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Did Jesus Have a Middle Name?

Did Jesus have a middle name? This is one of the five most frequently asked questions online regarding Jesus. Although we get into some deep theological issues on Parchment & Pen, it’s good to step back once-in-a-while and listen to the questions being asked by our society. Here’s a quick answer to this frequently asked question:

Jesus lived in first century Israel. People during that time were mainly given only a first name. Any additional names would be connected with their village and/or their immediate family. For instance, the apostle Paul (before his life change and subsequent name change) was named, “Saul of Tarsus”. Saul was his first name and Tarsus is the city he was from. The theory is there was probably only one well-known Saul from Tarsus. This naming convention works in a small city. It would not work calling someone “Bill of Chicago.” That wouldn’t be specific enough.

For other people their name came from their family lineage. The successor of Moses, Joshua, his official name in the Bible is “Joshua son of Nun.” Yes, his dad was actually named Nun. Be thankful, unless of course your name is Nun, if so I’m very sorry.
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