Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

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lsayre
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Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by lsayre » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:52 am

9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
With reference to the emboldened section of the above passages, what specifically is "the name" of Jesus to which every knee will bow? Is the name "Jesus" or some other name? I.E., specifically what name was Jesus given by the Father upon his resurrection and exaltation into heaven? If he was known as Jesus from the beginning, it seems odd that Jesus would be the exalted name. And if Jesus was the name, the word "of" (highlighted in red) does not seem as if it should be present. If the exalted Jesus no longer bears the name Jesus, what name does he now bear?
Last edited by lsayre on Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:18 am

lsayre wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:52 am
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
With reference to the emboldened section of the above passages, what specifically is "the name" of Jesus to which every knee will bow? Is the name "Jesus" or some other name? I.E., specifically what name was Jesus given by the Father upon his resurrection and exaltation into heaven? If he was known as Jesus from the beginning, it seems odd that Jesus would be the exalted name. And if Jesus was the name, the word "of" (highlighted in red) does not seem as if it should not be present.
The "name of Jesus" can be Jesus itself:

Genesis 12.8: 8 Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to Yahweh and called upon the name of Yahweh [בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהוָֽה].

The name of Yahweh is, I believe, simply Yahweh, both here and in countless other verses in which this construction is used. This is a somewhat Hebraic way of speaking, nothing more. Same thing goes for 1 Peter, I believe:

1 Peter 4.14-16: 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ [ὀνόματι Χριστοῦ], you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian [ὡς Χριστιανός], let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God.

I think the name of Christ here is simply Christ; hence the reference to suffering as a Christian.

There may possibly be another way to read the passage in Philippians, I think: the name above all names is Yahweh; Jesus bore this name from the beginning, but he divested himself of it as part of his taking on the form of a man (the kenosis of verse 7); then, once he was obedient unto death, he was regiven that same name, Yahweh.

But I have to admit that the passage reads as if the name is new to him. So my currently preferred way of reading it keeps the newness in mind: the figure in the Hymn is called Yahweh from the beginning; he divests himself of his name when he becomes as a man; then he is given the name of all names, which is still Yahweh (in a very real sense), but in a new form: Jesus = Yehoshua = "Yahweh saves" or "Yahweh is salvation," as the highest available honor for his salvific work during his kenosis.
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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by lsayre » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:26 am

Ben, do you believe that this indicates that the "Two Powers in Heaven" conception of the Godhead is likely the position held by the earliest (pre-captivity) Hebrews?

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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by lsayre » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:03 am

I find it odd (awkward) to believe that the exalted name would be the same as the name prior to exaltation. This because the word exaltation in and of itself seems to imply a higher state of being than that which existed prior to exaltation, as opposed to a restoration of the exact same status as before.

Only if exaltation and restoration were synonyms would it seem logical otherwise.

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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:15 am

lsayre wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:26 am
Ben, do you believe that this indicates that the "Two Powers in Heaven" perception is likely the position held by the earliest (perhaps pre captivity) Hebrews?
I am still thinking about all of that, but I do think we find indications in the Hebrew scriptures that there was, for some (at least), a chief deity named El, who had either a son, Yahweh, or many children, including Yahweh. At some point the Shema (Deuteronomy 6.4-5) and other passages forced El and Yahweh together as a single deity, but would the former ways have been completely abandoned, especially among those who were not the religious elites? The historical books of the Hebrew scriptures are full of examples (whether historical or not) of the people not abandoning the old ways.

Paul gives us his own reworked version of the Shema, if you will, in a sort of poetic form (what follows here derives in no small part from Richard Bauckham):

1 Corinthians 8.5-6: 5 For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

8.6 ἀλλ᾽ ἡμῖν εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ
ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν,
καὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς
δι᾽ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς δι᾽ αὐτοῦ.

I am not sure our categories are fully able to express what Paul seems to be saying here. Is he a binitarian, a ditheist? He says that there is only one God. Is he a strict monotheist, then, or at least a henotheist? He says that there is (also) one Lord, who seems to be a different personage.

