Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Classic Biblical Baby Names: Timeless Names for Modern Parents

Classic Biblical Baby Names: Timeless Names for Modern Parents

by Judith Tropea

See All Formats & Editions

The perfect name is one of the first and most important gifts parents can give their children–and often one of the most challenging decisions of parenthood. Expectant parents who want their child’s name to be meaningful will find Classic Biblical Baby Names a unique and invaluable resource. Drawing from both the Old and New Testaments, here are


The perfect name is one of the first and most important gifts parents can give their children–and often one of the most challenging decisions of parenthood. Expectant parents who want their child’s name to be meaningful will find Classic Biblical Baby Names a unique and invaluable resource. Drawing from both the Old and New Testaments, here are hundreds of history’s most enduring names, carefully selected to appeal to contemporary tastes yet outlast trends. Organized alphabetically by gender, and complete with fascinating background information, each entry includes:

• Scriptural stories surrounding the name
• Meaning and spiritual connotation
• Citation of where the name appears in the Bible
• Proper pronunciation
• Cultural origin
• Alternate spellings, related names, nicknames
• Famous namesakes

From Adam to Zeph and Abigail to Zia, Classic Biblical Baby Names will enrich your understanding of familiar names and invite you to discover lesser-known possibilities. Names are an integral part of our identity and this one-of-a-kind guide will help you choose a name that reflects your hopes for the future and instills a sense of self in your child.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
395 KB

Read an Excerpt

Classic Biblical Baby Names

By Judith Tropea

Random House

Judith Tropea
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0553383930

Chapter One


Of all the hundreds of decisions that expectant parents must make, one of the most important is choosing a name for their new baby. "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches," says Proverbs 22:1. For parents wanting to give their child a name with substance, a name that represents strength and tradition, a name whose enduring meaning will outlast the trends of Brittany, Tiffany, and Tyler, here is Classic Biblical Baby Names: Timeless Names for Modern Parents.

Names are an integral part of our identity. A child's name affects his/her self-perception and reflects the parents' beliefs and culture. A name pays tribute to the individual spirit and is one of the first wonderful gifts you can offer your child. Naming your baby is like naming your hopes for the future; the "right" name will shepherd your child into a life of grace, strength, and integrity.

In the beginning, God gave Adam the sacred task of naming every living thing, and the Bible is replete with stories about assigning names. Moses received his name because Pharaoh's daughter "drew him out of the water" (Exodus 2:10) and Leah called her son Asher because she was "happy" (Genesis 30:13). Like Adam, you are given the sacred task of choosing a name for your child--a name that will express your beliefs,your history, and your dreams. With the Bible as a guide, you can be certain that your choice will be underscored by a strong spiritual heritage as well.

For example, naming a girl Bethany, after the village near Jerusalem where Lazarus rose from the dead (John 11:38-44), evokes a spiritual awareness that trendier names such as Madison and Mackenzie may be lacking. It offers her a home in a cherished religious tradition and may even invite her to discover more about her namesake by reading the Bible. Likewise, selecting Tamar instead of Taylor opens a young person to choices that are even more profound and will help give your child a unique sense of self.

For those who are searching for a name that is both meaningful and spiritual, Classic Biblical Baby Names offers a myriad of choices. Organized alphabetically by gender, this collection offers hundreds of biblical names culled from both the Old and New Testaments. Each entry includes:

The language/cultural origin of the name


Concise meaning

Spiritual connotation

Scriptural story surrounding the name

Citation of where the name appears in the Bible

Related names and nicknames

Alternate names with spelling variations

This book is not intended to be comprehensive. Of the 3,300 names in both the Old and New Testaments, nearly 500 have been selected. The names were chosen with the consideration that they should appeal to contemporary tastes. Others, such as Jezebel and Judas, were excluded because of their association with evil, and Jehoshaphat because of its impracticality.

Unlike some exhaustive name dictionaries, which provide only a one- or two-word definition for thousands of names, Classic Biblical Baby Names offers a selection of specifically chosen names that are beautiful and powerful, along with the engaging biblical story of each name's origin. Expectant parents can use this guide to give them background on more-common names and to open up new possibilities of lesser-known names that are classic and unique at the same time. In our multicultural society, unusual names are no longer the exception, and the Bible is a rich resource waiting to be mined.

"A good name is better than precious ointment," says Ecclesiastes 7:1. Take time to peruse these pages and make a choice that will start your precious one off on a distinctive path that will last a lifetime.

classic biblical baby names

boys' names

The angel of the LORD also said to her:

"You are now with child and you will have a son."

