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. Matt in Mn says

    Two of my boys are named after prophets, Micah and Ezra.

    And my wife has two brothers,

    Matthew Mark and
    Luke John

    wv: sarylon – Saran wrap colored nylons (what would be the point?)

  2. Steph at The Red Clay Diaries says

    We couldn’t come up with the right Biblical boy name for our son. (Although Onan, Ehud, and Ananias were in the running)

    But my girls are Hannah and Abigail.

    WV: comatee
    The diagnosis of a sea cow after it gets hit by a boat:
    “I’m sorry, but your manatee is in a comatee.”

  3. KatieHen says

    my favorite is #7. brilliant. i don’t have any kids yet, but when i do, i’ll be sure to look back at this list so i can choose right and win the most points. what do i get for that? i guess a super holy kid, huh?

    also, i can’t believe i’m still awake to catch this post. that has NEVER happened. it’s like 6 here.

  4. Matt @ The Church of No People says

    All four of the cousins on one side of the family have Bible names – Matthew, Aaron, Zachariah, and Benjamin (not just ‘Zachary, but the whooole spelling.) Matthew is my middle name, but my first is a family name that stays with me for now. It’s not ‘the gospel of’ but that would be sweet.

    Maybe a couple of points for naming your children for two people in the same story – that way they could reenact their own version of the Biblical intrique. Like Jacob and Esau.

    Oh man, I just looked at Matt in MN’s comment – those names are FTW!

  5. Abby says

    I’m named after two awesome Bible ladies – Abigail and Elizabeth. One of my brother’s is Jonathan Seth and the other is David Levi. We got some good Bible names going on!

    One of my friends named her daughter Shiphrah. How many points is that?

  6. Nick the Geek says

    my kids, unfortunately, don’t have wicked cool names like that. It turns out that my wife is much more compassionate and vetoed a great number of our name choices. My oldest daughter’s name is French though. Both her first and middle name. I even made sure that we have proper accent marks on her name just to mess with people.

    My sons do have names form the Apostles so that count for something right?

    Word Verification: constat
    The health or statistics of a con.

  7. Nick the Geek says

    oh and you missed a major point system for girls. A friend of mine wins based on the middle names of her three girls. Faith, Hope, and Charity as in “Of these three remain Faith, Hope, and Charity but the greatest of these is Charity.” You have to be serious when you decide the go this route because you need three girls or must be willing to name your boys Faith, Hope, and Charity, which is pretty hardcore.

  8. Michael Mahoney says

    I’m still waiting to meet a kid named Mephibosheph. Or maybe Shishak. Anyone can name a kid Elijah. Mephibosheph should be worth ten points.

  9. katdish says

    Oh Post #497, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

    1. Picturing a bunch of teachers and school administrators looking deeply concerned and speaking in hushed tones about the poor judgement of parents who would name their daughther “The Acuff”. Especially since these same parents sent their poor child to school with the remnants of a suspicious blue hue to her face.

    2. Seeing that you linked one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE SCL posts to this post. (“It sucks when you name your kid Orange Julius…”)

    3. Thinking that your new found fame has not made you more mainstream, but seemingly even more delightfully ridiculous than ever.

    4. Oh, man! I could go on, but in the interest of space, I will stop. Except to say that I have had similar conversations with Spell Check about the very same word! “Diarea..diarheea..diarhea…intestitinal issues”.

  10. sherri says

    I scored pretty high- my sons are JOSHUA
    and, uh oh, JONATHAN DAVID!(That may explain his fascination with sling shots as a young boy- but he IS a great friend!)

    My name is not biblical (parents must have been in a backslidden condition when they names me!) My brother and sister: David and Deborah. I was the heathen child!

    • Tabitha says

      My fiance's name is Jonathan David too. ;)

      But unfortunately, he shows little affinity for weapons, except for guns. I don't think those count. :P

      (Also, late post is late)

  11. Miriam says

    When I was ten, my mom was talking about names for my new sibling which would soon be born. I was paying partial attnention while we ate dinner and was appalled when I thought I heard her say that she wanted to name the new baby “the awfulest.” She was quite dissappointed to realize that I had completely ruined her ability to ever use the name Theophilous on any boys she might have.

    Thankfully the baby was a girl and received more normal name (Anna Naomi). The rest of my siblings have biblical names as well. We’re Luke, Maria, Miriam, Lydia, Elijah, Anna and Jubilee!

  12. Rachel says

    I have a good Biblical name and story. My name is Rachel Leah… yes, as in the sisters in the Bible. And the funny thing is that my grandmother FOUGHT my parents on their original plan to name me Leah Rachel, telling them that it was not acceptable because Leah was not Jacob’s chosen one. Clearly, Mema won.

    • Rachel says

      I am a Rachel too… so at least we are both with an 'el' – with the correct Biblical spelling! (Well at least the Engish version anyway!). However my middle name followed my mum's middle name.

  13. ellenjane says

    I was named after the town of Bethany, how many points does that give me?

    Also, I used to work with a fella named Matthew. He was the oldest of 4 boys. His younger brothers were named Mark, Luke, and John.

  14. drredhead says

    My parent went with Family Names for our first names and Biblical Names for our middle names. My brother is Paul, My sister is Rebekah (Yes, the hebrew spelling), and I am Benjamin; which is a little creepy if you think of it. My sister is my grandmother?

  15. Stéphane K says

    Hey Jon,
    Maybe God had a message for you with the whole walkman deal.
    Or maybe he wanted to save the thief(who spoke fluent english) with a great sermon on your walkman.
    Or maybe God intended you to hunt down the thief and fall madly in love with France and dedicate your life to reaching the French for Jesus.

    All that to say… France needs your prayers, and THAT is not a joke.

    Thanks for your post.

  16. Anniewan says

    I feel like I have giving my kids horrible names now. We didn’t give either child a biblical name. Altho my son is named after a patron saint (but we aren’t Catholic) by accident since we named him after two hockey player :).

    wootal — wv- when someone is too tall for words, I exclaim “wootal”

  17. preacherlady says

    Son’s name is Jonathan. I tell people it’s after the Biblical Jonathan. Husband tells people it’s after the character in ‘Rollerball’. Either way, it fits a hockey player.

    Do we get credit for variants i.e. Marian?

    wv: condin – a trendy new name that goes great with Biblical names i.e. ‘Condin Matthew Habakkuk Jacob’.

  18. Hucklebuck says

    n. 1. The hip; the haunch.

    v. 2. To make sudden jerky movements

    Sounds like I was named after the king of rock-n-roll instead of the King of Kings. No points for me and the board goes back.

  19. Bttrfly1976 says

    My brother named his sons Malachi and Caleb. They’re 11 and 12 now and to this day I don’t know if he was trying to be biblical or just really likes Children of the Corn!

  20. jake - aka the comment novelist says

    Jacob Eli

    I was named after the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, which is totally cool. Oddly enough, I hate wrestling.

    I also got a middle name that took over 20 years to not be embarrassed about. It can be morphed on the playground, but I’m not volunteering what it is.

    My brother is Joshua, so yeah, my parents were pretty holy.

  21. Tiffany says

    hey miriam, i go to school with your sister lydia. i realized you were her sister when i saw jubilee’s name! small world, huh?

  22. jake - aka the comment novelist says

    Just realized: Would my grandma lose points for naming my aunt Delilah?

    Sure it’s biblical, but…

  23. JennyM says

    All four of my kids have hypenated Biblical names. And since I love Spanish…are you guessing what their names are???? Huh??? I win already. And you didn’t even slip a 25 pointer in there for the OBVIOUS Super Ultra Biblical Name of Nmaes!!!!

    Rhymes with “Hay-zoos”. As in “hay-zoos Paulita”. “Hay-zoos Renata’….everyone shouls just give up now. And where’s my prize??

    wv-nismon-what French kids say when everyone mocks their Anglo name “N’is mon nom!!”

  24. JennyM says

    And then JennyM got a heavenly smack down for lying for attention. No “hayzoo” in our house. ut weird, in the 3 minutes since I left that ly-ment…I’ve broken out in boils and frogs are EVERYWHERE!!!!!

  25. vanilla says

    My name is David, and yes, my parents get the 2 points for the non-affinity.
    My daughters are biblical, Ann Marie for two characters; and Ivanelle, feminized form of John.
    My boys’ names are totally off the biblical map.
    –And I suggest that if one names his kids for ALL twelve tribes, he should get 12 points; and the kid will need a wheelbarrow to carry his name around in.

  26. Hayley says

    My children’s names are Micah Gabriel and Mia Grace (Mia is short for Miriam). My husband has one Biblical name, Nicholas, but his middle name is Heath, which together means “victorious people of a barren wasteland”. Pretty high calling there.

