Choosing our baby's name is one of the first - and arguably the biggest - decisions we have to make as parents. Thankfully, there is plenty of inspiration on offer in the world around us. And the Bible has been a source of inspiration for names for boys for thousands of years.
With three of the world's largest religions - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam - all finding common, holy ground in Jerusalem, there is plenty of crossover in the bible itself. So whether you want your child to have a religious name as a devout Christian, Jew, or Muslim, or just want meaningful names for your children, the Bible has plenty of inspiration.
In this guide, we'll look at why a name is so important, why people choose biblical boy names, and we'll also bring you more than 100 of our favourite biblical names for boys and their meanings.
Why is it so important to get the name right?
There's a whole body of academic research around baby names and the influence they have on our lives. Not only can they help to shape a person's first impression of you, there are several studies showing that our names can impact huge moments in our lives. How we perform at school, the type of college or university we'll go to (and whether or not we go at all), the career path we follow, whether or not we're offered a job. Even where we live and who we marry is influenced by our names.
After thousands of years of names influenced by the bible, a lot of people - particularly in western society - prefer to choose more modern, unique names. Picking a unique baby name has certain benefits around creativity and individuality. But going too unique - to the point that it's almost bizarre - runs the risk of your child disliking their name later in life, which can cause other issues. A study conducted in 2000 found that people who don't like their own name are more likely to have what it described as poor "psychological adjustment", including low self-esteem and a host of other mental health problems. Of course, there's also a risk of bullying with the most unique of names.
Why do people choose biblical names for boys?
Biblical names have dominated baby name charts around the world for generations. In the US, the Bible names Jacob and Noah sat at the top of the charts for nearly 20 years. In the UK, Christian names like Benjamin, Matthew, Adam, Joel, Thomas and others have consistently sat in the top 100 names for the past 100 years.
Religion is incredibly important to so many people around the world. In fact, more than 80% of the world's population are believed to be affiliated to a religion - of course, the largest being Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism.
Some strict followers believe it is their duty to give their baby boys a name taken from their religious texts to honour their god. Mohammed (including variant spelling) is the most popular boys name in the world because parents of the Islam faith give it to their sons out of respect and honour for the Prophet Muhammad. Jesus (pronounced 'hay-zoose') is a particularly popular boys name in a lot of non-English-speaking countries where Christianity is prominent in honour of Jesus Christ.The bible and other religious texts are filled with inspiring stories about how we should live our lives. And so, naturally, even people who aren't very religious might see biblical names as a way to inspire their child to live their life in a certain way, whether it's working hard in the service of others or to fight persecution with love and kindness. It's a similar reason why some people choose heroic baby names; they want their little one to be inspired by the traits and actions of comic book superheroes or real-life heroes.
111 biblical boy names
Whether you're looking for popular biblical boy names or unique biblical boy names, here are over 100 of our favourites and the meanings behind them.
Aaron means 'exalted or high mountain', because of its link with the Sermon on the Mount. In the Old Testament, Aaron was the older brother of Moses who was famously chosen by God to deliver the Ten Commandments. God chose Aaron to be Moses' prophet or spokesperson because Moses believed he was not a great speaker.
Synonymous with his elder brother, Cain, Abel was Adam and Eve's second born son. His sacrificial offering was preferred by God, which led to Abel's demise. It's a Hebrew name meaning 'breath, and while Abel was notoriously unlucky in the Bible, the name is linked with positive traits such as 'willingness', 'capability', and 'competency'.
Considered to be the founding father of the Jewish people and is one of the original elder statesmen figures of the Old Testament. He was originally called Abram - another of the popular boy names - but in the Book of Genesis, God says "No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations". And so, the name came to mean 'father of multitudes'.
As the name of the first man created by God, Adam is arguably the most famous boy name in the bible. It's a Hebrew name meaning 'son of the red earth' and has featured in the US list of top 100 boys names since 1970.
