De Moor IV:1: The Names of God, Part 1

In the Scriptures various Nomina/Names are attributed to GOD, which are just so many notamina/designations, noscimina/appellations, or novimina/denominations, by which we ascend to the knowledge of the Divine Essence and Attributes; whence also the Name of God not infrequently is put in the place of God Himself and His Attributes and Glory, Exodus 34:5, 6; Deuteronomy 28:58; Psalm 8:1; 20:1; 22:22; etc. The pre-eminent Etymologists think that thus indeed Nomen/Name according to its origin certainly means notamen, noscimen, or novimen: which sort notamen or novimen shall deserve thus to be called with so much greater right, and shall so much more aptly answer by its usage; when it brings us to an acquaintance with the thing designated, not only by the idea accustomed to be connected to the sound of the word, but by the force of the word itself. ISIDORE,[1] Originibus, book I, chapter VI, “A Noman/Name is a word, a notamen, as it were, which makes things known to us by its designation: for unless you know the nomen/name, the knowledge of the things perishes.” SCALIGER,[2] de Causis Linguæ Latinæ, chapter LXXVI, “As from moveo, I move, is movi, I moved, movimen, that by which something is moved, momen/momentum; so from nosco, I know, is novi, I have known, novimen, that by which something is known, nomen/name.” JACOBUS CURTIUS,[3] εἰκαστῶν, tome I, book I, chapter XXVI, “Nomen/ name from noscendo/knowing, as stamen is from stando/standing, and stramen/straw is from sternendo/strewing.”

[1] Isidore (c. 560-636) was Archbishop of Seville and a bright and shining light of learning in the intellectual darkness of his age. He presided over the Second Council of Seville (619), which ruled against Arianism, and the Fourth Council of Toledo, which required bishops to establish seminaries in their principal cities.

[2] Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609) was a skilled linguist and developed into one of the most learned men of his age. During the course of his studies and travels, he became a Protestant and suffered exile with the Huguenots. He was offered a professorship at Leiden (1593), a position which he eventually accepted and in which he remained until his death.

[3] Jacobus Curtius (1510-1567) was a Flemish lawyer and classicist.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.




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