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25 Popular Biblical Boy Names with Meanings and Significance

The Bible has become a great source for baby names. However, no matter what name you choose, you’re going to have a beautiful baby boy and he will be special because he is a gift from God, and he is yours!

C.com Editor
Jun 04, 2020
25 Popular Biblical Boy Names with Meanings and Significance

It’s happened, you’re pregnant! You’ve scoured the internet a few times when you were single or newly coupled, just to get a feel of what you like in anticipation of when, one day, you have a beautiful baby.

But this time, you’re searching for real! You’ve already had a fantastic gender-reveal party that you filmed, posted to your various social media accounts, and it went viral — revealing — it’s a boy!

Now you’re ready to do a serious search for baby boy names. For Christians, the Bible is the source of God’s Word, Salvation, and daily comforts. It’s also become a great source for baby names.

25 Popular Biblical Names for Boys

The Bible reveals how much He loved His people and how they did great things to bring glory to the Lord. So, it’s perfectly natural to want to use the names of the heroes of the Bible.

Along with the great names and stories, comes great meanings of these names in the original Hebrew and Greek translations.

1. Nathan - Hebrew Meaning “God Has Given, Reward”

This is a great name as every child is a gift from God and you’re feeling like you’ve been given the greatest gift in the world.

In the Bible, Nathan was a prophet who became a trusted adviser to King David. He’s the one who was called to hold David accountable for his actions with Bathsheba and her husband Uzziah (2 Samuel 12).

If you decide to use the name Nathan for your baby, you’ll be raising a trustworthy and loyal son.

2. Isaac - Hebrew Meaning “To Laugh”

This is a special name as God performed a miracle for Abraham and Sarah in Genesis. It is fitting as every life is a miracle. God promised Abraham that He would make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and bless all the nations of the earth (Genesis 26:1-6).

God told Abraham, age 100, that he and his wife, Sarah, age 90, would have a son. Isaac’s name was derived from Sarah’s reaction to this promise (Genesis 18:12).

Maybe you and your husband have had a hard time getting pregnant, it’s a promise you’ve felt from God, but it’s been a difficult and, maybe, a painful process, and you’ve lost all hope.

Isaac is a name that evokes joy, surprise, and promise. It’s a perfect name no matter how you have this miracle.

3. Matthew - Greek Meaning “Gift of God”

This is a popular name in both Christian and Non-Christian circles. Every child is a gift, and Matthew is a beautiful name as a reminder of that special gift from God.

Matthew was an apostle of Christ. Jesus called to Matthew, “Follow me” and Matthew got up and followed Him (Matthew 9:9). His gospel is also the first in the New Testament. As a first-hand eyewitness, he wrote the birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and Great Commission of Christ.

If you name your son, Matthew, be prepared for him to become a loyal and obedient child who might become the greatest writer of all-time!

4. Ezra - Hebrew Meaning “Helper, One Who Supports”

Ezra is one of those seemingly old-school names that is making a big comeback. It’s a strong and unique name fit for any baby boy.

Ezra was a priest and “a scribe skilled in the law.” He returned from exile in Babylon and reconstituted the Jewish community based on the Torah. “Since his efforts did much to give Jewish religion the form that was to characterize it for centuries after, Ezra has with some justice been called the father of Judaism i.e., the specific form the Jewish religion took after the Babylonian Exile.”

So, don’t be surprised when you name your son Ezra that he’ll have a strong sense of justice and might just be a top lawyer or judge.

5. Zechariah (Zachariah) - Hebrew Meaning “The Lord Has Remembered”

Zach has always been a great name. A cool-guy name. However, not a lot of people think of it as a biblical name.

There are two prominent Zechariah’s in the Bible. There is the Old Testament prophet who wrote the Book of Zechariah. He prophesied to the Israelites after they came back from their 70 years in exile in Babylon. He was a priest in addition to a prophet.

The second Zechariah is the father of John the Baptist. This is a great story for couples who are struggling with conception. Zechariah and Elizabeth honored the Lord but had no children.

Zechariah was a priest, and while burning incense before the Lord, was visited by the angel Gabriel, who told him that he and Elizabeth would have a son, who would prepare the way for the Messiah, and to call him John.

In Zechariah’s unbelief, the angel made him mute until the baby was born. When he was able to speak again, he praised the Lord! (Luke 1:5-80).