Amon was the King of Judah who was murdered, leaving his eight-year old son Josiah to rule. It's a Hebrew-Irish name meaning 'wealthy protector'.
Amos is the third of the twelve minor prophets in the Old Testament. It's a Hebrew name that means 'carried by God'.
Andrew was one of the twelve apostles in the New Testament and the first disciple to be called by Jesus. Another name of Greek origin, Andrew means 'strong and manly', making a good choice if you're looking for strong biblical boy names.
Aram is the grandson of Noah, as well as a biblical place name. Hugely popular throughout Armenian history, it also has Hebrew origins and means 'high elevated'.
Asa is a multicultural name, with different origins in Hebrew, Japanese and Scandinavia. The Hebrew name means 'healer' or 'to heal', a common and sought after trait and teaching from the Bible.
Asher is one of Jacob's 12 sons who gave their names to the tribes of Israel. It's a Hebrew name meaning 'happy one', 'blessed', or 'fortunate', making it an appealing choice for parents looking for a biblical name.
Aziel is a Hebrew name that means 'God is my strength'. It has seen a huge increase in popularity in the US in recent years, rising from 951st in 2019 to 278th in 2022.
Azriel is the Hebrew name that means 'God is my help'. It's not a particularly common name, especially in Jewish and Muslim cultures where it is the name of the Angel of Death.
Barnaby is the English version of the name Barnabas, one of the apostles that accompanied Saint Paul on missionary journeys. It means 'son of consolation'.
Bartholomew is a Hebrew name meaning 'son of the furrow', and is best known in the Bible as one of the twelve apostles. It fluctuated in popularity during the 1800s, but has remained low on the list of names for boys ever since. Often shortened to Bart, some parents might be put off because of the links to The Simpsons.
Some may know this name from Shakespeare rather than the Bible, but Balthasar was one of the Three Wise Men to visit Jesus at his birth, offering gifts for the Lord's son on Earth. It's a Greek name meaning 'God protects the King'.
Benjamin is best known from the Book of Genesis. He is the youngest of Jacob and Rachel's 12 sons, and subsequently one of the 12 founders of the Israel tribes. It's a Hebrew name meaning 'son of the right hand'.
Cain was the first son of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis, when asked him and his younger brother Abel to offer a sacrifice, God preferred Abel. Cain murdered his brother and was condemned to a life of wandering by God as punishment. The name actually means 'spear' or 'possessed'.
Caleb means 'devotion to God', making it one of the most loved Christian names for baby boys. It has consistently been in the US top 100 boys names for around 30 years. In the Old Testament, Caleb is one of the two ancient Israelites who left Egypt to find the promised land.
Caspar is the modern version of the name Gaspar, the name of one of the Three Wise Men who followed the star to the birth of the baby Jesus.
Cornelius is the name of a third century Pope and saint that features in the New Testament. It's originally a Latin name meaning 'horn', so it's certainly the biblical feature that will have parents picking this name for a baby boy rather than its meaning.
One of the more unique biblical boy names on this list, Cyrus is actually a Persian name meaning 'sun'. Cyrus the Great was the leader of Persia who conquered Babylon. In the Old Testament, he freed Jewish people from captivity in Babylonia and allowed them to return home.
Another one of the most popular boys' names in the UK and US in recent decades, Daniel means 'God is my judge'. It features in the Bible through the Book of Daniel, which follows the prophet's life in captivity in Babylon and his visions of the end of the world.
Darius may not have a strong tie to the Bible, but a Greek/Persian name meaning 'possessing goodness', you can see the appeal to parents looking for a biblical name.
David is a Hebrew name meaning 'beloved', but it's also a name that features prominently throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament, he is the second King of Israel but is most famous as the David in 'David vs Goliath' where he slays the giant Goliath with a slingshot. Later in life, he became a wise leader who loved poetry and music, providing the inspiration for Michelangelo's David sculpture.
Eli is a Hebrew name meaning 'high', 'ascended', or 'uplifted', often combined with God to suggest 'ascended to God' or 'uplifted to God'. Eli was a high priest and the last judge of Israel, who trained the prophet Samuel in the Old Testament.
