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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Surname

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It seems probable, as indicated in the article Name, that originally a name was the designation of a stock or tribe-like the Grants or Howards-applied by outsiders to a group and subsequently adopted by it. When the stock increased, personal names seem to have been introduced to distinguish the different members. When the number of persons still further increased and intercourse became easier and more common, certain designations derived from some peculiarity were used to distinguish or designate different individuals. All varieties of these may be classed under the general designation ‘surnames.’

An indication of something similar to this in the naming of deities is to be found in the Roman religion.1 [Note: ERE vii. 413.] Royal personages use only their baptismal name, or the first of these when there are more than one. In Europe surnames became common in the Middle Ages, first of all among the land-owning nobles.2 [Note: Hallam, View of the Stale of Europe during the Middle Ages8, London, 1841, pp. 112, 138; Thomas Carlyle, Frederick the Great, 10 vols., do., 1872-73, i. 67.] Surnames are of rare occurrence in the OT. In the NT when a person is referred to by only one name, especially if that be a common one, identification is difficult if not impossible. Thus of John mentioned in Acts 4:6 we know nothing. At least five persons are called Alexander; and of these the Alexanders referred to in Acts 4:6; Acts 19:33, 1 Timothy 1:20 are names and nothing more.

1. Surnames are to be distinguished from

(a) New names.-Apion, an Egyptian of the 2nd cent. a.d., on entering the Egyptian army, changed his name to Antonis Maximus.3 [Note: A. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, Eng. tr., London, 1911, pp. 169, 170.] Similar changes are recorded of Abram, Joseph, Jacob, Solomon, Daniel, Pashhur, Tophet, and even of Jahweh Himself.4 [Note: Genesis 17:5; Genesis 17:15; Genesis 41:45; Genesis 32:28; Genesis 32 :2 Samuel 12:25, Daniel 1:7, Jeremiah 7:32; Jeremiah 20:3, Hosea 2:16.]

(b) Explanatory descriptions to designate anyone more clearly, derived from

(1) Trade.-In Nazareth Joseph was known as ὁ τέκτων,5 [Note: Matthew 13:55.] and Jesus by the same appellation.6 [Note: Mark 6:3.] Alexander, as ὁ χαλκεύς,7 [Note: 2 Timothy 4:14.] occupied a similar position in the town in which he lived, while Simon’s designation, βυρσεύς,8 [Note: Acts 9:43; Acts 10:6; Acts 10:32.] indicates that he was one of many who followed the occupation of a tanner.

(2) Business.-Manaen is designated as Ἡρώδου σύντροφος,9 [Note: Acts 13:1; for meaning see G. A. Deissmann, Bible Studies, Eng. tr., Edinburgh, 1901, p. 310, and Ramsay’s criticism in Exp, 7th ser., vii. [1909] 364.] Matthew as ὁ τελώνης,10 [Note: Matthew 10:3.] Chuza as ἐπίτροπος Ηρώδου.11 [Note: 1 Luke 8:3; Exp, 5th ser., ix. [1899] 118.]

(3) A physical peculiarity.-A certain Simon is differentiated as ὁ λεπρός,12 [Note: Matthew 26:8, Mark 14:3.] another as ὁ καλούμενος Νίγερ,13 [Note: Acts 13:1.] while a third the Church has named ὁ μάγος,14 [Note: Acts 8:9; Justin, Apol. i. 26, 56, ii. 15, Dial. 120.] though that surname is not given him either in the Acts or in Justin Martyr.

(4) Some outstanding feature in a man’s life, as John ὁ βαπτιστής,15 [Note: Matthew 3:1.] Thomas ὁ λεγόμενος Δίδυμος,16 [Note: John 11:16; John 20:24; John 21:2.] Simon who was, but is not surnamed, Φαρισαῖος.17 [Note: Luke 7:40; Luke 7:43-44.]

(5) Names of places.-Cases in which there is annexed to the name a phrase, compounded of ἀπό with the name of a place, forming a designation given to a person from another town or district to distinguish him from those of the same name in the town, much as we speak of ‘Robertson of Brighton.’ Examples of this are: Jesus ὁ ἀπὸ Ναζαρέθ,18 [Note: Matthew 21:11.] Joseph ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθαίας,19 [Note: Matthew 27:57, Mark 15:43, Luke 23:51, John 19:38. May Arimathaea have been the name not of a town but of an estate or even a farm?] Philip ἀπὸ Βηθσαιδά,20 [Note: John 1:45; John 12:21.] Lazarus ἀπὸ Βηθανίας,21 [Note: John 11:1.] Nathanael ἀπὸ Κανὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας.22 [Note: John 21:2.]