And notice the prepositions he uses here for God and for Jesus: "God, the Father, from whom (ἐξ οὗ) are all things, and we exist for him (εἰς αὐτόν)," and "Jesus Christ, through whom (δι᾽ οὗ) are all things, and we exist through him (δι᾽ αὐτοῦ)." Greek and Roman philosophers had a tradition of using prepositions like this to speak of God or of the idea of divinity. For example:

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 4.23: 23 Πᾶν μοι συναρμόζει ὃ σοὶ εὐάρμοστόν ἐστιν, ὦ κόσμε· οὐδέν μοι πρόωρον οὐδὲ ὄψιμον ὃ σοὶ εὔκαιρον. πᾶν μοι καρπὸς ὃ φέρουσιν αἱ σαὶ ὧραι, ὦ φύσις· ἐκ σοῦ πάντα, ἐν σοὶ πάντα, εἰς σὲ πάντα. ἐκεῖνος μέν φησιν· «<ὦ> πόλι φίλη Κέκροπος»· σὺ δὲ οὐκ ἐρεῖς· «ὦ πόλι φίλη Διός»; / 23 Whatsoever thy seasons bear, shall ever by me be esteemed as happy fruit, and increase. O Nature! From thee are all things, in thee all things subsist, and to thee all tend. Could he say of Athens, Thou lovely city of Cecrops; and shalt not thou say of the world, Thou lovely city of God?

Pseudo-Aristotle, On the World 6: 6 It remains now to discuss summarily, as the rest has been discussed, the cause that holds the world together; for in describing the cosmos, if not in detail, at least sufficiently to convey an outline, it would be wrong for us to omit altogether that which is supreme in the cosmos. It is indeed an ancient idea, traditional among all mankind, that all things are from God and are constituted for us through God [ἐκ θεοῦ πάντα καὶ διὰ θεοῦ ἡμῖν συνέστηκεν], and nothing is self-sufficient if deprived of his preserving influence.

There is also Asclepius 34, attributed to Apuleius, which says that omnia enim ab eo et in ipso et per ipsum ("for all things are from him and in him and through him," referring to God, deus).

Whereas the philosophers take these prepositional phrases and apply them to a single idea of divinity, Paul seems to split them up between God the Father and Jesus Christ. It is less as if God and Jesus are two different gods, "two powers in heaven," so to speak, and more as if they are two aspects of the same god, if that makes sense. And yet, in other respects, Paul very clearly calls Jesus the son of God (and God the father of Jesus), as if they were two members of the same pantheon, like Zeus and Ares: father and son.

It really is no wonder that the later Trinitarians wrestled so much with every single little detail of the exact language used to describe these divine relationships. And it is not even as though Paul took what was crystal clear from the Hebrew scriptures and muddied it; there were things which were already a bit confusing in the LXX, for instance:

Isaiah 45.18a, 23, 25: 18a Thus says Yahweh, who made the heaven, this God who created the earth...: 23 "By myself I swear, righteousness shall surely proceed out of my mouth; my words shall not be frustrated, that to me [ἐμοὶ] every knee shall bend, and every tongue shall swear by God [τῷ θεῷ]. .... 25 By the Lord shall they be justified, and in God shall all the seed of the children of Israel be glorified."

This is obviously one of the passages which lies behind the Jesus Hymn in Philippians 2.5-11, and here already we have what seems to be Yahweh, the one speaking, both claiming in verse 18 that he is one person, both God and Lord, but then speaking about God in the third person in verse 23. Paul follows suit while quoting this passage elsewhere:

Romans 14.9-11: 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God."

In Philippians 2.10-11, granted, it is Jesus who is receiving both kinds of homage (knees bowing and tongues confessing), but at least the second kind of homage (tongues confessing) is "to the glory of the Father," possibly reflecting this division in Isaiah 45.25 between the Lord receiving the first kind and God receiving the other.
I find it odd (awkward) to believe that the exalted name would be the same as the name prior to exaltation. This because the word exaltation in and of itself seems to imply a higher state of being than that which existed prior to exaltation, as opposed to a restoration of the exact same status as before.
That is rather my sense of it, as well. I think it makes more sense, and the wording of the passage itself seems to suggest, that the name bestowed at the exaltation should be new to the figure receiving it. I am, however, as yet unable to completely rule out the other interpretation in a strict logical sense.
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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by iskander » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:22 pm

lsayre wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:03 am
I find it odd (awkward) to believe that the exalted name would be the same as the name prior to exaltation. This because the word exaltation in and of itself seems to imply a higher state of being than that which existed prior to exaltation, as opposed to a restoration of the exact same status as before.