Elijah is best known in the Bible as the minor prophet who travelled to heaven riding a chariot of fire. In addition, it means 'Yahweh is God' - derived from the Hebrew name Eliyahu, made up of 'El' and 'Yah', both of which refer to God.
Certainly better known for the present-day billionaire businessman, Elon was also the name of a biblical judge. It can be used for a boy or girl and means 'oak tree'. Using it today might suggest support and adoration for Elon Musk, rather than its biblical connections, however.
Emmanuel is considered to be one of the most important names from the bible. In the prophecy of Isiah, Emmanuel is the name given to the promised Messiah. It's name of Hebrew origin and means 'God is with us', making it a lovely reminder for devout Christian parents.
Also known as Enosh, Enos was the grandson of Adam and Eve. It's a Hebrew name meaning 'mankind'.
Ethan means 'strong' or 'firm', and is a modern version of the Hebrew name Eitan. There are several different Ethans in the Old Testament, however, the most notable is Ethan the Ezrahite who was known and revered for his wisdom.
Ezekiel is a Hebrew name meaning "God strengthens". It's a name that features heavily in the Bible, both as a famous prophet in the Old Testament and through the Book of Ezekiel, which predicts the fall of Jerusalem and rebuilding of Israel.
Another bible name growing in popularity in recent years, Ezra is a Hebrew name meaning 'help' or 'to help'. In the Bible, Ezra is famous for leading 1,500 Israelites out of slavery in Babylon, helping them to return to a free life in Jerusalem.
Felix originated as a Roman surname meaning 'happy'. However, it was later adopted as a nickname for the Roman dictator Sulla who believed he was blessed by the Gods. And so, its meaning has evolved to include 'fortunate [by God or the Gods]. In the Bible, Felix was the fourth procurator of Judea.
Appearing in Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious texts, Gabriel is a popular biblical name. He is best known as the Angel Gabriel who heralds the birth of Jesus. The archangel watches over Paradise as the angel of mercy, joy, life, dreams and truth. The name itself means "God is my strength".
With a meaning like 'stump for a hand', you can understand why Gideon hasn't been the most popular biblical name throughout history. However, in the Old Testament, Gideon was a judge selected by God to rescue the Jews from the Midianites.
Hosea is arguably one of the more minor prophets, however The Talmud (Jewish religious text) claims Hosea to be the greatest prophet of the time. It's a Hebrew name meaning 'salvation'.
Ira is the name of one of King David's 30 'mighty warriors' and is one of the shortest names in the entire Bible. It can be used for boys and girls, and has the meaning 'watchful one'.
Isaac is a very popular biblical name for Christians, Muslims and Jews. It means 'laughter' because, in the Old Testament, it was the name given to the long-awaited son of Sarah and Abraham, who was believed to be 100-years old. The news that they were having a baby was so unexpected that it prompted them to laugh.
Ishmael means 'God will hear' and has origins in Spain, where it can also be spelled Ismael. In the Bible, Ishmael is the first son of Abraham to be born by the Egyptian maid, Hagar. It is believed that God spoke to Hagar and told her to name their son Ishmael. In Islam, it is thought that Ishmael (or Ismail) was an ancestor of the Arabs.
A Hebrew name meaning 'salvation of the Lord'. Isiah is one of the most important figures in the Bible. Son of Amos and a prophet, Isiah foretold the exile of children from Israel and that God would one day bring them back.
As well as the nation state, Israel means 'he who struggles with God'. In the Bible, it is the name given by God to Jacob after he battled with an angel.
Easily one of the most popular biblical boy names, Jacob actually means 'supplanter' which perhaps makes it surprising that it has remained so popular for generations. In the Old Testament, Jacob is a pivotal patriarch to the 12 tribes of Israel, which were named after Jacob's 12 sons.
Probably better known thanks to Jadon Smith, the son of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jadon is a Hebrew name meaning 'God has heard'.
