Aloha Friday Message – January 12, 2018 – What’s in a name?

1802AFC011218 – What’s in a name?

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John 1:40-42 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42 He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter)

1 Samuel 1:20 20 In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.”

1 Samuel 3:10 10 Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! May blessings always be with you and may God bless you in every way, Beloved!

When I was growing up (I’m almost afraid to tell you this!) everyone I knew called me Chuckie. By the time I got to fourth grade, I “rebelled” against that and told everyone to just call me Chuck. That worked all the way through high school. Then, at Hope College in Holland Michigan, I changed it to Chick – mainly because I was tired of all the “chuck” jokes like “how much wood could a wood chuck chuck,” and chuck wagon, and drill-chuck, and chuck-wrench, and chuck steak, and chuck out, and up-chuck, and chuck-full, and (maybe the worst) chuck-hole. Whew! Well, it didn’t take much longer for “Chick” to get the same treatment – here chick-chick-chick, and Chick Corea (one heckuva great jazz pianist), Chic-lets, chickadee, chick’n’noodle (really!), and chick peas, chick flick, Chick-fil-A, and a weird one – chickerica. ¡Ai! I submitted to these nick names of Chuckie, Chuck, and Chick because my given name, Charles, sounded too formal to me … “Chaahhhhrlz.” Now, my dad was called Charles by many people – including my mom and most of his coworkers in the Air Force and the Denver FHA office – but he never wanted to be called Charlie (and I never picked up that moniker, either!). On Facebook I was unable to get my profile listed as “Chick Todd,” even though nearly everyone I know and everyone who knows me calls be Chick. Nonetheless my name is CHARLES OLIN TODD, III (and there are also COT IV and COT V!)

Charles is an old European name – the French version is Charles and the Germanic version is Karl. The name is usually translated as “manly” or “strong.” My middle name, Olin is from Gaelic for holly or Norse for “recalls ancestors.” Todd – Scottish (northern Middle English) for red (tod) or fox (todde). When I received the Sacrament of Confirmation, I chose the name Timothy. Timothy comes from the Greek word (Timotheos) {tee-moth’-eh-os} meaning “honoring God.” Timothy was a fellow laborer in Christ with the Apostle Paul. We named our son using my names: Timothy Olin Todd. My Dearest Darling Wife’s name, Crucita, comes from the Spanish word Cruz (her father’s first name which means Cross) with the female-diminutive ita attached (and the z becomes a c). Many people believe that giving a child a strong name affects them throughout life; I can see some merit in that. Others believe that giving a child a unique name or a uniquely-spelled name (like Krystiin instead of Christine, or Emily, Emely, Emilee, Emilie, or even Emmalee) sets them apart. We came across a little girl named Escusada (really!) because mom thought it was a beautiful name – even when she found out that word is Spanish for “toilet.” In this era, the giving of names is more about being unique than it is about having a name with meaningful roots. That was not the case in most cultures until the mid-twentieth century.

Biblical names always had meanings that expressed something about the person. We know many of them:

  • Abram – Exalted Father
  • Abraham – Father of many
  • Isaac – He laughs. Laughter.
  • Κηφᾶς (Kephas) {kay-fas’} In the New Testament spelled Cephas (pronounced KAY-fus, not SEE-fus), the Aramaic word for “Stone” or “rock.” The Greek word is Πέτρος – (Petros) {pet’-ros} Peter = “a rock or a stone”
  • Andrew = “manly” from Greek Andreas {an-dreh’-as}
  • Simon – From Σιμων (Si-mon’), the Koiné Greek form of the Hebrew name שִׁמְעוֹן (Shim’on) Shimon = “he has heard”
  • אֶלְקָנָה (Elkanah) {el-kaw-naw’} = “God has possessed” or “God has created” He was Samuel’s father.
  • שְׁמוּאֵל . Shemuel {sehm-oo-ale’} Samuel = “his name is El”
  • חַנָּה (Hannah) {chan-ah’} = grace; she was Samuel’s mother.
  • Iesous {ee-ay-sooce’} Jesus and/or Joshua = “Jehovah is salvation” Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor. Symbolically, the name Yehoshua/Yeshua/Jesus conveys the idea that God (YHVH) delivers or saves (his people). Yehoshua {yeh-ho-shoo’-ah} is another form of Joshua or Jehoshua = “Jehovah is salvation” – also seen as Yeshua – Jesus.

