Do You Have a Biblical Name? February 24, 2009

Do You Have a Biblical Name?

Because the irony of atheists having Biblical names makes me laugh.

But if you do, you might as well tally up your score:

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

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

“Hemant” gets no points. I lose. (Unless someone can find my name in the Bible, in which case, bonus points for you.)

On a side note, I heard that a guy I went to high school with had a son a couple years ago. He named it “Seyton.”

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  • Well, my name is Timothy. I’m not really familiar with Biblical lit, but I think I recall that being the name of one of the books in the Bible.

  • Ty

    Two books, in fact.

    My name gets zero points.

    I wonder if they’d allow other sources of scripture in this? I know of at least two Mormon parents that have named their son Moroni, one of the Book of Mormon characters.

    Seriously, Moroni? Just start beating that kid and taking his lunch money now, to prepare him for the unending hell that school will be.

  • Well, I’m Paul, named after one of the most important figures in early Christendom. Except when you find out that my middle name is Douglas, and you realize that my Mom simply had a crush on an old movie actor.

  • Chrissy

    my name is christina maria. not only am i a “follower of christ”, but i guess i’m also down with the virgin mary! i don’t know how many points that scores but every time i think about my name, i chuckle. maybe that’s why i go by chrissy.

  • misterjustin

    I know a Vashti – whom, if I remember correctly, is Ruth’s mother. If various online name databases are correct she’s one of just two in the USA and certainly an obscure biblical name.

  • llewelly

    Biblical names, nuthin’ .
    At the grade school I went to, there were four brothers named Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, and Sam.
    Four points to those who can explain that.

  • Ty

    More Mormon names.

  • faemorpheus

    My name is Faith. I was named after my great grandmother who was awesome…but I get the slew of ‘faith hope charity’ stuff. And people instantly thinking I”m religious or should be.

    It is such an unfitting name….*sigh*

  • First name is a very very obscure guy who let a couple of apostles spend the night at his house. He got arrested for it and Paul didn’t even try to post bail for him. What a jerk!

    At least the guy got sainted later. So he’s got that going for him.

    Middle name was one of the Disciples.

  • steve

    Hemant…. hmmm. Not biblical. Although if you ha d brother named Skeletor that would be even better 1000 points.

    By the way my real name is Steve Rogers for any comic book fans out there.

  • schism

    As I recall, “Craig” is derived from a Scottish surname, so I’m out.

  • Chelsea

    Hooray Anglo Saxon name! My grandma almost talked my mom into naming me Marie. Dodged a prenatal bullet there!

  • Erp

    Vashti actually is the name of the queen before Esther (Book of Esther) who was divorced when she refused to obey her husband and show herself off to his friends (possibly naked). Her failure to obey her husband puts her generally on the no-no list for names (except among feminists).

    Vashti McCollum, a humanist, was the plaintiff in a Supreme Court case over religious education in public schools.

    My own name, Emma, is not Biblical and as far as I know no saints are called Emma.

    Hemant doesn’t appear though Heman appears as (1) a son of Lotan son of Se’ir the Horite, (2) Heman son of Mahol (Solomon is described as wiser than him), (3) Heman son of Zerah son of Judah, (4) Heman son of Jo’el (a Levite) who was a musician in the Temple under Solomon, (5) Heman the Ezrahite (Psalm 88 is ‘maskil’ of his).

  • Dheak

    Well, my middle name is Thomas. He was an apostle but the one who doubted so I’m not sure if I get a point or not.

  • absent sway

    Isn’t there a “sayings of King Lemuel” shout-out in the book of Proverbs? And Vashti is the first queen in the book of Esther, who was rejected because she wouldn’t dance for the drunken king’s guests, something like that.

    I met a girl named Shekhinah once. At the time I failed to notice that its pronunciation is far too close to “vagina.”

  • Jennifer isn’t biblical, but my middle name, Christina, obviously is religious. Which makes me JC…so I win!

  • polomint38

    My middle name is James, I have a version of the bible, the king James named after me.

    Although my first name Bruce, was after my mother’s first pet dog.