Jair is a Hebrew name meaning 'he shines'. In the Old Testament, Jair is a son of Manasseh and a judge of the Israelites.
One of the most popular names for boys (and increasingly girls in recent years) in the UK and US, James is actually derived from Jacob. In the Bible itself, however, James is the name of two of Jesus' apostles in the New Testament.
In the Bible, Jared is known for his long life. A descendant of Adam, he became a father himself to Enoch at the age of 162 and lived for another 800 years. So, if you want your son to live a long and healthy life, Jared is the name for you! It has Hebrew origins and means 'he descends'.
It may surprise you to learn that Jason is a classic Greek name for boys. It means 'to heal', giving a popular meaning, while in the Bible, Jason was one of the early Christian followers best known for welcoming Saint Peter.
Commonly shortened to Jed, Jedediah is a Hebrew name meaning 'beloved of the Lord'.
Jeremiah means 'appointed by God' with Hebrew origins. Jeremiah is the name of a famous prophet and whose story is recounted in the Book of Jeremiah.
Jeremy is the English version of Jeremiah. While it doesn't have use in the Bible, Jeremy still carries the same meaning - 'appointed by God'.
Jericho is a place of religious significance; the first city conquered by Israel after they crossed the Jordan River on the way to the Promised Land. In contrast to the dry, baron landscape around it, Jericho was fertile with rich soil. The city was given to God after the strict instructions he gave resulted in the walls crumbling, leading to its demise.
Consistently popular in the US, Jesse simply means 'gift'. It is also the name of King David's father.
Jethro was the father-in-law of Moses, who married one of Jethro's seven daughters after he left Egypt. A Hebrew name meaning 'excellence', it is thought to be Jethro that encouraged Moses to appoint other men to rule over Israel.
Closely linked with the Spanish version, Joaquin, Joachim is a Hebrew name meaning 'established by God'. In the Bible, Joachim is most notably the father of the Virgin Mary, according to the Gospel of James. It is also the name of one of the Kings of Judah.
Joah is the 'brother of God'. A Hebrew name, there are four individuals called Joah in the Bible.
Joel is one of the Christian names that hold religious significance for both its meaning and appearances in the Bible. Another Hebrew name, it means 'Jehovah is his God'. While in the Old Testament, Joel is one of the 'mighty men' of King David.
There may be arguments about which biblical boys name is the most popular or the most important for its importance in the Bible, but few can argue with the sheer number of biblical characters called John. Key figures include John the Baptist, John the Apostle and John the Evangelist. There are more than 80 Saint Johns and 23 Popes. And, it's a Hebrew name meaning 'God is gracious'.
Jonah is a biblical name that has grown in popularity in recent years. However, its relevance to the Bible is arguably not very well known. An Old testament prophet, Jonah was swallowed by a whale but reappeared three days later totally unharmed. It's a Hebrew name meaning 'dove'.
Jonas is a Greek variation of the name Jonah, but is a popular boys name in Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. A derivative of Jonah, it carries the same meaning - 'dove'.
Meaning 'gift of Jehovah' or 'gift of God', this writer has always taken great pleasure in reminding his wife of what his name means!
Jonathan is a Hebrew name linked closely with Nathan and Nathaniel. In the Old Testament, Jonathan was the eldest son of King Saul, known for his courage. The expression 'Jonathan and David' is used to describe particularly strong friendships because of Jonathan and his relationship with beloved friend and brother-in-law, David.
Ask someone to name boy names from the Bible, and Joseph will probably come second after Jesus. Joseph is the Earthly father of baby Jesus from the New Testament, the carpenter married to the Virgin Mary who gave birth to Christ. However, another Joseph also features in the Old Testament - the favourite of Jacob and Rachel's 12 sons. It's a Hebrew name that means 'Jehovah increases'.
A Hebrew name meaning 'the Lord is my salvation', Joshua actually shares its origins with the name Jesus. In the Bible, Joshua is best known as the successor to Moses in leading the Israelites to the Promised Land.
