Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-8bbf57454-kkbsd Total loading time: 2.091 Render date: 2022-01-25T15:07:37.849Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

‘Lord, Lord’: Jesus as YHWH in Matthew and Luke*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 December 2017

Jason A. Staples*
Department of Religious Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill, CB#3225, 125 Saunders Hall, North Carolina 27599, USA. Email:


Despite numerous studies of the word κύριος (‘Lord’) in the New Testament, the significance of the double form κύριε κύριε occurring in Matthew and Luke has been overlooked, with most assuming the doubling merely communicates heightened emotion or special reverence. By contrast, this article argues that whereas a single κύριος might be ambiguous, the double κύριος formula outside the Gospels always serves as a distinctive way to represent the Tetragrammaton and that its use in Matthew and Luke is therefore best understood as a way to represent Jesus as applying the name of the God of Israel to himself.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR) meeting in Atlanta, GA, 6 March 2010; in the Synoptic Gospels Section of the SBL Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, 22 November 2010; and at the ‘Christianity in Antiquity Colloquium’ in Durham, NC, 15 January 2015. I am indebted to William L. Lyons, Stephen Carlson, Bart D. Ehrman, Benjamin L White, Sonya Cronin and Mark Goodacre for their insights and critiques, and I am especially grateful for the incisive critiques of the anonymous reviewer(s) from NTS, whose suggestions helped to improve the final product substantially. All remaining errors are of course my own responsibility.


1 All translations throughout are my own.

2 Κύριε κύριε is also attested in some manuscripts of Luke 13.25, but that reading is probably a secondary harmonisation with Matt 25.11.

3 E.g. Hahn, F., The Titles of Jesus in Christology (London: Lutterworth, 1969) 68135 Google Scholar; Howard, G., ‘The Tetragram and the New Testament’, JBL 96 (1977) 6383 Google Scholar; Fitzmyer, J. A., ‘The Semitic Background of the New Testament Kyrios Title’, A Wandering Aramean (ed. Fitzmyer, J. A.; SBLMS 25; Chico, CA: Scholars, 1979) 115–42Google Scholar; idem, New Testament Kyrios and Maranatha and their Aramaic Background’, To Advance the Gospel (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998) 218–35Google Scholar; Frenschkowski, M., ‘Kyrios in Context: Q 6:46, the Emperor as “Lord”, and the Political Implications of Christology in Q’, Zwischen den Reichen: Neues Testament und Römische Herrschaft: Vorträge auf der ersten Konferenz der European Association for Biblical Studies (ed. Labahn, M. and Zangenberg, J.; Tübingen: Francke, 2002) 95118 Google Scholar; Hurtado, L. W., Lord Jesus Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005)Google Scholar; Gathercole, S. J., The Preexistent Son (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006) 243–52Google Scholar; Rowe, C. K., Early Narrative Christology (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Fee, G. D., Pauline Christology (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007)Google Scholar; S. J. Beardsley, ‘Luke's Narrative Agenda: The Use of κύριος within Luke-Acts to Proclaim the Identity of Jesus’ (Ph.D. diss., Temple University, 2012).

4 Wilhelm Bousset goes so far as to quote Luke 6.46 with only a single ‘Lord’, a signal example of how thoroughly the doubling is often ignored ( Kyrios Christos: A History of the Belief in Christ from the Beginnings of Christianity to Irenaeus (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1970) 123Google Scholar). For other examples, cf. Krämer, D. M., ‘Hütet euch vor den falschen Propheten: Eine überlieferungsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zu Mt 7, 15–23/Lk 6, 43–46/Mt 12, 33–37’, Bib 57 (1976) 349–77Google Scholar, esp. 361; Fitzmyer, J. A., The Gospel according to Luke i–ix (AB 28A; New York: Doubleday, 1981) 643–4Google Scholar; Nolland, J., Luke 1–9:20 (WBC 35A; Dallas: Word, 1989) 309Google Scholar; Hagner, A., Matthew 1–13: A Commentary (WBC 33A; Dallas: Word, 1993) 186–7Google Scholar; Green, J. B., The Gospel of Luke (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997) 280Google Scholar; Rowe, Early Narrative Christology, 111–14; Beardsley, ‘Luke's Narrative Agenda’, 132–4; Joseph, S. J. ‘“Why Do You Call Me ‘Master’…?” Q 6:46, the Inaugural Sermon, and the Demands of Discipleship’, JBL 132 (2013) 955–72Google Scholar.

