Questions From Readers
At Philippians 2:9, Paul said about Jesus: “God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name.” What is this new name? And if Jesus is inferior to Jehovah, how is Jesus’ name above every other name?
Philippians 2:8, 9 reads: “More than that, when he [Jesus] found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name.”
This passage does not mean that since only Jehovah has a name absolutely above every other name, Jesus must be the same person as Jehovah. As the context in Philippians chapter 2 shows, Jesus received his elevated name after his resurrection. Before that, he did not possess it. On the other hand, Jehovah has always been supreme, and his position has never changed. The fact that Jesus received a name higher than the name he had before his earthly service proves that he is not the same as Jehovah. When Paul said that Jesus was given a name above every other name, he meant that Jesus now has the highest name of all God’s creatures.
What is Jesus’ high name? Isaiah 9:6 helps us to answer. In prophesying about the coming Messiah, Jesus, that verse says: “The princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Here Jesus’ “name” has to do with his high position and authority, which is also how we understand “the name that is above every other name” mentioned at Philippians 2:9. Every knee is commanded to bend to Jesus in recognition of the high position of authority that Jehovah has given to him—a position of authority higher than that given to any other creature. The word “other” in this translation is not directly represented in the underlying Greek text, but it is implied by the sense of the verse. Jesus’ “name” is not above his own name but is above every other creature’s name.
How happy we are to join all faithful angels and humans in bowing the knee in recognition of Jesus’ name! We do this by subjecting ourselves to Jesus in the elevated and powerful position given to him by Jehovah—“to the glory of God the Father.”—Philippians 2:11; Matthew 28:18.