Biblical Baby Boy Names in the Top 1000 (2013 edition)

Hello readers! I'm super excited for this article! Like I said in my previous article, I'm a name enthusiast! Names are one of my favorite things to talk about! Today we're going to talk about the names on the Social Security Administration's list of top 1000 boys names used in 2013 that are found in the Bible.The Bible is a treasure trove of fantastic names and there are seemingly endless possibilities, especially for boys names! Like last time, I'm limiting the list to names and titles of people and places that are found in their current forms in some version of the English Bible. Sometimes I will mention alternate versions or spellings under the heading of the biblical one but not every single one.



  • Noah
    • Ranking in 2013: #1
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "rest" or "comfort"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 5:29-9:28 and others
For those of you who don't follow naming trends, Noah being number one is a BIG deal! The number one girls name changes frequently but the number one boys names tends to stick around for awhile. This is Noah's first year to be number one after 13 years of Jacob (a relatively short time on top, Michael was number one for nearly 50 years). I think it's wonderful that so many parents have chosen Noah for their sons. Noah is a great (though flawed) biblical man. The sound and meaning of Noah are both awesome! Noah's name story, found in Genesis 5:29, is one of my favorites in the Bible. The only downside to Noah's popularity for is that it's a name I really like but #1 on the list is a little too popular for me to use. 

  • Jacob
    • Ranking in 2013: #3
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: literally "grasping at the heal", implied "deceiver"
    • Bible reference: beginning in Genesis 25:24 and throughout the Bible
Jacob reigned as the #1 boy name for 13 years but is now at #3. Jacob has an appealing sound and although the biblical Jacob had some major flaws, he is an example of mankind's failings and God's grace. What makes me hesitate to love this name is the implied meaning. Paired with a good middle name that would make it into a good "name sentence", that negative can be overcome. Other spellings, such as Jaycob, appear much lower on the list.

  • Ethan
    • Ranking in 2013: #6
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "steadfast"
    • Bible reference: Psalm 89 and others
Some might be surprised to know this is a biblical name. It's found in the fine print of a few Psalms and in books like Chronicles which aren't as widely read. Ethan climbed the charts steadily in recent years but in the last couple of years it's gone down a bit. It has the "an/en" ending that is favored among modern parents. One of my favorite things about the name Ethan is the strength of its meaning, "steadfast".

  • Michael
    • Ranking in 2013: #7
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "Who is like God?"
    • Bible reference: Jude 1:9, Daniel 12:1, 1 Chronicles 5:14 and others
I'm kind of partial to this name, as its my husbands name. The year he was born it was the #1 name in the US and had been for decades. Michael is one of very few biblical angels whose name is shared with us and the only one in the Bible to have the term 'archangel' applied to him. However, even in the Bible it is applied to human men. Like I said, I'm biased but I really like the sound of Michael and it has a great meaning that's its own name sentence. It's important to note that it does not mean "He's like God.". It means "Who is like God?", implying that no one is like God. Alternate spelling (which just looks like a misspelling in my opinion) Micheal is on the list at #682. That baffles me.

  • Alexander
    • Ranking in 2013: #8
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "helper and defender of mankind"
    • Bible reference: Mark 15:21 and others
There are several Alexanders in the Bible but none stand out as major characters. At least one, mentioned in Paul's letters to Timothy, appears to be a very negative. The most positve Alexander to me is the son of the man who carried the cross of Jesus to Calvary. What Alexander has going for it is a bold sound, an abundance of varied nickname possibilities (Al, Alec, Alex, Lex, Xan, Xander, Sandy...), and a strong meaning. Some of Alexander's nicknames are on the list as independent names.

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  • Daniel
    • Ranking in 2013: #10
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God is my judge"
    • Bible reference: the book of Daniel
Daniel is one of the most memorable Bible characters, remembered especially for his devotion to God despite much hardship and persecution. Daniel makes an excellent namesake for any boy. Daniel also has a sound that appeals to many. The meaning "God is my judge" is positive to those who received salvation from the Lord but I imagine it would be a negative for those whose lives are not right with God.

  • Elijah
    • Ranking in 2013: #11
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God is the Lord"
    • Bible reference: 1 Kings 17 and following and others
Elijah is one of the most fascinating characters from biblical history and one of the most important prophets in history, so it's no wonder that it's gained popularity. Its sound one that is also one that's on the rise, boys names with the "-ah" sound at the end. Elijah has some great nickname possibilities such as Eli or my favorite, Lij but it stands well on its own. Elijah's meaning, "God is the Lord", is a simple but powerful truth.