5 For the former, see Hahn, Titles of Jesus, 90, followed by Strecker, G., Die Bergpredigt: Ein exegetischer Kommentar (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984) 172Google Scholar. For the latter, see e.g. Luz, U., Matthew 1–7 (Hermeneia 61A; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989) 379Google Scholar.

6 Frenschkowski, ‘Kyrios in Context’, 108–12.

7 E.g. Baudissin, W. W. Graf, Kyrios als Gottesname im Judentum und seine Stelle in der Religionsgeschichte (4 vols.; Giessen: Töpelmann, 1929) 2.15Google Scholar.

8 See Aly, Z. and Koenen, L., Three Rolls of the Early Septuagint: Genesis and Deuteronomy (Bonn: Habelt, 1980) 56 Google Scholar. A similar phenomenon is observable in P.Oxy. iv.656 (2nd/3rd cent. ce), which has four examples of spaces left by the first hand, three of which were later filled with κύριος by a second hand. See Kraft, R. A., ‘The “Textual Mechanics” of Early Jewish LXX/OG Papyri and Fragments’, The Bible as Book (ed. O'Sullivan, O. and McKendrick, S.; London: British Library/Oak Knoll, 2003) 5172 Google Scholar, at 60–1. The oldest relevant Greek manuscript, Pap.Ryl. iii.458, which dates to the second century bce, unfortunately does not preserve an instance of the name, though one lacuna suggests either κύριος or the preservation of the Hebrew form. See Roberts, C. H., ed., Two Biblical Papyri in the John Rylands Library, Manchester (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1936) 28Google Scholar; Howard, ‘Tetragram’, 63.

9 E.g. 8ḤevXIIgr, fully published in E. Tov, ‘The Greek Biblical Texts from the Judean Desert’, The Bible as Book, 97–122, at 112–14. This MS has become well known as a witness to the so-called Kaige recension, as argued in Barthélemy, D., Les devanciers d'Aquila (VTSup 10; Leiden: Brill, 1963)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also P.Oxy. vii.1007 (cf. Metzger, B. M., Manuscripts of the Greek Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981) 34Google Scholar).

10 This is found in some Hexaplaric manuscripts; cf. Metzger, Manuscripts, 35, 94–95 (with a plate). It should be noted that the Tetragrams in P.Fouad 266 look sufficiently like ΠΙΠΙ for Rajak, T., Translation and Survival (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) 2CrossRefGoogle Scholar, to judge them (mistakenly in my opinion) to be the Greek characters.

11 For fuller lists and analysis of the manuscript evidence with respect to the Tetragram, see the helpful summaries in Rösel, M.The Reading and Translation of the Divine Name in the Masoretic Tradition and the Greek Pentateuch’, JSOT 31 (2007) 411–28Google Scholar, at 413–19 and Royse, J. R.Philo, Kyrios, and the Tetragrammaton’, SPhiloA 3 (1991) 167–83Google Scholar, at 168–9, along with the fuller treatments in Metzger, Manuscripts.

12 E.g. 4QLXXLevb, which has ΙΑΩ in Lev 4.27 and (probably) 3.12. See Skehan, P. W., ‘The Qumran Manuscripts and Textual Criticism’, Congress Volume: Strasbourg, 1956 (ed. Anderson, G. W.; VTSup 4; Leiden: Brill, 1957) 148–60Google Scholar, at 157–60.