--Genesis 16:11

AARON (EHR-uhn) or (A-ruhn)

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew/Egyptian

Meaning: Mountain of Strength

Spiritual Connotation: Exalted

Related Names/Nicknames: Aaronas, Aharon, Arand, Arend, Ari, Arnie, Erin, Haroun, Harun, Ron, Ronnie, Ronny

Alternate Names: Aaran, Aaren, Aarron, Aaryn, Arin, Aron, Aronne, Arran, Arron

Background Story: When God commanded Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he sent Aaron--Moses's brother--to help. Aaron served as his brother's mouthpiece because Moses was afraid he was too "slow of speech." Pharaoh wanted proof of God's power before releasing the Israelites, and Aaron and Moses performed numerous "wonders" before him: They transformed a staff into a snake, turned the waters of the Nile into blood, and brought plagues upon Egypt. It was not until the Lord struck down all the firstborn of Egypt that Pharaoh said, "Rise up, go away from my people, both you and the Israelites!" Aaron was a loyal companion to Moses, but when the Lord was giving Moses the Ten Commandments, Aaron gave in to the demands of the Israelites and built an idol for them at the base of the mountain. Thanks to Moses's prayer, however, God forgave Aaron and appointed him the first high priest, with his sons to follow (Exodus 4-40).

Of Interest: From 1970 to 2003, Aaron was one of the fifty most popular names for boys in the United States.

Famous Namesakes: Aaron Burr, U.S. vice president; Aaron Copland, composer; Aaron Neville and Aaron Tippin, singers; Hank Aaron, baseball home-run champion.

ABDIEL (AB-dee-ehl)

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: Servant of God

Spiritual Connotation: Faithful Disciple

Related Names/Nicknames: Abdi, Abe, Diel

Alternate Names: None

Background Story: Abdiel was the son of Guni and a descendant of Gad. His own son, Ahi, was "chief in their clan." Abdiel's kin lived in Bashan "and in the pasture lands of Sharon" (1 Chronicles 5:15-16). Abdiel is a name suggesting a man who is true to his beliefs.

Of Interest: Abdiel was the name given to the fictional seraph who withstood Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost.

ABDON (AB-duhn)

Language/Cultural Origin: Aramaic

Meaning: Servant

Spiritual Connotation: Worshipper

Related Names/Nicknames: Avda, Avdon

Alternate Names: None

Background Story: There are four men named Abdon in the Bible: a judge of Israel who served for eight years and had forty sons and thirty grandsons (Judges 12:13-14); one of the sons of Shashak, a Benjamite (1 Chronicles 8:23); the firstborn son of Jeiel and Maacah (1 Chronicles 8:29-30); and the son of Micah, sent by King Josiah to the prophetess, Huldah, to determine the fate of his people who had "forsaken" the Lord (2 Chronicles 34:20-28). The name Abdon suggests a man who looks to God for answers.

ABEL (AY-buhl)

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: Breath

Spiritual Connotation: Sacred Offering

Related Names/Nicknames: Abe, Abele, Abey, Abhel, Abie, Hebel, Hebhel, Hevel

Alternate Names: Abell, Able, Abyl

Background Story: Adam's son Abel worked as a shepherd, and his older brother Cain tilled the field. One day, each made an offering to the Lord. Cain offered God the "fruit of the ground" while Abel brought him the "firstlings of his flock." God preferred Abel's offering, which filled Cain's heart with rage. He lured Abel into the field and killed him. When God inquired about Abel's whereabouts, Cain rudely replied, "Am I my brother's keeper?" God punished Cain by making him "a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth" (Genesis 4:1-12).

Of Interest: In the New Testament, Abel is considered the first martyr, and Jesus refers to the "blood of righteous Abel" (Matthew 23:35).

ABIEL (AY-bee-ehl) or (uh-BAI-ehl) or (AB-ee-ehl)

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: My Father Is God

Spiritual Connotation: Devoted to the Lord

Related Names/Nicknames: Abi-albon

Alternate Names: Abeel, Abiell, Abyel, Abyell, Ahbiel

Background Story: Two men named Abiel are in the Bible: Kish's father and Saul's grandfather (1 Samuel 9:1, 14:51), and one of the "mighty warriors" who helped David become king (1 Chronicles 11:32). Abiel is a name suggesting a strong faith in God.

Of Interest: Abiel was a popular name among the early Puritan settlers.

ABIRAM (uh-BAI-ruhm)

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: High Father

Spiritual Connotation: Dignity

Related Names/Nicknames: Avi, Aviram

Alternate Names: Abhiram

Background Story: Both Abirams in the Bible met unhappy ends. Abiram and his brother, Dathan, accused Moses and Aaron of exalting themselves "above the assembly of the Lord." For questioning God's will, the brothers and their families were swallowed up by the earth (Numbers 16:1-34). The other Abiram was the victim of his father, Hiel, who rebuilt the walls of Jericho "at the cost of" his firstborn son's life (1 Kings 16:34).

