Modern Day Variations of Biblical Names

Blog > Modern Day Variations of Biblical Names
Posted on: January 27th, 2019by Elizabeth Henderson

The Bible is a good place to obtain names for our babies. First, the Bible professes virtues and uses examples of people who have achieved exploits and who have changed the course of communities. As I have always reiterated, the essence of a name is to inspire admirable attributes in an individual. Therefore, parents find a lot of inspiration in biblical names. Secondly, the biblical names are accompanied by their meanings and how they settle with the character of the person. For instance, the name David means beloved of God. By analyzing the life of David and his walk with God, one can clearly understand the meaning of his name. This man committed sin every waking minute of his life. However, he would often return to God who was quick to embrace him. The biblical names are among the most popular names in America. Moreover, some people have also come up with a way to conjure up modern names from the biblical names. In this article, I will discuss the modern versions of biblical names.

Jonathan is a Hebrew name that means the gift of God. In the Bible, this young man was known for generosity, kindness, and a big heart. Despite being the heir apparent to the throne, he was the first person to support David in his quest to replace Soul as the king of Israel. At the same time, he remained loyal to his father to his death. The name has five major variations: Johnathan, Nathan, Jontae, Jonathon, and Jon. The meaning of this name evokes individual attributes like generosity, loyalty, and love.

John means Yahweh is gracious. This name was popularized by the person of John the Baptist. The role he played in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ contributed to this name being imprinted in the memory of humankind. Originally, John is a Hebrew name. However, it has acquired numerous variations due to its adoption across various cultures and societies. The English version of the name John is Johannes. Similarly, the Greek version is Joannes. The English people adopted this name in the Middle Ages. It became a common household name in this society in this era. The following are the modern names derived from the name John: Jan, Jon, Ian, Johannes, Jens, Johan, Johnny, Johnnie, Jonnie, and Johnie. Moreover, the name also has various female derivatives such as Janessa, Jayne, Jane, Janice, Jeanna, Jeana, Jean, Joan, Jeanne, Joanne, Joann, Johna, Joanna, Janina, Johana, Janna, and Johan. Despite all these variations, the meaning of the name remains unchanged.

Daniel is a name for male Hebrew children and it means God is my judge. The popularity of this name is attributed to the story of Daniel in the Bible. He was a courageous and strong young man who also served as one of the judges for the children of Israel. Like John, this name was adopted into the English culture in the Middle Ages. However, the name spread even further with the advent of Protestant Reformation. The variants of this name comprise of Danilo, Danail, Danijel, Taniel, Dan, Dannie, Danny, Danko, Dani, and Dancho. The female derivatives of this name include Daniela, Danna, Danielle, Danka, and Danijela.

Elizabeth is a Hebrew name for baby girls and it means my God is my oath. The biblical Elizabeth is a wonderful story that teaches us to practice perseverance, hope, faith, and to trust God. The woman went through a trial period where she was looked upon and despised for circumstances over which she had no control. Even so, she remained focused in her fervent cry unto the Lord. In the end, she gave birth to one of the greatest prophets who ever lived. The name has numerous modern variants such as Elsabeth, Elyzabeth, Elisabeth, Beth, Bettie, Betty, Lilibeth, Bette, Elle, Elsie, Lilibet, Eliza, Elyse, Leesa, Leanna, Liana, Ella, Liz, Lisa, Tetty, Lizzy, Lillian, Liliana, and Lise.

David means beloved of God. He is considered the greatest king that Israel ever had. Furthermore, he is considered the ancestor of Jesus Christ. David loved God and walked with Him even though he had personal weaknesses that he had to deal with along this journey. The meaning of his name can be seen in his unique relationship with God. The name has been in use for centuries in Europe. The European immigrants introduced it to the New World. Today, it is a common name in America. The modern forms of this name include Davi, Davie, Davey, Dave, Daveth, Dawood, Dewi, Davy, Daw, Dawud, and Daividh. The female versions of the name David are Davine, Davina, Davena, Davida, and Davinia.

Hannah is an Old Hebrew name that means favor. Like Elizabeth, Hannah had a problem with childbearing and this caused her a great ordeal. Similarly, she was despised and abused by her co-wife who felt that she had no use as a wife. She too trusted God and in the end bore his husband a son who became a leader of the people of Israel. The use of this name was very common in Eastern Europe before it was adopted by the Western European societies. The Roman and Greek cultures also contributed significantly to the spread of this name throughout the world. The name has found numerous variations in the modern culture. Some of these variations are very common in American culture; even though most people do not know their origins. The name Hannah is commonly used as Anna, Ann, Anne, Keanna, Anissa, Annabelle, Annetta, Anika, Anina, Nina, Ani, Anya, Anu, and Anneli.