  27. eastern ky pastor says

    Jon, I love this post. It is one of your funniest. May I make a suggestion? Next time, don’t refer to Biblical personalities as characters. They were real people and the word “characters” seems to make them appear as fictional, as thought they were characters in a movie or play. I maybe wrong and if so, sorry.

  28. Heather says

    We names our youngest infant GRACE — you know the “undeserved unearned love of God”

    The older 2 kids have heathen names… ;-)

    henonhm — the people wanted meat – and God went all quail henohm

  29. Christina says

    My nitpicky partially French Canadian self feels the need to point out that “Le Acuff” is awful grammar and anytime the noun begins with a vowel the article is an l with an apostrophe. “L’Acuff”

    So there you go, your French lesson for the day. And my first name means follower of Christ while my middle name (Elisabeth) means “My God is my oath.” And to top it off, I lucked out with a last name that can be passed off as decidedly LOTR (well, if the tree people went all gangster on us and started using z’s instead of s’s when pluralizing.)

  30. Stephanie says

    Well, we gave our kids Bible names, but we saved the corker for the dog–Ehud. Imagine spelling out Ehud for the vet. Imagine people stopping you to pet your dog as you’re out on a walk “What’s his name?” they say. “Ehud,” you reply brightly. Blank stare. “You know, like the judge in the Bible?” Slightly glazed look. “You know, like, the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert?” Absolutely not a glint of understanding. Sigh.
    Oh, and the most wildly ridiculous part: training him to go outside and do his business to the one word command, “Eglon.”

  31. Kay says

    My husband’s parents did the only Christian thing they could….they gave each of their sons the middle name of “Christian”. We, of course, couldn’t break tradition, so our daughter got “Christine” and our son got “Christian” for middle names. Maybe we’re holy. Maybe we’re lazy. Probably the latter. ;-)

  32. Ruth Chowdhury says

    My name is Ruth, but I wasn't named after the Ruth in the Bible – I was named after my grandma. But no one knows that & it is a "rare" name – I've only met 1-2 people all my life w/my name that weren't at least 40 years my senior.

    My son's name is Samuel Christopher. My husband's name is Christopher. My daughter's name is Addison which isn't biblical, but means "Son of Adam" (yeah, I know. I said "son" and she's a girl). So I had to give her a strong middle name – "Faith". :)

    We're thinking of "Micah" for our next boy.

    wv: graftne – when you need a new knee and have to graft one in, kinda like God did for the Greeks (see Romans).

  33. ed says

    We had totally planned on Obidiah and using Obi as a nickname but alas; our child was born without a penis. So we went with Ariana instead.

  34. Kristi says

    I’m Kristi, which means Follower of Christ–a great way to hide being named after Christ, I guess. We named our son Isaak Gill–not after the biblical Isaac–he’s named for both Grandmas’ maiden names–but how were we to know that suddenly it would become the most popular biblical name for new babies! And we thought we were going to be unique. One biblical name I’ve never heard is Abel. Granted, he was murdered–but God preferred his gift! And Abe would be a cool nickname.

  35. Anonymous says

    I grew up Catholic and also have the misfortune of NOT having either a biblical name or a saints name. I went to Catholic schools and every year we did a report on “our” saint. Everyone else had 100s of Johns and Marys to choose from, each with their own huge entry in the encyclopedia of saints.

    Me? I got a paragraph devoted to an obscure 6th century monk whose name is *kinda* like mine.

    Try scoring an A+ with that material year after year.

  36. Beth says

    We went with the formula of Biblical first name, crazy Greek middle name. So our boys are Ezekiel Xenophon and Deacon Leonidas. Yeah. Makes me a little nervous for the next one – should there be a next one.

    As for us, hubby is Joshua Mark. My name, not so Biblical, until a chaplain gave it knew meaning. My name is Beth (house) Anne (graceful). He “translated” it as Beth Anne – where grace abides. I heart that man. :)

  37. Anonymous says

    I’m not a Christian (nor do I wish to become one, I’ve tried it thanks, not for me, now please leave me alone), but my husband’s family is extremely religious (evangelicals) and ALL of my nieces and nephews and the majority of my in-laws have very biblical names, so much so that it’s just really really obvious that my DHs family is trying to out bible each other with their kids names.

    One of the worst though, is my BIL is names Israel, and he’s (obviously) not Jewish. He’s had a heck of a time dealing with that one. So please Christian’s don’t name your kid Israel. No good will come out of it, unless of course they decide they want to convert to Judaism (which you probably don’t want) and even then, it’s just a really cumbersome name.
    End of PSA.

    Also, what’s with all of the “iah” names? Here is the midwest people are going crazy with that. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obediah, Jedidiah, Josiah.
    Biblical, and apparently super trendy.

  38. Chrissy says

    I go by my middle name but my first name is Mary…pretty holy I would guess. There is a lady at church who has six kids. Faith, Hope, Grace, Joy and Samuel. When she was prego with her 6th she decided on Mercy because that’s what everyone said when she announced she was pregnant again. True story. I met her at the new mom’s lunch when we our boys were newborns.

  39. Beth says

    I really really wanted to name our youngest son Caedmon (cool Celtic name that means “wise warrior”) Then I told my father-in-law and he said “What, Caveman?”

    Grrr… thanks,Dad.

    Our youngest is named Connor instead.

    wv: pelispe – perfect if you want it to sound like you named your child after one of the Greek muses.

    Hey, Pelispe, come in for dinner!

  40. Becky says

    My parents dropped the boat, they named Rebecca, not Rebekah, but in their defense they did name both my sister and I after the fruits of the Spirit, her name is Charity and my middle name is Joy. They told us jokingly, if they had enough children one would be named Temperance. I married Daniel Adam and we have Micah Andrew and Paul David.

  41. Tal says

    My name’s Talitha, and most people are surprised to discover it’s even from the bible.. apparently it doesn’t even appear in some versions, it’s just replaced with it’s translation, ‘little girl’ instead.. (the story of Jairus not-so-dead daughter).

    Actually come to think of it, this may have been a very sneaky ploy of my dad’s to ensure I am constantly reminded that I will always be a little girl.. well played dad, well played.

  42. My Twenty Cents Keeps Moving says

    Obadiah/Obi is a great idea! I toyed with Jedidiah/Jedi but my MIL would have probably cried.


    WV: beaess (B S?) no comment LOL

  43. Jane D says

    My son is Simon Peter – not for any biblical reason – Peter is my husbands middle name and Simon was the only name we could both agree on!!! His name is supposed to mean – the one who knows, as at 9 is living up to it as he is a real fact gannet!

  44. Resurgam says

    Two sons: Daniel Joseph and John James. We weren’t making a Biblical statement as such (if so I would have named one “Matthew Twenty-Three Fifteen” instead)–they’re named after relatives. Does that mean we have a super-holy family tree, or just an traditional Southern obsession for naming children after loved ones? Whatever, their names have led to some unpleasant bouts of hubris in Sunday school when one claims the Book of Daniel was “HIS” book…

    wv: Twookers. What people will say reading ridiculous baby names in the the birth announcements. “Twookers’ that, they named their kid Gomer Jehosophat!

  45. Jamie says

    Son #1 – Adam
    Son #2 – Samuel
    Daughter – Lauryl – we discovered a week after her birth that we had inadvertently named her after a shampoo ingredient…should have gone with Mary.

  46. Anonymous says

    There was a boy in my preschool class named Jebediah and I definitely went home and told my parents that there was a kid named “Diarrhea” in my class. Not maliciously though, just matter of fact. :)

  47. Rob Miller says

    There should be a category for naming your kids after an old Testament Judge, or King as well, not just the major & minor prophets!

  48. Deborah says

    I am Deborah, My siblings: Nathan, Rebecca, Daniel & David. I WILL NOT carry on in the tradition. I think Jesus will understand.

  49. Anonymous says

    Recently I met a Jewish woman named Hadassa, and was quite impressed with her mother’s obvious dedication to Hadassah, the Jewish women’s group.

    Then I looked it up, and found out that it meant “Esther.”

  50. Katie says

    Although, there is an argument to made for Saul…being converted and whatnot in a flash of blinding light on the road to Damascus…granted, there was a name change involved, but maybe it still counts?

  51. TX grandma says

    I am named after my grandfather–well his initials and mine are the same anyway. My husband named after both grandfathers. No Biblical names there. Our son was named sort of after hubby and with different spelling and my father. Daughter was named after a model in a magazine! We liked the name. She was always called by both first and middle names ’til she started college and is universally called by her initials now. (except of course by mom!)

    Our grandkids have some Biblical names. Hannah and all the girls have Grace as middle name. Our oldest grandson is Sean and then his adopted little brother is John. Rather awkward so he uses initials too.

    WV untionap–a nap taken on union time.(I know not very good)

  52. Lydia Rollins says

    I have a Bible name: Lydia Grace (double points there).

