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Christ among the MessiahsChrist Language in Paul and Messiah Language in Ancient Judaism$
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Matthew V. Novenson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844579.001.0001

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Names, Titles, and Other Possibilities

Names, Titles, and Other Possibilities

(p.64) 3 Names, Titles, and Other Possibilities
Christ among the Messiahs

Matthew V. Novenson

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question whether the word “Christ” in Paul is used as a title or as a proper name. It is argued, against current majority opinion, that it is not the case that titles have sense while names have only reference, and that in Paul’s linguistic context, anyway, there were many more onomastic categories than just those two. A survey of ancient Jewish, Greek, and Roman onomastics reveals that “Christ” in Paul functions syntactically neither as a name nor as a title but rather as an honorific, an adopted epithet that can either stand with or stand in for the bearer’s personal name (e.g., Antiochus Epiphanes, Caesar Augustus, Shimon bar Kokhba, Jesus Christ).

Keywords:   honorific, onomastics, proper name, reference, sense, title

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