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Names from the Bible: Relics from the Past or Timeless Gems?

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In times like these, is there much significance in naming your baby according to Bible and the monotheistic tradition?

When computer technology allows us to connect to remote parts of the world in milliseconds, when you can walk into a GAP store in Calcutta or eat authentic Indian food in downtown Tokyo, a lot parents today are trying to break the conventional molds that were common for two thousand years. They are trying to give their baby a unique name that will stand out. Globalization has broken cultural patterns. Giving American babies Japanese, Chinese or Irish names has become a wide spread trend.

On the other hand, many people have grown tired of trendy names and prefer the traditional path. One of these basic and fundamental paths is Biblical names which have grown popular in recent years due to the Kabbalah movement and Christian awakening in many parts of the world. 

Naming your baby according to the Bible has its advantages for a number of reasons: the names in the Old and New Testament are derived mostly from Hebrew. In Hebrew every name has a meaning, for example, the name Jesus is derived from the Hebrew root of the word salvation (ישוע). The name Jonah means dove, Jonathan means "God has given" and the name Hannah means "grace" or "pardon." Furthermore, each name connects to a story which can reflect your baby's personality or destiny. For more meanings go to our baby names lists and press "Hebrew baby names."

Many people name their baby after specific personalities whose qualities they admire. For example, Gideon or David can indicate that you want your baby to embrace leadership qualities, whereas Solomon or Sarah who were wise and enlighten figures will hopefully give your child a sense of compassion or a strong sense for justice. In other words, when your kid grows older, he may fulfill the essence that the name symbolizes. On the other hand, naming your baby Jobe can have negative consequences. The name represents the tragic story of the Biblical figure, so much so, that it became synonymous with suffering, bad luck and disaster. Even on a social level, these names may come to haunt your child. A name which has become a symbol can be misjudged by others regardless of the person's qualities. Nobody would want to call his kid Judas!

These names have been around for over two thousand years and have taken root in almost every region in the world. Some of these names have taken on new symbolic qualities. The name Joseph in Russia does not remind people of the just leader of Israel but of a ruthless tyrant.   Putting aside the spiritual and symbolic aspects, Biblical names are well known and are international even though they vary from country to country. Michael has the same meaning in Nigeria, Brazil, France or Lebanon; therefore they are easily written, and pronounced.

Biblical names will always take a substantial part of any list of baby names because they are so inherent in us, even if we are not religious. These names are so symbolic and filled with history, they will always remain current and popular.

Other baby name meanings:

Boy names: • Joshua (Old Testament) – “God has saved”
• Michael (Old Testament and Christian saint) – “Who is like God”
• Matthew (New Testament) – “Gift from God”
• Nathan (Old Testament) – He gave
• James (New Testament) – A variant of the name Jacob, meaning "He grasps the heel. Supplanter."
• Solomon (Old Testament) – Peace from God
• Peter (New Testament) – A Rock. One of the Apostles
• Noah (Old Testament) - Comfort; rest; quiet
• Ruben (Old Testament) - “Behold a son”
• Benjamin (Old Testament) - Son of my right hand

Girl names: • Sarah (Old Testament) – Princess
• Miriam, Mary (Old and New Testament) – Although the original meaning is not certain, the name is thought to come from the Egyptian word "mry," meaning "beloved"
• Elizabeth (New Testament), Elisheba (Old Testament) – “My God is my oath”
• Isabelle (Old Testament) - Spanish and Portuguese variant of Elizabeth
• Naomi (Old Testament) – “Pleasant”
• Debra, Deborah (Old Testament) – Bee
• Abigail (Old Testament) – “My Father is Joyous”
• Eve (Old Testament) – Life, Living
• Leah (Old Testament) – Tired, Fatigued
• Rebecca (Old Testament) – “To Bind”

What do you think? Are these names timeless? Add your comment!