  • Efogoto

    I’m Andrew, like one of the twelve apostles. I didn’t see that in the list of points, but it ought to be more than a minor prophet. Heck, it out to be more than for Thomas who was a doubter. Oh, wait, I’m a disbeliever. Does that mean it’s worth less or worthless?

  • Indigo

    My first name is Megan, which is Welsh and means “pearl”. My middle name is Diane, the origins of which should be fairly obvious.
    My last name is an English patronymic (and no, I’m not saying which one.) So no points for me.

  • Polly

    I’m named after the (real) founder of Christianity and my middle name is the original Synoptic.

  • PrimeNumbers

    If you’re going to be a skeptic, Thomas is the safest bet for a biblical name!

  • “Michael” = “who is like God”.

    I’ve never told my parents I’m an atheist, so I haven’t had the opportunity to point out the irony of the name choice. 🙂

  • Awesomesauce

    I’m Joseph and my brother is James. We were named after my granda, James Joseph Keenan.

  • Robin

    Well, I do not have a biblical name, but we do have two apostles in the family. My husband is Philip and my son is Andrew. One is a atheist and one is on his way.

  • Liz

    I’m Elizabeth Mary and my husband is Joshua James. Our daughter is named the Italian word for a particular flower + a Japanese name. We did not want to pass on the Biblical naming.

  • joanna

    For fun, check out:

    Joanna means “Gift of God”…oh my…how awkward and ironic. Do I get any points?? I mean, jeeez, I’m God’s gift..ha ha. That has to count for SOMETHING.

    I was hoping putting in the name “Lucifer” would come up with an interesting meaning…or a warning of dire consequences if a baby were named it. Nope. NOTHING.

  • From Joanna’s link

    Meaning: Dressed in black, dark
    Biblical context: Origin – Greek. Melita (Malta) was the island where the ship conveying Paul to Rome, as a prisoner, was wrecked. Paul stayed on this island for three months and was treated with coutesy and kindness by the islanders.

    This is definitely news to me. My name is derived from the slavic mil for “gracious”, or “dear”. I’ve also heard of an Italian name Milena. I probably don’t get any points though, since it’s just derived, and not an actual biblical name.

  • Crux Australis

    Middle name = Peter. I teach science at St Peter’s College. One day we were talking about names, and a question came up “Who here has the name of a saint?”. “I do; Peter” said I. Another student said, “Was Peter a saint?!”

  • Jay

    A girl I went to school with was named Faith Clinger


  • lindsey

    At the grade school I went to, there were four brothers named Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, and Sam.

    I grew up mormon, so i can tell you all about Lehi’s unrighteous and righteous spawn and the time they spent together. Now if only I could forget it, that would be better.

    Giving your kids insane mormon names like that is horrifying to me. I’m glad my parents were keeping it real.

  • Vystrix Nexoth

    My first name (Eric) is Anglo-Saxon (I think) in origin, my middle name Germanic, my last name Irish.

    So I guess I’m pretty much safe.

  • vivian

    My husband’s mom is an open-minded tree-hugger, and maybe one of the greatest people I know. She named my husband ‘Adam’ but wanted to spell it ‘Atom’, her mother-in-law talked to out of it. She also made his middle name ‘Christopher’ for Christopher Robins. So Adam Christopher sounds religious, but it was completely unintentional.

  • Kristine

    Hmm… Kristine. Means Christian. Heh, very ironic, I haven’t been Christian since I was 6. Middle names… 1. Eva. Well, we all know who Eve was, right? And 2. Louise. Are there any Louise’s in the bible? I can’t think of any, but there was a saint by that name…

  • Eoin Boyle

    Hemant – nope. Not biblical. Neither is Eoin – thanks, mom & dad…

    But the sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, HEMAN, Calcol and Dara; five of them in all. (1 Chronicles 2:6), which plays into the “Skeletor” comment above. There are a handful of other Hemans as well.

  • «bønez_brigade»

    I’m thinking my parents scored a 3-pointer.

  • RobL

    Robert – zero points. Oh well.

    Best real names I have personally come across:

    Two brothers born in the depression that I used to do business with. Last name “Gin”. First names “Sloe” and “Drye”.

    Next best: “Chris P. Bacon” – no joke. A high school friend of my daughters. Obviously not Jewish.

