Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Barnes, Michel R.

Second Advisor

Golitzin, Alexander

Third Advisor

Orlov, Andrei


This dissertation seeks to consider the possible backgrounds for second century Christian name theology, the distinct regional applications of "Name" theology to Christology, and also to compare Rome, Syria, and Alexandria to one another and reveal how that application was different in each of the three regions. In order to understand the backgrounds for this theological idea, the first three chapters investigate the variety of theological uses of the word "name" in the Hebrew Bible, in other Jewish literature, and in the New Testament. The three communities are represented by 1 Clement and Shepherd of Hermas from Rome, Ascension of Isaiah and Odes of Solomon from Antiochian Syria, and Gospel of Truth and Excerpta ex Theodoto at Alexandria. All the second century Christian texts considered in this study make use of earlier Jewish ideas about the name of God or special names given by God. All of them adapt that theological term to their own immediate concerns; however, this study discovers some common traits among all of them. The name is given soteriological importance in each text. That salvation is determined in some way by possession of the name by the believer. Finally, in different ways each text places importance on the way the name interacts with creation. These common points serve as a basis for comparison of all the material undertaken in this study.