Bar-Jesus

When Paul and Barnabas went to Cyprus, “they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who as an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus.” (Acts 11.6) Previously I have pointed how the story carried symbolic meaning for Luke, as he started to call Paul as Paul and not as Saul anymore, mainly to identify him not with his ultra-Pharisaic past but with the Gentile proconsul.

Interestingly, the false prophet’s name is Bar-Jesus, which means ‘son of Jesus’ (for what its worth, Barnabas means ‘son of the prophet/nabi‘). Of course, Jesus is a very common name at that time, but still, the story carried a somewhat ironic tone. The one whose name means ‘the son of Jesus’ is the false prophet, and the one who shared the same name with a Gentile proconsul turned out to be the true prophet (and ministered with a guy named ‘son of the prophet’).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s