ABNER (AB-ner)

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: Father of Light

Spiritual Connotation: Believer of Truth

Related Names/Nicknames: Ab, Abbey, Abbie, Abby, Abnar, Abnor, Avnor, Eb, Ebby

Alternate Names: Avner

Background Story: Abner was the chief commander of King Saul's army and also his cousin. It was Abner who introduced David to the king's court following his victory over Goliath. After Saul's death, Abner went to war with David's army to secure the throne for Saul's son, Ishbaal. He lost that fight at the pool of Gibeon and was eventually killed by the commander of David's army, Joab. David sincerely mourned Abner's death, saying, "A prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel" (2 Samuel 3:38).

Famous Namesakes: Abner Doubleday was a Civil War general at the Battle of Gettysburg and, as legend has it, the inventor of baseball.

ABRAHAM (AY-bruh-ham)

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: Father of a Multitude

Spiritual Connotation: Benefactor

Related Names/Nicknames: Abarran, Abe, Abey, Abhiram, Abie, Abrahan, Abram, Abrami, Abramo, Abran, Avi, Avra, Avraham, Avram, Avrom, Avrum, Bram

Alternate Names: Abrahem, Abrahim, Abrahym, Abreham, Abrehem, Abrehym, Abryham, Abryhem, Ebrahim, Ibraheem, Ibrahim

Background Story: Abraham--originally called Abram--lived in Haran with his wife, Sarai, and the rest of his kin. One day, the Lord told Abram to leave his father's country. "I will make you into a great nation," God promised (Genesis 12:1-2). Abram and Sarai traveled from place to place for many years, but they had no children. Finally, Sarai persuaded Abram to have a child with her maid, Hagar, and they named the boy Ishmael. When Abram was ninety-nine, God fulfilled his promise at last. He made a covenant with Abram, changing his name to Abraham and Sarai's name to Sarah, and in her old age "Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son" named Isaac (Genesis 21:2). Abraham's first son, Ishmael, was sent into the wilderness, where he grew up under God's protection. Then the Lord presented Abraham with his greatest test. He said, "Take your . . . only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering." As always, Abraham did as the Lord asked. At the exact moment he raised his knife to kill Isaac, an angel appeared and stopped him. Because of Abraham's faithfulness, God promised to bless him and make his offspring "as numerous as the stars of heaven" (Genesis 22:2-18). At the age of one hundred seventy-five, Abraham died and was buried at Machpelah, where he had also buried his beloved wife Sarah.

Of Interest: God made a covenant with Abraham that he would be the "ancestor of a multitude of nations" (Genesis 17:5). Through Ishmael, he is considered one of the first prophets of Islam, and through Isaac, he is known as the first patriarch of the Jews. His original name, Abram, means "high father" or "exalted father."

Famous Namesakes: Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States.

ABSALOM (AB-suh-luhm)

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: Father of Peace

Spiritual Connotation: God's Mercy

Related Names/Nicknames: Abishalom, Absolon, Acke, Aksel, Akseli, Axel, Axelle

Alternate Names: Avsalom, Avshalom

Background Story: Absalom, the son of Maacah, was David's third and favorite son. The trouble began when David's firstborn son, Amnon, violated Absalom's sister Tamar, who was known for her beauty. Absalom killed Amnon and escaped to Geshur, where he found refuge with his grandfather. David grew despondent over the loss of Absalom and, after three years, he allowed him to return to Jerusalem. Absalom, however, had his eye on David's throne and began to gather support. He proclaimed himself king of Hebron, and David fled from Jerusalem. A battle ensued, but Absalom and his supporters were no match for David and his army. Absalom died retreating from the battlefield. Despite his son's rebellious actions, David wept after his death. "O my son Absalom . . . Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!" (2 Samuel 18:33).

Of Interest: Absalom, Absalom!, written by William Faulkner, is a novel about three families in the South during the time of the Civil War.

ACHAICUS (uh-KAY-uh-kuhs)

Language/Cultural Origin: Greek

Meaning: Sorrowing

Spiritual Connotation: Longing for God

Related Names/Nicknames: Achaia

Alternate Names: Achaikos

Background Story: Achaicus, an early Christian convert, was a leader of the church in Corinth. With two other converts, Stephanas and Fortunatus, he visited Paul at Ephesus, where they "refreshed" his "spirit.&


Excerpted from Classic Biblical Baby Names by Judith Tropea Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Judith Tropea has written children's books, including A Day in the Life of a Bee Keeper. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews