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What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:58 pm
by Secret Alias
Who has made the argument for κύριος? What are their arguments?

Re: What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:37 pm
by Bernard Muller
"Jesus means "the salvation of the Lord", being the name of the most excellent possible character" (Philo of Alexandria, On the Change of Names, ch. XXI) See Philippians 2:9 and Hebrews 1:4:

Note: I think Philippians 2:6-11 was initially from Apollos of Alexandria, the most probable author of 'Hebrews':

Php 2:6-11 "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death.
[Heb 5:8 "... he learned obedience from what he suffered ..."]
` ... Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
[Heb1:4b "as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs."]
` that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Cordially, Bernard

Re: What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:33 pm
by Secret Alias
I get that. I believe that. But I am wondering what the arguments are for the understanding that kurios is the name above all names. Some people hold that I believe.

Re: What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:35 pm
by mlinssen
Bernard Muller wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:37 pm
"Jesus means "the salvation of the Lord", being the name of the most excellent possible character" (Philo of Alexandria, On the Change of Names, ch. XXI) See Philippians 2:9 and Hebrews 1:4:

Cordially, Bernard
That's a most interesting case of ripping something completely out of context Bernard

Philo, De mutatione nominum, Chapter XXI

XXI. So much for this. But Moses also changes the name of Hoshea to Joshua (Num. xiii. 16), thus transforming the individual who embodies a state into the state itself. For Hoshea by interpretation is " he," that is a particular individual, " is saved." But Joshua is " safety of the Lord," a name for the best possible state.

Ιησούς δέ σωτηρία κυρίου, έζεως όνομα τής άριστης,

"of habit name of excellent", of excellent habit (conduct)

So in the Tanakh someone gets named yə·hō·wō·šu·a‘, https://biblehub.com/hebrew/yehoshua_3091.htm, then Philo gives his interpretation of that name, then something gets written about a certain ΙΣ, which gets interpreted as Ιησούς for no traceable of verifiable reason, and then you have Philo say something about the Jesus of the canonicals while in fact he is saying something about a Joshua of the Tanakh

Re: What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:39 am
by perseusomega9
Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:33 pm
I get that. I believe that. But I am wondering what the arguments are for the understanding that kurios is the name above all names. Some people hold that I believe.
That interpretation is seen in more devotional literature, i'm guessing because they don't like the implication that the name Jesus wasn't given until/after the crucifixion

Re: What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:48 am
by perseusomega9
perhaps I was wrong.

Gundry in his Php commentary:

. The universal bowing in Jesus’ name and the universal confession, “Jesus Christ [is] Lord,” bring together body language (the bowing of knees) and verbal language (the confession of tongues) in acknowledgment that the human Jesus is also the divine Lord (compare Isaiah 45:23). For “Lord” corresponds to Lord (Hebrew: Yahweh) as the most sacred of divine names in the Old Testament and therefore counts as “the name above every name.”

Re: What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:55 am
by perseusomega9
Fee's commentary:

Part II (vv. 9–11) lacks both the poetry and the balanced clauses of Part I. Instead, it takes the form of basic Pauline argumentation. The ultimate consequence of Christ’s “mindset,” which led to his “humiliation,” Paul asserts, is that God has exalted him “to the highest place” (NIV), by bestowing on him the ultimate name of all: God’s own appellation of “Lord,” which, not incidentally, is also one of the appellations of Caesar (cf. Acts 25:26). In so doing God vindicated Christ’s “mindset” evidenced in vv. 6–8.
...
But what does Paul intend by “the name that is above every name”? Here the options are basically two,20 “Jesus” or “Lord.” On the one hand, there is much to be said for “the name” to refer to his earthly name “Jesus.”21 That, after all, is what is picked up in the next phrase, “at the name of Jesus.” If so, then Paul does not mean that he has now been given that name, but that in highly exalting him, God has bestowed on the name of Jesus a significance that excels all other names. Moreover, “Jesus” is in fact a name, whereas “Lord” could be argued to be a title.22

On the other hand, most believe that the bestowing on him of the name “Lord,” as the equivalent of Yahweh, is how Jesus has been exalted to the highest place.23 Indeed, were it not for the phrase “at the name of Jesus” in the next clause, this would be the universal point of view. In favor of it is the second part of the result clause (v. 11), that every tongue will confess that “the Lord is Jesus Christ.” But what favors it the most is the clear “intertextuality” that is in process here.24 The twofold result clause that makes up our vv. 10 and 11 is a direct borrowing of language from Isa 45:23, where Yahweh (the Lord) says that “before me (the Lord) every knee shall bow and every tongue will swear (LXX, confess)” that “in the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.” This emphasis on Yahweh, “the Lord,”25 as the one unto whom all shall give obeisance, seems to certify that what Paul has in mind is none other than the name, Yahweh itself, but in its Greek form of “the Lord,” which has now been “given” to Jesus.26 On the meaning and significance of this name, see on v. 11.