13 E.g. P.Oxy. vii.1007 verso 1.4 (= Gen 2.8) and 2.14 (= Gen 2.18).

14 E.g. the Hebrew manuscripts 1QIsaa 42.6; 1QS 8.14 (quoting Isa 40.3).

15 Tov, E., Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert (STDJ 54; Leiden: Brill, 2004) 289Google Scholar. The Chester Beatty papyrus of Numbers and Deuteronomy, dated by Kenyon to the first half of the second century ce, is the other earliest witness, though the ΚΥΡΙΟ[Σ] found in 4Q126, a small fragment from an unknown text, serves as a reminder that our evidence is itself fragmentary.

16 Cf. E. Tov, ‘The Greek Biblical Texts from the Judean Desert’, The Bible as Book, 97–122, at 112–14; Howard, ‘Tetragram’; Waddell, W. G., ‘The Tetragrammaton in the LXX’, JTS 45 (1944) 158–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Skehan, P. W.The Divine Name at Qumran, in the Masada Scroll, and in the Septuagint’, BIOSCS 13 (1980) 1444 Google Scholar, agrees that κύριος is probably not the earliest reading but argues that ‘as far back as it is possible to go, the Kyrios term is employed in these books for both יהוה and אדני, on the basis of the spoken Adonay that stood for either separately … This cannot have come about as exclusively the work of Christian scribes’ (38).

17 Howard, ‘Tetragram’, 65.

18 Conzelmann, H., An Outline of the Theology of the New Testament (London: SCM, 1969) 83–4Google Scholar. Cf. also Kahle, P., The Cairo Geniza (Oxford: Blackwell, 1959 2) 222Google Scholar.

19 Pietersma, A., ‘Kyrios or Tetragram: A Renewed Quest for the Original LXX’, De Septuaginta (ed. Pietersma, A. and Cox, C.; Mississauga, ON: Benben Publications, 1984) 85101 Google Scholar; Rösel, ‘Reading and Translation’.

20 R. Kraft, ‘Format Features in the Earliest Jewish Greek Literary Papyri and Related Materials’ (paper presented at the Papyrological Congress, Vienna, 2001,

21 Origen: καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἀκριβεστέροις δὲ τῶν ἀντιγράφων Ἑβραίοις χαρακτῆρσι κεῖται τὸ ὄνομα Ἑβραικοῖς δἐ οὐ τοἰς νῦν, ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἀρχαιοτάτοις. φασὶ γὰρ τὸν Ἔδραν ἐν τῇ αἰχμαλωσίᾳ ἑτέρους αὐτοῖς χαρακτῆρας παρὰ τοὺς παραδεδωκέναι (PG 12.1104B). Jerome, Prologus galeatus (PL 28.594–5): nomen Domini tetragrammaton in quibusdam Graecis voluminibus usque hodie antiquis expressum litteris invenimus.

22 Origen, Selecta in Psalmos 2.2 (PG 12.1104B4–9): ἐστι δέ τι τετραγράμματον ἀνεκφώνητον παρ᾽αὐτοῖς, ὅπερ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ πετάλου τοῦ ἀρχιερέως ἀναγέγραπται, καὶ λέγεται μὲν τῇ Αδωναῒ προσηγορίᾳ, οὑχὶ τούτου γεγραμμένου ἐν τῷ τετραγραμμάτῳ. παρὰ δὲ Ἕλλησι τῇ Κύριος ἐκφωονεῖται. Jerome, Ep. 25, Ad Marcellam (CSEL 54.219): [Dei nomen est] tetragrammum, quod ἀνεκφώνητον, id est ineffabile, putauerunt et his litteris scribitur: iod, he, uau, he, quod quidam non intellegentes propter elementorum similitudinem, cum in Graecis libris reppererint ΠΙΠΙ legere consueuerunt. Cf. Fitzmyer, ‘Semitic Background’, 122–3.