With similar origins to Joshua, Josiah means 'God supports' or 'God heals'. In the Old Testament, Josiah became King of Judah at just eight years old when his father, Amon, was killed.
There were two apostles named Judas (well, three before Jesus named one Thomas). And one certainly takes the limelight as the disciple who betrayed Jesus. The name actually means 'praised'. However, its association with betrayal is so strong that perhaps it's not one of the bible names for you.
According to the Bible, Judas kissed Jesus as a way to identify him to those who sought to arrest Christ.
Closely linked with Judas Iscariot - the one that betrayed Jesus Christ - Jude has never been a particularly popular biblical boy name. However, the rising prominence of actor Jude Law in the early 2000s sparked a surge up the baby boy name charts. In the Bible, Saint Jude was the patron saint of lost causes who worked on behalf of people with problems.
Kenan was the great-grandson of Adam, and a direct ancestor of Noah, giving the name strong religious significance. It is often associated with strong, brave men throughout the Bible. It's also honoured in Islam as the name of a prophet.
Lael is an ancient name from the Old Testament and considered to be acceptable on a list of biblical girl names, as well as boys. It has Hebrew origins and means 'belonging to God' - a good name if you hope for your son to follow your religion closely throughout his life.
Lazarus is best known as the brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany, who were raised from the dead by Jesus. There have also been several Saints by the name of Lazarus. It's a name from Greek origins meaning 'God is my helper'.
Another Hebrew name, Levi means 'joined', 'attached', or 'to join'. In the Old Testament, Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah who gave name to the Levites tribe. However, Levi also has prominence in the New Testament, too. It was the given name for Matthew before he became an apostle.
Lucas is a Greek name of Latin origin that means 'man from Lucania', an ancient region in the south of Italy. Although Lucas has no direct reference in the Bible, it is understandably closely linked with Luke which is one of the most prominent biblical boy names. Luke the Evangelist is thought to have been a physician and is considered to be one of the four authors of the gospels.
Lucius is a Latin name often used as the forename of a baby boy born at dawn in ancient Rome. It means 'light' and so has plenty of positive spiritual and religious significance.
Certainly one of the most popular biblical boy names, Luke was most famously a Greek physician credited with the authoring of the third Gospel of the New Testament. Believed to be a keen painter, Luke became the patron saint of artists and doctors. It originates from the Greek name Lucas, which means 'man from Lucania', an ancient region of southern Italy.
A name stemming from the Old Testament, Malachi was the final of the 12 prophets to foresee the coming of Jesus Christ.
If you're looking for strong biblical boy names, Mark will certainly be near the top of your list. It's a Latin name meaning 'warlike'. Mark was also one of the twelve apostles.
One of the most popular boys' names from the bible, Matthew is derived from the Greek name Matthaios, which itself comes from the Hebrew Mattiyahu. It gives the meaning 'gift of God'. In the Bible, Matthew is the author of the first Gospel as one of the 12 apostles.
Melchior is one of the names of the Three Wise Men. It has Hebrew-Polish origins with the meaning 'city of the King' and 'King of light'.
What better way to inspire your son to live a good, righteous life than to give him a biblical name that means 'who is like the Lord'. It doesn't have a prominent place in the Bible, but is of Hebrew origin.
Michael comes from the Hebrew name 'Mikha’el', which means 'who is like God?'. Michael is one of only two archangels recognised by Muslims, Jews and Christians alongside Gabriel having led the other angels into war against Satan.
A central figure in the Bible, Moses is considered the most important prophet in Judaism and holds great significance in Judaism and Christianity. He led the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt across the Red Sea before delivering the Sermon on the Mount to bring the Ten Commandments to the people - a set of rules that millions of people still live their lives by today.
Nathan comes from the Hebrew verb 'natan', which means 'gave. Many Christians believe the name reflects giving to God in his honour. There are two famous Nathan's in the Old Testament - one a minor prophet, and another is one of the sons of King David.
