Mr Herbert deserves to be applauded by all right thinking citizens who would not want to repeat mistakes of history by giving their children names that would tarnish their future lives. He started by saying that some of the names given to children are derived from the Bible, but said that a name like Judas has been shunned for reasons that he dutifully gave.
He talked of the Disciples of Jesus, and after stating why Judas has never been a name parents give to their children, he then threw into play two names Mark and Peter as if to compare the two. Yes, he did and informed his listeners about some hidden facts in relation to the person Peter. He suggested that Peter could have been as bad as Judas, if not worse.
“The Bible says that though Peter was pretending to be his right hand man, so to speak, Jesus said one day, ‘one of you will betray me’ and that ended up being Judas,” said Mr Herbert. “But then he said to Peter ‘you see you, you will — as we say locally — disown me. You will pretend as if you do not know me when trouble begin to arise’.”
More details about the name Peter came out of Mr Herbert’s mouth as he went on, “I always like to use the phrase, ‘where there is a Judas, there is also a Peter’. So it was not Judas alone. Peter was undermining his master as well.”
After having destroyed Peter’s image, which will make many people think twice before naming their children Peter, he attempted to soothe the scenario by adding: “But not to worry, he did a lot of good things, well more good things than bad, but it’s kind of neat that Jesus said ‘Peter, you also are undermining me’, and surely enough, in a short time the evidence became clear.”
While Mr Evered ‘Webbo’ Herbert refers to panellists on another of his programme on VON radio as heavyweights, he does not describe himself as one. But that is not so with his listeners who believe that if there are heavyweights on any of his radio shows, he is mightier than them. Listeners will without doubt heed his advice and see Peter as the undermining character the Bible has recorded.
He however did a disservice to his listeners because after having thrown in for a mention the name Mark as a name that would be better to use than Peter, he did not tell his listeners anything about Mark, for the listeners to fully make up their minds that Mark is better than Peter. Since Mr Herbert is the heavyweight (but he never calls himself one), people might start striking the name Peter off their children’s birth certificates, to substitute with the better of Jesus Disciples’ name — Mark.
The veteran radio journalist, who is also the manager of the Voice of Nevis Radio station knows that rules of journalism require that you give your listeners the two sides of any story and then allow the listeners to make up their minds. Whether by omission or commission he failed to tell his listeners who Mark was, other than being a disciple of Jesus as were Judas and Peter.
Who was Mark? Looking at the Bible in its fullest context, one finds out that when Jesus explained that His flesh was ‘real food’ and His blood was ‘real drink’ many disciples left him (John 6: 44-46) including Mark. He was later restored to faith by Peter, then became Peter’s interpreter, wrote the Gospel of Mark, founded the church of Africa and became the bishop of Alexandria.
Facts of history show that Peter was the leader and Mark was the follower. Peter who had been jailed in AD 41 and was about to be killed after the Passover was saved miraculously by angels and escaped out of the realm of Herod (Acts 12: 1-19) and went to Antioch, then through Asia Minor (1 Peter 1:1) and arrived in Rome in AD 42. Somewhere on the way Peter picked up Mark and took him as travel companion and interpreter.
Peter’s preaching in Rome was so successful that he was honoured by the inhabitants with a statue in the city, and by popular request, Mark the evangelist wrote down the sermons of Peter, thus composing the Gospel according to Mark, before he left for Alexandria in the third year of Emperor Claudius (Ad 43).
There is still more about the two disciples, Peter and Mark, Mr Herbert should have mentioned as he made an attempt to advise his listeners as to what names to give their children. The Bible says that when soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter cut off the ear of one of them with a sword.
However, on the night when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Mark had followed him there and the Temple guards saw him — he ran away and dropped his loincloth. While the Bible does not explicitly name Mark as the person who dropped his loincloth, Biblical scholars have over the years come to an educated and unified conclusion that it was indeed Mark who ran off naked.
Talk about name your child Peter or Mark! But to be fair to Mr Herbert, a look at other Biblical names, this time from the Old Testament should be the right thing to do. A popular name David comes to mind. He took another man’s wife and had the man killed by sending him to the battle front while ill equipped. Not a good choice of name to give a child if we are to go by Mr Herbert’s submission of Thursday March 29.
Daniel is a popular name from the Old Testament. Who was he? As a young man, Daniel (meaning ‘God is my Judge’ in Hebrew) was taken into Babylonian captivity where he was educated in Chaldean thought. However, he never converted to Neo-Babylonian ways. By Divine Wisdom from his God, Yahweh, he interpreted dreams and visions of kings, thus becoming a prominent figure in the court of Babylon.
After the Persian conquest of Babylon, Daniel is depicted as one of three senior administrators of the empire in the reign of Darius the Mede. When the king decided to set Daniel over the whole kingdom, the other officials plotted his downfall. Unable to uncover any corruption, they used Daniel’s religious devotion to defeat him.
Unable to bring down Daniel, the officials tricked the king into issuing an irrevocable decree that no god was to be worshiped for a thirty-day period. When Daniel continued to pray three times a day towards Jerusalem, he was thrown into a den of lions, much to the distress of Darius. After an angel shut the lions’ mouths, Daniel was delivered and his opponents thrown into the den where they were devoured instantly.
Another name mentioned in the Old Testament is Joseph. It is recorded that he was a dreamer and his brothers disliked him so much that they attempted to kill him, but changed their minds and sold him off to Egypt. The Bible says that he was put in prison, but because of his dreams, he became the governor of Egypt and was able to rescue his family after famine in Israel.
However, Joseph is a name that transcends the Old Testament as it also appears in the New Testament. Not the same person, but persons with the same name, which then proves, if we are to go by Mr Herbert’s wise counsel, Joseph is the greatest of all names.
In the New Testament there was one Joseph who God, in His Divine wisdom, allowed him to stand over the Christ child, as he came into this world to save humanity. Then there was yet another Joseph who gave up his tomb so that the Christ who came to rescue the world could lie in his tomb.