(6) Names of relatives.-Cases in which one with a common name has annexed the name of another person with whom he is closely connected, as Ἰάκωβος ὁ τοῦ Ἀλφαίου,1 [Note: Matthew 10:3.] Ἰάκωβος ὁ τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου,2 [Note: Matthew 10:2.] Ἰούδας Ἰακώβου,3 [Note: Luke 6:16, Acts 1:3 (John 14:23, Judges 1:1).] Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ.4 [Note: John 19:25.] This, however, may, in some cases, be a mere explanatory note, more akin to those in which a relationship is actually stated, as James the brother of John , 5 [Note: Acts 12:2.] Mark ὁ ἀνεψιὸς Βαρνάβα,6 [Note: Colossians 4:10.] Mary the mother of James and Joses,7 [Note: Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:40; Mark 15:47; Mark 16:1.] Mary the sister of Lazarus,8 [Note: John 11:1.] Mary the mother of Mark , 9 [Note: Acts 12:12.] Mary the mother of Jesus.10 [Note: Acts 1:14. It is noticeable that neither as a title nor as a surname is the word παρθένος ever applied to her. Another Mary is mentioned in Romans 16:6.]

(c) Names compounded with בַּר.-Closely akin to the foregoing is a group of names whose first component is the Aramaic word בַּר, meaning ‘son.’ These are divisible into three classes:

(1) Those in which only one name is given, represented by Βαρτίμαιος, that is, ‘the son of Timaeus’-a word whose meaning and derivation are both uncertain.11 [Note: Mark 10:46; HDB i. 248.]

(2) Those in which the name may be a surname.-If Nathanael, mentioned only in the Fourth Gospel,12 [Note: John 1:45; John 21:2.] is the Bartholomew mentioned only by the Synoptists,13 [Note: Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14, Acts 1:13.] then Nathanael bore the surname ‘son of Talmai.’ Matthias the successor of Judges 1:14 [Note: Acts 1:23; Acts 1:26.] is called by Aphraates תלמי, and in the Syriac translation of the Church History of Eusebius this is everywhere substituted for Matthias. Nestle therefore suggested that there were two Bartholomews, one known as Nathanael, and the other as Matthias.15 [Note: ExpT ix. [1897-98] 566; see also Ramsay, Exp, 6th ser., vi. [1902] 291.] But Burkitt16 [Note: 6 F. C. Burkitt, The Syriac Forms of NT Proper Names, London, 1912, p. 23.] holds that the substitution of תנלמי for Matthias ‘is no mere palaeographical error, but that the Old Syriac Version of the Acts must have had תולמי also. This name occurs as Θολομαῖος in Josephus (Ant. XX. i.), and is, of course, the second part of the name Bartholomew. An obscure name תלמי does occur in Judges and Samuel, but תולמי is nothing more than Ptolemy in a Semitic disguise.… Why the Old Syriac of Acts should have represented Matthias by this name cannot now be ascertained.’ Considerable interest attaches to the name Bar Jesus, a name variously spelt in the Western texts. In the Peshiṭta there is given as an equivalent ברשוטא, Barshuma. This is an old family name in Edessa, but its meaning is quite unknown. The magician is also called Ἐλύμας, ‘for so is his name translated.’17 [Note: Acts 13:6; Acts 13:8.] Elymas may be a Greek form of alîmâ, an Aramaic word meaning ‘strong,’ or of ‘alim, an Arabic word meaning ‘wise,’18 [Note: See E. Renan, Saint Paul, Eng. tr., New York, 1869, p. 54.] but it cannot be a translation of Bar-Jesus. Codex D reads, instead of Elymas, Ἐτοιμᾶς, meaning ‘son of the ready,’ a reading adopted by Ramsay and Blass. Elymas is somewhat akin to Ἀτόμου, the reading of the Ambrosianmanuscript A in a well known passage of Josephus.19 [Note: 9 Burkitt, p. 22; HDB i. 247a; W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen, London, 1895, p. 73; J. Rendel Harris, Exp, 6th ser., v. [1902] 192; Jos. Ant. xx. vii. 2.]

