Zion, after bringing it
    from Obed-edom's house. It remained there all his reign for thirty
    years, till the temple of Solomon was built, whereas the "tabernacle
    of the congregation" remained at Gibeon (2Ch 1:3), where the
    priests ministered in sacrifices (1Ch 16:39). Song and praise was
    the service of David's attendants before the ark (Asaph, &c.): a type
    of the gospel separation between the sacrificial service (Messiah's
    priesthood now in heaven) and the access of believers on earth to
    the presence of God, apart from the former (compare 2Sa 6:12-17;
    1Ch 16:37-39; 2Ch 1:3).
    breaches thereof--literally, "of them," that is, of the whole
    nation, Israel as well as Judah.
    as in . . . days of old--as it was formerly in the days of David
    and Solomon, when the kingdom was in its full extent and undivided.
    Jamieson Faucette footnotes

    It is amazing what one can learn from true Greek Hebrew Theologians!

  • Kristofer

    I couldn't help but notice the wording: "After these things I shall return"

    Isn't Jesus the one returning?

  • Narkissos
    Isn't Jesus the one returning?

    This is part of the quotation of Amos 9:11f (LXX, quite different from the Hebrew as the above comments pointed out). Notice that the gathering of Gentiles follows the "returning".

    I think we could sum up fairly well the theology of Acts by saying that "Jesus" is God's name to us, that is, the only way God chose to relate to us (human, Jewish or Gentile) and we can relate to him. Strictly speaking, this is a soteriological (pertaining to "salvation") rather than christological or theological statement.

    Of course such an expression of faith was only possible because the ancient name Yhwh was far off the scope of Hellenistic readers of the LXX.

  • jwfacts


    I am not sure I understand what you are saying. You mentioned first that this is referring to God, but in your second quote you mention that 'Jesus is God' . From the other statements, such as Kates, it seems that this is referring to Jesus. Is it God the Father or God the Son that Paul meant.

    As YHWH was unknown by this time, does this indicate that when saying God in this context it was still Jesus being referred to?

  • greendawn

    I like using Romans 10 first 14 verses, where it is clear from the context that the Lord meant is Jesus yet the JWs translate it as Jehovah also influenced by Joel 2:32 to which Paul refers. Particularly verses 9 and 13-14 taken together prove the point.

    The whole context is about salvation through belief in Jesus rather than the Mosaic law.

  • Narkissos
    You mentioned first that this is referring to God

    Yes, from the perspective of exegesis 101, that is, from the immediate context of Acts 15. "God" is gathering a people for "his name" in v. 14. "Seeking the Lord" in the LXX text is explained as "turning to God" (v. 19).

    , but in your second quote you mention that 'Jesus is God' .

    As a synthesis of the author's perspective, from the whole book of Acts, I suggested that "Jesus" is, or functions as, "God's name to us". This is no onto-theological claim that "Jesus IS God," just the functional claim that Jesus serves as "God's name on earth" (cf. 4:12 "no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved"). This tells us strictly nothing on the "ontological" plane: it is a "practical," "soteriological" affirmation. This "name" functions in at least two ways: it is how we can "call upon" God for salvation (chapter 2, quotation of Joel); it is how God marks his own "people" by calling it upon them (chapter 15, quotation of Amos). And as I said, this implies a non-literal meaning of "God's name" as almost everywhere in the NT (from the Lord's prayer to John's "Father's name given to the Son") and contemporary Jewish-Hellenistic literature (e.g. Philo).

    Is it God the Father or God the Son that Paul* meant.

    (* Actually "James," on whose lips the author puts his Hellenistic theology.)

    Imo it is neither "God the Father" nor "God the Son" in the Trinitarian sense. It is "God in heaven" whose "name on earth" is identified to Jesus' name.

    Actually it is quite simple if you don't mix the 4th-century Trinitarian debate into it.

  • Apostate Kate
    Apostate Kate

    Sorry guys for the sloppy post, I did it in the middle of the night, in the dark, in bed, with hubby trying to sleep next to me

    After many years of research I have come to the conclusions that the Bible is very clear as to the Divine Nature of Jesus. As many mainstream evangelicals will explain His substance; Jesus is equal in nature to the Father, subordinate in function. For instance only Jehovah/Jesus is omnipotent and omnipresent; Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them." of course the Watchtowers' great and learned scholars will say "oh year symbolically" even though there is nothing to confirm that but their own opinion.

  • peacefulpete

    Brilliant! Narkissos

  • jwfacts

    Some great answers that really clear it up. Narkissos, that makes a lot of sense. I will need to read the whole of Acts with a couple of different translations. I am starting to realise how twisted the meaning of scripture is by the WTS adding the word Jehovah to the NT. It makes it impossible to get any idea of what was intended by the writer.

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