23 Hurtado, L. W., ‘The “Meta-Data” of Earliest Christian Manuscripts’, Identity and Interaction in the Ancient Mediterranean (ed. Crook, Z. and Harland, P. A.; Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2007) 149–63Google Scholar, at 158. Cf. also Fitzmyer, ‘Semitic Background’, 122–3; Royse, ‘Kyrios’, 177; Fee, Pauline Christology, 22.

24 Burkitt, F. C., Fragments of the Books of Kings according to the Translation of Aquila: From a MS. Formerly in the Geniza at Cairo (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1897) 16Google Scholar.

25 Ibid., 16. Cf. Royse, ‘Kyrios’, 76; Fitzmyer, ‘Semitic Background’, 122; Reider, J., ‘Prolegomena to a Greek–Hebrew and Hebrew–Greek Index to Aquila’, JQR 7 (1917) 287366 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Dunand, F., Papyrus grecs bibliques (Papyrus F. Inv. 266) (RAPH 27; Cairo: Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, 1966) 51Google Scholar. Similar abbreviations are found in the second-century ce manuscript P.Oxy. iv.656 (Göttingen #905; Gen 14–27) which has two instances of blank spaces, to which a later hand added ΚΥ in one case (= Gen 24.42) and either KY or KYRIE in the other (= Gen 24.31), and the third-century manuscripts P.Oxy. viii.1075, which has ΚΣ on line 12 (Exod 40.35), and P.Oxy. ix.1166, featuring abbreviations on lines 11 and 24 (Gen 16.10, 11). Cf. Fitzmyer, ‘Semitic Background’, 137–8.


26 Rösel, ‘Reading and Translation’, 425. Cf. also Fee, Pauline Christology, 22–3.

27 Fitzmyer, ‘Semitic Background’, 121.

28 Rösel, ‘Reading and Translation’, 418. J. F. Hobbins, however, has suggested that this interdiction only applied to the full name, while abbreviated versions of the name such as ΙΑΩ, יהו or יה (which often appeared in theophoric names at any rate) did not fall under this prohibition (‘The Splendid Iao: The Identification of Helios with Iao, the God of the Jews’,

29 Royse, ‘Kyrios’, 173–5.

30 Howard, ‘Tetragram’, 71.

31 Royse, ‘Kyrios’, 183. Rösel, ‘Reading and Translation’, 425 n. 28 protests that the evidence for a preserved Tetragram in Philo's scriptures is flimsy but further confirms Royse's overall point about Philo's reading and use of κύριος. Cf. also Dahl, N. A. and Segal, A. F., ‘Philo and the Rabbis on the Names of God’, JSJ 9 (1978) 128 Google Scholar, at 1.

32 Josephus elsewhere explains that κύριος is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew אדון (A.J. 5.2.2 §121). Fitzmyer, ‘Semitic Background’, 121–2 notes that Christian alteration is unlikely in these two cases.

33 A.J. 2.12.4 §276. Fitzmyer, ‘Semitic Background’, 121 (cf. also 122–3). Similar reticence to use the name or its various euphemisms with Gentiles is seen elsewhere, with the epithet ‘most high’ more commonly preferred when communicating with outsiders, as suggested by the synagogue inscriptions cited in Hobbins, ‘The splendid Iao’.

34 Cf. Rösel, ‘Reading and Translation’, 424–5 and the citations there.

35 Rösel, ‘Reading and Translation’, 424–5.

36 Hong, K. P., ‘The Euphemism for the Ineffable Name of God and its Early Evidence in Chronicles’, JSOT 37 (2013) 473–84Google Scholar, at 479. Cf. also Rösel, ‘Reading and Translation’, 412–13.

37 Boadt, L., ‘Textual Problems in Ezekiel and Poetic Analysis of Paired Words’, JBL 97 (1978) 489–99Google Scholar, at 496.