    Oddly enough, two of my professors were reminded of the Muppet song, “Lydia, the tattooed lady,” when they heard my name. They didn’t get the Bible connection.

  53. Beth says

    My two boys are oh so Biblical….but with a twist of awesome wicked cool….

    Boy 1: Joseph Zavier
    Not only are there 2 important Josephs in the Bible, Zavier means Savior…and we changed it from Xavier to Zavier because JZ might be the coolest initials ever. I know. Laugh all you want.

    Boy 2: Jakob Franklin
    Yeah, I know, Franklin isn’t biblical, but he’s named after his daddy who’s named after his daddy…but check out the Jakob with a ‘k’! Wowser! Teachers are going to love that one! But I think he’ll have strong worship leader tendencies at an early age with that name…

    Fun Bible Trivia: There are two Jacobs in the Bible. Both are fathers of the Josephs.

    My daughter? No Biblical names…but her first name is French!

  54. Pam D says

    We named our son David Adam. Neither of us was going to church at all at the time; David is a family name, and my husband liked Adam. Also, David means “beloved”, which he would be; and Adam means “man of red earth” (unless you’re a Christian, in which case it just means “original sin” and you cannot escape it”). Beloved man of red earth.. perfect for a late life boy from Georgia, right? Of course, by family tradition, we had to call him by his middle name, which worked out fine til this year. He goes to a Christian school and is in 3rd grade, and he is apparently now old enough to really grasp Genesis. Therefore, his teachers told me at the beginning of the year that he wanted to be called David, because he’s been getting in a lot of trouble each year at school and he is sure that his name has a lot to do with it. Scarred for life… all because we were heathens when we named him.

  55. Beth says

    Best naming story:

    My dad is a doctor and delivered babies for many years. Once a couple named their son Hercules. My dad was a little surprised by this, um, unique name. When he asked if there was a significance to it, they said…..

    “Because it is in the Bible.”

  56. Matthew Hawkins says

    I just started reading you blog. Oh man I was laughing so hard this morning.

    We named our kids Kiefer Noah Anthony and Keyon Murray Isaac.

    If you spell Kiefer’s initals backwards it spells HANK. Yeah. We missed that one.

  57. babybean says

    My son and my husband’s middle names are Daniel. I have a brother named Matthew. That’s it for our family as far as biblical names go! Although we are planning on naming a son (if God blesses us with another son) Paul Johnathan. Of course it’s a tribute to the Beatles ;-) Is that extra points or does that take away points? Lol.

  58. Wes and Summer says

    My name is Summer Dawn and my daughters name (born this month… any day now) will be Autumn Eve. God made the seasons so… that’s how I’m justifying this one. However, I have had SO MANY people tell me that my child’s name sounds like a feminine hygiene product. Which is good… especially while I”m all pregnant and hormonal.

  59. Mjrjolt says

    My sons are named Joshua & Noah. Noah was pretty cutting edge 25-yrs ago when he was born, but today it's becoming more common. Our daughter's name is Sarah.

    My parents gave me the name, Dale. I've always disliked the name, Dale. As a baby-boomer, I grew up with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and had to endure all kinds of teasing on the playground because of the association with Dale Evans (who BTW was an amazing woman of God and Christian author, but that's another story).

    Growing up, I could not find one other famous person who was a guy and was also stuck with the name "Dale." I've always wondered "What were my parents thinking when they named me??" Were they doing drugs or something? Maybe I still need to see a therapist or go through some "inner healing" or better yet, change my name!

    Whatever, or as they say "Deal with it." I think my wife and I have been much kinder to our 3 kids with Biblical names which don't evoke any taunting or teasing. Maybe we've made life too easy for them. Maybe they would have thicker skin if my boys had been given a girl's name, like Dale or Sue or Erika?

  60. ALF says

    I seriously hired a guy one time named II John (pronounced Second John). He was insistent that he was not just John.

    My daughter’s name is Elizabeth Praise (or Ellie for short…only we actually spell it out, but kudos to you for making it phonetically easy for your daughter).

  61. TX grandma says

    OK funny story here.

    Our local Rabbi told us he was named after a Catholic friend of family. However his Russian Jewish grandmother would have nothing to do with his being named Patrick so the middle name was changed!

  62. Koffijah says

    My kid’s gotta be Melchizedek. You can’t beat Melchizedek. He is mentioned mysteriously in Genesis, referenced once in Psalms, and then discussed at length in Hebrews.

    The only other name that might come close is Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. He is the son of Isaiah and his name means “Quick to the booty, fast to the plunder.”

  63. Ryan B says

    For a while I thought that Titus would be a pretty solid and cool name. Then I thought about it a bit. That kid would get ripped apart in high school.

  64. David says

    I’m Jonathan AND David….. Is that a 10? At my Christening the pastor made the crack “he’ll probably be best friends with himself….. Yeah. :)

  65. SarahE. says

    My first name is Sarah and my middle name is Elizabeth. Both biblical names, and both women have something in common – neither of them had children until they were old! Thanks Mom&Dad!

  66. mistymorningmountain says

    As far as biblical names go, I think Arphaxad is pretty tough to beat…

    wv: mingle

    Arphaxad lived 403 years. Clearly he had lots of time to mingle.

  67. cbp says

    My dad always wanted to name one of his kids Elijah, and my mom always told him no. I don’t think it was as common back in the day. Although, they stayed w/ biblical names that weren’t too common then either: Micah, Joy, and Jeremy (mom didn’t like Jeremiah)…and then when I came along as a surprise my mom slightly compromised with my dad. Seeing as I was girl, Elijah was still not going to work – so my mom suggested Cherith Brooke. Elijah hid at the Brooke Cherith in 1 Kings.

    I have enjoyed having a unique name even though I spend a majority of my time helping people say it. And yes, it does classify as a ‘witnessing tool’. I get to talk about the Bible every time someone says, “What were your parents thinking?” Yep, this world is filled with all kinds of tactful people.

    Enjoyed this post!

  68. Ambrose Family says

    We named our oldest daughter Abigail, which means “Joy of the Father”. We loved the story of the virtuous Abigail who ratted out her husband and ended up marrying David. However, we do not wish our daughter to enter into a polygamous marriage. :)

    Our middle daughter’s middle name is Elizabeth. In addition to being a biblical name, it is a family name and means “God is my Oath”.

    Our son, the baby, has no biblical name…much to my chagrin. We had to continue a family legacy of the middle name being Ray and I’ve always loved the name Jackson. Oh well. Maybe he won’t be too evil. :)

  69. Rache says

    Rachel @ 5:16am – I feel your pain. I’m Rachel, and my sister is Leah.

    Except in our case, Leah is the younger sister. My dad’s reasoning is that any future Jacob who might come along won’t have to labor for 14 years; instead, “he can just have you [me] right away.”

    I think he’s kidding. After all, the only Jacob I know is my cousin. ;o)

  70. annogus says

    A friend of mine wanted to name his son Obediah Juan (Obi juan. haha)

    In addition, my boyfriend’s name is Barnabas. He also has six brothers. Here they are:
    Ethan, Aaron, Titus, Isaiah, Theopolis, and Seth.

    How’s that for a tribe?

  71. Marni says

    I gave my kids heathen, secular names. In other words, I’ve set them up for moral failure.

    Peyton is my youngest daughters name. And yes, she is named after Peyton Manning. He’s cool, he’s funny, what’s not to love. My oldest daughters name is Lindsay. I named her after my childhood hero Lindsay Wagner–I was all about the Bionic Woman when I was a kid. Of course Lindsay likes to point out that Lindsay Wagner now hauks Sleep Number beds, and she is irritated that she is named after a mattress salesperson.

    What can I say though? I’m named after an Alfred Hitchcock character who would go insane, see red and act vile and antisocial. My kids should thank their lucky stars they got strapped with the names they did get…

  72. Heidi says

    If ever I have a daughter, I want to name her Jael- after the chick who drove a tent peg through the guy’s head.
    I would never name my children after Hosea’s children Lo-Ruhamah (not loved) and Lo-Ammi(not my people) and Jezreel (God scatters) Ouch!

  73. RuthMarie says

    Ok my name is Ruth Marie Abell how is that for Biblica name. I also have a brother named Benjamin. Sister with Grace for a middle.

  74. Zac says

    I should get bonus points for having the name Zechariah and naming my son Luke. Much to my wife’s dismay his name clearly had everything to do with Star Wars for me.

    I rememeber once being called Zac-er-ee-a, but luckily for me my initials are Z.A.C. so I got to go by Zac and avoid any torture.

  75. abu 'n um tulip says

    First time to make a comment here, though you’ve been making us laugh for a while. Our 10 day old baby is, um, er, named the Z word.

    His two older brothers are also named after prophets.