Often shortened to Nate, Nathaniel is another name of Hebrew origin, meaning 'gift of God'. It comes from the name Netan’el. It appears several times in both the Old Testament and New Testament, but is spelled 'Nathanael'. In the New Testament, he is also known as Bartholomew.
Noah is a Hebrew name meaning 'to rest'. However, the name is best known for the story of Noah's Ark - a man deemed so good and righteous by God that he was deemed worthy of surviving a great flood sent to punish mankind, and tasked with the challenge of saving two of each animal.
Marvel fans may well recognise this name through Obadiah Stane, the businessman that betrays Tony Stark to become Iron Monger in the comic books and first Iron Man film. In the Bible, however, Obadiah was a rich man who had the gift of prophecy, and whose name is attached to one of the shortest books in the Bible.
Omar is an Arabic name meaning 'flourishing', 'thriving', or 'eloquent' - an intriguing name if you want to set your son on the path of success. It is very popular among Muslim families, but is also referenced in the Book of Genesis.
Ozias is an uncommon name with a subtle Bible pedigree. It's a Greek name meaning 'salvation' and is the name of several minor characters throughout the Bible.
Originally one of the more popular Roman boy names, Paul became one of the most common Christian names in the US during the 20th century, but fell out of the top 100 in 2000. Saint Paul was the cofounder of the Christian church alongside Peter, and there have been six Popes named Paul. The name itself means 'small'.
Peter is perhaps one of the best known biblical boy names, given its importance in the Christian faith. Saint Peter is well known as the keeper of the Gates of Heaven. The name is actually of Greek origin, and commonly means 'rock' - naturally some will also say 'stone'. Simon bar Jonah was given the nickname 'Peter' by Jesus because to symbolise that he would be the rock that Christianity would be built on.
Philip comes from Greek origin, meaning 'love of horses'. One of the twelve apostles, it remained one of the most popular names for boys for centuries. However, it has waned in popularity over the past 30 years.
Raphael is a Hebrew name with Latin and Jewish significance. In the Bible, Raphael is one of the seven archangels who attended God's Throne as the angel of healing. He was also the patron of doctors, travellers, science and healing.
Often spelled Ruben, Reuben means 'behold, a son' in Hebrew, making it an enticing option for parents who are particularly proud to have a boy. Reuben was the first son of Jacob and Leah, and therefore gave his name to one of the 12 tribes of Israel.
A minor figure in the Bible, Rufus is one of the sons of Simon the Cytherian as well as the names of several saints. It's a Latin name meaning 'red head' that has plummeted in popularity. It was hovering around the top 100 in the US in the late 1800s, but fell to around the 1,000 mark 100 years later.
Samson is the Hebrew word for 'sun'. In the Bible, Samson was a strong supporter of the Israelites against the Philistines.
Samuel comes from the Hebrew name 'Shemu’el', which means 'told by God'. In the Old Testament, Samuel was a famous prophet and judge of the Israelites. He also gained notoriety having anointed the Hebrew Kings David and Saul.
If you want your son to go through life knowing he has the support of God, perhaps Saul is the name for you. A Hebrew name, it means 'prayed for'. It may also appeal to Jewish parents, as Saul was the first King of the Israelites and the original name of Saint Paul before he converted.
With Cain and Abel taking the limelight, Seth is the lesser known third son of Adam and Eve. As a result, Seth is commonly thought to be understated in his presence. It's a Hebrew name that means 'appointed' or 'placed'. However, the name also has connections to the Egyptian god of chaos, war and storms, Set (or Suetukah), which is what earned Seth a place on our list of ugly baby names!
The origins of the name Silas are debated; some believe it to be an Aramaic name, while it also has links to Latin, Hebrew and Greek. As a result, it's taken to mean 'of the forest' (Latin) and 'asked for' or 'prayed for' (Hebrew). In the Bible, Saint Silas joined Paul on his second missionary journey and was an early leading figure in the Christian community.