38 For doubling as a pathos formula, see Lausberg, H., Handbook of Literary Rhetoric (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 1998)Google Scholar §§612–18, esp. 612. For examples of doubling in contexts of extreme pathos, see Luke 8.24; 2 Kgs 2.12; 8.5; Ps 22.1; Mk 15.34 // Matt 27.46. Frenschkowski, ‘Kyrios in Context’, 109 also lists several instances of doubling the epiclesis to the deity in Greek literature, and Norden, E., P. Vergilius Maro Aeneis Buch vi (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1981 7) 136–7Google Scholar, 463 gives numerous examples of the doubling of names in various cultic and magical contexts. The Hebrew construct to express superlatives similarly repeats a title but subordinates one cognate to the other, e.g. ‘king of kings’, ‘lord of lords’ etc.

39 Note how Philo handles the unusual repetition of ἄνθρωπος in Lev 18.6 (a translation of איש איש, a Hebrew idiom for ‘each person of …’) in Gig. 33–4, indicating how striking such repetitions would be to a Greek ear.

40 Hong, ‘Euphemism’, 481–4. As Hong points out, even if this alteration arose from the Chroniclers’ Vorlage, it still predates the translation of the LXX and puts the אדני euphemism at a very early stage.

41 Hong, ‘Euphemism’, 483.

42 Hong, ‘Euphemism’, 483–4.

43 Chronicles has been dated from the late sixth century to the Maccabean era (ca. 160 bce), but a growing majority now puts the date sometime in the fourth century. Cf. Klein, R. W., 1 Chronicles (Hermeneia 13; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006) 1316 Google Scholar, 31–7; Peltonen, K., ‘A Jigsaw without a Model? The Date of Chronicles’, in Did Moses Speak Attic? (ed. Grabbe, L. L.; JSOTSup 37; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001) 225–73Google Scholar; Kalimi, I.Die Abfassungszeit der Chronik – Forschungsstand und Perspektiven’, ZAW 105 (1993) 223–33Google Scholar.

44 Hong, ‘Euphemism’, 484.

45 On the handling of the name and its circumlocutions in the Dead Sea Scrolls, see Rösel, M., ‘Names of God’, The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) 600–2Google Scholar; Howard, ‘Tetragram’, 66–70; Skehan, ‘Divine Name’, 14–28.

46 There is some textual support for an additional κύριε in 15.2, though the shorter reading seems more likely original. The Jeremiah translator also renders the doublet with this phrase on two occasions (1.6; 4.10), with δέσποτης again nowhere else occurring in the book. See also Jonah 4.3.

47 Pietersma, ‘Kyrios or Tetragram’, 95: ‘What we see immediately is that the translator rather than repeating kyrios, has opted for the so-called Palestinian qere, which was apparently known in Egypt as early as the third century bc.’

48 In the New Testament, κύριος ὁ θεός (without a possessive pronoun or another modifier) also appears in Luke 1.32 and Rev 1.8, 22.5. Κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ occurs six times in Revelation, though in the LXX that phrase tends to translate יהוה אלהי הצבאות. Rev 18.5 appears to echo Isa 51.22 with its use of κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ κρίνον and thus should not be understood as an example of the Palestinian qerê.

49 Pietersman, ‘Kyrios or Tetragram’, 96.

50 Hong, ‘Euphemism’, 482. Cf. also Japhet, S., The Ideology of the Book of Chronicles and its Place in Biblical Thought (BEATAJ 9; Frankfurt: Lang, 1989) 2041 Google Scholar, esp. 39; Rösel, M., Adonaj, warum Gott ‘Herr’ genannt wird (FAT 29; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000) 184–5Google Scholar.