  • Julie


    Major or minor prophet? I think minor, right? So 3 points.

    And last name:


    How many points do we get for that?

  • From that informative link offered by Joanna,

    ‘Corey’ is nowhere to be found, but my middle name ‘Paul’ is

    Meaning: Small, humble.
    Biblical context: Origin – Hebrew. Paul was a strict Jew and an enemy of the early Christians.

    However, on the road to Damascus, he had a vision of Jesus Christ and converted to Christianity. He became a passionate evangelist and travelled on many missionary journeys. His work is described in the Acts of the Apostles.


    Meaning: Asked for, wished for.
    Biblical context: Origin – Hebrew. Saul was the first King of Israel. Also, Saul was the original name of the apostle Paul.


    So my middle name was derived from a King, (wow, who knew my parents thought so highly of me, actually I doubt they even knew this information) a Jewish man who wanted and asked for many things, who later in his life had hallucinations, that made him decided to become a Christian (how very Constantine-like) and then change his name that was to extol his new ideology of life which was to be a small and humble man.

    Maybe these folks from yesteryear ate too much rye bread or wild mushrooms, isn’t that what many of the “witches” consumed, unknowingly, not realizing that it was to cause them to believe they were flying on brooms in the early days of America in Salem/Danvers Massachusetts during the famous witch-hunts?.

    And to waste a few minutes, I decided to look for my first name ‘Corey’ on the net, which we all could to with our own names, for many days.


    This is what a quick search revealed from:


    Origin: Germanic, Gaelic, and English

    Meaning: God’s Peace or in Gaelic . ‘Dweller in or near a hollow; spear’

    Additional info: may be derived from the Germanic first name Godfrey (God’s peace), and may have been encouraged by the Gaelic ‘cuairteoir’ (visitor).

    It might also come from the Gaelic ‘coire’ (a cauldron, a seething pool, a hollow), hence the meaning “dweller in or near a hollow”.

    Alternatively, it is an Anglicized form of the various surnames derived from ‘corra’ (a spear).

    It may also be related to the Old Norse personal name of unknown meaning Kori.


    Christ, (pun intended), what is one to think with all this information, that our lives are a mish-mash of past cultures and people…OMG….I must be an American…. 🙂

  • elianara

    All the girls in my family has one form or other of Anne in their names.

    I actually score high on the biblical name game. I’m named after the mother of Virgin Mary, the mother of John the Baptist and a 4th century martyr and saint. The meanings are “gracious one”, “pure” and “god is my oath”

  • jacob

    I am actually named after jacob of the bible which is highly ironic.

  • Timothy

    According to the baby names book my parents have Timothy is supposed to mean “Honoring God”. Which is funny because I’m certainly guilty of blasphemy.

  • My name is Danilo, a cognate of Daniel. It’s a major prophet, and means “god is my judge”. So, just +1 for me. 🙁

  • I spent a couple of minutes researching “Hemant” and came up with the following:

    Hemant is the male version of Mant.

    Mant is a genetic combination of man and ant. This is a funny video if you watch it all the way through. I think with a little cleverness, one could weave it into the biblical Armageddon stories for a couple of points.

  • James Koran

    My last name usually gets the most attention.
    James Koran

  • Chris

    Well, I am named after a dog headed giant who had a ghost baby appear on his back while wading in a river… and a famous saint! Both parents are Atheist, so I do not know what they were thinking.
    I have considered leaving the T on Chris just to be very ironic.

  • Steven

    I think “Steven Christopher” should garner me at least one point. How about extra points for saint’s names? Neither one was intentional on Mom’s part, she just “liked the names”.
    I happen to like my youngest daughter’s name since her initials spell out B-L-A-M, our very own little miss firecracker. That wasn’t intentional, either, just a curious combination of chosen and family names.

  • cassiek

    My name, Cassandra, is straight from Greek mythology and quite rare in my age group. My two youngest children are Zachary and Gabrielle. Zach because it’s a family name and I think it sounds cool, and Gabrielle was actually pulled from Lestat’s mother’s name in Anne Rice’s books. Pretty much the antithesis of an archangel.

  • Takma’rierah

    I’m Alexius, named after a nun who was named after Saint Alexius. Which is weird, because “Alexius” is totally a guy’s name. I don’t mind, though; it’s fun to tease my mom about.