(3) The third class carries us into-

2. Genuine surnames

Among these are (a) patronymics, as those in which there is added to the name another name compounded with בַּר. Joseph the Cyprian Levite is ὁ ἐπικληθεὶς Βαρνάβας by the apostles, that is, ‘son of Nebo.’20 [Note: 0 Acts 4:36; Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 187 ff., 307 ff.; ExpT x. [1898-99] 233.] It has been suggested that this surname was given to distinguish him from Joseph ὁ καλούμενος Βαρσαββᾶς, a name meaning most probably ‘Saturday’s child.’ He had also, according to a common custom, adopted the Roman name of Justus.1 [Note: Acts 1:23; HDB i. 247; Exp, 6th ser., v. 414, n. 3; Burkitt, p. 6.] He may have been a brother of Judas ὁ καλούμενος Βαρσαββᾶς.2 [Note: Acts 15:22; Acts 15:33; NABCDEL read καλούμενον, but HP ἐπικαλούμενον.] In this connexion the name Barabbas deserves notice. The Sinaitic (and Palestinian) Syriac version, some good minuscules, and Manuscripts known to Origen read: ‘Whom will ye that I release unto you? Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?’3 [Note: Matthew 27:16-17; HDB i. 245. This reading, which is supported by v. 22, is adopted by R. C. Trench, Studies in the Gospels4, London, 1878, p. 306; E. Renan, Life of Jesus, Eng. tr., do., 1873, p. 279 (who thinks that the correct reading is Bar-Abba, or Bar-Rabban); and J. Moffatt, The NT: A New Translation3, do., 1914. Note the use made of this by J. M. Robertson, Christianity and Mythology2, do., 1910, p. 367, and the reply of C. Clemen, Primitive Christianity and its Non-Jewish Sources, Edinburgh, 1912, p. 185, and J. G. Frazer, GB3, pt. vi., The Scapegoat, London, 1913, p. 419.]

(b) Additional names.-From the want of surnames arises the difficulty of identifying different individuals having the same name, as the various Symeons and Simons mentioned in the NT. שִׁמִעוֹן is translated in the Septuagint 4 [Note: Genesis 29:35.] and the NT by Συμεών. There was a genuine Greek name closely resembling it, Σίμων, and this was often substituted for Συμεών.5 [Note: Sirach 50:1.] It was one of the commonest names among the Jews, twelve being mentioned in the NT. Of these, we know nothing of Symeon of Luke 3:30, of Simon the brother of our Lord,6 [Note: Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3.] or, except one incident, of Symeon of Jerusalem,7 [Note: Luke 2:25.] Simon the Cyrenian,8 [Note: Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26.] or Simon the Pharisee.9 [Note: Luke 7:36; Luke 7:40.] We have already noticed Simon the tanner, and Simon Magus, but by far the most outstanding bearer of the name was the Apostle. His father was called Ἰωνᾶς or Ἰωάνης.10 [Note: 0 Matthew 16:17, John 1:42; John 21:15-17.] The former may have been a contraction of the latter, or he may have borne a double name, Ἰωνᾶς-Ἰωάνης. The Apostle himself would seem originally to have borne the common Jewish name as transliterated into Greek Συμεών. This is the reading of Acts 15:14; and 2 Peter 1:1 opens with the words Συμεὼν Πέτρος, which is the reading of אAKLP, Σίμων being found in B5. ‘The name of Simon Magus is spelt סימון (Sîmôn) in Syriac, as distinguished from Simon Peter and Simon the Tanner, who are given the same name as Simeon (שמעון, Shim‛ôn) the Patriarch,’11 [Note: 1 Burkitt, p. 6.] but owing to Greek influence there is little doubt that Σίμων would be frequently, if not commonly, used. He seems to have been distinguished from other Simons by the name Σίμων ὁ ὑιὸς Ἰωάννου,12 [Note: John 1:43.] or, more shortly, Σίμων Ἰωάννου.13 [Note: John 21:15-17.] In Matthew 16:17 he is called Σίμων Βαριωνᾶ. This form may be either a contraction of the former or an instance of a double name, the Apostle’s father, in accordance with the custom of the time, having added the Greek name Ἰωνᾶς, as being similar to his own proper name Ἰωάννης.14 [Note: HDB ii. 676.] According to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus on His first meeting with Simeon said to him: ‘Your name is to be Κηφᾶς,’ the Evangelist adding ὅ ἑρμηνεύεται Πέτρος.15 [Note: John 1:43(42)] The Hebrew בֵּף, Chald. בַּיפִא, is in Greek Πέτρος, but neither of these names is borne by any other person in the NT save the Apostle. The Syriac ‘באפא is not a transliteration at all, but the Syriac for “stone”: the translator, or possibly Syriac Church custom, recognized that S. Peter’s name was Simon Stone, and they called him, where necessary, by this appellative.’16 [Note: Burkitt, p. 5.] The name Κηφᾶς is not used in the Gospels or the Acts. It is used alone by St. Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians,1 [Note: 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:5.] and in Galatians 2 [Note: Galatians 1:18, but àDEFGKLP read Πέτρου; 2:9, but DEFG read Πέτρος; 2:11, but DEFGKL read Πέτρος; 2:14, but DEFGKLP read Πέτρῳ.] Hort was of opinion that Κηφᾶς was a form of Καϊάφας, but that is not the case.3 [Note: ExpT x. 185.] In the list of the Twelve the Apostle is called Σίμων ὁ λεγόμενος Πέτρος,4 [Note: Matthew 10:2.] ἐπέθηκεν ὄνομα τῷ Σίμωνι Πέτρον,5 [Note: Mark 3:15.] Σίμωνα ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν Πέτρον.6 [Note: Luke 6:14.] We find, then, six distinct appellations-Simon,7 [Note: Matthew 17:25.] Simeon,8 [Note: Acts 15:14.] Simon Barjona,9 [Note: Matthew 16:17.] Peter,10 [Note: 0 Matthew 8:14.] Simon called Peter,11 [Note: Matthew 4:18.] Simon Peter.12 [Note: Matthew 16:16.]