51 Hong, ‘Euphemism’, 478–9; cf. Rösel, ‘Reading and Translation’, 417. De Troyer, K., The Pronunciation of the Names of God: With Some Notes Regarding nomina sacra’, Gott nennen: Gottes Namen und Gott als Name (ed. Dalferth, I. U. and Stoellger, Ph.; RPT 35 Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008) 143–72Google Scholar argues that θεός was the original Greek rendering (159–64), but Hong, ‘Euphemism’, 478 n. 23 disagrees: ‘It is also likely that to read יהוה as θεός was only a second option – i.e., due to redundancy.’ Cf. also Rösel, ‘Reading and Translation’; Wevers, J. W., ‘The Rendering of the Tetragram in the Psalter and Pentateuch: A Comparative Study’, The Old Greek Psalter (ed. Hiebert, R. J. V., Cox, C. E. and Gentry, P. J.; JSOTSup 332 Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001) 2135 Google Scholar.

52 The only example of κύριε κύριε not clearly serving as a rendering of אדני יהוה of which I am aware is found in b. Hullin 139b, where R. Kahana describes Herodian doves cooing קירי קירי (κύριε κύριε) – aside from one dissenter who protests that it should instead be קירי בירי (‘κύριε is a slave’) before promptly being slaughtered. Pace Frenschkowski, ‘Kyrios in Context’, 109, there is no indication in this passage that the phrase is being used as an acclamation of King Herod. Rather, ‘Herodian doves’ simply designates birds kept in captivity, as discussed in Schürer, E., Millar, G. Vermes, F. and Black, M., The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 bcad 135), vol. i (London: Bloomsbury, 1973; repr. 2014)Google Scholar 310 n. 77. In any case, this passage is both too late and too unclear to be of any value for assessing the use of double κύριος centuries earlier.

53 Pietersma, ‘Kyrios or Tetragram’, 96.

54 Although our LXX lacks the doubling, the version of Ps 34.22 known to Alexander Numenius in the second century ce apparently had κύριε κύριε, as he uses it as an example of ἀναδίπλωσις. See Anonymus Seguerianus in L. Spengel, Rhetores Graeci (3 vols.; Leipzig: Teubner, 1853–6) iii.182.24. The doubling could be explained as such in this poetic verse, but numerous instances in Ezekiel (i.e. ‘thus says Lord Lord’) and elsewhere cannot be so explained.

55 E.g. Deut 3.24; 9.26; Judg 2.1; 6.22(A); 16.28(A); 1 Kings 8.53; Pss 67.21 (68.21 MT); 108.21 (109.21MT); Jer 51.26 (44.26 MT). The prevalence of the vocative may be construed as in keeping with Boadt's observations about the invocational aspect of the Hebrew phrase. Cf. Skehan, ‘Divine Name’, 35.

56 Judg 6.22(B); 2 Sam 7.18, 19 (2x), 20, 22, 7.28, 29. These examples from 2 Samuel 7 are incidentally the same invocations 1 Chronicles alters, as discussed above.

57 Of these, Apoc. Mos. is from a Hebrew exemplar, while the original language of T. Ab. is uncertain.

58 Cf. also Plant. 47, which has a double κύριε separated by ἁγίασμα.

59 Numbers based on Accordance Bible Software 10.2 (Orlando: Oak Tree Software, Inc., 2013)Google Scholar searches of Rahlfs’ critical edition, which primarily relies on Codex Vaticanus. LXX Ezekiel demonstrates the difficulty scribes had with the awkward repetition presented by the qerê for this phrase, with the middle section almost exclusively employing κύριος κύριος, the first twenty chapters preferring the single κύριος, and chs. 40–8 employing mainly κύριος ὁ θεός. This peculiar distribution has led some to posit three separate translators for the book. See McGregor, L. J., The Greek Text of Ezekiel (SCSS 18; Atlanta: Scholars, 1985) 519 Google Scholar; cf. also Hong, ‘Euphemism’, 480. Interestingly, P.Beatty 967 lacks the double κύριος, employing only the single κύριος and fifteen instances of κύριος ὁ θεός, none of which occur in the later manuscript tradition; see Skehan, ‘Divine Name’, 35–7. However, Ziegler, J., ‘Die Bedeutung des Chester Beatty-Scheide Papyrus 967 für die Textüberlieferung der Ezechiel-Septuaginta’, ZAW 61 (1948) 7694 Google Scholar argues that these examples represent secondary alterations in the process of transmission.

