What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name? October 15, 2016

Here’s a piece I did for OSV on the significance of the use of names in the gospels:

Have you ever wondered why you know the names of certain characters in the Gospels? Why do you know the name of blind Bartimaeus, who begged by the roadside at Jericho (Mk 10:46-52)? Why do you know, not only the name of Simon of Cyrene but (in Mark’s Gospel) the name of his two sons, Alexander and Rufus, as well? Why do you know Jairus’ name? Or the name of one guy on the Emmaus road but not the other?

Short answer: Because ancient word processors did not have a footnote function.

The more I read the gospels, the more obvious it is that we are listening to eyewitness testimony to extraordinary events, not reading myth or fiction.

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