A name with Hebrew-Russian origins, Simeon means 'He (God) has heard'. It also has strong significance in the Bible. Simeon was one of Jacob and Leah's 12 sons, giving rise to the Simeonites tribe in Israel. And in the New Testament, Simeon is the name of the man who blessed the new born Jesus Christ.
Simon features heavily in both the Old and New Testaments. Although there are several individuals with the name in the New Testament, Simon is best known as the second son of Jacob and Leah, as well as the original name of Saint Peter. The name itself means 'he has heard' and 'flat nosed', so you're probably picking this name based on its link to the Bible, rather than the meaning itself.
Despite its association with older gentlemen with grey hair, Solomon is among the more modern biblical names for boys. It's a Hebrew name meaning 'peace'. The son of David and Bathesba, Solomon became King of Israel and was known for his wisdom. He also wrote the Book of Proverbs, Book of Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon.
Although Stephen is a Greek name meaning 'garland' or 'crown, it has a strong connection with the Bible. It was the name of the first Christian martyr, a group of seven men who volunteered to help the apostles spread Christian gospel. It has been the name of several Popes since.
A derivative of the Aramaic name Thaddeus, Theodore means 'gift of God'.
Thomas has Greek origins from the Aramaic name, meaning 'twin'. In the Bible, three of Jesus' disciples were originally called Judas, so to help differentiate them Jesus named one Thomas.
Best known as the meerkat from The Lion King for the past few decades, Timon is a French-Greek name meaning 'reward' or 'honour'. In the Bible, Timon was one of the deacons appointed by the Apostles to take care of Christian widows. He was later named bishop of the city of Bosra in Syria, where he led many people to Christianity.
A Greek name that means 'honouring God' or 'to honour God'. Saint Timothy was born to a Jewish mother and a Greek father and became a close companion to Saint Paul. The name was popular among early Christian followers, but didn't achieve wider use in English-speaking countries until the 1700s.
Tobiah is the original Hebrew version of the Greek derivative Tobias. It means 'the Lord is good'. In the Old Testament, Tobiah most famously hindered attempts to rebuild Jerusalem after the exile of the Babylonians.
Commonly shortened to Toby in modern times, Tobias means "God is good". It actually has Greek origins from the Hebrew name Tobiah, which itself comes from the Hebrew word Toviyah - 'tov' meaning 'good' and 'yah' being the Hebrew God. Tobias features commonly in the Bible, but is most well known for the story of Tobias and the Angel.
A variation of Zachary, it also means 'the Lord has remembered'. It was most popular during the 16th century before more modern spellings took over.
Often shortened to Zack, Zach, Zak or Zac, Zachary is a Hebrew name meaning 'the Lord has remembered'. Just like Tobias, it's a prominent biblical name with 12 different individuals bearing it throughout the Bible. The most notable Zachary, however, is the father of John the Baptist.
Over centuries, this shortened form or nickname for Ezekiel has established itself as a separate name. That means it does mean the same thing as Ezekiel ('God strengthens').
What makes a biblical name?
Biblical names largely fall under two categories; names that feature in the Bible and names that have meanings related to God. There are plenty of names that appear in the Bible whose meanings also directly relate to God.
Naturally many religious parents prefer to give their children biblical names as a sign of their faith, and in hope that their child will follow suit. Some less religious parents may choose a biblical name because of the things that person did in the Bible rather than the direct religious significance.
What are the most common biblical boys' names?
There are plenty of boys' names in the Bible, but some are more notable than others - and have been chosen by parents for generations as a result. Names like Adam, Joseph, Luke, John, Paul, Matthew, Mark and David are all among some of the most commonly used in western, English-speaking countries like the UK and US.
However, Noah and Jacob have held the top spots in the US for many years.
Which name means ‘gift of God’?
There are actually a few different names that mean ‘gift of God’. How? It’s because names have different origins, and are therefore based on different words.
Jonathan, Matthew, Nathaniel and Theodore all have the meaning ‘gift of God’.