What is the Lord's "new name"?


“He that shall overcome, i will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; and he shall go out no more; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and my new name” Apocalypse 3:12

This passage mentions the Lord will write his new name on the saints. What is his new name, what was his old name???:confused::shrug:


I would imagine that context is the clue here. The person who is speaking is Christ. In Chapter 1 Verse 12, when the vision begins, we see that John turns to see the Son of Man, who then dictates to him these words to record for each of the churches (or types of churches). It might even elude to the sign of the cross, some have posited.

There was an ancient custom of writing names on pillars and palaces. Here we see Christ claiming that we would be a pillar in the temple of God. Then we would be written on, to show who owns us.

The Name of God (the Father)
The Name of the New Jerusalem, the Church, which represents the visible work of the Holy Spirit in the World (The Spirit)
And my New Name, the Person speaking, Jesus Christ. Who at the beginning of time was only known as the Son, but now is named Jesus ben Joseph, the Messiah, the Christ (The son).

So loosely, you will be inscribed with the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It also infers that we will understand the full glory of who Christ is, we will know him completely at that point. What we see dimly now, what we understand only partially, we will know completely. The ancients believed that to know the true name of a deity meant to be a partaker in their power… to be able to take on their nature… This eludes to an understanding that once we truly know the name of Christ, we will be eternal like the trinity. Live forever, etc. ‘Divinization.’

It is eluded to as well in Chapter 19 when we see the Christ coming on the white horse as the ultimate of the ‘judges.’

His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name which no one knows but himself. He is clothed in blood and the name by which he is called is the Word of God

It’s almost as if John is saying that at the end of time, those of us who remain faithful, who overcome, will be given to eat of that tree of life that Adam and Eve never partook of. (I find it interesting that they were commanded not to eat of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but were free to eat of the tree of life and never did.) We will be given the very nature of God, inscribed, sealed, by the name of all three of the trinity. At that point, we will know the Logos, the Word, completely.


The phrase itself is a reference to Isaiah 62.

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.
The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
which the mouth of the LORD will give.

You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken (Azubah),
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate (Shemamah);
but you shall be called My delight is in her (Hephzibah),
and your land Married (Beulah);
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land shall be married.

‘My new name’ is likely parallel with ‘new Jerusalem’; in other words, Jesus is being equated with the true Jerusalem or Israel.

We aren’t exactly told what the ‘new name’ is at this point. Some think that it is actually referring to the Name Yhwh - in other words, Jesus is identified with God the Father (“I will write on him the name of my God … and my own new name”). Others meanwhile would point to the later vision in chapter 19.

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. …] On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Traditionally, some commentators interpreted the “new name” in a symbolic way: the Name is spoken of as ‘new’ in the sense that in God, there is no such thing as ‘old’. Or, it is ‘new’ in regard to Jesus as the Son of man (His human nature?) The 5th century writer Tyconius (he was a Donatist strictly speaking, but his biblical exegesis influenced orthodox writers like St. Augustine) writes that

“And I will write on him the name of my God.” That is, we are signed with the name of Christian.
“And the name of the city of the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven.” The name of the church that daily comes down from God out of heaven, that is, from the church that is reborn by the Lord. He speaks of it as new because of the newness of the Son of man who is the new Jerusalem. … “Indeed, the name which is above every name.” This name is not new because it refers to the Son of God, who existed before the world and possessed this glory with the Father. Rather, this name is new in regard to the Son of man who died and on the third day rose again and, ascending to the heavens, sits at the right hand of the Father.

St. Bede puts it more concisely: “This is the Christian name, not that it is new to the Son of God, who had this glory before the world was made, but new to the Son of Man, who died and rose again, and sitteth on the right hand of God.”


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