2023: XXV

Dire l'indicibile. Le perifrasi del nome di Dio

Pubblicato 2023-10-05

Parole chiave

  • transcendence,
  • alliance,
  • offspring,
  • spirit,
  • prayer,
  • the name of God
  • ...Più


The Bible contains numerous lists of anthroponyms, organized according to genealogical structures. This article specifically focuses on five of these lists, which include: 1) the genealogy of Cain, son of Adam, as described in the fourth and fifth chapters of Genesis; 2) the genealogy presented in the book of Chronicles, spanning chapters 1.1 to 9.44; 3) the genealogy of Jesus outlined in the Gospel of Matthew; 4) the genealogy of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Luke; and 5) the concise repetition found throughout the Bible: “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” The underlying question this text seeks to address is: what purpose do these extensive lists of anthroponyms serve in a text that is meant to convey a divine revelation? To explore this query, the article delves into two significant aspects of Judeo-Christian religions. Firstly, the prohibition on pronouncing the name of God, and secondly, the covenant of alliance between God and His people. These two aspects of the relationship between humans and God may appear contradictory. However, it is suggested that these lists of anthroponyms, which serve as the starting point of the research, may help reconcile this contradiction. The faithful, unable to directly invoke the name of God, can instead invoke Him through the names of His sons. This is because the “Holy Spirit” is believed to have been infused by God into the spirit of Adam, and subsequently transmitted from one generation to another, dwelling within the spirits of those descended from Adam. The paper concludes by proposing the hypothesis that these extensive series of anthroponyms constitute the formula that enables the naming of the unutterable, representing an infinite periphrasis for the unpronounceable name of God.