Giving your kid a Biblical name.

“I am not French.”

My oldest daughter will probably have to say that 19 million times when she’s in Elementary School. Not because we constantly dress her in berets* or make her school lunch on baguettes but because her name is “LE.”

It’s actually L.E., which stands for “Laura Elizabeth,” and is pronounced “Ellie” but teachers understandably get confused the first time they see it on paper. Granted “LE” means “the” in French so what they are assuming is that we named our kid “the Acuff.” Wouldn’t that be the cockiest name you’ve ever heard? I would probably do it though. Don’t tempt me.

Things would have been easier if we just named her after a character in the Bible. The problem with going that route though is that there are so many options. The Bible is chock full of potential names and it’s hard to find the best one. It’s difficult to discern which name is going to set your kid on the path to becoming a titan of spirituality or instead set him on a steady course of getting tuned up nonstop on the playground during recess. If only there was a way to rank the effectiveness of Bible names. (Can you sense a point-based Biblical name post coming? Wait for it…)

The Crazy Bible Name for Your Kid Score Sheet

1. You give your kid a name that doesn’t sound Biblical except for a slight letter difference that only Christians would notice, e.g. “Rebekah” with a k. = +1 point

2. Major prophets. = +1 point

3. Minor prophets.= +3 points

4. You give your kid a name that starts of kind off normal but then takes a sharp right turn into the Old Testament. Like “Anthothijah.” Starts off like you’re going to say Anthony but just before you get to the “ny” you throw a “thijah” at me. Well played. = +3 points

5. You name a kid without looking up the meaning of the name first. Mordecai for instance means “Servant of Marduk.” Good luck telling a three-year old what that means. = +4 points

6. Their middle name is Matthew, Mark, Luke or John = +1 point

7. Their first name is “The gospel of” = +5 points

8. Their name prepares them up for an obscure career. Agrippa for instance means, “tamer of wild horses.” = +2 points

9. You name them after a character that started out great but ended up kind of blowing it. Saul for instance. = +1 point

10. You name them after one of the 12 tribes. = +1 point

11. You name them after all of the 12 tribes. +5 points

12. Their name can easily be turned into a brutal nickname. Zechariah** for instance would become “Diarrhea” on the playground in about 2.4 seconds. = +2 points

13. You find a way to name your kid after the Bible and the movie Star Wars. Obadiah for instance. If you name your kid that but call him Obi, well done. =+10 points

14. You use the name as a witnessing tool, with the hope that every time your non believing family members say it out loud they will perhaps be reminded of 1 Chronicles 2:8 and eventually become Christians. = +3 points

15. You name your kid Jonathan or David and then are secretly disappointed when as a toddler they exhibit little affinity for any sort of weapons play or giant head cutting off. = +2 points.

How did you score? High? Low? What categories did I miss? We already covered the Christian penchant for naming kids after Lord of the Rings. Did you give your kid a Biblical name? Do you have one yourself? What names have you heard?

I should warn you, I’m Jonathan Christopher which means “Gift from God” and “Followers of Christ.” Soooo, I’m pretty holy.

How about you? What’s your Bible name?

*I’ve got nothing but love for you France, even though you stole my walkman while I was staying at a hostel in Paris called “the Peace & Love Hostel.” Should have been called “the Peace & Love & Steal Jon’s Bright Yellow Walkman Hostel” but that probably would have been too long for the sign.
** People named Zechariah, what was I going to do? I had what felt like a serviceable diarrhea joke and your name was the only one that was both biblical and kind of sounded like diarrhea. My hands were tied. (If it makes you feel any better, I so brutally misspelled the word “diarrhea” the first nine times I wrote it that Microsoft Word wouldn’t even spell check it. I was so far off that instead of making a spelling suggestion they just popped up a message that said, “You’re stupid.” That’s always fun.)

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  1. anne says

    I messed up on so many levels.:) When naming my firstborn, I considered biblical names, but none were long enough. I told husband it had to be long enough, so that when she was getting into something, she could be out of it before I stopped saying her name. Her name is Allison Elizabeth. Half biblical and she has proven that out. I was one of those moms that got stuck on the letter A, I had to take it one step further and make all three initials the same. I thought it would be cute for monogrammed( yes, we lived in the 80’s) clothing they all three could share. But nooo. Now I’m just horrible because when initialing anything, there are powers involved. AEP 1, AEP 2, and AEP 3. I thought it was cute at the time. My girls are Allison Elizabeth, Andrea Erin, and Abigail Elaine. Had we had a boy, we would have broken the AEP curse:) he would have been Andrew Michael.:) Crazy what thought we put in names:)

  2. Amy B. says

    My family will have lots of points. My husband’s first and middle names are John Benjamin. We have already decided that when we have children, our first son’s name will be Asher Luke. If we have a daughter, her name will be Elizabeth Jean (Jean is not biblical, but is my middle name and was handed down from my mother and grandmother).

  3. Trina says

    I have a minor prophet, but my Rebecca isn’t spelled with a “k.”

    My twins have biblical names of a different sort. Alethea and Zoe mean “truth” and “life” in Greek. The family joke is that if they had been triplets the third would have been Haddas (sp?) which means “way.”

    Secret Bible names FTW!

    If I were planning to have another, I would seriously be considering Obediah after reading #13. 😉

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