We should note finally that this declaration of Jesus as “Lord” would probably not be lost on believers in a city whose inhabitants are Roman citizens and who are devotees of “lords many,” including “lord Caesar.” Paul well knows to whom he is writing these words, especially since he is now one of the emperor’s prisoners and the Philippians are suffering at the hands of Roman citizens as well.

Re: What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:02 am
by perseusomega9
Heil's commentary:
hear the chiastic development, via a series of predominantly alliterative parallels,
from what Christ Jesus, “existing (ὑπάρχων) in the form of God (θεοῦ),” “considered
(ἡγήσατο),” in “becoming in the likeness (ὁμοιώματι) of human beings”
in the B element (2:6–7) to how “God exalted (ὑπερύψωσεν) him” and “granted
(ἐχαρίσατο) him” a superior name, so that “at the name (ὀνόματι) of Jesus,”32 as the
climax of “the name (ὄνομα) that is above every name (ὄνομα),” there should be a
cosmic confession of this superior name, Lord, “to the glory of God (θεοῦ)” in the
B´ element (2:9–11).
In correspondence to the fact that Jesus “considered” (ἡγήσατο) his being
equal to God, while “existing” (ὑπάρχων) in the form of God, not something to
be exploited (2:6), God “exalted” (ὑπερύψωσεν) and “granted” (ἐχαρίσατο) him
the name that is above every other name in the universe (2:9).33 Th is reminds the
audience that it has been likewise “granted” (ἐχαρίσθη) to them by God to suff er
on behalf of Christ (1:29), thus further uniting them with and conforming them
to Christ as benefi ciaries of the grace of God.34 In correspondence to the fact that
Jesus became in the “likeness” (ὁμοιώματι) of human beings and was found to be
in appearance as a human being (2:7), it is at the “name” (ὀνόματι)—the name that
is above every other name, the name or title of “Lord,” given to this human being
Jesus by God that

Re: What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:06 am
by perseusomega9
Hansen:

The verb lie exalted is linked to and defined by the next verb, lie gave: God supremely exalted Jesus when he graciously gave Jesus the name that is above every name.264 Jesus received that name as the result of God's gracious decision to "give freely as a favor."265 Some have proposed that the name given is the name Jesus. Moule suggests that "God, in the incarnation, bestowed upon the one who is on equality with him an earthly name which, because it accompanied that most God-like self-giving, has come to be, in fact, the highest of names, because service and self-giving are themselves the highest of divine attributes. Because of the incarnation, the human name 'Jesus' is acclaimed as the highest name; and the Man Jesus thus comes to be acclaimed as Lord, to the glory of God the Father."266 The view that the name Jesus is the name given by God appeals to the support of the next line: in the name of Jesus. Advocates of this view point out that the name Jesus is truly a name, not a title, such as the title Lord.

Solid evidence, however, leads most interpreters to advocate the view that the name that God gave Jesus is the name Lord. The narrative sequence of the hymn points to the name that was given at the exaltation: at the incarnation the name Jesus was given; when God exalted Jesus he then gave him the name Lord. The name of a person can have the sense of a title that "is rightfully borne and encodes what a person really is."267 The sense of title applies especially to the divine names that express "qualities and powers."268 The hymn dramatically postpones the announcement of the divine name given to Jesus until the last line, which declares that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The echo this line gives of Isaiah 45:2324 confirms that the divine name Lord is the name that is above every name:




Isaiah 41-45 stresses the uniqueness of the divine name LORD (Yahweh):269 "I am the LORD your God" (41:13); "1 am the LORD; that is my name" (42:8); "I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior" (43:11); "This is what the LORD says - Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and the last; apart from me there is no God" (44:6); "1 am the LORD, and there is no other" (45:18). By quoting Isaiah 45:23 in Philippians 2:10-11, the hymn appropriates the unique divine name LORD for Jesus. The parabolic shape of the hymn can be followed by tracing the names or titles of Jesus: the one existing in the form of God goes down to the lowest place by taking the form of slave and back up to the highest place when God gives Jesus the name that is above every name so that every tongue will confess that he is Lord.