    As we live in the Middle East, we chose names that are well known, easy to pronounce in both Arabic and English, along with being prophets that both Christians and Muslims respect. His Arabic nickname is Zaki, which means pure. So far our local friends here absolutely love their names, and so do we!

    Don’t worry, not offended, but it is a bit uncanny you chose THAT name just 10 days after our son’s birth.

    ~ Abu and Um Tulip

  76. Ruth Ann says

    Well, my name is Ruth Ann – it means beautiful friend – so also, pretty holy. :)

    My sons names:
    Roman (because Romans is my favorite book of the Bible – don’t think that was on there – but that one could get pretty ugly if you took it too far…) :)
    Judah (one of the 12 tribes…pretty awesome in my opinion…sad that it was only 1 point.)

    Great post!

  77. Ann Marie says

    No kids of my own, but my middle name is Marie, which is a variation of Mary, which was the mother of Jesus, so that does make me pretty darn holy!
    My first name is Ann, which means grace, so, booya! Double holiness! I have a Biblical attribute name!

  78. Natethetycoon says

    Ok, so my name is Nathan Mark = Gift of God that is also an apostle. I think my name is worth like 6 points or something. It makes me feel snooty sometimes like I could walk into a restaurant with an English accent and tell them my name and people would think I was royalty….really, really, HOLY royalty.

    I’ve also wanted to give my kids cool names but my wife has already vetoed most of the cool ones like the ones Matt in Mn talked about.

  79. Clay and J says

    Well my middle name is Rebekah and my brother’s name is David, so that’s +3 for my parents. But I named my daughter Grace, so that has to count for something!

  80. Kat says

    We named our son Peter John (2 apostles–not bad). Means "a rocky little gift of God". Our last name means "wine swamp" in Dutch, though. He's always had an identity crisis. Our daughters have more contemporary names.

    Our kids kept up the tradition of Bible names (mostly). Do we get extra points for grandchildren? We've got Joshua, Rebecca, Daniel, Timothy, Hannah, Joseph & 2 step-grands named Sara and Daniel.

  81. Annie K says

    My brother has 12 kids with biblical names. He’ll sit closer to God than I will. My kids are named after rivers and a beer (that last one wasn’t intentional.)

  82. Anonymous says

    While I personally failed at giving my daughter a biblical name, I did date an Obadiah/Obi in high school.

    Also, a good friend of mine named her daughter Grace. Sweet right? Until her son came along and they named him Justice. Grace & Justice. Poor kids I think.

  83. Kate says

    My husband is stuck on having “K” first names, but being Christians that like Stuff Christians tend to Like, we go with Biblical middle names. Rebekah, Elizabeth

    I figured out how to sneak in the Superman name I wanted, though.

    Kaleb Luke.

    Call him Kal

    Kal L. (KalEl)

    My husband loved the name Kaleb Luke for a boy until he found out my secret Superman-name dream. We had another girl, so it didn’t matter anyway, but I still feel a little wistful for the Superman-name that wasn’t….

    Would that have gotten me the same points as a Star Wars name?

  84. evenshine says

    Minor prophets. I even knew a Milcah and Michal (sisters), as well as a Mishael. Still waiting for a Jerubabbel.

    We also use philosophers. Anyone who names their kid Kirkegaard deserves a medal. Or maybe the kid does.

  85. Anonymous says

    I know a family with a host of Biblical names for their children – Elijah, Moses, Malachi, Zion (boys) and Hosanna (girl). Pretty impressive!

  86. The LaMotte's says

    We were going to name our daughter Chloe (from Acts) until my father-in-law said he didn’t like the name. Then, during devotions, I read the story of Abigail and we decided to name our daughter Abigail Elizabeth.

  87. Daniel says

    I actually had to write an essay once about why I was named “Daniel.”

    Interestingly, I got two completely different stories. My mom claimed that I was named after the Old Testament prophet (I always did like the whole “Lion’s Den” story and thought that this automatically made me slightly more cool).

    When I asked my dad, however, the response I got was, “We already named your brother ‘David Jr.'”

    Feel the love!

  88. Richard says

    My middle name is Benjamin, which means “son of my right hand” or “favored son”. That’s all I’ve got… my first name is Richard, which means “powerful ruler” but has no biblical context, which at best makes me a nameless heathen king that the Israelites overran on their romp through Canaan.

  89. youreverydaychristian says

    I have yet to embark on having kids, but will soon. However we are not scouring the bible looking for names.

    My best friends however is about to have a baby and they’re naming him Asa, after the old testament king.

    I’m thinking of naming my first born Mufasa after the Lion King.

  90. jasonS says

    Great post and I too at one time had a bright yellow walkman- so cool!

    Our kids have both Biblical and non-biblical names so there you go…

  91. Katherine Laine says

    All three of my brother’s received well meaning Biblical names.

    I am named after a street.

    True story.

    While on a drive with my pregnant mother, my grandmother saw the street sign “KT Ln”. How cute, she thought.

    Katherine Laine means “Pure Light”. Definitely get holy points on that one. My mother thought to tweak it by adding ‘de’ to the meaning and thus I am her Pure Delight.

    You can also find me in the very popular Christmas tune, Silent Night….

    “Silent night, holy night
    Son of God, love’s PURE LIGHT”

    So then you could also say my name means Jesus.

    Yup. That’s right. I figured out how to say that Katherine Laine means Jesus.

    I give myself +15

  92. dirksgirl says

    Weve got this one in the bag. My pastor husband named all 6 kids Old Testament first names and then either a family, theologian, or prophet for the middle name.

    1. Jonathan (family middle name)
    2. David Elijah (husband wanted them to be BFFs)
    3. Joshua Calvin (yes, that Calvin)
    4. Isaac (family middle name)
    5. Abigail Hope (because husband HOPED it was a girl!)
    6. Samuel Wallace (after Braveheart William Wallace, our son almost died so he needed a strong name)

    The dog is Martin Luther.

  93. Kelly says

    Well, I guess Kelly gets me nothing, but one of my children will without a doubt be Johannah. Like Joanna with two h’s slipped in. For Holy, of course.

  94. Amanda says

    Oh, I have to share my husband’s family. He has three brothers–the three oldest are Matthew, Michael, and Mark. (He’s the Mark.) My in-laws wanted all M names, and all Biblical names. Well, about seven years after my husband, they had another boy. They could not decide what to name him–Micah was too close to Michael, and the other M names were deemed too weird. So, they went with Manuel. (Not Biblical, you say? It’s Emmanual without the E and the first m.) Reaching a bit, I think. His brother Matthew named his sons Jonathan and David, so his family is racking up the points. I’m expecting a boy right now, but he’s getting a heathen name.

  95. Isaiah Kallman says

    Eh, two points if I stretch. Technically, my whole first name was “Isaiah John”. But I thought that sounded too much like a character on the Waltons so I hyphenated the “John” to my middle name when I got my driver’s license. Now I’m “Isaiah John-Vandusen Kallman”, which sounds like I should own a castle.

  96. jenn says

    What about obscure places in the Bible? My daughter is named Shiloh. It’s a place in the Bible (in Joshua I think?). I thought it was kind of cool to have a Bible – but not Bible name. This makes me really holy right? Oh, and it means gift from God or peaceful place.

  97. Abby says

    Haha…great post. My parents had my older sister, Dixie Autumn, and me…Abigail Rose, before they got saved. After the salvation experience they went ahead and named my younger siblings: 1)Shekinah Glory 2)Galilee 3)Nathanael Grant and 4)Cana Grace

    Obviously the conversion experience made a difference in their lives:)

  98. Jordan says

    Speaking of Biblical Star Wars names: My name is Jordan (river in the Bible) and my friends have nicknamed me Jor Jor Binks!
    Honestly. Yeah, you know you love it!

  99. Daiquiri says

    My first name is Daiquiri (yes, like the drink), so I felt strongly about good solid traditional names for our kids. Two boys: Benjamin Lucas (Luke is my husband), and Thomas Robert (not doubting Thomas, I say “critically thinking Thomas”). Two girls: Clara Rose and Samantha Ruth (Ruth after my Grandma). 3 out of 4 ended up with Biblical names and we didn’t even try (weren’t even believers when naming a couple of them)!

    Funny post – thanks :)

  100. JD Mackiewicz says

    How about points for naming your kids after Protest Reformers? My wife’s Uncle’s name is John and his kids are names John Knox, John Calvin, and their daughter is named Dabney, the last name of an American South Presbyterian Pastor.

  101. Mike says

    I’m named Michael, Protector of Israel and God’s field commander in the Battle of Armageddon! sweet!

    My wife will have to choose between 3 names for a boy: Belteshazzar, Shadrach, or Abednego those 3 have to be +5

  102. Sarah says

    After seeing that there were already 100+ comments here I totally expected to find someone with my name (Sarah Elizabeth)…and there was one.