Mary means the wished-for child. The popularity of this name is attached to the life and story of Jesus Christ. The mother of Jesus was the Virgin Mary. Her role in the salvation story has seen her being used as a saint in the churches across the world. Therefore, this name has become popular majorly because of the three religions of the book, or rather the Abrahamic religions. The Latin form of the name Mary is Maria. This Latinized form of the name still finds use in several cultures across Europe. In the modern culture, the name Mary emerges in the following forms: Maralyn, Marilyn, Mair, Maria, Marie, Mariel, Mae, Mariam, Miriam, Mara, Mia, Marietta, Mariella, and Marion.

James is pronounced as Ya'aqov in Hebrew. In Latin, the pronunciation is Jakobos. James means the supplanter or the one who follows. The name is widely attributed to the two disciples of Jesus who contributed to the establishment of the church after the ascension of Christ. James was not really an English name but rather it was very common in Scotland. Before, the era of Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church was the dominant religious society in Scotland. This phenomenon may have contributed to the popularity of this name among the Scottish people. The modern versions of the name James are Jayme, Jem, Jimmie ,Jae, Jay, Jimmy, Jamey, Jamie, and Jim. The female forms of the name James comprise of Jacquelyn, Jacklyn, Jackline, and Jay.

Timothy is a Hebrew name for male children and its meaning is honoring God. Wow! What a meaning! Giving this name to your newborn in itself is like dedicating the boy to the ervice of the Lord. The name in Greek is Timotheos. Timothy was a companion of all on his numerous journeys through Europe and Asia to spread the gospel of Christ. He was of mixed ancestry: a Greek-Jew. Indeed, he had given up his life to honoring and serving God and this is why his name made such a great impact in the history of the church. The numerous adaptations of the name Timothy include Tim, Timo, and Timmy. The name has only one female form: Timotha. However, the use of the female form is not very common.

Michael means who is like Gode The meaning of this name is an affirmation that God is unique and that no one or nothing compares to him. Hence, using this name on your newborn baby is akin to honoring God for his greatness and goodness. In Hebrew language, the name is pronounced as Mikhael. In the Bible, he is the only one referred to as the archangel. Michael was the bearer of good news; every time he appeared, there was something good the Lord was sending to his people. The name was adopted by the societies in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. Since, then, it has become a common name not only in Europe but also across the globe. The variations of this name include Mike, Mikael, Michal, Mickey, Mikey, Mick, Michi, Miguel, Micha, Mikel, Misha, and Miquel. The female forms of the name Michael are Michelle, Mikki, Mikaela, Michala, Mikkeline, and Makayla.

Deborah means bee in Hebrew. A bee is a social worker. This attribute is seen in the role that Deborah plays in the life of the Israelites. She pioneered the social cohesion in the community that helped the Israelites overcome a threat from the Canaanites. This name is attractive for parents who want to inspire leadership and industry in their newborn baby girls. This name was not common in Europe until after the Protestant Reformation. Today, Deborah comes in different forms: Deb, Debra, Debby, and Debbie. Unlike the other names we have discussed above this name does not have many modern derivations. Be as it may, it remains a cute and elegant name for a baby girl.

Abraham is a Hebrew name that means father of many. It was derived from the Hebrew name Abram which means multitude. Abraham is seen is the father of the Jewish people because of his relationship with Jacob. His is also considered the father of Christians due to his great faith in God. In modern culture, this name appears in several new versions namely Bram, Abe, Ibra, Ebrahim, and Ibro.

Eve means to live or life in Hebrew. In the creation story, she is considered the mother of humankind. Eve lived with Adam in the Garden of Eden under the command of God before they succumbed to the lies of the devil. The meaning of this name upholds the role of feminine in propagating life. The derivatives of Eve are Ava, Eveleen, Eva, Evie, Hawa, and Evita.

Sarah means noblewoman. Sarah is a powerful name that inspires virtue in a woman and confirms her position as the cornerstone of the society. The wife of Abraham was called Sarah. She was characterized by devotion, faithfulness, submission, and faith, and, love. She is considered the mother of faith because of the role she played in the life of Abraham. She is also the mother of the nation of Israel. The modern derivatives of the name Sarah include Sera, Sara, Sally, Sadie, Sal and Zahra.

Rebekah was the wife of Isaac. She was the mother of Jacob who later became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. There is no clear meaning for this name because little is known about her except that she conspired with her son Jacob to defraud Esau of his birthright. The derivatives of this name comprise of Rebecca, Bekki, Becca, Reba, and Rebeka.

Joseph originates from the Hebrew name Yosef which means he will add. Joseph is the first born son of Jacob with his wife Rachel. Jacob loved Rachel so much even though she could not have children. When she conceived and gave birth to Joseph, the father was so happy and he gave the little boy this name to express his joy. Moreover, he was hopeful that God would give him many more sons with his beloved Rachel. Indeed, she bore him Benjamin before she passed on. The circumstances around this name makes it powerful for a couple that has been having trouble having children. It is an affirmation that God will provide more children in his own time. The popularity of the name in the Middle Ages is attributed to the Protestant Transformation. The modern forms of this name include Josef, Joey, Joe, Jo, Sepp, and Jose. On the other hand, the female versions of the name are Josepha, Josephine, Josee, and Jody.

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