  • James
    • Ranking in 2013: #13
    • Language: variant of Hebrew Jacob
    • Meaning: "deceiver"
    • Bible reference: book of James and others
James has long been a popular name in the US but it never feels dated to me. James is a true classic. James is the name of many Bible character, including more than one apostle and a brother of Jesus. It's a form of Jacob so the same concerns come up about the meaning but paired with the right middle name, James is absolutely amazing! Longer version Jameson makes an apearence at #181 and Jamison at #460.

  • Benjamin
    • Ranking in 2013: #14
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "son of my right hand"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 45:14 and others
Benjamin is another biblical classic. Benjamin was the 12th and last son of Jacob and his desendents became one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Benjamin has a great sound but rarely does a Benjamin go by his full name. Ben is the most common nickname for Benjamin but Benji, Jamin, or Jamie would work too. The meaning of "son of my right hand" is a strong ideal for a boy to live up to. 

  • Matthew
    • Ranking in 2013: #15
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "gift of God"
    • Bible reference: book of Matthew and others
Matthew has been incredibly popular in the last several decades. I grew up with an abundance of Matts so it feels just a bit overused to me. Other than that, it has a great biblical man to back it up, a nice sound. and a meaning that describes any child. Other versions such as Mateo are featured fairly high on list as well.

  • David
    • Ranking in 2013: #18
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "beloved"
    • Bible reference: 1 Samuel 16:13 and many others, author of many psalms
David is another well-known biblical character even to those who don't know much about the Bible. Who could forget the boy who fought a giant with a slingshot? Despite his flaws, David was a man after God's own heart, making him an ideal namesake. "Beloved" is a softer meaning than many other boys names but hey, love is powerful! David might seem just a bit dated but I think it still works for a boy today.

  • Joseph
    • Ranking in 2013: #20
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "May God increase"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 39:6, Acts 4:36 and others
There are numerous worthy Josephs in the Bible: Joseph son of Jacob, Joseph who was called Barnabus, Jesus's stepfather Joseph. Joseph is one of the best namesakes in the Bible. Joe and Joey have traditionally been the nicknames for Joseph but if those feel a bit tired to you, Joss is a super suave option. By itself, Joe makes it to #556.

  • Joshua
    • Ranking in 2013: #21
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "The Lord saves"
    • Bible reference: book of Joshua and others
Joshua is a fantastic name with a great sound! Many, many, many parents have thought so over the years so there are countless Joshes everywhere! If that doesn't bother you, Joshua is still an awesome name! The meaning "the Lord saves" is a compelling truth and the biblical Joshua a strong namesake. Spanish version Josue is at #247.

  • Andrew
    • Ranking in 2013: #22
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "man" or "manly"
    • Bible reference: John 1:40
Andrew was one of Jesus's twelve apostles. He didn't stand out as much as his brother Peter but when reading through the gospels, he has a distinctive and positive presence and would make a great namesake for any boy. Andrew has a softer sound than some other boys names but what boy wouldn't want a name that means 'manly'?

  • Gabriel
    • Ranking in 2013: #24
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God is my strength"
    • Bible reference: Luke 1:9, Daniel 8:7 and others
Gabriel is another one of the very few angels whose name is shared with us in the Bible. Gabriel has a very appealing sound and Gabe is an attractive nickname. The meaning "God is my strength" is an important truth to cling to throughout our Christian lives.

  • Samuel
    • Ranking in 2013: #25
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God has heard"
    • Bible reference: books of 1st and 2nd Samuel
Samuel is yet another biblical classic. As a prophet and priest during a crucial time in Israel's history, he makes an awesome namesake. The meaning "God has heard" is fantastic for any child who is an answer to prayer. The nickname Sam is both sweet and strong, perfect for a little boy or a grown man. Independently, Sam makes the list at #552.

  • John
    • Ranking in 2013: #27
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God is gracious"
    • Bible reference: books of John, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John and more
John has always been on the top 1000 list and was number #1 for decades before Michael and Jacob took the lead. Maybe that's why it feels a bit overused. The apostle John, the apostle Jesus loved, is one of my very favorite Biblical characters and the meaning "God is gracious" is another solid biblical truth. For those reasons, I might still be willing to use John for a modern boy. Diminutive Jack makes the list at #40 and variant Jackson surpasses the original at #16.

