To best understand the Bible, know that it’s an anthology. A collection of books that are together held sacred for followers of the Abrahamic religion. The Bible is usually divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is the word of God decreed to guide humankind to follow the ways of God.
The guide is for the betterment and larger good of the entire humanity. Its primary subject is the human being. The Bible is many books in one, covering a diverse range of themes. It’s a collection of commandments, a self-discovery guide, and a collection of stories. No wonder the book is meant to benefit all. If we rely on King James’ Bible, the word Christian has appeared in the Bible only thrice!
Bible.org attests there is special emphasis on the word “three” in the Bible. Job’s three daughters, Noah’s three sons, the three times David bowed before Jonathan—all have three in them. Some scholars believe the number holds significance due to the Holy Trinity; The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.
How Many Times is the Word Christian Used in the Bible?
Read below how many times is the word Christian used in the Bible and what is the significance of the usage.
“and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So, for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first, at Antioch”.
Antioch is a place in Syria where Barnabus took Saul and where, as the tradition narrates, they preached for an entire year. Scholars believe the successive disciples Barnabus and Saul were termed Christians around this time. The word didn’t gain much popularity right after its use. It took some time for it to be used generically for the believers of Jesus Christ.
Today, the word is not restricted to a few who preached the religion of God. The word attributes to all the people who take Jesus Christ to be the Son of God sacrificed in Jerusalem at the Cross. The world today has a population of 2.3 billion Christians.
You will find the later versions of the testaments referring to Saul as Paul. Both of these are acceptable alterations of the same name. The narrator of the act is Luke.
The references from King James’s Bible are difficult to follow. King James’ Bible is an early text. The language, diction, and jargon used are hard to follow for many readers. To understand the Scriptures, you should invest in the translation you best understand. This would significantly improve your comprehension and receptiveness towards the text.
“Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian?”
Translation: Then Agrippa said to Saul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
This is the second time the word Christian used in the Bible. When King Herod Agrippa visited Caesarea, he wished to listen to the case of Saul, who was imprisoned due to his non-Jewish beliefs. At this point, Saul draws such a picture of his faith in the innocence of Jesus that Agrippa responds in the dialogue mentioned above. A widely accepted interpretation of the verse is that Saul had been able to move Agrippa in a short amount of time, but not enough to make him a complete Christian. Agrippa identified with the virtues in Saul’s speech but didn’t accept the faith that promoted those virtues.
1 Peter 4:16
“Yet if any man suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on his behalf.”
The text is from the First Epistle of Peter. The text is a part of the New Testament. The text is narrated by Peter the Apostle. The book’s fourth chapter narrates why the gospels are even taught to the dead. The chapter glorifies the sufferings of a Christian, a person who suffers for his Faith, just like Jesus Christ did for his.
The verse insists that a man who suffers for his faith has exalted God and shouldn’t be ashamed of his deeds.
The primary aim of the chapter is to exalt the virtue of living and dying in the name of God. A true Christian is a person who cherishes the remembrance of God and continues to live a life free of sin and wrongdoing.
The word “Christian” in the broadest sense has two interpretations:
- The party of Christ
While the first interpretation of the word Christian means people who walk, talk and behave exactly like Christ. This could be true for his foremost followers like Saul and Barnabus. The second translation could be true for the followers of Christ at large, who believe in his mission and follow Christianity.
Bible commentaries are a great way to understand the Bible. A commentary affirms that different people may have a different understanding of the Bible, and yet none of them is incorrect. You should look up commentaries that testify closest to your version of the Bible. The Scripture continues to be as contemplative and didactic as it always was. We need to be more attentive towards what demands of us as believers.
Our Final Thoughts
There have been numerous studies in the Bible. Literature available on the internet offers various interpretations based on different versions of the Bible. The reference used to evaluate how many times the word Christians is used in the Bible is the Saint James Bible. This version may be a bit complex for many readers. Easier, readable versions of the Bible are conveniently available online.
You can go with commentaries of Biblical texts most suited for modern readers for more clarity. These commentaries come with proper footnotes and accurate references. You can gauge the difficulty level of the commentaries and decide which ones suit you best. Always better to go with commentaries that are easy to follow and understand. You’ll be able to receive the maximum benefit from Bible study and reading this way.