Consideration of the context for Paul's letter to the Philippians provides another reason for the view that the name Lord is the name that God gave Jesus. In a Roman colony, Philippians would hear the acclamation that Jesus is Lord as a shocking allusion to the declaration of the Roman imperial cult that Caesar is Lord.270 In the ideology of the imperial cult, Jupiter and the gods gave divine authority and divine names to Augustus Caesar. In the theology of the hymn of Christ, God gave the divine name to Jesus so that he will be the LORD acclaimed and worshipped by all. By quoting this hymn, Paul presents the exaltation of Jesus as Lord in language that reflects and subverts the Roman imperial cult.271



The two verbs expressing the actions of God, exalted and gave, are followed by a purpose clause containing two verbs, bow and acknowledge. These verbs vividly demonstrate that the purpose for God's exaltation of Jesus is the universal worship of Jesus as Lord. The purpose clause begins with the prepositional phrase, in the name of Jesus. Some take this phrase as a reference to the occasion of worship: at the name of Jesus, "when the name of Jesus is mentioned every knee should bow."272 Others consider this phrase as an explanation of the means of worship: in the name of Jesus "speaks of Jesus as the Mediator through whom created beings offer their worship to God."273 But the context rules out these two interpretations of the phrase by defining the meaning of the phrase as a description of the worship of Jesus as Lord. The phrase in the name of Jesus refers backward to the previous phrase, God gave him the name that is above every name, and looks forward to the acclamation of every tongue that Jesus Christ is Lord. By referring to the name of Jesus, the hymn is focusing on the name Lord that belongs to Jesus as a result of God's exaltation of Jesus and God's gracious gift of the name Lord to Jesus. The bestowal of the divine name Lord on the crucified and now exalted person Jesus brings about the universal worship of Jesus as Lord. The phrase in the name of Jesus ties together the theme of humiliation in the first half of the hymn and the theme of exaltation in the second half of the hymn. By being made in human likeness the one existing in the form of God became a real human being named Jesus. Jesus is the name of the one who took the form of a slave. Jesus is the name of the one who humbled himself by becoming obedient unto death on a cross. God exalted the crucified Jesus and gave him the divine name Lord so that all creation would worship Jesus as Lord.


The use of the phrase in the name of Jesus to introduce the allusion to Isaiah 45:23 invests this phrase with added depth of meaning. In the prophetic words of Isaiah 45, God calls, "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other" (45:22). And God predicts: "Before me every knee will bow" (45:23). In place of the words "before me," the hymn inserts the phrase in the name of Jesus. The prediction that every knee should bow at the name of Jesus fulfills the prediction that every knee will bow before God. By applying this text to Jesus, the hymn boldly asserts that Jesus bears the name of God and is to be worshipped as Lord, to the glory of God the Father. The hymn's description of the worship of Jesus as Lord in the language of an OT text that portrays the worship of God clearly expresses "the conviction that he is directly and uniquely associated with God."274

...
The universal acclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord is the climax of the hymn. By placing Lord first in this acclamation, the Greek text puts the emphasis on that name. That name was dramatically withheld until every tongue in the whole creation reveals that name. The hymn announced that God exalted the crucified one and gave him a name that is above every name, but it did not immediately reveal that name. Then the hymn portrayed the supreme sovereignty of the name given to Jesus in the scene of every knee bowed before Jesus because he bears that name. But still it did not reveal that name. The hymn elaborately described the absolute authority of the one who bears that name over all three realms of creation: in heaven and on earth and under the earth. But still that name remains unspoken. Finally, the almost unbearable suspense is broken when the hymn summons all creation to acknowledge in one voice that name that is above every name: Lord Jesus Christ!282


