TOP BABY NAMES FOR BOYS AND GIRLS:
1. Noah, of The Flood (5)
2. Ethan, author of Psalm 89 (8)
3. Jacob, who became Israel (9)
4. Benjamin, son of Jacob (13)
1. Abigail, wife of David (14)
2. Hannah, mother of Samuel (23)
3. Anna, prophetess (36)
4. Leah, wife of Jacob (42)
5. Sarah, wife of Abraham (43)
Few books have inspired more baby names than the Bible. Epic tales of miracles and catastrophes, the creation of the world, and the divine hand of God depict the triumph of the human spirit and faith. In times of uncertainty and war (or peace and prosperity), Biblical names are enduring and timeless.
Biblical names have endured
Biblical names have always endured with the passing generations, although in the late nineties, there was a marked decline in their popularity. However, with a slew of Biblical movies being released in 2014, one can expect Biblical baby names to gain even more ground. Above, you can see the top ten Biblical names collated from birth lists across the USA and compared globally. The number after the name (in brackets) indicates the name’s position within the overall top 10 baby names category.
Beware of what you call your child!
Biblical names have widely been accepted and associated with strength, masculinity and success. In fact social studies have shown that children named with classic or Biblical names (specifically David, Jonathan, Michael and Mark), are far more likely to gain the respect of their peers, and rise to positions of authority - simply because of their name alone!
Conversely, children who possess obscure or “trendy” names find themselves at a distinct disadvantage in school and the working world - purely because of the public’s preconceived idea of people possessing those names. (Think of the connotation that comes to mind when I mention the name Jermaine, Skylar, Rhett, LeShaun).
Over the last decade, within the Christian community, there has been a marked shift toward giving children Biblical names. For many believers, a name not only identifies your child, but also proclaims certain truths over their life. (Eg: Isaac, meaning, “He laughs”).
Interestingly though, many Christian parents have opted of late, for the more unusual names, like Hananiah, Uzziah and Jethro.
Most popular boy’s names
Like a group of tussling, unruly brothers, the top five boys’ names have jostled each other for position. And though there are multiple meanings and contexts, the basic explanation of the most popular names are as follows:
• Michael [who is like God?]
• Ethan [solid and enduring]
• Joshua [Jehovah saves]
• Daniel [God is my judge]
• Matthew [gift from God]
• Andrew [manliness]
• Alexander [defender of men]
• David [beloved]
• Noah [rest, comfort]
A rose by any another name?
By comparison, very few Biblical names ever feature in the top 10 girls’ names. Enduring female names include:
• Abigail [my father is joy]
• Hannah [favour or grace]
• Leah [delicate or weary]
• Sarah [lady, princess, princess of multitude]
What a blessing we have as believers, to know the significance of names and what we pronounce over people. With over 700 possible (though not always pronounceable!) names to choose from, the Bible is our ultimate source of inspiration and wisdom!
By Jackie Georgiou