This name is a great reminder of God’s power and that His plans are considerably more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21).

6. Samuel - Hebrew Meaning “God Heard”

Samuel, Sam, or Sammy is a great household name that fits every and any personality.

Samuel’s story in 1 Samuel is a beautiful story of a mother, Hannah, who never gave up on her desire to have a baby.

She had a loving husband, but, as the years passed, she could not get pregnant. It was in Hannah’s deepest cry to the Lord and her selflessness to dedicate her future child to the service of the Lord, that the Lord heard her cry and opened her womb.

Hannah kept her promise to the Lord and gave Samuel to the priest, Eli. Samuel grew in faithfulness and became the leader of the Israelite people. He listened to the Lord when the people cried for a king and God sent Samuel to find Saul then David.

Samuel was the transition from how the Lord governed his people to how the people wanted to be governed, which set the precedence of their tumultuous history.

Samuel is a wonderful reminder of the power of prayer and dedication to the Lord.

7. Philip - Greek Meaning “Friend of Horses”

This name is for all the animal lovers out there, more specifically for the equestrians. It’s a beautiful name and you can even call him Phil if you prefer.

There aren’t many mentions of Philip in the Bible, but what we do see is that Jesus called Philip, as one of his disciples, personally and was the one who brought Nathanael to Jesus. Philip is also seen as very practical, handling the supplies and food in John’s account of the Feeding of the 5,000.

Another Philip is recorded in Acts 8 — Philip the Evangelist. This is the Philip who was on the road and ran into the Ethiopian eunuch in charge of Queen Candice’s treasure. As he was reading the Book of Isaiah, Philip came and explained who the prophet was speaking of — the one who came to save the world — and Philip baptized him right there along the road.

Philip is a name that was sired to two men in the Bible who were dedicated to Christ and shared His love wherever they went.

8. Joshua - Hebrew Meaning “Jehovah Is Savior, Jehovah Is My Salvation”

Imagine having a little boy with a strong biblical name like Joshua, but in your home, he’s Josh or if you’re wanting to be really cute, “Joshy.”

Joshua is the man God called to lead His people after the death of Moses. God entrusted His chosen people to Joshua because of his courage (Joshua 1:8). God’s plan for Joshua and the people of Israel was to give them the Promised Land. God promises Joshua His guidance and promise that “no man will be able to stand before you” (Joshua 1:5).

Joshua was a great leader and faithful to God. He listened and followed the Lord.

9. Abram - Hebrew Meaning “Their Protection”

Abram is a great name that evokes the father of nations, Abraham, without all the syllables.

Abram was Abraham’s name before God called him to be the father of His people. God calls Abram out from his home to settle in the land of Canaan. Abraham followed the Lord no matter what was asked of him, even when God asked him to sacrifice his promised son, Isaac.

Because of his faithfulness, God stops Abraham from sacrificing his son and blesses him by promising Abraham that his decedents will number the stars in the sky (Genesis 26:4).

Abram means “exalted father” or “their shield, their protection”

Abram is a strong name that reminds us of God’s faithfulness and promise.

10. Michael - Hebrew Meaning “Gift from God”

Michael is a strong name for a son. If you choose this name, you can also call the little tike, Mike.

Michael is the archangel of the Lord or “chief angel.” Michael is mentioned in Daniel as the protector of Israel (Daniel 12:1). Michael, as the leader of the angels, will have a huge part to play in the end times. He will lead a host of angels to victory in the war against Satan and his demons (Revelation 12).

Angels, as seen in Scripture, have many roles, but they all come at the service and command of the Lord.

Michael is a powerful servant of the Lord as is seen and will be seen.

11. Aaron - Hebrew Meaning "Exalted, Enlightenment, High Mountain"

Aaron had the distinctive privilege of being Moses' close associate and also the one selected as the first high priest of God's people. He and the firstborn son of each generation of his lineage were dedicated in a special anointing ceremony to officiate before God and on behalf of God's people as high priests.

Aaron, the first priest of ancient Israel, was the older brother of Moses. His parents Amram and Jochebed were Kohathites of the tribe of Levi. Two aspects of Aaron's earlier years provided a matrix out of which he responded to God's call to help Moses when he returned to Egypt. First, Aaron was committed to the God of the "fathers" — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ( Exod 3:1-6 ). Second, he understood that God had made a covenant with Abraham that included him and the people of Israel.

12. Daniel - Hebrew Meaning "Judgment of God; God my Judge"

One of the four great prophets, although he is not once spoken of in the Old Testament as a prophet. His life and prophecies are recorded in the Book of Daniel. He was descended from one of the noble families of Judah (Daniel 1:3) and was probably born in Jerusalem about B.C. 623, during the reign of Josiah. At the first deportation of the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar (the kingdom of Israel had come to an end nearly a century before), or immediately after his victory over the Egyptians at the second battle of Carchemish, in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim (B.C. 606), Daniel and other three noble youths were carried off to Babylon, along with part of the vessels of the temple. There he was obliged to enter into the service of the king of Babylon, and in accordance with the custom of the age received the Chaldean name of Belteshazzar, i.e., "prince of Bel," or "Bel protect the king!" His residence in Babylon was very probably in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, now identified with a mass of shapeless mounds called the Kasr, on the right bank of the river.

13. Elijah - Hebrew Meaning "God the Lord, the strong Lord"

Elijah’s message and the meaning of his name go together like a fresh glass of milk and warm cookies. He walked, talked, and encouraged others to believe that truly the Lord was God—just as his name purported. As a prophet, he adamantly shared God’s message and warnings. Often, both came under fire. Sometimes, however, people turned from following false gods and found themselves deep in the worship of the Holy One.

Read more: Who Was Elijah & Why Is His Bible Story Still Important Today?

14. Gabriel - Hebrew Meaning "God is my Strength"

Gabriel means a champion of God, used as a proper name to designate the angel who was sent to (Daniel 8:16) to explain the vision of the ram and the he-goat and to communicate the prediction of the seventy weeks (Daniel 9:21-27). He announced also the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11), and of the Messiah (Luke 1:26). He describes himself in the words, "I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God" (Luke 1:19).

15. Isaiah - Hebrew Meaning "The Salvation of the Lord"

From the Hebrew name Yesha'yahu meaning "YAHWEH is salvation", from the roots (Yasha') meaning "to save" and (yah) referring to the Hebrew God. Isaiah is one of the four major prophets of the Old Testament, seemingly the author of the Book of Isaiah. He was from Jerusalem and probably lived in the 8th century BC, at a time when Assyria threatened the Kingdom of Judah. As an English Christian name, Isaiah was first used after the Protestant Reformation.

16. Jeremiah - Hebrew Meaning "Exaltation of the Lord"

Suggestions of the meaning of Jeremiah include "The Lord exalts" and "The Lord establishes," but a more likely proposal is "The Lord throws," either in the sense of "hurling" the prophet into a hostile world or of "throwing down" the nations in divine judgment for their sins. Jeremiah's prophetic ministry began in 626 b.c. and ended sometime after 586. His ministry was immediately preceded by that of Zephaniah. Habakkuk was a contemporary, and Obadiah may have been also. Since Ezekiel began his ministry in Babylon in 593, he too was a late contemporary of the great prophet in Jerusalem. How and when Jeremiah died is not known; Jewish tradition, however, asserts that while living in Egypt he was put to death by being stoned (cf. Heb 11:37). Read the Bible book of Jeremiah to learn more about his life.

17. Luke - Greek Meaning "Luminous; White"

Luke was probably a Gentile by birth, well educated in Greek culture, a physician by profession, a companion of Paul at various times from his second missionary journey to his final imprisonment in Rome, and a loyal friend who remained with the apostle after others had deserted him (2 Timothy 4:11).

18. Mark - Latin Meaning "Polite; Shining"

Mark was the son of Mary (not the Virgin Mary), a woman apparently of some means and influence, and was probably born in Jerusalem, where his mother resided. Of his father, we know nothing. He was a cousin of Barnabas. It was in his mother's house that Peter found "many gathered together praying" when he was released from prison; and it is probable that it was here that he was converted by Peter, who calls him his "son". It is probable that the "young man" spoken of in Mark 14:51-52 was Mark himself. He is first mentioned in Acts 12:25. He went with Paul and Barnabas on their first journey (about A.D. 47) as their "minister," but from some cause turned back when they reached Perga in Pamphylia. Three years afterward a "sharp contention" arose between Paul and Barnabas because Paul would not take Mark with him. He, however, was evidently at length reconciled to the apostle, for he was with him in his first imprisonment at Rome. At a later period, he was with Peter in Babylon, then, and for some centuries afterward, one of the chief seats of Jewish learning; and he was with Timothy in Ephesus when Paul wrote him during his second imprisonment. He then disappears from view.

19. Moses - Hebrew Meaning "Taken out; Drawn forth"

From the Hebrew name Mosheh, which is most likely derived from Egyptian Mes meaning "son", but could also possibly mean "deliver" in Hebrew. The meaning suggested in the Old Testament of "drew out" from Hebrew Mashah is probably an invented etymology (see Exodus 2:10).

The biblical Moses was drawn out of the Nile by the pharaoh's daughter and adopted into the royal family, at a time when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. With his brother Aaron, he demanded the pharaoh release the Israelites, which was only done after God sent ten plagues upon Egypt. Moses led the people across the Red Sea and to Mount Sinai, where he received the Ten Commandments from God. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, the people reached Canaan, the Promised Land, but Moses died just before entering it.

In England, this name has been commonly used by Christians since the Protestant Reformation, though it had long been popular among Jews. Read more about Moses in the Bible - His Story and Significance.

20. Peter - Greek Meaning "A Rock or Stone"

Peter was a sinful man, yet he became a part of Christ’s inner circle. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke list Peter as the very first disciple called on by Jesus, followed closely by Peter’s brother Andrew, then James and John. Jesus reminded Peter of his identity and importance in Matthew 16:18, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Learn more about Peter's importance in the Bible.

21. Timothy - Greek Meaning "Honor of God; Valued of God"

English form of the Greek name Timotheos meaning "honoring God", derived from Timao meaning "to honor" and Theos meaning "God". Saint Timothy was a companion of Paul on his missionary journeys and was the recipient of two of Paul's epistles that appear in the New Testament. He was of both Jewish and Greek ancestry. According to tradition, he was martyred at Ephesus after protesting the worship of Artemis. As an English name, Timothy was not used until after the Protestant Reformation.

Learn more about the life of Timothy in the Bible.

22. Andrew - Greek Meaning "A Strong Man"

This name has been common (in several spellings) throughout the Christian world and became very prevalent in the Middle Ages. Saint Andrew is observed as the patron of Scotland, Russia, Greece, and Romania. The name has been carried by three kings of Hungary and American president Andrew Jackson.

23. David - Hebrew Meaning "Well-beloved, Dear"

This name has been used in Britain since the Middle Ages. It has been especially popular in Wales, where it is used in honor of the 5th-century patron saint of Wales, as well as in Scotland, where it was borne by two kings. Over the last century, it has been one of the English-speaking world's most consistently common names, never leaving the top 30 names for boys in the United States, and reaching the top rank in England and Wales during the 1950s and 60s.

24. John - Hebrew Meaning "The Grace or Mercy of the Lord"

The Hebrew form occurs in the Old Testament (spelled Johanan or Jehohanan in the English version), but this name owes its notoriety to two New Testament characters, both deeply respected saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who is considered the forerunner of Jesus. He baptized Jesus and was later executed by Herod Antipas. The second is the apostle John, who is historically considered as the author of the fourth gospel and Revelation. With the apostles Peter and James (his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.

25. Paul - Latin Meaning "Small, Humble"

From the Roman family name Paulus, which meant "small" or "humble" in Latin. Paul was an influential leader of the early Christian church. According to Acts in the New Testament, he was a Jewish Roman citizen who converted to Christianity after the resurrected Jesus appeared to him. After this, he traveled the eastern Mediterranean as a missionary. His original Hebrew name was Saul.

Due to the renown of Saint Paul, the name became popular among early Christians. It was borne by a number of other early saints and six popes. In England, it was relatively rare during the Middle Ages but became more frequent beginning in the 17th century. Read Bible verses about the life of Paul.

What’s in a Name?

No matter what name you choose, whether it’s based on a biblical name or not, you’re going to have a beautiful baby boy and he will be special because he is a gift from God, and he is yours!

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Molly Law headshotMolly Law is the Editor of C.com. She has a Master of Arts in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, UK, where she studied and lived for a year in Scotland. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Writing from Gardner-Webb University. Her editorial career includes Senior Editor of a bimonthly magazine for the nonprofit ACA and Editorial Assistant at Luath Press in Edinburgh, UK. She enjoys reading 18th-century British Literature, creative writing, and traveling. Check her out here.

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