Only if exaltation and restoration were synonyms would it seem logical otherwise.
Jesus was crowned ( exaltation). Like Napoleon Bonaparte was ---and many other successful men and women


exaltation
formal the act of raising someone to a higher rank or more powerful position
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... exaltation

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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by neilgodfrey » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:30 pm

We certainly don't expect a "name above all names" to be a very common personal name, but then we don't expect a very common personal name -- the name itself -- to have magical power when associated with a particular deity, either. Yet we do find the name of Jesus itself being chanted as having a magical power. From The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation:
Place olive branches beforc him, I and stand behind him and say:
"Hail, God ofAbraham; hail, God of Isaac; hail, God of Jacob; Jesus Chrestos,
the Holy Spirit, the Son of the Father, who is above the Seven, / who is within
the Seven. Bring Iao Sabaoth; may your power issue forth from him, NN, until
you drive away this unclean daimon Satan, who is in him. I conjure you,daimon, ---- p. 62
After placing [the patient] opposite [to you], conjure. This is the conjuration:
"I conjure you by the god of the Hebrews, / Jesus, IABA IAE ABRAOTHA ..... etc. p. 96
A phylactery for fever:
"SARICH ............ "Of Jesus Christ, son of IAO (?),
AORKACH .......... quickly, quickly,
/ ROUGACH........ heal!..." .... p. 323
Ditto in Acts 3:16 -- healing was performed by or in the name of Jesus

But in Acts 19:13 some mere nobodies or charlatans tried to use the name of Jesus to perform a miracle but they were punished and made to look complete idiots. The magical power of the name only worked if deployed by people with the right credentials.

Otherwise it was nothing more than a powerless common name.

Matthew and Luke tell us that the name was assigned even before birth of Jesus. So we see here a paradox. Why would a common everyday name be selected to be assigned prior to birth unless there was something else associated with that name when assigned to a person with a particular role?

In John Jesus said he performed miracles by the power of his father's name. So a name itself has power -- but not absolutely. It only has power in the hands of a rightly credentialed user. Otherwise the demons will get ya -- as we see in Acts.

Such a paradox is addressed by John Moles, a classicist, who wrote a lengthy article arguing why such a common name as Jesus (or in Greek, Jason) could indeed, in the gospels and letters of Paul (Paul speaks of doing or saying things "in the name of Jesus") be found to have a distinctly special power:
But it was even more than a divine name: for the early Christians the
name ‘Jesus’ was a ‘transcendental signifier’.189 The early Christians ‘knew’
that Ἰησοῦς would ‘heal’ (and ‘save’) everything and everyone. They also
‘knew’ that the curse of Babel would finally be undone by universal acceptance,
and proclamation, of the name of Ἰησοῦς (cf. Philippians 2.9–10). ‘Jesus’
was the ‘name’ above all names; ‘Jesus’ was also the incarnate ‘word’ of
God; ‘Jesus’ was the sound that would resolve all discord. Again, the totalising
linguistic unity of ‘Jesus’ as supreme ‘name’ and ‘Jesus’ as logos generated
a religious energy and intensity quite unavailable through ‘Yahweh’ or
through Greek or Latin words for ‘G/god’.

Consequently, ‘Jesus’ had irresistible ‘healing’ power to ‘heal’ the Jews
beyond their historical rejection of him, beyond their rejection of the renewed
Jesus movement, beyond their punishment in the Jewish War, beyond
all their future rejections of him. Thus the early Christian historiographical
theodicy of the Jewish War is both like and distinctively different
from the theodicy of Josephus, Jewish historian and (eventual) supporter
of Rome.190

All of the above observations are the more paradoxical for the very
commonness of ‘Jesus’ as a male Palestinian Jewish name.
This paradox itself
requires explanation. The explanation must be that those of his followers
who accepted Jesus’ resurrection (some, of course, did not) found in it decisive
validation of his entire healing ministry.

So much for the significances of the pun on the level of meaning. But the
phenomenon also illustrates things on the level of praxis.

Not least is the effect of the sheer repetitiveness of the naming and the
associated punning: like Classical education, Jewish and Christian education
emphasised the importance of memorising tags as a way of dinning in basic
truths.
Of course, none of the above addresses the question of how that name happened to be assigned after the resurrection of this person.

For that we have Guignebert concluding that Jesus was not the name of our hero at all in his lifetime but was assigned posthumously:
In other words, the name of Jesus has a peculiar power over the whole of creation, so that the spiritual beings of the world, who rule the elements and the stars, prostrate themselves at the sound of it. . . .

The most reasonable and probable explanation, if we reflect for a moment, is that the original followers of Christ, those, that is, who first recognized him as Christ, the Messiah, gave him a name which set him above humanity and expressed his divine nature. . . . .

It would be perfectly consistent with the process of “mythication” which the whole figure of Christ underwent, and which is already manifest in the Gospels. . . . . (p. 77ff)
Or as some mischievous ne'er do wells are wont to say, the man Jesus wandering around in a pre-resurrection state was a late invention.

