It’s not just religious folk choosing baby names from the bible.
Biblical baby names are beautiful and have been in use for centuries. Many of them are considered classic choices.
Some parents might choose them in order to conjure an obedient child. Others may not even know they have chosen a name with Biblical origins.
Gwyneth Paltrow seems properly influenced by the bible naming her children Apple (from the Garden of Eden?) and Moses.
There’s no arguing the name Moses comes from the bible.
Nameberry has listed the top 11 biblical baby names for boys and best 11 biblical baby names for girls, some of which are still wildly popular as well as a few forgotten classics.
Top 11 biblical baby names for boys
Jacob has long been one of the most popular baby names in the western world. Jacob had two wives (a sign of the times), lots of kids and was known for being quite, thoughtful and family-focused, preferring to stay close to home tending his flocks.
Not just a name made famous by the Mission Impossible series, biblical Ethan was praised for his wisdom. Ethan means strong, optimistic, solid, enduring and permanent.
The builder of the ark, a symbol of hope and survival, the name Noah evokes images of strength and leadership. He is also thought to have fathered three sons at the age of 100 which is mighty impresive, if true.
Archangel Michael is one of the most well-known angels known as a defender of the Jewish people. Apparently he lead an army against Satan, which gives the name images of power.
The story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den is one of the most popular biblical stories for children. Daniel was known to be a visionary prophet and a leader.
The Gospel of Matthew is the first book in the New Testament. Matthew was one of the disciples who was said to have witnessed Jesus’ descent into heaven. A tax collector driven by greed, he was chosen by Jesus and managed to transform his life.
In the Book of Kings Elijah was a miracle worker who raised the dead, conjured rain made of fire and and ascended in a whirlwind. He did all of this after challenging Baal, the god responsible for rain, thunder, lightening and dew.
There were two major biblical characters named James. James the Just who was thought to be the brother or step-brother of Jesus and James the Great, an apostle who later became the Patron Saint of Spain. Both followed Jesus and his teachings.
In the Bible the man named Benjamin was the founder of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. He was the last born of Jacob’s 13 children. The tribe he founded became one of the most powerful tribes in Israel.
Joshua was an important Old Testament figure who led the Israelites to victory in a major battle called the Battle of Jericho which led them to the promised land. The name Joshua is thought to command respect. Also biblical Joshua was recongised as the successor to Moses.
Andrew is the name of the patron saint of Scotland, Russia and Greece, so he’s a really busy patron saint then. He was the fisherman first chosen by Jesus to become a disciple. Andrew is meant to represent “humble service”.
Baby names that are virtually extinct. Article continues after this video.
Best 11 biblical baby names for girls
This is one of the top biblical girl’s name, beating Sarah in the popularity stakes in 1998. Once again from the Old Testament, Hannah is mother of Samuel. She battled with infertility before having Samuel, charmingly referred to in the bible as being “barran”.
Considerered characteristically Jewish, Rachel began being used as a Christian name after the Reformation and is popular in all ethnic groups. Rachel was the cherished wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. It is thought to mean “ewe”.
Not the most savoury character in the bible, Rebecca is said to have deceived her husband and betrayed her sons however she is also remembered for her ambition and became a symbol of fertility after falling pregnant at an old age.
Not only was Sarah wife of great patriarch Abraham and mother of Isaac, the name also means “princess” which explains why it is still an incredibly popular baby name for girls to this day. Fertility was bestowed upon her by God at an old age due to her service to him.
In Hebrew the meaning of the name Deborah is “bee”. Queen Bee perhaps? She is often referred to as “The Mother of Israel”, such was her influence. She is remembered as a woman of action who put her personal preferences aside for others.
The story of Leah is quite a sad one. Apparently she was “unloved” and as a result had six children, in an effort to be loved. The reason she was unloved by her husband was because she was married to him “by deception”. She wasn’t his first choice.
From the Old Testament, Abigail was teh wife of David and renowed for her beauty, wisdom and prophetic powers…because you can’t be wise and prophetic without being beautiful, right?
Mary is one of the most sacred names in the bible, belonging to several notable biblical characters, not the least of which was the New Testamant “Mother of God”, as mother to Jesus the “Son of God”, conceived by “immaculate conception”.
The name Ruth means companion, friend and “vision of beauty” according to the bible stories told about her. She married well and is most known for representing the possibility of rising from “rags to ruin”.
This popular name came from the biblical character Phoebe who was trusted by Paul to deliver a letter to the Romans. She was known as, “The Woman Who Wore the Badge of Kindness” due to her good deeds.
From the Book of Daniel, Susannah was the beautiful and devout wife of Joachim however was falsely accused of being unfaithful by the elders. Eventually she was proven innocent when her accusors were questioned separately and came up with different stories. They were put to death. That’ll teach ’em.
Some of the most famous people in the world have names inspired by the Bible. Click through our gallery.