It is almost impossible to meet someone with just one name. Today, people are identified by their first names and surnames (last names). Most people have a unique first name and a surname, mainly the family name. Therefore, with this analogy, Jesus becomes the first name of God’s son, but what was his surname? Did Jesus have a last name?
According to existing records, Jesus did not have a last name like most people today have. Most people mistake Christ as the second name of Jesus because they refer to him as Jesus Christ. However, Christ is not the surname of Jesus; it is not even a name. Christ is a title from a Greek word meaning “Chosen One” or “Anointed One.” Most bible characters did not have last names.
Did Jesus have a surname? Was Christ the last name of Jesus according to the New Testament? What are the common names for Jesus in the scripture? Continue reading to find the answers to this question and more.
Did Jesus have a surname?
Available evidence implies that Jesus did not have a surname. Surnames are mostly used to identify the origin of someone’s family. Most people tend to mistake Christ as the surname of Jesus, but it is not. Christ is not a name but a title that can be easily translated to Messiah. The name Jesus Christ thus means Jesus the Messiah and not the second name of Jesus.
During the days of Christ, people did not have last names, but they were often identified with common names or the names of their fathers. For example, Mark 3:17 identifies James as James, the son of Zebedee, Mark 2:14 identifies Levi as Levi, the son of Alpheus, and Mark 10:46 identifies Bartimaeus as the son of Timaeus.
Aside from their fathers, another way to identify people during those days was by their surnames. Jesus was often referred to in the scripture as “Jesus of Nazareth.” Luke 24:19 notes, “And he said unto them, what things? And they said unto him, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet might in deed and word before God and all the people.”
Was Christ Jesus’ last name in the New Testament?
Many scholars and theologians agree that Christ was not Jesus’ last name. Christ is not a name but a title that means the “Chosen One” or Messiah. Though many people mistake the title Christ as Jesus’ second name, it is not. Some verses in the Bible try to show the distinction between the title Christ and Jesus’ name. Acts 18:5 notes, “and when Silas and Timotheus were coming from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.” In other words, Paul was making it clear that, indeed, Jesus is the Messiah, meaning that Christ is not his last name but his title.
Therefore, Christ was not the last name of Jesus but was a way of identifying his mission in the word. Aside from Christ, Jesus had several other titles. He was identified as Immanuel, Son of God, “name above all names,” and even Christ in the New Testament.
What are the common names for Jesus in the Bible?
Jesus had several titles that meant different things about him. Most of them described his character, nature, and mission that he came to accomplish in the world. Some of the authors of the books in the New Testament used specific names more often than others, which was also a similar trend among his followers.
The most common name used in the Scripture is Jesus. According to Hebrew, the name Jesus means Joshua, which translates to Messiah. The Gospel of Mathew notes that Jesus means savior. Mathew 1:21 notes, “she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Another common title that the scripture uses when referring to Jesus is Christ. Christ simply means “Messiah” or the “Anointed One.” Just like the name Jesus referred to Savior, Christ also had a different meaning about Jesus. It identified Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah.
Other names used to Identify Jesus include Immanuel, Nazarene, Son of Man, Son of David, Son of God, Servant, Lamb of God, Word, Lord, God, Mediator, High Priest, and Last Adam. Lamb of God was a title given to Jesus by John the Baptist, reflecting the sinless nature of Jesus. In 1st Timothy 2:5, Jesus is referred to as the mediator, meaning he has come to mend the rift between God and people.
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