    I’m hoping to end up blessed and not barren. :-)

  103. Sarah says

    My first name is Sarah, very Biblical… my middle name is an Irish derivative of a heathen name, so no points for that.

    Does it count if you name your child something that means something holy? We love the name “Deklan”… it’s not in the Bible, but it does mean “Man of prayer“. And of course we’d mean prayer to God, not prayer to baal or satan or any of those idols.

  104. Prodigal Jon says

    Linwong -

    “I wanted to name my son Obadiah, but my wife vetoed it.

    My last name is Wong, and he would have been Obi Wong.”

    That is amazing. Please know I am clapping in Atlanta right now. I love that.

  105. Bonnie says

    Our pets and future children are going to be named after non-Bible literary characters. Not that we have anything against Biblical names, I just really really really really really love British Lit.

    I have a weiner dog named Lucy, do I get points for Chronicles of Narnia?

  106. katdish says

    Forgive me if someone has already brought this up, but I think there are two critical tests necessary when determining a name for a child. The first test involves whether or not said name rhymes with another word that you would not want associated with your child and might be used as a substitute name for them on the playground. Does anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry mistakenly called his date Mulva?

    Then there’s the no-fail “Banana Fanna Fo Fanna” test. The name Chuck fails in both categories.

  107. Huggies says

    Ha, I escaped Sarah Elizabeth…but I’m still Sarah E. I got “Ellen” instead.

    It means bright princess, so I gotta give my parents points for that.

    In my case, the old mother part is very appropriate. The likelihood of me having kids before 90 is slim to none. I’m laughing already.

  108. Ariel says

    Ok first, you didn’t mention anything about those who name their kids progressively after books of the Bible (i.e. naming their first child Matthew, their next Mark, their next Luke, etc – which is especially bad if they’re all girls).

    Second – about the school playground thing …Deuteronomy could easily become “dootie-on-a-me”.

    Third, my name is Ariel, which means “Lion of God.” Beat that, yo! =)

  109. Jon Juane says

    you are hilarious. i love the point system. hahah just found your blog by clicking on other blogs, and think this is fantastic!

  110. faith says

    I’m Faith. I like to remind people that without me, it is impossible to please God. it’s the least I get after a lifetime of “so where’s hope and charity?”

    neither of our kids have biblical names. I do recall lobbying REALLY hard for Silas, but the hubs shot it down.

  111. Teri says

    Aubrey (first name) – “Leader of the Elves” – pre-conversion
    Hunter – only boy
    Joy (middle name)
    Faith (middle name)
    Grace (middle name)
    Praying for more boys. Thought we would round it out with Fisher, Archer, Winchester, Colt, Remington…You get the picture.

    More girls will have to follow the trend with character traits.

    Loved this SCL. Keep up the good work Jon.

    wv:icanti – “Icanti stop laughing. My sides ache.”

  112. Beth says


    You forget the all important test of seeing what the initials spell. My dad’s initials spell SAP. But it could be much, much worse.

  113. Alec says

    My name is derived from a Greek conqueror who made the Promised Land part of his vast empire, which is the reason the New Testament is written in Greek. Does that count?

  114. Robin says

    I thought we were going the spiritual route when we named our first born. Not until we were in the delivery room and my husband whispered in his ear, “Luke, I am your father” did I realized that he may have had another inspiration.

    But +10 for me!

  115. Juli says

    i for real have a friend that gets the 10 star wars points!

    they named their son jediah and call him jedi (his dad is a lover of star wars). and he believes he is a jedi!!!

  116. TrinityJen says

    I have an Andrew, and for the Easter play he will be…Andrew!!!

    My funny biblical name story:
    Visiting family and friends a boy named Jeremiah was playing w/ my kids. After MANY hours of them playing together my 4 y/o daughter was looking for Hermione. :)

    Hermione = Jeremiah

    Yep – my kids need more Sunday school!

  117. Christi says

    My name is Christi and how it was explained to me as a young child was that my life was always to be Christ first and then I making ChristI. Can anyone really claim to have a holier name than our Lord?

  118. Tamara says

    I love it when folks give their kids Bible names without looking at the meanings (Jacob – deciever – anyone?)

    My kids all have good Bible names: Nathaniel, Susannah, Abigail, Luke and Gabriel. My dh wanted to name our 4th child Winston Churchill and I said no, so he’s Luke Churchill. Much more acceptable. And Luke means “light”, which goes along with the whole “Churchill” theme, ya know. I’m a bit AR about perfect name meanings. As if anyone else knew/cared.

    WV: achumb When your sneeze causes you to bang a body part on the wall.

  119. lanban says

    I don`t have any kids yet, but my parents were kind enough to christen me with a Hebrew name that means “stout tree — he will laugh.” Needless to say, I don’t share the meaning of my name that often.

  120. Sarah says

    The name given for #9 also works in reverse, as in, Saul is also a character that started out blowing it, but ended up kind of great. So that one should probably really be, like, +3 points for its versatility.

  121. Anonymous says

    I do not have a Biblical name at all…But I do want to mention that as a public school teacher, I have many experiences with Biblically named kids. The more Biblical the name, the more challenging the kid (with few exceptions). Malachi was a doozy!

  122. Anonymous says

    How many points for a name that is a derivitive? I’ve got 2 boys:
    Pierce-Andrew and Evan-James.
    (Pierce and Evan are derivitives of Peter and John).

    2 kids – 4 diciples – aww yeah.

  123. Sarah Lewie says

    My plan is to name my first son Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, which means “Swift is the Booty, Speedy is the Prey” – that’s gotta be at least 4 points.

    My first daughter will be Jael. Just cause I hope she’s bad enough that she’ll bust some guys head through with a tent peg if necessary.

    Cause my kids will be that awesome. =)

  124. Daniel says

    Named my son after myself:
    Elisha Daniel
    “God is my Judge and God is my Saviour”. Good thing the judge is also the saviour!!!

  125. Rob says

    ‘Robert’ isn’t a biblical name, it’s old German – it means ‘bright fame’

    ‘Kaiser’ is German for Caesar – which makes my name totally awesome ‘Bright Fame Caesar’.

    Good thing my parents didn’t name me ‘the’ – it would have set me up for some interesting first impressions.

  126. Gabriele says

    My parents went with the angel theme of Bible names. My brother’s name is Michael (defender of God’s people) and mine is Gabriele (messenger of God). He’s a pastor in Washington state and I’m a missionary in Zambia, Africa. Hmmm. ;-)

  127. Nicole says

    So I went to this bible college where bible names abounded…all the kids of the staff had bible names here are the few that stand out in the crowd…

    Elijah- I think there is one for each family

    Phoebe- I can't remember if that is a bible name I think Paul writes about her…but I'm pretty sure she is name after the friends character.

    Abel- good name, sad ending

    the newest and most popular?

    Phinehas- do you know this story? All the guys at school think this is the best name ever! read it in Numbers 25…reader digest?
    Phinehas take a spear and sticks it through a couple while they are making love in front of the assemble, there by getting rid of a plague…read it it's wild!;&version=51;

  128. jdetras says

    I am thinking of names starting with J because I am “Jeffrey”(not biblical though). I have a preference for the name Judah and Jethro.

  129. Susan O. says

    I named my son Owen, after the John Irving character Owen Meany.

    Now folks, it don’t get more biblical than that. :)

  130. Philip says

    Well, if you can go with Kal-el, you can claim that it means voice of God in Hebrew(though, you have to assume there’s a transliteration error to change Kol into Kal).

    Assuming that I ever have children, for a girl the name Jael(well, technically, Yael, because I like the original sound better).
    For a boy I’d name him Other Judas because he gets no love, but I know my wife would never let me get away with it.
    Perhaps Shamgar or Jephthah(Yiftach).

  131. Stephanie says

    Loved the reference to 1 Chronicles 2:8 without telling us what the verse actually said. I’ll bet I wasn’t the only person who immediately logged on to to look up the verse.

    BTW this post is definitely book-worthy.

  132. Anonymous says

    Pheobe was a deacon in the early Christian Church. St. Paul mentions her in one of his letters.
    I like the name pheobe
    Some of my other favorite names that appear in the bible (mostly female, I’m not a big fan of too many biblical names for men, they’re either over used or seem to say “hey, look how religious we are!”, though I do like Peter, but that’s out for a potential kid’s name for obvious reasons, and Jude is nice too, but I associate that more with the Beatles than the Bible)
    Junia is probably my absolute favorite, I also really like Vashti, and Ezra (for a girl).
    And actually, I do like the name Levi, but It seems to be getting pretty trendy right now.

