In ancient times, the power to name something was the power to control it. Throughout the Bible, God changes the names of certain people. God doesn’t choose to name random people, and the names he chooses have special meanings. For instance, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham because God’s plan was for Abraham to be the father of many nations (Gen. 17:5).
“Abraham” means, “father of believers.” God changes the person’s name in order to show a significant change in the direction of that person’s life. This is evident when God says to Jacob,” You whose name is Jacob shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name (Gen. 36:10).” He gives his reasons for this change when He says,” The land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac I now give to you; And your descendants after you I will give this land (Gen. 36:12).” Thus, Jacob is named Israel, and all the descendants of Israel are the nation of Israel. God changed many of his most devout followers’ names. Jesus only changed one. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter to signify that he was the foundation of the new Church. From that point on, Peter became the leader of the apostles. Throughout history, all of the popes are said to have had their powers passed down by Peter. Names have played an important role in the history of the Church. They have given the specific person whose name was changed a guide in what they should be doing for the rest of their lives.