Why you Should Choose a Biblical Name for your Baby
Parents often spend days, weeks, and even months trying to decide on what to name their new baby. It can be a source of frustration to many couples because it is very important to find the right name for your baby. The problem is that you will not know the right name until you see it.
You might have an idea of what sort of name, but finding that perfect name can be elusive. For parents who are searching for a name for their baby, biblical names, or biblically inspired names are always solid choices.
Parents will often pick a biblical name to honor their faith, their heritage and even their favorite biblical figures or stories. There are numerous biblical figures that feature prominently in the bible and their role was very important. Even some of the lesser-known biblical figures are still important, because they still had a role in the bible. In other words, because they important, even if in a small way, they are named in the bible.
Every person in the bible has his or her own story, his or her own role, and his or her own character traits. Parent’s often pick these names to give their child because they want them to be like that biblical figure. By naming them after that person, the hope is that the child will have some of their traits, their character, and their greatness.
The more popular names are the big players in the bible, such as Peter, Paul, Mary, Matthew, Luke, etc. However, many parents who are not overly familiar with the bible will be surprised at just how many of the more popular baby names are actually from the bible. If you are picking a biblical name, you should be sure that you are familiar with who that person is in the bible and what their role was because the bible is full of people who are good as well as those who acted evilly. Parents typically try to avoid naming their child after somebody who is a biblical villain or bad guy. Not wanting to name your child after a biblical villain is why the names such as Jezebel and Judas have never been, and very likely will never be, popular baby names.
In addition to the name being linked to a particular person from the bible, every name also has a meaning. Names in the bible are usually Hebrew, Latin, Greek, or Aramaic and each name has a meaning in the language that it is derived from.
For each name there may be more than one version of the name; for example, many names have an old Hebrew name, such as Ya’akov for Jacob. Many Jewish parents will use the old Hebrew name as their child’s formal name, but the child will typically use the more popular version of the name more often than the other name. By giving Jewish children a biblical name that is Hebrew in origin, it not only is a sign of their faith but a nod to their heritage.
When picking a biblical name, parents should always research to see who or what the name is referencing plus the meaning of the name. Just as with naming your child after somebody, hoping that the characteristics attributed to that person will flourish and grow in the child, when you pick a name based on the meaning, you are doing the same thing. Parents who pick names based on the meaning of the name are hoping that their child will have the traits associated with that meaning.
Sometimes the parent’s faith dictates that a biblical name should be given. It is common for Catholics to name their children after Saints or to pick a name from the Old Testament. However, this practice is less strict now and biblical names from the Old and the New Testament are often used.
If not named after a saint, Catholic children are given a patron saint; and they should grow up modeling themselves after that saint. Many devout Catholics will still name their children after saints and Old Testament biblical figures simply because these are figures that they feel are most worth emulating and to act as a role model. What better role model is there than your own namesake?
Once you have decided that you want to name your baby after a biblical figure you still need to pick a name. You want to know what the name means as well as who the name is referencing in the bible but where do you start to look? Luckily, many websites are devoted to baby names and their meanings. Here are some of the websites that you can go to for research:
- The bump – This pregnancy resource site has a baby name section and it can be filtered so that you can search only biblical names. A very nice feature that is available on this website is that it lets you assign a rating to names and you can sort names by the rating to see what names visitors to the site have ranked as the most popular. Here is the link to their biblical baby names database: http://pregnant.thebump.com/baby-names/bible-baby-names.aspx.
- Think Baby Names – A very comprehensive website that will give you the meaning and origin of every name as well as similar sounding names and all of the variations for each name as well. This is very useful if you want to name your baby after a biblical figure but you many not particularly like the name, this is a great resource for finding name variations. They also show the statistics for the popularity for each name. Here is the link for their biblical names for girls: http://www.thinkbabynames.com/search/0/biblical and the link for their biblical names for boys: http://www.thinkbabynames.com/search/1/biblical.
- Biblical Baby Names – perhaps the largest website dedicated to biblical baby names, they have over 700 names in their database. You will be able to research the meaning of each name, the origin of the name, and a description of who the name is from as well as any derivatives or variations for each name. This database includes more than just people in the bible; it also includes names that are based on places, animals, plants, gemstones and even Greek, English, and Hebrew words that are used in the bible itself. They have a section for unusual biblical baby names for parents who are looking for a biblical name that stands out. Their website can be found at http://www.biblical-baby-names.com/.
For many parents, a biblical name is a way to honor their faith and the people that they admire most in the bible. For others, it may be that they want a name that is associated with positive attributes and so they pick a biblical figure as a name. Biblical names are among the most popular names and they are the most enduring.