  133. Katherine says

    I kind of agree about the name meanings. My sister was almost Mary, until my mom found out it meant “sorrowful”. I love the name “Mara”, but it means “sea of bitterness”. That said, who really looks/cares about the meanings that much.
    To the person who names their kid after a John Irving Novel, you rock.
    I used to, in high school, want to name my kid “Larch” after the character in “The Ciderhouse Rules” (I thought it was pronounces “Lark”) until I saw the movie and found out it rhymed with “March”. A little too much like “lurch” if you ask me.

  134. Ophelia Keith says

    My dad’s Italian so we solve this problem in a very simple way……everybody is named after somebody who was initially named for someone in the Bible or a Saint. Therefore, my son John Anthony is named after his two granddads, two uncles, three great uncles, two great grandfathers and one great greatgrandfather. The way this works is that you end up with about three thousand relatives and roughly eight or ten names between them.

    It can be confusing when you wish to speak to a particular John, Paul, Anthony or Joseph, but it comes in really handy when you’re calling everyone for dinner.

  135. Anniepye says

    My dad kept telling Mom that if I was a boy he was naming me “Jehosophat Joe”. With the nickname “Phat Joe”. Thanks Dad. Glad I turned out to be a girl!

  136. Anonymous says

    Loved the Star Wars suggestion. The most interesting name I’ve heard that was taken from the Bible is Matthias, which isn’t too weird I guess (it could easily be shortened to “Matt”). I’ve heard Solomon too. And personally, I kind of like the name Ananias but I don’t think I could name my kid that. I guess I have a thing with “-nias” names. Also, I’ve been recently hearing the name Cain a lot. To be honest, I like it…but I would have bad feelings about naming my child that, just out of my own silly paranoia more or less.

  137. daphne says

    to Heidi & Sarah L and anyone else I missed..
    YEAH Baby! Thats what Im talkin bout!
    My husband the party poopeR not pooped like I typed the first time, seriously vetoed Jael but yall DO IT! If I ever meet you and you intro your daughter to me, there will be high fives involved.

  138. teamstrand says

    two things…

    1) we actually considered (for a very short time) naming our son DOCTOR because we thought it would be cool to introduce him as Doctor Strand.

    2) My husband is a CPA. His mom is one of the secretaries. She lacks etiquette skills. A man named Jesus (hey-suess) came for his appointment. She hollered out “Chad, Jesus (like Jesus) is here!”
    So now every year we make the joke “I wonder if Jesus is coming back this year.”

  139. Caitlyn says

    I'd just like to point out that "rebekah = hebrew spelling" is absolutely meaningless. Completely. Hebrew is a non-anglicized alphabet, when means that the "authentic spelling" of rebekah is the Hebrew letters here:

    and in any case is pronounced "Rivka"

    Incidentally, and pet peeves aside (yes, that's one of mine) Laura Wattenberg from the Baby Name Wizard site (which rocks) points out that today's culture is probably the first where our name roots and our language roots aren't the same. Most other cultures just use a noun or adjective from their language as a name, but our language roots are Latin and Germanic roots, and most of our names or Hebrew or Greek. I find it interesting.

  140. Kevin I says

    We decided to avoid the Biblical name route with our kid, but I always joke that the next one will have a biblical name: Nimrod

    That’s a triple bonus point for being: Biblical, From X-men AND already an abusive nickname.

  141. Lorelei says

    There’s 5 kids in my family. 3 girls. 2 boys. My mother named the girls. My father named the boys.
    Athena Emily Elizabeth (mythology meets a Big Red Dog)
    Lorelei Seraphina Marie (Mythology meets angels meets Catholocism)
    Chloe Christabel Love (Pretty names)
    David Michael Benjamin (Pure Bible Mania)
    Jonathan Christopher Robin (Bible meets a stuffed bear in the 100 Acre Wood)

    All in all, the one with the most holy name is the farthest from God. Go figure.

  142. MadHatter says

    The dogs got Biblical names…most notable is Symon. We thought we were getting a male, so we went with Simon Peter. After a few more weeks we realized we got a FEmale so we changed it to Symon Peter-less.

  143. Abby says

    My great grandfather (who is still kicking) is named Bethel. It means House of God. Yep, his father old school Church of God preacher.

    My aunt and uncle, who are twins, are named after him. Their names are Beth and Bethel (Duh) but we call my uncle Beck.

    Yep, Bethel hadn’t been thrown out there yet.

  144. Anonymous says

    Me and my siblings are all named after Bible characters – Hannah, Rachel, and David. Woo.

    I like the idea of using Biblical names but I also like mixing it up and throwing random non Biblical names in there too for good measure…

  145. Meagan M says

    SO good! I have friends whose kids names are Faith and Christian. Which you know is alright… but the baby. Yea his name is Cross! :) I love it!

  146. jennifertobler says

    My daughter didn’t get a Biblical name, though it does mean “Warrior Princess”… which is cool. But I have a friend that named their kids Solomon, Judah, and Miriam Ruth… they win lots of points! And our pastors kids are named Micah, Terah, Joshua, and Tabitha… very obscure, but all Biblical!

  147. Christina says

    You forgot something really important! The kid’s name should be an automatic test of how well people know their Bible when first meeting him/her.

    Not long after becoming a Christian, I taught science camp at a children’s museum and had a Hezekiah in my class. I hadn’t read much OT yet. I pronounced it wrong. I felt pretty heathen.

    I worked with a girl named Jael and went to college with a girl named Kerith. Those are definitely the coolest biblical names I’ve encountered. And a lady at my home church just had twins and named them Joshua and Caleb.

    You should totally get points for naming your kid after a fruit of the Spirit.

  148. Billy says

    Having a name that I do not use was a major factor when our son came along. I did not want him to have to correct everyone for the rest of his life. The first day of school or the doctor’s office and even at work… no I am sorry William is my dad my name is Billy. We liked the name William but wanted his name to be Matthew. A good strong Biblical name with some reference to the family. So instead of William Matthew as the grandparents wanted we named him Matthew William. It is great because everyone assumes you use your first name.

    Matthew to see the doctor!!
    Matthew to the principal’s office!!

    My wife does not understand. She uses her first name… Bonnie.

  149. Kayt says

    My middle name is Anne, which comes from Anna, according to the bazillions of name sites I looked up. But that’s the closest I can get.

    Of course, this apparently means that my full name means “Pure [and] gracious/merciful [grand]son of Conal.”

  150. Alyssa says

    My first time commenting, although I read this site religiously–get it, religiously??

    My 3 boys all have Bible first and/or middle names:
    Andrew John
    Brady David (OK, no Biblical reason for Brady), and
    Jonah Matthew
    My daughter gets at least a half-point for Emma, which is short for Emmanuel, right?

    My favorite Bible name story at our house comes from the day my youngest, Jonah, learned about the bad things the first Jonah did in his preschool class at church. When we picked him up from Sunday School, he was defiantly holding up a coloring page with the title “Jonah Disobeys God” and burst into: “It’s not me, Mom, it was a different Jonah, I SWEAR!”

    wv: uplota–how to upload your files in Italian.

  151. Jil says

    I don’t have children, but on Sims2 I named my kids Simeon, Brikana and Kaeleb. I think I named my grandkids some Biblical names, but as sims was on my old roommates computer I can’t check.
    If I ever have kids, it’s possible I’d name them such. I especially like the name Simeon at the moment. Brikana I think I made up. Haven’t picked out middle names, I figure I might as well wait until I’m married to bother.

    My parents managed to pick some of the most popular unbiblical names for me and my siblings…. Jennifer, Megan and Brian. My brother and sister got lucky with Ruth and Paul being their middle names- Biblical and after people my parents knew. I got Lynn… I don’t think my parents really knew anyone with that name, nor is it biblical, but it seems to go really well with Jennifer, ’cause lots of Jennifers have it as a middle name.

  152. Sean says

    First, I just want to say I’m Sean Christopher (Sean is derived from John)…and I’ve thought that the meaning of our first name would somehow work into a good Christian pick-up line, haha.

    I haven’t thought about what I’d name my kids yet…still gotta work on finding that person to marry first. But for a girl I’ve liked the names Ruth, Naomi, and Esther as far as Biblical names go.

    Oh, and kind of related to the story about the confusion with your daughter’s name. I follow a blog of this family whose daughter is Mary Elizabeth but they often refer to her in the blogs as “ME” so I often think the writer is talking about themselves. I’m thinking that kid could develop a narcissistic personality eventually :-p

  153. planetnomad says

    What about people naming their kids “Selah” which basically is ancient Hebrew for comma? Can you do a post on that?

  154. fmrduranie2001 says

    Our three boys are Elijah Benjamin, Isaiah Zachary and Jeremiah Edward (middle name for his dad). At this point we are not trying for anymore children, but should God surprise us, I’m leaning toward Micah ? or Sarah Grace. Gotta stick with what works, lol.