60 Boadt, ‘Textual Problems’, 496. Cf. Skehan, ‘Divine Name’, 35. See nn. 37 and 55 above.

61 In the ancient world, where reading was almost always aloud, ‘readers’ and ‘hearers’ are nearly the same thing. See Gamble, H., Books and Readers in the Early Church (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995) 203–42Google Scholar.

62 Pace Frenschkowski, ‘Kyrios in Context’, 109, who asserts, ‘We also have not the slightest hint the call [sic] might have any kind of tradition-historical connection with the Septuagint rendering of YHWH’, when in fact the doubling provides precisely that.

63 Hahn, Titles of Jesus, 90. Cf. also Strecker, G., Die Bergpredigt: Ein exegetischer Kommentar (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984) 172Google Scholar; Bovon, F., Luke 1: A Commentary on the Gospel of Luke 1:1–9:50 (Hermeneia 63A; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002) 253Google Scholar n. 57, citing Strack, H. L. and Billerbeck, P., Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch (4 vols.; Munich: Beck, 1924)Google Scholar i.943; ii.258.

64 Luz, Matthew 1–7, 379.

65 Bovon, Luke 1, 253 n. 57.

66 Frenschkowski, ‘Kyrios in Context’, 111–12.

67 This is easily observed by noting the frequency with which interpreters gloss the phrase with an exclamation point. E.g. Betz, H. D., The Sermon on the Mount (Hermeneia 54; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995) 456Google Scholar; Bovon, Luke 1, 254; Rowe, Early Narrative Christology, 112.

68 Cf. Lausberg, Handbook of Literary Rhetoric, §§612–18.

69 As noted by Albright, W. F. and Mann, C. S., Matthew (AB 26; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974) 302Google Scholar, the parable of the virgins ‘unequivocally equates [Jesus’] ministry with God's visit to claim his own’.

70 See France, R. T., The Gospel of Matthew (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007) 293Google Scholar.

71 See Betz, Sermon, 546–7. As noted by Hurtado, L. W., One God, One Lord (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2003 2) 93125 Google Scholar, such ‘calling upon the name’ of Jesus indicates worship and invocation than one would direct towards God. Cf. also Novenson, M. V., Christ among the Messiahs: Christ Language in Paul and Messiah Language in Ancient Judaism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012) 107CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

72 As Novenson notes, κύριος is ‘“the” new title for the person of Jesus in the Pauline epistles’, occurring twenty-six times in the seven undisputed letters (Christ among the Messiahs, 17).

73 Hagner, Matthew 1–13, 187.

74 Betz, Sermon, 546: ‘What is denied, therefore, is an illusionary expectation stated as a false saying of Jesus that would read: “Everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens”.’

75 Betz, Sermon, 542.

76 Betz, Sermon, 546–51 argues that Matt 7.21–2 polemicises against Gentile believers who call Jesus κύριος but do not obey the Torah, though he also rightly notes that Paul himself ‘would agree that Christians who have nothing to offer in the last judgment except the cry “Lord, Lord!” have no chance of escaping condemnation’ (547), since Paul similarly presumes the need for obedience guided by the love command, which Matthew also puts at the centre. A proper understanding of the double κύριος as referencing the confession of Jesus as κύριος in the context of ‘calling upon the name κύριου’ further strengthens this argument, though it need not only apply to Pauline or Gentile Christians but rather to any who do not adequately live up to what Matthew regards as proper obedience.