Some surnames – family names – can from what people did, for instance

  • Cooper – a maker of wooden, steamed-wood staves for barrels using metal hoops
  • Wagoner and Carter – operated a wagon or cart
  • Smith – a metals worker
  • Joiner – for carpenters
  • Mason – Stone worker
  • Spenser – provisioner
  • Marshall – horse-keeper, steward
  • Stewert – steward, bailiff
  • Garth – lives or works in a garden
  • Brooks – lives near a small stream

All these names carry a meaning related to what the parents hoped for in their child or what the person did as a profession. We know that the names of American First Peoples – from the Iroquois to the Hawaiians – also have clear and carefully-chosen meanings. For the most part, the kinds of names shown here represent positive connotations. There are also slang terms with very negative connotations usually used as racial slurs; we won’t list any of those here, but all of us probably know a few. The derivations of those words can be as fascinating as the derivation of other names. They are used as “labels” to point out the “otherness” of people, to make it clear there is a separation between “us and them.” Sometimes in the Bible, those names of separation are used to identify persons and pursuits that are improper. When I started this essay today, there were a few of those words that came along with the biblical names. None of us would want to carry these names to the next generation!

  • Fornicator
  • Adulterer
  • Prostitute
  • Robber
  • Reviler
  • Idolater
  • The unrighteous

A rose by any other name is …. A sinner by any other name is …. I want to show you just two passages that have these kinds of labels. It is important to remember as you read these words written by the Apostle Paul that he is referring to alleged Christians. They claimed to be Christian, but their behaviors were very un-Christian:

1 Corinthians 5:11 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral persons— 10 not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? 13 God will judge those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”

1 Corinthians 6:9-20Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17 But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

Fornication and adultery are two very common and very misunderstood words in modern usage. These behaviors are so prevalent that they are widely accepted, even among Christians. The Hebrew word translated “fornication” in the Old Testament was also used as an expression of idolatry which was characterized as spiritual whoredom. Adultery, as it appears in scripture, always refers to the sexual sin of married people with someone other than their spouse. The word is used in the Old Testament both factually and metaphorically. The Hebrew etymology for “adultery” is “breaking wedlock.” In the New Testament, the two Greek words translated “adultery” are nearly always used contextually to refer to sexual sin involving married partners. The modern dictionary definitions of fornication (voluntary sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other, which would include adultery) and adultery (voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse). In the New Testament, “fornication” comes from the Greek word porneia, which includes adultery and incest. Porneia comes from another Greek word that also includes indulging in any kind of unlawful lust; and you might also see that it is the root word for this modern era’s severe plague of pornography.

How many “couples” do you know who hold marriage in disdain and practice cohabitation (“shacking up,” “just living together”) because they refuse to accept the idea of Holy Matrimony? They are fornicators. How many individuals do you know that have had extramarital affairs? They are adulterers. Do you know anyone, male or female, that offers or participates in sexual activities for money or other remuneration (including porn stars and those who watch porn, and of course prostitutes of any type)? They are all prostitutes. Do you know people who cheat on their Income Taxes? They are thieves. Do you know someone who uses racial slurs or character slurs or speaks derisively about neighbors or public figures? They are revilers (all of us should click on that link!) These are things so common they are deemed “acceptable,” based on the rampant moral relativism propagated throughout The World. The worst aspect of that is that very, very few people consider any of this to be “wrongdoing” or unrighteousness – even among Christians. Keep in mind what St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 12 For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? 13 God will judge those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you. Too many people are too willing to judge everyone. “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” (See Matthew 7:1-2) and if “those outside” judge us as Christians, what is the outcome? “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Why are these things wrong? They are wrong because they contradict the Will of God and the Truth he created them to be.

The citizens of the “outside” have declared war on each other and dragged us into their mess. Stay out of it! MYOB! If it is true that “What we do says who we are, actions speak louder than words,” then we must avoid labeling or being labeled in any way as unrighteous wrongdoers, because Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Is that unfair? No, it is not. It is what God decreed. It is his universe, his rules. If someone doesn’t like that, (as I’ve said often), they are in for one helluva surprise! “But they’re such good people! Look at the great things they do for poor people, for people who are discriminated against by good people! See how generous they are! Anyone who does good things for people is a good person. You can’t tell me that someone who says they love God and takes care of other people is evil!” OK. Go read Isaiah, Chapter 5 and Matthew 24:4-27, and maybe even Psalm 50. Then you will know that God has spoken. Are you listening, servant? For what have I to do with judging those outside?

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!


Our friends, family, and fellow citizens in California now dealing with floods and deadly mudslides after losing everything in those overwhelmingly devastating fires.


” So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”

Deuteronomy 13:5
Deuteronomy 17:7
Deuteronomy 17:12
Deuteronomy 19:19
Deuteronomy 22:20-24
Deuteronomy 24:7
Hebrews 10:26-31 26 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy “on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Frank Peretti On Knowing The Truth
“There’s no way for you to know whether what I’m telling you is true unless you know what the truth is. And there’s no way for you to know what the truth is unless there is a truth that you can know. [Editor: If you’re searching for the truth, and there is none, then what are you searching for?] You’ve got to have a truth that true whether you believe it or not. It is a truth that is true whether you like it or not. It’s true whether you even know about it or not. It’s just TRUE: OBJECTIVE EXTERNAL ETERNAL TRUTH THAT STANDS IN AND OF ITSELF.”

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at



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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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