  155. Sayward says

    was the bright yellow walkman a sony sport with an interchangeable belt clip and velcro handle? because i’m pretty sure mine is still in a box in my mom’s garage. if you want it, it’s yours.

  156. Jonathan Ferguson says

    How many points do the Duggar Family get?

    Jeremiah – Minor prophet – 1 pnt.
    Jedediah – 2 Sam 12:25 – 3 pnts.
    John-David – John rule – 1 pnt.

    Of course, other biblical names appear:
    Josiah – should be worth 2 points – a king NOT named David!
    Joshua, Joseph, James, Johannah, etc…

  157. Anonymous says

    The post is great (as they all are – I’ve been laughing so hard that I’m snorting my adult beverage out my nose a bit) … as are the comments about names. But seriously, did no one else pick up on the bright yellow walkman comment? I had a bright yellow walkman, too, on which I listened to Michael Jackson and INXS for hours at a time. Ah, memories …

  158. James says

    One of my friends wanted to name his boy “Abijah,” after one of the kings of Judah (1 Kings 15). But, then when you put it with the last name, “Beres,” it sounded too much like they might beat their child. They decided against it!

    How many points for Mad Gab names?

  159. KatyB says

    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

    I made the mistake of reading this one to my husband. Thank you very much for that.

  160. A.H. says

    i just discovered this site!

    surname is huang, and first name abigail, so when my pastor dad feels indulgent, he calls me ‘abi-huang-kenobi’.

    not exactly obi-wan, but i think it’s cute.

  161. ~ C says

    I have a friend whose name is Gospel. Now that is a name that you can’t say without thinking about…the Gospel.

  162. Amelia says

    I went to high school with twins named Mercy and Faith. Their mom is a theology professor – I thought it was pretty hardcore and cool of her.

  163. heather says

    My daughter’s name is Trinity Rose. :)
    She has a frined named Tearza (from Song of Songs) and also a friend named Hadassah.

  164. Anonymous says

    My name is Sarai – as in Abram and Sarai turned into Abraham and Sarah – no idea why I have to explain that to everyone inc Christians I meet.

    My sister is Bethany – named after the town.

    My nephews are Zaidoc and Ezekial and my niece is Hannah.

  165. Anonymous says

    Our dog is Silas and all our kids have at least one Bible character or concept in their names, but we didn't start out intentional.

    In fact our first born is Dylan. Yes, I like Bob, & it means son of the wave and I used to surf a lot before I had kids (in fact before I met my wife my surfboard was such a permanent fixture in my car that she was dubbed 'waxine' by my mates).

    So Dylan is the PK who rocked up to his first day at a Christian school chock full of Jacobs, Isaacs, Josephs, Levis and more who all had parents thinking, "ah, one of the token smelly philistine families has arrived, time to get jiggy with the gospel."

    His middle name is Thomas, but not because it's biblical (I thought it was my long deceased grandfather's name – turned out that was Stuart!) So Dylan Thomas carries the moniker of a drunk Welsh poet and is accidently middled with the second least popular Apostle after Judas.

    To atone for that the next two were Hannah & Samuel. Sam gets the double whammy with the middle name James, which is my favourite NT book and the middle name I actually wanted for Dylan – but my wife knew it was mostly so I could call him DJ and she was having none of that.

    And yet she quite happily calls number 4 (Jayden Micah – props for the minor prophet!) JJ. Dylan had demanded this one should be like him and not have a Bible name first, even though we'd decided belatedly that having at least one bible name was something my wife wanted to do.

    Sophie Grace misses out on the name per se, but wisdom and grace are pretty cool bible concepts so technically she still passes the test.

  166. Gwen94 says

    All of my siblings have Biblical names. My name is Rachel, my sisters name is Kezia(Job)my youngest sister's name is Elisa short for Elisabeth. If she was a boy her name would have been Elijah
    My brothers names are Joshua and Joel.
    My cats names are Titus, Tyndale,and Anna.
    My cousins names are John, James Sarah and Daniel.
    So we have a pretty holy family.

  167. Donna says

    Don't forget naming kids after the fruits of the spirit or Christian values-I think half the girls in my daughter's Christian school class have a first or middle name of Hope, Faith, or my own daughter's, Joy.

  168. Gerrit says

    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

    This is awesomeness, and we actually did this…

    Our son is Lucas (as in Lucas Arts), but one of his nicknames is "Luc" as in Luke. Another nickname is "Booger Boy," but that is another matter for another day. Anyhow, I have often (not as much of late) gone around saying, "Luc, I am your father," in that deep, breathy voice of Darth Vader. Using a paper towel roll adds a great effect.

    Ask my wife though, and she'll tell you that SHE came up with the idea because of Lucas Scott from the show One Tree Hill. How many minus points is that? ha!

  169. Anna C says

    I know I’m a bit late to the party, but just clicking through the years’ top 20 and found this one and my family is custom made for it, so I must comment. My siblings and I have very Bible names; Judah David, Timothy Israel, Anna Joy (me), and Martha Leah. So far, their offspring are carrying on the trend; Tim has Yashaiah (Hebrew for Isaiah) Mikel, Israel Ben and Solomon Jordan. Martha has Judah Gabriel, Josiah Israel, Avrah (from the same root as Abram) Grace, and twins Hosea Daniel and Micah Samuel. We don’t have kids yet, but at least I married a John Matthew, so we have a good start!

  170. Mike says

    I named my daughter God and my son Jesus. The teachers are giving my wife and I so much guff it is unbelievable. I thought we lived in a more open minded society.

  171. Rachael Welch says

    My name is Rachael Rebecca and my sister’s is Esther Ruth… although all biblical names, they also each come from a family member. And wouldn’t you know it, my son’s name is Zechariah (Zech for short…pronounced like Shrek) Lord willing, future offspring will also have bible names. Very funny stuff!

  172. Angie says

    We named our first child Asher and sometimes when someone says "you kids are always thinking up new names", I just say "well, actually it's a really old name" and then feel really knowledgeable about the Bible. We plan to name our next one (due any day now) Ephraim if it's a boy, but will pronounce it "Efrem" as opposed to the way our pastor pronounces it (which is actually correct, as I found out later) "Eephreeum". So that'll cause lots of good confusion in our church. We had some suggestions for our second, such as Gad or Manassah, but didn't quite click with us.

  173. steve g says

    I just found your blog (due to you now following me on Twitter), and I picked this post out you 2009 review from Jan 1st.

    My wife and I had a daughter in June and named her Aletheia Hope. This has already proved very interesting! "a-lay-thee-a" has been a challenge for people to pronounce, no one knows what it means ("truth"), where it comes from (Greek – in the NT: i.e. "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life…"), or how to react once we tell them all this info. Our last name is French (I enjoyed the LE play) – it is Gagne ("to win"). This is also massacred.

    I think I'm gonna pick up your new book :)


  174. says

    I think you should add some extra points for people (this happens a LOT among seminary students) who name their kid after a greek word because they are holy enough to have studied greek. I.E – Zoey – means life, Charis – means grace, Makaria – means blessed.

    I can't really talk, though. We're pregnant with our first and I love biblical names, especially several names of the 12 tribes. And if it's a girl, my husband is pulling for "Elaia" which is the greek word meaning olive shoot. A reference to Psalm 128 "your children will be like olive shoots around your table."

  175. says

    my name (Tsholofelo) means Hope…my last name (Mpuru) is part of a tswana (my home language) idiom that means "all hope is lost" or something to that effect…i like to pretend that when my parents named me they were thinking of Romans 4:18 "Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed…" (yes, i'm a dork)

    Also, I would really dig to get married to a guy whose last name is Davidson then name my son Joshua (Joshua Davidson = Jesus, son of David)

  176. Bethany Lois says

    I got 2 Christian Names, by parents not intending to do so. Bethany Lois, for Bethany the City and Lois the MOther (Or Grandmother, can't remember) of Timothy,

  177. says

    There should be some points for names like "faith," "hope," and "love."

    Because surely back-up vampire slayers should get points. And my daughter's middle name is Hope. And I've actually met someone whose name is "Love." She was (is? I dunno…it's been years and years) a pastor's wife at a church we did a mission trip to in WV. When the pastor introduced her, he told us what was probably his favorite joke: "It's ok if you hear some other man calling her "Love" since it's actually her name!"

    Husband: Ryan Alexander – in-laws are heathens
    Me: Leia Ruth (except that Leia isn't actually my first name, but it's not Biblical either so it doesn't matter) – my parents are semi-saved…which is good considering that my dad's a Baptist minister…
    Son: Andrew Alexander
    Daughter: Joanna Hope – I guess we're semi-saved too

    And yet, from all of that, no points! So sad!

  178. Rebecca says

    I knew someone who named his kid Obadiah… we suggested giving him the middle name of John, so he could pronounce it in Spanish and call him Obi Juan… he didn't go for it. :)

  179. Sarah says

    Sarah. My name is Sarah.