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Comments (20)Add Comment
Rare
written by Tahrae, February 19, 2008
My mother and father could only agree on one name: Tahrae. Tahrae is a different spelling for Terah who is the father of Abraham. It is pronounced just like it is spelled, Tah-rae. Most people just call me Rae though.
biblical names
written by wehi, February 23, 2008
I named my daughter Sarai and I love it. People always comment on how unusual it is. I'm hoping to name my boy Ezra or Ezekiel.
Completely Unique
written by Jael, March 04, 2008
My name is Jael, pronounced J-L. My parent's found my name in Judges, Jael is a bringer of justice and a winner of peace. The name means the Abundance of God. I LOVE my name, it's totally unique and fits me perfectly.
to
written by starfish, March 04, 2008
My husband and I are looking for another Biblical name for our daughter to be born in June... we liked Jael at first but I was just wondering how many people mispronounce or seem to dislike your name? I think it's beautiful, but I just don't want people to think that it's pronounced "jail". Any advice/feedback with personal experience is appreciated!
Ezra
written by SKEmomma, March 20, 2008
My 3rd child's name is Ezra. I love his name. It isn't a normal name but it isn't totally wierd either. My husband and I are religious and we love that it is a Bible name. We get a lot of positive comments. (And it's a good test to see if people really know the Bible.)
...
written by Ency Peterson, April 10, 2008
I have a friend named Noel. Many people when they see its spelling prononce it Nole. It would always annoy her. She mentioned once that of all her teachers and everyone who saw her name and tried pronounce it a total of two pronounced it correctly. She even had a teacher for art in grade school her each year would mispronounce it.
As for names from the bible, I always liked Saul or Nebudchadnezzer
...
written by jessica, April 13, 2008
My daughters name is Israel Jolee-Zion. We love her name and have gotten MANY compliments : )I am due in June with a boy and we are still searching.
More Biblical Names
written by Angie, April 15, 2008
There are a lot of beautiful names here! My husband and I have five lion-hearts and just found out we're pregnant again! Our children's names are either from the Bible or give a reference to God. My first-born is Olivia Joi -- Olivia referring to the Olive, which, in the Bible is what was pressed and used for annointing and represented the Holy Spirit. Joi because she was our first born and is definitely spirit-filled and a JOY! Our second child is Hallie, which we took from Hallelujah! :-) Our third is Gabriel, like the arch angel meaning "strong man of God." Our fourth and 1st-born twin is Eva -- from Eve -- meaning "life" or "mother of all the living." Our fifth and 2nd-born twin is Michael Amadeus -- Michael, also an arch angel meaning "who is like God?", and Amadeus (if you're familiar with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) meaning "love for God." Pray for us!!! I've heard that once you have a set of fraternal twins, you're twice as likely to have another set the next time around! :-) God Bless!!!
About the name Jezebel
written by Leah Gillespie, May 30, 2008
Hi Julie, I think that the name Jezebel is beautiful and if you love it, use it. I certainly wouldn't be thinking of the negative connotations of the name - how many people really know the story? And let's hope that no one would be rude enough to make a nasty comment to you on your choice of name!! Go for it girlfriend!
...
written by Nicole, June 04, 2008
I think biblical names are very beautiful. I am searching for a good one for my third son who is expected in September. My Fiance's brother just named our nephew Nehemiah, which I thought was kind of strange at first. But then I grew to love it. But now I have a hard time with the nickname that most people call him which is Nemo. Why take a beautiful name like that and give it a fishes name?? But I guess I'll have to wait until he can speak for himself about that name.
Biblical name THIRZAH
written by Luatua, June 07, 2008
As soon as we found out that we were having a baby girl we automatically had my parnters & my mothers name in place as her middle names, but we decided to look for a biblical name with the beginning with our mothers name.The letter 'T'. And it just so happens that we found this name in 'Tirsa' but we've changed our daughters spelling of it to 'THIRZAH'- meaning Pleasantness and Beautiful.
Biblical Names
written by Victoria, August 09, 2008
I've chosen some names for my future kids some of which I use when writing (the girls are also named after the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice and the last is named after my aunt too). I also like Adam and John.

1. Daniel Jacob
2. Elijah Joshua
3. Elizabeth Jane
4. Mary Catherine
...
written by katherine, August 27, 2008
I just found out I am expecting a boy, due in January. We cannot come up with a boy's first name. The middle name will be Andrew, after my late brother. any suggestions are welcome!
Thanks-K
Malachi Eliab & Maranatha Trinity Havilah
written by Haley, September 05, 2008
My Fiancee and I are planning to name our first child Malachi Eliab or Maranatha Trinity Havilah.
Meaning:
Malachi(Messanger of God)
Eliab(God is my father)

Maranatha(Our Lord Comes)
Trinity(Three)
Havilah(meaning Circular, but was apart of the Garden of Eden)
More Biblical Names
written by Jenny Boy Gallo, September 11, 2008
I'm an expectant father in 7 months time. and I want my baby to be named after Bible Characters.
I regret not naming my only son
written by Lianna Padilla, September 15, 2008
In response to katherine. My son's name is adam james. But if it was up to me i would have named him Lucas james. i absolutely love the name lucas. I think Lucas Andrew sounds precious. Hope it helps. Good luck!!
bible name
written by galesburgbrat, October 10, 2008
I named my son Josiah. I liked the sound of it and it has many possibilities for nicknames (Joe, Joey, Jose) though I only call him by his given name. I knew the name was of a king from the Old Testament but that wasn't my main reason for choosing it. Mostly everyone loves it. It's not overused or off-the-wall either. Hope that helps someone :)
Naming our children Bible names is a testament to our faith
written by April, January 23, 2009
I named my son Noah. I prayed about it and God gently put this name on my heart. I desire for my son to not conform to this world and to be set apart for God like Noah was. Other names that I love are:

Boys:
Ezra
Jonah
Micah
Josiah
Luke

Girls:
Noelle
Lydia
Eliza
Esra (okay, I love this one for a girl too!)
...
written by Rachael, April 02, 2009
We love Biblical names! Our son's name is Zayin Matthew, (Zayin is the 7th letter of the hebrew alphabet. All of our sons will have middle names from the bible. And our girls get virtue middle names: Arabella Faith & Avianna Peace. We also like Hope, Patience, Grace, & Glory
biblical names
written by stacey, December 10, 2009
I named my daughter Azariah, yeah I know it is suppose to be a boys name. Mytwo sons are named Jonathan and the other is Jared, I just always loved the name Azariah and I have had that named picked out for a little girl since I can remember, and it comes from one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It has a lot more meaning to me than just a name.

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