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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:17 am

So Rylands:
It is easy to understand why the name Jesus should have eventually displaced all the other names under which Gnostics worshipped the Logos, seeing that Jesus signifies helper, healer, or saviour. This name would suggest the Greek word “ Iesis ” = healing. Iaso (genitive Iasous) was goddess of health and daughter of Asclepios. Jason, again, was revered as a divine being in Thessaly and on the borders of Asia, and was regarded as a healer or saviour. The name Jason was, in fact, taken as a Greek equivalent of Joshua.2
(Did Jesus Ever Live?, p. 84, emphasis mine)
The note 2 says:
Josephus, Antiquities, xii. v. i.

So Josephus in the specified passage:
1. ABOUT this time, upon the death of Onias the high priest, they gave the high priesthood to Jesus his brother; for that son which Onias left [or Onias IV.] was yet but an infant; and, in its proper place, we will inform the reader of all the circumstances that befell this child. But this Jesus, who was the brother of Onias, was deprived of the high priesthood by the king, who was angry with him, and gave it to his younger brother, whose name also was Onias; for Simon had these three sons, to each of which the priesthood came, as we have already informed the reader. This Jesus changed his name to Jason, but Onias was called Menelaus. Now as the former high priest, Jesus, raised a sedition against Menelaus, who was ordained after him, the multitude were divided between them both. And the sons of Tobias took the part of Menelaus, but the greater part of the people assisted Jason; and by that means Menelaus and the sons of Tobias were distressed, and retired to Antiochus, and informed him that they were desirous to leave the laws of their country, and the Jewish way of living according to them, and to follow the king's laws, and the Grecian way of living. Wherefore they desired his permission to build them a Gymnasium at Jerusalem. (15) And when he had given them leave, they also hid the circumcision of their genitals, that even when they were naked they might appear to be Greeks. Accordingly, they left off all the customs that belonged to their own country, and imitated the practices of the other nations.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:28 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:17 am
So Rylands:
It is easy to understand why the name Jesus should have eventually displaced all the other names under which Gnostics worshipped the Logos, seeing that Jesus signifies helper, healer, or saviour. This name would suggest the Greek word “ Iesis ” = healing. Iaso (genitive Iasous) was goddess of health and daughter of Asclepios. Jason, again, was revered as a divine being in Thessaly and on the borders of Asia, and was regarded as a healer or saviour. The name Jason was, in fact, taken as a Greek equivalent of Joshua.2
(Did Jesus Ever Live?, p. 84, emphasis mine)
The note 2 says:
Josephus, Antiquities, xii. v. i.

So Josephus in the specified passage:
1. ABOUT this time, upon the death of Onias the high priest, they gave the high priesthood to Jesus his brother; for that son which Onias left [or Onias IV.] was yet but an infant; and, in its proper place, we will inform the reader of all the circumstances that befell this child. But this Jesus, who was the brother of Onias, was deprived of the high priesthood by the king, who was angry with him, and gave it to his younger brother, whose name also was Onias; for Simon had these three sons, to each of which the priesthood came, as we have already informed the reader. This Jesus changed his name to Jason, but Onias was called Menelaus. Now as the former high priest, Jesus, raised a sedition against Menelaus, who was ordained after him, the multitude were divided between them both. And the sons of Tobias took the part of Menelaus, but the greater part of the people assisted Jason; and by that means Menelaus and the sons of Tobias were distressed, and retired to Antiochus, and informed him that they were desirous to leave the laws of their country, and the Jewish way of living according to them, and to follow the king's laws, and the Grecian way of living. Wherefore they desired his permission to build them a Gymnasium at Jerusalem. (15) And when he had given them leave, they also hid the circumcision of their genitals, that even when they were naked they might appear to be Greeks. Accordingly, they left off all the customs that belonged to their own country, and imitated the practices of the other nations.
Bauckham agrees (in chapter 5 of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses):

Also of interest is the proportion of Greek names in the population. This is a much more difficult matter, since probably considerably more Jews bore both a Semitic and a Greek name than we are able to tell from our sources. Usually only one of the two names would be used on any particular occasion, and so in most cases only one would occur in our sources. (For example, it is likely that the twelve Jews called Jason in our sources also bore one of the similar-sounding Hebrew names, Joshua or Joseph. Some of the twenty-four Jews called Alexander may also have been called Benjamin, the Hebrew name for which Alexander was treated as the Greek equivalent.)

....

The two names may well have been treated as sound equivalents, just as Joseph (or Jesus) and Justus, Reuben and Rufus, Jesus and Jason, Saul (Hebrew Shaul) and Paul (Latin Paulus) evidently were.