    I should get +37 points simply because Sarah is the wife of Abraham. She's pretty famous. And my name means princess of God, so obviously I'm holy.

    I should also get +2 points for spelling it with an h, because obviously in the original language of the bible, Old English, King James dictated that it be spelled with an h. King James DID write the only correct bible, right?

    (Speaking of which, I don't think you've ever mentioned KJV as something Christians like. Right? I must have missed that post, because there's no way you couldn't mention that)

    +2 points for a witnessing tool, although most people have tried to witness to me because of my name, when I slaved away at the Cracker Barrel.

    Anyways, I love this blog. I laugh a lot when reading it. It's witty and honest.

  180. says

    My son is Josiah Andrew. :) I have a nephew named Micah Asher. My dad is Paul David. My brother is Paul Andrew. My other brother is Aaron (Randall, not Biblical, but whatever). My father in Law's name, is the holiest-sounding name of all: JOHN CALVIN.
    We have Bible names out the ying-yang.

  181. says

    I just had to chime in to say that my name is also James David… although, my parents always called me by my middle name and so I'm a "Dave" or "David"…. I think it was a cruel joke my parents played on me because I never know what to fill out for official documents or government things, and I especially get confused when my Medicare card says "James David Yanofsky" and when I'm in a waiting room I wonder why they guy named "James" doesn't get up when he's being called in by the nurse.

    Our boy's name is Gabriil (pronounced Gabe-ree-ill), just like Gabriel, but the Russian spelling has two "i's" instead of the "ie"… My last name is Russian… We just call him Gabe.

  182. says

    We named our 1st son Ezekiel and it's actually a popular name (Zeke). Our 2nd son, Malachi may have to work on it a bit, but who would not like to hang out with "Ki guy."

  183. pamnjeromy says

    Okay do you take away points if you name your child someone from TV instead of the Bible? lol Guilty!!

  184. Beccy says

    My family consulted the Big Book of Heathen Baby Names – I'm Rebecca without a Hebrew "k", and no one else even comes close.
    My husband's family, on the other hand, consulted THE Book. He's Stephen, brother of Benjamin, son of Paul, and grandson to John and Joseph.

    Our daughter is Kira (TV show) Joy (nice FofTS thrown in)
    Our son…wait for it….
    ….Calvin Wesley. How many bonus points do we get for reconciling those two doctrines?!? (although I do realize his name means "bald one from the western meadow", which he is not)

  185. Rachel says

    I am Rachel Joy,and my siblings are Elizabeth Grace,Sarah Hope,Jonathan Aaron,and Caleb Nathaniel.My parents are Sandra Joy and Joseph John,and my grandmother on my mom's side is Joy.My first-born daughter will be named Katniss Joy,in keeping with the Joy-for-firstborn-daughter's-middle-name tradition,and also named for a heathen book character whose name can be turned into a rhyming insult.Boo-yah.

  186. JFK says

    If you combine #7 and #6, that means someone's full name would be "The Gospel of John Doe," for example. As a fellow John (only with the 'h'), I wouldn't want it to sound like i have my own version of the gospel.
    Maybe combining these two should be negative points? :p

  187. says

    my wife is due and day now. we're naming him Titus.

    it's always awkward when someone asks, "oh thats cool, howd you think of that?"

    "uh…it's in the new testament, duh. read your Bible once in a while"

    jk, but seriously, it's awkward.

  188. Susan says

    My daughter's name is Katura. My great-great grandmother was named Keturah. But people were forever misspelling her name (seriously, it's even misspelled on her headstone). So I "modernized" the spelling. Not too many people realize it is a biblical name (Gen 25:1, 1 Chron 1:31). If I ever have another daughter, I want to name her Jael (Judges 4). Incidentally, Jael is one of the seven seasons on Guiteica, a planet in the Star Wars Galaxy. For the win.

  189. Jule says

    I knew four brothers who were named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I never forgot the order in which they were born, that is for sure.

  190. Gyasi says

    I never thought my name (pronounced J.C.) was in any way Biblical until I went to a Christian college. Everytime I met someone new and told them my name they'd ask, "Oh, like Jesus Christ?"
    What could I do? If I said no, I would look like a big satan-loving heathen, but if I said yes, then I'd look like a pompous, holier-than-thou jerk.

    If only my parents had named me Rebekah…

  191. says

    We named our son Noah Daniel, so we have a double whammy there. Our daughter, however, is Hailey Lynn….we might have lost points on her since neither of her names are biblical. But, our last name is Bueermann – it’s pronounced Beer-man…no, seriously. And I’m a music & youth pastor in a Southern Baptist church, so you can laugh at the irony there.

  192. zra says

    I’m about to blow your mind!!! (extra exclamation marks for seriousness)
    Some friends of ours name their kids like a sentence.
    One boy is named Trustin. Pretty normal? Not if your middle name is Jesus. Yes his name is Trustin Jesus. Trust in Jesus… get it!
    Then there is Honor. Which is a really cool name! middle name? Theson.
    Honor the son. yup. this is all true.
    lastly there is a sweet little girl. Hallelujah Rey. they call her Hallie like Berry.
    We also know a girl names Praise. off the chart points!

  193. -Mrbz says

    Michelle means “who is like the Lord.” So, I can’t decide if my parents were giving me some huge riddle, in which case it would be, “So, child o’ mine, who is like the Lord?” Or if it’s them subtly hinting they want me to make big things happen for Jesus.

  194. says

    We have always joked of having a son named Obadiah Ria. But instead we have a Hannah Rae, Emma Elizabeth, Benjamin James, Gabriel Ament (my maiden named pronounced Amen-t) and Jack Henry. So no points for the last one for his parents went heathen at the end! I think that all children named after angels should get points… unless of course they’re named Lucifer (which would require deductions).

  195. Josh jmoney says

    In ACTUALITY, it is the same name as Jesus via “Yeshua”. So if I’m feeling like being “counter-(christian)cultural” and “edgy”, I’ll pray to “Joshua” and sometimes encourage others to do so too. Feel free to also throw in “Omni” as a prefix too.

  196. Tommy says

    I very much doubt that giving someone a Biblical name affects them in one way or the other.

    My name’s Thomas, by the way.

  197. Allie says

    I know a family who named theor daughters Faith and Charity so that when they were yellong at them they were actually speaking those virtues over their home :)

    I also know of someone named Talitha which means “little girl” and is from the story of Jairus in mark 5, which I think is very creative!

  198. says

    I’ve always thought about naming my kid (when I have one) Nebuchadnezzar. Just call him Chad for short, so he can seem normal to people at first, but whip out the biblical truth to his name whenever he wants.

  199. says

    I grew up Roman Catholic, and went to Catholic school for twelve years. Just about every year we’d have to do a project where we researched our saint. This was a real problem for me, because neither of my names (Brenda Kaye) were saints’ names. Meanwhile, all my classmates named John had a huge selection of saints to choose from (there’s about a billionty-jillionty St. Johns). I usually settled on St. Brendon, an obscure Irish monk who never had more than a sentence or two written about him.

  200. callie says

    And/ or just Biblical words like Corban (mark 7:11, coughcoughmykidcough), particularly those that are the Greek or Hebrew derived, or the classics like Grace or Joy… or Sojourner, cause I know of a little girl named So-Jo. ;)

  201. Leah says

    How about the paralyzing fear that gripped you when a preacher asks the congregation to turn to a passage that features your namesake? You knooooow everyone in that sanctuary is going to glance your way. And let’s not even talk about the horror when that happened in youth group!
    In my case, Leah (my name) was the uglier daughter of Laban who married Jacob under less than moral circumstances. There’s no coming back from that.

  202. says

    All of our kids have biblical names, Daniel, Caleb, Andrew, Nathan…but for our daughter we went with a name only mentioned once in Romans 16:1. Phebe. We are ALWAYS having to spell it because everyone wants to put an O in there. So I guess we fall under #1. :) we also get asked if we named her after the Friends character Phoebe. Uh…..nope. We also never looked at meanings as much as the characteristics of the bible characters and so far all of our kids have lived up to their names! Daniel is a picky eater (if only like his namesake he would eat vegetables we’d be okay) and Phebe is an awesome helper just to mention a couple,

  203. says

    Oh and everyone in my little family of 8 has. Biblical name except me, Amanda Susan. My kids keep asking me where my name is in the Bible. It’s sad.

  204. 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:)

  205. 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).

  206. 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. ;-)

  207. says

    (NLT) You see, if you are a Christian, God has called you to do His work.

    You can also email any chapter to your friends or family with a personalized
    note. For more information call Amy Maggard @ Discover Modeling Inc.

    Here is my blog post … children bible stories (Edison)


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