  • Mike

    Oh yeah, definitely a biblical name for me, and my brother.

    My first name is “Michael”, middle name “Christopher”.

    My brothers is “Stephen” and “Matthew”, respectively.

  • At the grade school I went to, there were four brothers named Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, and Sam.

    That is too funny!!! I’ve met plenty of people with Book of Mormon names, but usually they avoid naming their own kids after some of the villains of the story.

    This test neglects some of the amusing Catholic naming traditions. For example, my husband’s father was a very devout Catholic, so not only did my husband get “Emmanuel” as his first name, but as per family tradition, he got “Marie, Joseph” among his middle names. On that note, I once worked with a Spanish guy named José-Maria, and he explained that it’s not uncommon for men to be named as the parents of Jesus.

    For my own kids, I deliberately avoided Biblical names because they sound religious to my American ears. But I wanted to name them something fairly traditional (that wouldn’t stand out as strange in France), so I ended up giving them fairly Catholic names (one has the name of an important Saint, the other has the name of some popes). Again, these names don’t ring religious to my American ears, but they might sound like religious names to Catholics.

  • michelle

    I was named for a cousin of my father’s, but my name means “Who is like the Lord”. When I didn’t know any better I thought my name had a great definition. Now that I’m older and have read the Old (and New) Testament more thoroughly, I’m a bit insulted by it!

  • I do not have a biblical name, thankfully. My husband, however, does. My mother in law, when she was pregnant with my husband, was so convinced she was having a girl that she did not pick out a boy name. So when he came out a he, she had a problem. They opted to open the bible and would name him the first masculine name they came to. He lucked out with “David”, but I shudder to think of what he could’ve ended up being named. lol

    We have two daughters, and I was ridiculously careful both times to avoid any biblical names. Considering I’m a fan of “old lace” style names, it was freaking hard!

  • Ubi Dubius

    My father-in-law knew a family with five boys. They were named (in order):
    Matthew Crumb;
    Mark Crumb;
    Luke Crumb;
    John Crumb; and
    Acts of the Apostles Crumb.

    My f-i-l went to school with Acts.

  • Ubi Dubius

    I have a friend named Heretic and another named Pagan.

    My daughters have biblical names, but only because they are named after grandparents.

  • SarahH

    LMAO @ “Acts” Crumb! Certainly a conversation starter…

    Sarah isn’t really that big a deal, besides the fact that it’s kind of gross being named after someone who was mostly notable for giving birth when she was disgustingly old.

    Growing up in a very conservative area with parents involved in ministry, I do know some kids with Bible names ranging from mild to intense, including:

    All four of the main gospel names (obviously), Noah, Elijah, Jonah, Josiah, Enoch, Samson, Jonathan, David, Joel, Daniel, Jacob, Micah, Abigail, Leah, Rebekah, Lydia, Hannah, Joanna, Gabriel, Jedidiah, Jesse, Nathaniel, and Thaddius.

    These are all kids who were specifically named because of the Biblical origin of the name, not because the parents just liked how it sounded or liked an actor who happened to have the name. Nope, these parents meant business!

  • i am a dodt

    @ joanna

    Lucifer = Morning Star, and evidently there’s some debate as to whether or not Lucifer is Satan (as in, Lucifer might have referred to someone else). Anyone know more about this? I’m totally intrigued. And I think Lucifer is such a beautiful name, regardless of context.

  • joanna

    Lucifer = Morning Star</;

    Wow. How very interesting…that just sounds so cheery and not at all diabolical…ha…more like what you’d call a pretty little white flower.

    I found the word luciferous in the dictionary and was quite surprised. It means: bringing light or insight; illuminating.

    How very luciferous! Let’s all use that word as our word-of-the-day and see what reactions we get from our co-workers and family members.

    Gift of God

  • J. Allen

    My given name is Josiah Paul.

    Josiah of course being the king that summoned all the pagans to a ‘festival’ and then slaughtered them.

    My parents named all four kids after the bible, and framed the bible quotes that inspired each one. I swear they are not fundies, they’re quite liberal most of the time. At least they believe in peace like they are supposed to.

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