  • Isaac
    • Ranking in 2013: #29
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "laughter"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 21:3 and others 
Here's a fresh Bible name that's getting some of the attention it deserves. Isaac is an important biblical figure, the son of promise. That makes it especially appropriate for a long awaited child. Isaac has an appealing sound and its meaning of "laughter" gives it a joyous air. 

  • Nathan
    • Ranking in 2013: #31
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "gift"
    • Bible reference: 2 Samuel 12 and others
There is more than one Nathan in the Bible. The most famous one is the faithful prophet who confronted David about his sin. Everyone needs a such a faithful person in their life. David also had a son named Nathan. Nathan has the "en/an" ending that is so appealing to many parents these days and the meaning 'gift' applies to every child.

  • Caleb
    • Ranking in 2013: #33
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: literal meaning "dog", implied meaning "brave" or "devotion to God"
    • Bible reference: Numbers 13:30 and others
Caleb is a mighty and brave man of the Bible with a faith to match his strength. The literal meaning of 'dog' doesn't sound like it was meant to be positive but hey, I'm a dog-lover... Caleb is such a powerful character the name has taken on a meaning beyond the most honest etymological interpretation. Implied meanings are "brave" or "devoted to God".be Caleb's sound is similar to the overly popular Jacob which may adding to Caleb's popularity. Kaleb is at #138.

  • Luke
    • Ranking in 2013: #34
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: light
    • Bible reference: book of Luke and others
This is a name that I'm surprised isn't higher on the list. Luke is the other of the book of Luke and the book of Acts. The Bible also records him being a doctor. Luke has an appealing sound and a fantastic meaning. It's popularity has been steadily rising in recent years. The international form Lucas is higher than the original, coming in at # 23. Luca is at #202.

  • Christian
    • Ranking in 2013: #35
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "follower of Christ"
    • Bible reference: Acts 11:26
You can't get more straight to the point than naming your son Christian. The name Christian has waxed and waned in popularity in recent years but it's still a valid choice for a boy today.
  •  Jonathan
    • Ranking in 2013: #42
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "gift of the Lord"
    • Bible reference: 1 Samuel 13:14
Although Jonathan took a back seat to David and never got a chance to be king, he was one of the the best and bravest men in the Bible. Jonathan starts with the fashionable letter J and has the "en/an" ending that so many are fond of. "Gift of God" is just the kind of meaning that I would look for in a name and it's one that applies to any child. Jonathan has it all! Spelling Johnathan is at #280.

  • Eli
    • Ranking in 2013: #43
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "uplifted" or "my God"
    • Bible reference: 1 Samuel 1:9 and others
Eli was a priest in some of Israel's most difficult days and a mentor to Samuel. He's also considered to be one of the last Judges. Sadly, he wasn't the best parent and his sons displeased God greatly. The name Eli is gaining popularity on it's own and so are similar but longer names such as Elijah and Elliot.





  • Isaiah
    • Ranking in 2013: #44
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "The Lord saves
    • Bible reference: book of Isaiah and others
Isaiah has long been one of my favorite names. I like the sound and "the Lord saves" is basically the gospel in a nutshell. Izzy is an obvious nickname for Isaiah but if that's not your style, Zay is another option.

  • Levi
    • Ranking in 2013: #50
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "attached"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 29:34 and others
Coming in right at #50 is the cool yet rustic Levi. The biblical Levi received his name because of a bitter fertility feud between the original sister wives and he was quick to shed blood to defend the honor of his sister. However, the tribe of Levi, his descendants, were quick to be on God's side and became a tribe of priests. Levi in the New Testament (also called Matthew) was a tax collector recruited by Jesus as an apostle and later wrote the gospel of Matthew. Levi has the edgy letter v and the attractive i ending so it's no surprise it's getting some attention.

  • Aaron
    • Ranking in 2013: #51
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "exalted"
    • Bible reference: Exodus 7:10 and others
Aaron was Moses's older brother and served first as his spokesman before Pharaoh and then as the first high priest. Aaron has an appealing sound and the most favored ending. Alternate spelling Aron is much further down the list at #715.

  • Jordan
    • Ranking in 2013: #53
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "flowing downward"
    • Bible reference: Joshua 3:15
Jordan has been popular for a few decades now and I think it's the Bible name that's most widely used by both genders, although it's still much more popular for boys. The Jordan river is a very important place in the Bible. It was the river the Israelites crossed to enter the promised land as well as the river Jesus was baptized in.


