“My name Bethany only means ‘house of figs’ or perhaps ‘house of the poor.'”
In one of my classes we were discussing how important names are in the Bible, how your name was who you are, your essence. Bethany wasn’t excited about her name.
I told her, “I have a book for you. You’ll love it. A book about Bethany, and it’s hard to imagine a name that has more positive connotations.” She was intrigued.
My friend Frank Viola has just released a new book, God’s Favorite Place on Earth. In it, he observes that when Jesus was on the earth, he was rejected everywhere he went . . . from Bethlehem, to Nazareth, to Jerusalem. The only exception was the little village of Bethany.
Here is my endorsement for God’s Favorite Place on Earth:
“Frank Viola’s creative narrative, engaging discussion and insightful commentary on Jesus’ association with the village of Bethany spoke to my heart, challenged my lifestyle, and fed my soul.”
As you read his retelling of biblical stories about Jesus centering on his associations with the village of Bethany, I would hope that it would deepen your relationship with God and fed your soul as well.
In addition, if you get the book between May 1st to May 7th, you will also get 25 FREE GIFTS from 15 different authors including Leonard Sweet, Jeff Goins, Andrew Farley, Steve McVey, DeVern Fromke, Pete Briscoe, Frank Viola himself, and many others.
Go to GodsFavoritePlace.com to claim your 25 FREE GIFTS, read a Sampler of the book, and watch the video trailer.
One thing I can never really figure out is how much weight to put on the meanings of Bible names because sometimes they don’t seem that relevant to anything. Most often they do seem relevant but doesn’t someone’s name usually reflect more about their parents who named them? Like is their biblical warrant for interpreting a Bible character’s name as significant exegetically when it’s not spelled out as so? Any interpretive rules of thumb?
I think names were far more significant back then. Yes, some names don’t make sense. Or, why did Nabal’s parents name him Nabel (= Fool)? Nabal was probably a nickname given to him later. But in general, the meaning of names were significant. Thanks, Pat.