Use of the Word Christian

The Greek word translated Christian in Acts 11 and 26 and 1 Peter 4 is the word Christianos (Strongs #G5546).

CBE Solutions

The Bible in referring to the disciples of Jesus Christ says they were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26).

The Bible does not say who first called the disciples Christians at Antioch.  But Peter says “if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (1 Peter 4:16).

Agrippa says that Paul almost persuaded him to be a Christian.  The scripture records Paul response as: “And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.” (Acts 26:28-29).

Thus, both Peter and Paul acknowledge the validity of using the word Christian in referring to the disciples of Jesus Christ.   Peter does so explicitly and Paul does so implicitly.

Thus, anyone who is a true follower or disciple of Jesus Christ is a Christian; this is true even if they use other labels or nomenclature to describe or identify themselves.

That is, if they want to identify with Peter and Paul and the other biblical Christians, then they would not have any objection to at least the occasional use of the word Christian even if they prefer to regularly use some other label to distinguish themselves from other believers.

For example, a person may on a regular basis identify themselves as a Baptist; but such a person certainly should not have a problem identifying themselves as Christian in alliance with other Christian denominations in contrast to other religions/faith such as Islam, Judaism, or Buddhism, etc.



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