In my name / In the name of
In this study we examine the meaning of ‘in my name’ and ‘in the name of’, whereby ‘in’ is the translation of different Greek words, as explained in the ‘Word study of the little Greek words epi, en, eis’.
Each of these little Greek words has its own meaning, which can influence the interpretation of different Bible texts.
In this study we attempt to ascertain their meaning.
In order to understand the Bible texts correctly it is important to know what ‘the name’ means.
Word study of: the name.
‘The name’ is the translation of the Greek ‘onoma’.
The Greek/Dutch dictionary translates ‘onoma’ as:
- word, expression
- reputation, title, dignity
There is more to this, therefore, than simply someone’s name, for ‘onoma’ also indicates who the person is:
- word: what someone says
- reputation: the praise and honour someone receives from others
- title: that is given to someone and under which a function is exercised
- dignity: the manner in which someone behaves in life
All the Bible texts containing ‘in my name’ and ‘in the name of’.
All the texts quoted below are from the NIV translation, subdivided according to the Greek word used, and translated as ‘in’, in the expressions ‘in my name’ and ‘in the name of’.
1. All the Bible texts in which ‘in’ is the translation of ‘epi’.
And whoever welcomes one such child in (epi) my name (authority) welcomes me. (Matthew 18:5 / Mark 9:37 / Luke 9:48)
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in (epi) my name (authority) can in the next moment say anything bad about me, … (Mark 9:39)
They (the Sanhedrin) called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in (epi) the name (authority) of Jesus, and let them go. (Acts 5:40)
The Greek word ‘epi’ and the declension used for ‘the name’ (the dative in every case here) adds clarification to the preceding act:
- receiving a child (Matthew 18:5 / Mark 9:37 / Luke 9:48)
Only those who receive a child as a present from Jesus, receive Him in the child.
- performing a miracle (Mark 9:39)
Whoever does something in the authority of Jesus will not be able to speak ill of Jesus afterwards.
- forbidding to speak (Acts 5:40)
The apostles are not forbidden to say anything at all.
They are only forbidden to speak in the name of Jesus.
The emphasis lies therefore on the act.
The addition ‘in the name’ clarifies, or limits, the disposition from which the act takes place.
2. All the Bible texts in which ‘in’ is the translation of ‘eis’.
For where two or three gather in (eis) my name (authority), there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
The Greek ‘eis’ presupposes a removal to the place where the act takes place.
One could say that one is seeking the authority in the meeting – the will of Jesus Christ and that one wishes to place oneself under His authority in the decision making.
See the study ‘2 or 3 witnesses’ for further explanation.
Texts in which ‘in’ is the translation of ‘eis’, which are discussed in other studies:
Two texts which are discussed separately in the study: Believing in Jesus Christ.
… because they have not believed in (eis) the name (authority) of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:18)
I write these things to you who believe in (eis) the name (authority) of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)
A few texts which are discussed separately in the study: Baptize in the New Testament.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in (eis) the name (authority) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
… they had simply been baptized in (eis) the name (authority) of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 8:16)
On hearing this, they were baptized in (eis) the name (authority) of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:5)
Were you baptized in (eis) the name (authority) of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:13)
… so no one can say that you were baptised in (eis) my name (authority). (1 Corinthians 1:15)
3. All the Bible texts in which ‘in’ is the translation of ‘en’.
The little Greek word ‘en’ indicates the place where an act takes place.
There are very many Bible texts in which the Greek ‘en’ is translated as ‘in’.
The texts quoted below are only those in which the emphasis lies on the fact that the act takes place ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ or of God’.
In other words: in the authority of Jesus Christ or of God.
In effect, ‘In the name of Jesus’ means: (standing) in the authority of Jesus.
With reference to the driving out of evil spirits:
And these signs will accompany those who believe: In (en) my name (authority) they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; … (Mark 16:17)
When a believer drives evil spirits out ‘in the name of’, this means that he/she acts on the authority that Jesus gives him/her in the specific situation.
With reference to prayer:
And I will do whatever you ask in (en) my name (authority), so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in (en) my name (authority). (John 16:23)
Only that which is prayed for in the authority of Jesus will be received.
This means therefore, when that which is requested is in accordance with His will.
Living under authority:
I have come in (en) my Father’s name (authority), and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in (en) his own name (authority), you will accept him. (John 5:43)
When Jesus says that He has come ‘in the name of His Father’, this means that Jesus acts on the authority the Father has given Him.
When He says that someone comes ‘in his own name’, this means that this person acts under his own authority and has no other authority above him, to whom he has to give account.
Remember too, in the texts quoted below, that in the expression ‘in the name’, the little word ‘in’ indicates the place where the act takes place, i.e. in Jesus or in His authority.
Standing or acting in His authority as well.
Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in (en) my name (authority) because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. (Mark 9:41)
Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in (en) his name (authority). (John 2:23)
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in (en) my name (authority), will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in (en) the name (authority) of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
(Matthew 21:9/23:39 / Mark 11:9 / Luke 13:35/19:38 / John 12:13)
Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in (en) my Father’s name (authority) testify about me, …
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in (en) his name (authority). (John 20:31)
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In (en) the name (authority) of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6)
But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in (en) (authority) the name of Jesus. (Acts 9:27 / 9:28)
She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In (en) the name (authority) of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. (Acts 16:18)
… always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in (en) the name (authority) of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
… that at (en) the name (authority) of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, …
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in (en) the name (authority) of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
In (en) the name (authority) of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in (en) the name (authority) of the Lord. (James 5:14)
Texts in which ‘in’ is the translation of ‘en’ which are discussed in another study:
An important statement of Jesus which is discussed in the study: Protect them in the power of your Name.
Holy Father, protect them by (en) the power of your name (authority), the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11)
A text which is discussed in the study ‘Baptism in the New Testament.
So he ordered that they be baptised in (en) the name (authority) of Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:48)
The correct interpretation of the above-mentioned texts is determined by one little word, which is able to have an important influence on the meaning of a text.
More texts are referred to in the study ‘In: résumé and a few Bible texts’, in which it is important to interpret the translation of the little words ‘en’ and ‘eis’ according to the meaning in Greek.
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In my name / In the name of.