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Tuesday, May 29 [Christ] gave some as apostles.​—Eph. 4:11.


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Tuesday, May 29

[Christ] gave some as apostles.—Eph. 4:11.

 

Although the governing body had authority in the early congregation, they acknowledged that their Leader was Jesus. “Let us by love grow up in all things into him who is the head, Christ,” wrote the apostle Paul. (Eph. 4:15) Instead of naming themselves after a prominent apostle, “the disciples were by divine providence called Christians.” (Acts 11:26) True, Paul acknowledged the importance of “holding fast the traditions,” or Scripturally based practices, given by the apostles and other men who took the lead. Nevertheless, he added: “But I want you to know that the head of every man [including every member of the governing body] is the Christ; . . . in turn, the head of the Christ is God.” (1 Cor. 11:2, 3) Yes, under his Head, Jehovah God, the invisible and glorified Christ Jesus was leading the congregation. w17.02 4:7

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Instead of naming themselves after a prominent apostle, “the disciples were by divine providence called Christians.” (Acts 11:26)

 

I thought this was interesting because I don't remember ever thinking about how the name "Christians" was started.

 

w00 7/15 25-26

 

Called Christians by Divine Providence

For a whole year, Barnabas and Saul “taught quite a crowd, and it was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians.” It is unlikely that the Jews were the first to call Jesus’ followers Christians (Greek) or Messianists (Hebrew), for they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, or Christ, and therefore would not tacitly recognize him as such by calling his followers Christians. Some think that the heathen population may have nicknamed them Christians in jest or out of scorn. The Bible, however, shows that the name Christians was God-given.—Acts 11:26.

 

In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the verb used in connection with the new name, generally translated “were called,” is always associated with something supernatural, oracular, or divine. Scholars thus render it “to utter an oracle,” “divinely intimate,” or “to give a divine command or admonition, to teach from heaven.” Since Jesus’ followers were called Christians “by divine providence,” it is possible that Jehovah directed Saul and Barnabas to give the name.

 

The new name stuck. Jesus’ disciples could no longer be mistaken for a sect of Judaism, from which they were quite distinct. By about 58 C.E., Roman officials knew very well who the Christians were. (Acts 26:28) According to the historian Tacitus, by 64 C.E., the name was current among the masses in Rome too.


Edited by boodles
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