Why did God sometimes change a person's name in the Bible?



Question: "Why did God sometimes change a person's name in the Bible?"

Answer:
When God gave someone a new name is was usually to establish a new identity. God changed Abram’s "high father" name to Abraham "father of multitude" (Genesis 17:5). God changed Jacob’s "supplanter" name to Israel “having power with God” (Genesis 32:28). He changed Simon’s "God has heard" name to Peter "rock" (John 1:42). Why did Jesus occasionally call Peter “Simon” after He had changed His name to Peter? My guess is that Jesus called him Simon whenever he was not being the “rock” God called him to be. The same is true for Jacob. God continued to call him Jacob to remind him of his past and to remind to depend on God’s strength. Another possible example is Saul / Paul. The name Saul means “asked.” The name Paul is a variation of the name Saul. The Bible does not say God changed Saul’s name to Paul. It only states that Saul was also called Paul (Acts 13:9).


Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns.


Related Topics:

What does it mean to have a personal relationship with God?

What are Christian saints according to the Bible?

Does the Bible record the death of the apostles? How did each of the apostles die?

What was Paul's thorn in the flesh?

Was the Apostle Paul married?



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Why did God sometimes change a person's name in the Bible?