The lines that so dramatically lead up to the revelation of the name Lord invest that name with three dimensions of meaning: sovereignty, identity, and destiny. First, God's exaltation of the crucified servant to the highest position of absolute authority over all creation invests the name Lord with the meaning of divine sovereignty.283 The way that the hymn expands the allusion to Isaiah 45:23 ("before me every knee shall bow, by me every tongue swear") by adding the phrase encompassing all three realms of creation (every knee will bow, in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth) emphasizes that the sovereignty of Jesus is a divine sovereignty that surpasses all human and angelic sovereignty. As Bauckham observes, "For Jewish monotheism sovereignty over all things was definitive of who God is. It could not be seen as delegated to a being other than God. Angels might carry out God's will, as servants subject to his command in limited areas of his rule, but God's universal sovereignty itself was intrinsic to the unique divine identity as sole Creator and Ruler of all."284 When every knee bows in heaven and on earth and under the earth at the name of Jesus, all creation is thereby acknowledging that divine sovereignty belongs to Jesus, who has been given the name that is above every name, the name Lord. The second commandment in the Decalogue explicitly prohibits bowing down before anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth because the Lord God is a jealous God (Exod 20:4-5; Deut 5:8-9). Only the Lord God exercises universal sovereignty over all of creation; only to the Sovereign Creator will every knee bow (Isa 45:23). By giving Jesus the name Lord, God gave Jesus divine sovereignty over all creation so that every knee in all of creation would bow to him.


Second, by giving Jesus the name Lord, God declared the divine identity of Jesus. Some scholars, observing the parallels between the Christ hymn and Hellenistic myths of the descent and ascent of gods in the Greek religion, have asserted that the enthronement of Jesus as Lord is similar to the coronation of a deity in the context of Hellenistic polytheism.285 But the use of language from Isaiah 45:23 demonstrates that Jewish monotheism is the background for this hymn. Hence, an understanding of the Jewish context of the name Lord is needed to appreciate the significance of that name. In the Jewish religion, the name Lord (kyrios) is actually a substitute name for the Hebrew divine name YHWH (Yahweh). Whenever Jews saw the divine name YHWH in their Hebrew text, they would not pronounce it for fear of blaspheming or taking in vain the unique divine name of God. Instead they would say a substitute name, the Hebrew name adon, meaning "Lord," for the unpronounceable divine name YHWH. As a result, when the Jews translated their Hebrew scriptures into Greek in the third century B.C. (that translation is called the Septuagint or LXX), they used the Greek name kyrios ("Lord") at least 6,156 times for the unique divine name YHWH.286 Since YHWH was the unique proper name for God, that was the name that was above every name (Phil 2:9). The Jewish prophets proclaimed God's exclusive claim to his own unique name: "I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God" (Isa 45:5-6,18, 21). Jesus was given the name that belonged to God alone. By bearing the name Lord, Jesus was not identified as one of many lords in the pantheon of Hellenistic gods and lords nor as merely a political rival of Lord Caesar. The name Lord identified Jesus with the one and only God of Jewish monotheism, the Creator and Sovereign of all.287

Third, the name Lord points not only to the present sovereignty and identity of Jesus but also to his future destiny. The acknowledgment of every tongue that Jesus Christ is Lord is a future event.288 Already God has given the name Lord to Jesus, but not yet does Jesus receive universal acknowledgment as Lord. This already-not yet tension inherent in the name Lord is the structure of the eschatological vision of the exaltation of Jesus in the hymn of Christ. The vision of Isaiah 45 anticipated the ultimate vindication of the Lord when every knee bows to him and every tongue swears to him: "'In the LORD alone are deliverance and strength"' (Isa 45:23-24). By proclaiming God's gift of the name Lord to Jesus, the hymn gives assurance to the church that this ultimate vindication belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. In the midst of present suffering and persecution for her faith in Jesus Christ, the church sings this hymn about the vindication of her faith when every tongue will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. In fact, "the church is the earthly center from which the full Lordship of Christ becomes visible."289 When the church worships Jesus by bowing before him and proclaiming that he is Lord, she embodies the vision of the future submission of all creation to the Lord Jesus. The proclamation that Jesus is Lord announces his destiny: because he has been given the name Lord, he will rule over all creation. Jesus, crucified on a Roman cross, not Caesar seated on a Roman throne, is destined to receive universal acknowledgment that he alone is the sovereign Lord. "In the hymn the Church is caught up from earth to heaven, from the scene of conflict and duress into the presence of the all-conquering Lord, from the harsh realities of what is to the glorious prospect of what will be, because it is so already in God's sight."291

Re: What Are the Arguments for κύριος being 'the Name Above All Names' (Phil 2:9)

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:05 am
by Bernard Muller
to mlinssen,
then you have Philo say something about the Jesus of the canonicals while in fact he is saying something about a Joshua of the Tanakh
That was not what I intended: of course Philo was writing about Joshua son of Nun, and nobody else.

However, I wanted to show that the author of the Philippians hymn and Hebrews used what Philo wrote, but put it in a Christian context, about a different Jesus.

And "the name that is above every name" is "Jesus", and not "Lord".

Cordially, Bernard