77 Frenschkowski, ‘Kyrios in Context’, 108–12. In fairness, Frenschkowski only deals with Q (that is, Luke) 6.46 and never discusses Matt 7.22.

78 Hahn, Titles of Jesus, 91; cf. also Joseph, ‘Master’, 964. Bovon, however, cautions against concluding that an eschatological context is absent from the saying simply because it is not overtly stated (Luke 1, 253).

79 Fitzmyer, Luke iix , 202–3 refers to this ‘retrojection’ as ‘a form of Lukan foreshadowing’. See Rowe, Early Narrative Christology, for a fuller analysis of Luke's use of κύριος and its connection to post-exaltation Christology. Given the match between this version and Lukan proclivities, there is reason to question whether Luke's version is indeed more original, as argued by e.g. Bousset, Kyrios Christos, 90; Schürmann, H., Das Lukasevangelium, vol. i (Freiburg: Herder, 1969) 379–80Google Scholar; Schneider, G., ‘Christusbekenntnis und christliches Handeln: Lk 6, 46 und Mt 7, 21 im Kontext der Evangelien’, Die Kirche des Anfangs: Festschrift für Heinz Schürmann (ed. Schnackenburg, R., Ernst, J. and Wanke, J.; EThSt 38; Freiburg: Herder, 1978) 924 Google Scholar; Fitzmyer, Luke iix , 643; Betz, Sermon, 253; Tuckett, C. M., Q and the History of Early Christianity (London: Black, 2004) 214–15Google Scholar; Joseph, ‘Master’, 962; Fleddermann, H. T., Q: A Reconstruction and Commentary (Leuven: Peeters, 2005) 306Google Scholar; Frenschkowski, ‘Kyrios in Context’, 107. On the Lukan version as a secondary abbreviation, see Hahn, Titles of Jesus, 91.

80 Betz, Sermon, 636.

81 As Culy, M. M., ‘Double Case Constructions in Koine Greek’, JGRChJ 6 (2009) 82106 Google Scholar, at 82 n. 2 explains, ‘[t]he vocative does occasionally appear in object-complement constructions with a verb of identification. In such instances, it replaces whatever case would have been expected in the complement.’ See also BDAG 502 (1.b), which also understands the vocative as taking the place of the second accusative in this case. John 1.38 provides another example: εἶπαν αὐτῷ ῥαββί. Luke's use of the vocative – the case of ‘calling’ (κλητική) – with καλέω also further emphasises what Jesus is being called here (thanks to Stephen Carlson for this point).

82 E.g. Luke 20.44 // Matt 22.43; Matt 23.8, 9; John 10.35; Rom 9.25; Heb 2.11; 1 Pet 2.7; 3.6. Cf. also the use of καλέω in Luke 1.32, 59, 62; John 1.42. Were Luke 6.46 merely reporting speech rather than declaring a title, one would expect a single object (1 Sam 3.4; Deut 5.1; Tob 4.3; Luke 5.32) or a verbal form such as λέγων (e.g. Luke 18.38; 23.21) rather than an object + complement construction.

83 Cf. Hahn, Titles of Jesus, 91.

84 Bovon, Luke 1, 253–4. For the opposite view, see Schürmann, Lukasevangelium, i.381.

85 Bovon defends his suggestion by appealing to the use of the single κύριος to address not only God the father but also Jesus, essentially ignoring the significance of the doubling (Luke 1, 254).

86 Betz, Sermon, 664.

87 This also suggests that English translations should render the phrase ‘Lord Lord’ (or ‘Lord Lord’), not ‘Lord, Lord’.

88 Cf. Hurtado, One God, 93–128; Fitzmyer, Luke iix , 202–3, 365.

Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

‘Lord, Lord’: Jesus as YHWH in Matthew and Luke*
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

‘Lord, Lord’: Jesus as YHWH in Matthew and Luke*
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

‘Lord, Lord’: Jesus as YHWH in Matthew and Luke*
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *