The Names and Titles of Jesus Christ

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In the Bible and other Christian texts, Jesus Christ is known by a variety of names and titles, from the Lamb of God to the Almighty to the Light of the World. Some titles, such as the Savior, express Christ's role within the theological framework of Christianity, while others are primarily metaphorical.

Common Names and Titles for Jesus Christ

In the Bible alone, there are more than 150 different titles used in reference to Jesus Christ. However, some titles are much more common than others:

  1. Christ: The title "Christ" is derived from the Greek Christós and means "the anointed one." It is used in Matthew 16:20: "Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ." The title also appears at the very beginning of the Book of Mark: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
  2. Son of God: Jesus is referred to as the "Son of God" throughout the New Testament—for example, in Matthew 14:33, after Jesus walks on water: "And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'" The title emphasizes Jesus's divinity.
  3. Lamb of God: This title appears only once in the Bible, though in a crucial passage, John 1:29: "The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" The identification of Jesus with the lamb emphasizes Christ's innocence and obedience before God, an essential aspect of the crucifixion.
  4. New Adam: In the Old Testament, it is Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, who precipitate the fall of man by eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. A passage in First Corinthians 15:22 positions Jesus as a new, or second, Adam who by his sacrifice will redeem the fallen man: "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."
  1. Light of the World: This is a title Jesus bestows on himself in John 8:12: "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" Light is used in its traditional metaphorical sense, as the energy that allows the blind to see.
  2. Lord: In First Corinthians 12:3, Paul writes that "no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says 'Jesus is accursed!' and no one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except in the Holy Spirit." The simple "Jesus is Lord" became an expression of devotion and faith among early Christians.
  3. Logos (The Word): The Greek logos can be understood to mean "reason" or "word." As a title for Jesus, it first appears in John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Later in the same book, the "Word," synonymous with God, is also identified with Jesus: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."
  1. Bread of Life: This is another self-bestowed title, which appears in John 6:35: "Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.'" The title identifies Jesus as a source of spiritual sustenance.
  2. Alpha and Omega: These symbols, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, are used in reference to Jesus in the Book of Revelation: "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life." Many Biblical scholars believe the symbols represent the eternal rule of God.
  3. Good Shepherd: This title is another reference to Jesus's sacrifice, this time in the form of a metaphor that appears in John 10:11: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

Other Titles

The titles above are just a few of those that appear throughout the Bible. Other significant titles include:

  1. Advocate: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)
  2. Amen, The: "And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.'" (Revelation 3:14)
  3. Beloved Son: "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles." (Matthew 12:18)
  4. Captain of Salvation: "For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." (Hebrews 2:10)
  5. Consolation of Israel: "Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him." (Luke 2:25)
  6. Counsellor: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
  1. Deliverer: "And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, 'The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.'" (Romans 11:26)
  2. God Blessed: "To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen." (Romans 9:5)
  3. Head of the Church: "And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church." (Ephesians 1:22)
  4. Holy One: "But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you." (Acts 3:14)
  5. I Am: "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'" (John 8:58)
  6. Image of God: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Corinthians 4:4)
  7. Jesus of Nazareth: "And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee." (Matthew 21:11)
  8. King of the Jews: "Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2)
  1. Lord of Glory: "Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1 Corinthians 2:8)
  2. Messiah: "He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ." (John 1:41)
  3. Mighty One: "Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob." (Isaiah 60:16)
  4. Nazarene: "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." (Matthew 2:23)
  5. Prince of Life: "And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses." (Acts 3:15)
  6. Redeemer: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." (Job 19:25)
  7. Rock: "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:4)
  1. Son of David: "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Matthew 1:1)
  2. True Vine: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." (John 15:1)