(c) Adjectival names.-These may be still further divided into

(1) Those derived from the name of a place.-In the NT seven persons bear the name of Ἰούδας, the Greek equivalent of יְהוּרָה. Among these are an ancestor of Jesus,13 [Note: 3 Luke 3:30.] Judas of Damascus,14 [Note: Acts 9:11.] Judas or Jude, a brother of Jesus,15 [Note: 5Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3.] Judas distinguished as ‘not Iscariot,’16 [Note: John 14:22.] probably the same as Judas Ιακώβου,17 [Note: 7 Luke 6:16, Acts 1:13.] and Judas Barsabbas, who has already been noticed. But of the seven the most notable is Judas the traitor. In regard to his surname, scholars are now practically agreed that the term translated ‘Iscariot’ is the Greek for אִישׁקְרִיוֹת.18 [Note: 8 But see W. B. Smith, in HJ ix. [1911] 531, 892.] The reading ἀπὸ Καρυώτου19 [Note: John 6:71, à 12:4, 13:2, 26, 14:22, all of D.] clearly indicates a place. If a place be meant, what is its correct designation? The Manuscripts oscillate between Σκαρυώθ,20 [Note: Mark 3:9, Luke 6:16, both in D, and John 6:71 in BCGL.] Ἰσκαριώθ,21 [Note: Mark 3:9 in BCL, Luke 6:16 in BL, Matthew 10:4 in C.] Σκαριώτης,22 [Note: Matthew 10:4 in D.] and Ἰσκαριώτης,23 [Note: Matthew 10:4, etc., also the readings in à and D noted under 19.] but the reading Ἰσκαριώτης seems clearly preferable.24 [Note: 4 E. Nestle and F. H. Chase, ExpT ix. 140, 189, 240, 285.] Kerioth can scarcely be קְרִיוֹת of Moab,25 [Note: 5 Jeremiah 48:24; Jeremiah 48:41, Amos 2:2.] and is much more likely to be ק־חָצְרוֹן of Judah,26 [Note: Joshua 15:25, HJ ix. 531.] meaning the twin cities or twin fortresses. It is identified with a place variously spelt Kuryetein,27 [Note: 7 E. Robinson, Biblical Researches in Palestine, 3 vols., London, 1841, ii. 472.] Kuryezein,28 [Note: 8 E. H. Palmer, The Desert of the Exodus , 2 vols., Cambridge, 1871, map to vol. ii.] and Karjetein,29 [Note: 9 HDB ii. 836.] 4½; miles to the N.W. of Arad. Conder, indeed, founding upon the reading in D of John 12:4, etc., ἀπὸ Καρυώτου, thinks that the place indicated is Ischar, which (according to the Samaritan Chronicle) was the old name of the present Askar, near Jacob’s well, the Sychar of John 4:5. In that case Judas most probably was a Samaritan.30 [Note: 0 PEFSt, April 1905, p. 157; HDB iv. 635.] The reference to the

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Surname'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/s/surname.html. 1906-1918.

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