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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:03 am

I wonder whether it was the nomen sacrum IH which was the divine name referenced in Philippians given (a) the early Christian interest and (b) its going back to 'life' (through numerology) in Hebrew. Most people unfortunately read Irenaeus 'within the spaces' allotted with the chapter breaks so they have a disjointed read when the stumble across this chapter:
And not only in the case of this woman have the years of her infirmity (which they affirm to fit in with their figment) been mentioned, but, lo! another woman was also healed, after suffering in like manner for eighteen years; concerning whom the Lord said, "And ought not this daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound during eighteen years, to be set free on the Sabbath-day?"(1) If, then, the former was a type of the twelfth Aeon that suffered, the latter should also be a type of the eighteenth Aeon in suffering. But they cannot maintain this; otherwise their primary and original Ogdoad will be included in the number of Aeons who suffered together. Moreover, there was also a certain other person(2) healed by the Lord, after he had suffered for eight-and-thirty years: they ought therefore to affirm that the Aeon who occupies the thirty-eighth place suffered. For if they assert that the things which were done by the Lord were types of what took place in the Pleroma, the type ought to be preserved throughout. But they can neither adapt to their fictitious system the case of her who was cured after eighteen years, nor of him who was cured after thirty-eight years. Now, it is in every way absurd and inconsistent to declare that the Saviour preserved the type in certain cases, while He did not do so in others. The type of the woman, therefore, [with the issue of blood] is shown to have no analogy to their system of Aeons.
It sounds like Irenaeus is saying that 'there isn't any symbolic numerology in the Christian scriptures.' However when we stand back and think about it we realize at once that Irenaeus does not say this at all. He thinks 666 is a numerological cipher and he goes on to speak numerologically about the name of Jesus.

Indeed if we actually read the material WITHOUT chapter breaks and going forward to the next paragraph suddenly there is a different context:
And not only in the case of this woman have the years of her infirmity (which they affirm to fit in with their figment) been mentioned, but, lo! another woman was also healed, after suffering in like manner for eighteen years; concerning whom the Lord said, "And ought not this daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound during eighteen years, to be set free on the Sabbath-day?"(1) If, then, the former was a type of the twelfth Aeon that suffered, the latter should also be a type of the eighteenth Aeon in suffering. But they cannot maintain this; otherwise their primary and original Ogdoad will be included in the number of Aeons who suffered together. Moreover, there was also a certain other person(2) healed by the Lord, after he had suffered for eight-and-thirty years: they ought therefore to affirm that the Aeon who occupies the thirty-eighth place suffered. For if they assert that the things which were done by the Lord were types of what took place in the Pleroma, the type ought to be preserved throughout. But they can neither adapt to their fictitious system the case of her who was cured after eighteen years, nor of him who was cured after thirty-eight years. Now, it is in every way absurd and inconsistent to declare that the Saviour preserved the type in certain cases, while He did not do so in others. The type of the woman, therefore, [with the issue of blood] is shown to have no analogy to their system of Aeons.

This very thing, too, still further demonstrates their opinion false, and their fictitious system untenable, that they endeavour to bring forward proofs of it, sometimes through means of numbers and the syllables of names, sometimes also through the letter of syllables, and yet again through those numbers which are, according to the practice followed by the Greeks, contained in [different] letters demonstrates in the clearest manner their overthrow or confusion, as well as the untenable and perverse character of their [professed] knowledge. For, transferring the name Jesus, which belongs to another language, to the numeration of the Greeks, they sometimes call it "Episemon," as having six letters, and at other times "the Plenitude of the Ogdoads," as containing the number eight hundred and eighty-eight. But His [corresponding] Greek name, which is "Soter," that is, Saviour, because it does not fit in with their system, either with respect to numerical value or as regards its letters, they pass over in silence. Yet surely, if they regard the names of the Lord, as, in accordance with the preconceived purpose of the Father, by means of their numerical value and letters, indicating number in the Pleroma, Soter, as being a Greek name, ought by means of its letters and the numbers [expressed by these], in virtue of its being Greek, to show forth the mystery of the Pleroma. But the case is not so, because it is a word of five letters, and its numerical value is one thousand four hundred and eight.(6) But these things do not in any way correspond with their Pleroma; the account, therefore, which they give of transactions in the Pleroma cannot be true.

Moreover, Jesus, which is a word belonging to the proper tongue of the Hebrews, contains, as the learned among them declare, two letters and a half, and signifies that Lord who contains heaven and earth; for Jesus in the ancient Hebrew language means "heaven," while again "earth" is expressed by the words sura usser.
My guess now is that the 'number 18' discussion and the challenge Irenaeus puts forward to his opponents has something to do with the 'Hebrew first' and the name of Jesus. I think there is some sort of interrelationship here.
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