Whats in a name.

Martin Shields has written a brilliant article titled “Whats in a name.”

He is critiquing the following point Thomas R. Schreiner made at Moore Theological College on the topic of “What the Bible says about Women in Ministry.”

While briefly making reference to Genesis 1–3 he made a particular point that the man’s act of naming the animals and the woman is an exercise of authority on his part, and hence demonstrates his position of authority over the animals and the woman.

Martin argues the point well that naming is never an act of dominion.

The problem is that naming is not invariably a demonstration of authority. While it often does seem to express dominion over that which is named, there are some very clear examples where naming clearly does not express dominion.

The first is the most potent. In Gen 16:13 we read the following:

ותקרא שם יהוה הדבר אליה אתה אל ראי

Then [Hagar] named Yhwh who had spoken to her, “You are El-Roi…”

Here Hagar names Yhwh. If naming invariably expresses dominion, then Hagar would here be claiming dominion over Yhwh. The text, however, does not view Hagar’s actions negatively.1

I highly recommend you read his article.

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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