  • Jeremiah
    • Ranking in 2013: #58
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "The Lord exalts" 
    • Bible reference: The book of Jeremiah
With the "ah" ending becoming more popular for boys and the letter "J" also being fashionable, Jeremiah is an obvious choice for those seeking a stylish name. More importantly, Jeremiah is a faithful prophet of the Lord who delived his message despite much persecution. The meaning "the Lord exalts" is also spot-on. Nickname Jerry might seem a little tired to some but there's also the longer Jeremy (which is on the list independently at #159) and the less common Jem.

  • Thomas
    • Ranking in 2013: #61
    • Language: Aramaic
    • Meaning: "twin"
    • Bible reference: John 11:16
Thomas is a classically popular name but the original Thomas kind of gets a bad reputation. Personally I think the apostle Thomas was brave (see the reference). The meaning "twin" might be hard to work into a name unless you actually had twins. Maybe with the implied meaning of double...

  • Josiah
    • Ranking in 2013: #69
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: the meaning is disputed, possibly "The Lord heals" or "the Lord supports"
    • Bible reference: 2 Kings 22:1
Josiah was a boy king who grew up to become one of Israel's best kings. The meaning is disputed but it refers to Jehovah in some way. Nicknames for Josiah could be "Si" or "Joss".  Like Jeremiah, Josiah begins with the stylish J and ends with the also fashionable "ah" so it's no wonder it has been steadily rising for decades.

  • Jason
    • Ranking in 2013: #79
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "to heal"
    • Bible reference: Acts 17:7
I bet you might not have realized that the name Jason is found in the Bible. He is a fellow believer in the book of Acts. Jason has all the hallmarks of a popular name but it has been popular so long it feels dated and is fading from the spotlight. Jayson is at #373. Newer and fresher version Jace has already surpassed it with alternate spelling Jase is right behind. We won't speak of Jayceon...

  • Adam
    • Ranking in 2013: #82 
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "man"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 2:20
This is the original, the first ever male name and it's still popular today! Adam is slowly declining in popularity, though. It was at its most popular in the early 80's

  • Nathaniel
    • Ranking in 2013: #91
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "gift of God"
    • Bible reference: John 1:47
This is one of my absolute favorite Bible names, mostly because of what Jesus says about Nathaniel in John 1:47. Similar names Nathan and Jonathan are more popular. The Nathaniel spelling is found in a few versions of the Bible but Nathanael is the more common biblical spelling. However Nathanael is much further down the list at #565. Nickname possibilities include Nathan, Nate, Nate and even Niel. 

  • Asher
    • Ranking in 2013: #104
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "happy"
    • Bible reference: Deuteronomy 33:24
Asher is a delightful name that is gaining popularity. Asher is one of Jacob's 12 sons. We don't know much about his life but he did receive a great blessing from his father upon his deathbed. Asher has an appealing sound, the awesome nickname Ash, and the joyous meaning of "happy".

  • Jesus
    • Ranking in 2013: #106
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "the Lord saves"
    • Bible reference: Matthew 1:21
This name is most common among the Spanish-speaking community where it is pronounced "hey-soos". It's obviously a great name since God himself chose it for his son but it's not really one we use in English.

  • Micah
    • Ranking in 2013: #107
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "who is like the Lord"
    • Bible reference: book of Micah
Micah is a great name and this is where I like to see it--- on the boys list! Micah was a prophet of the Lord and probably the author of the book of Micah. If Michael is a little too popular for you, you could always try Micah instead!

  • Silas
    • Ranking in 2013: #116
    • Language: Latin
    • Meaning: "forest"
    • Bible reference: Acts 15:32
Silas is a rustic sounding New Testament name. Silas was a believer, an early missionary and sometimes partnered with Paul. The nickname "Si" is the perfect combination of sweet and strong.

  • Timothy
    • Ranking in 2013: #125
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "honoring God"
    • Bible reference: books of 1st and 2nd Timothy and others
Timothy is what I like call a "solid name". The biblical Timothy is a emulate and we can all learn a lot from what Paul wrote to him. Timothy has an awesome meaning going for it too. The nicknames Timmy or Tim might not be to everyone's taste but Timothy stands well on its own.

  • Jonah
    • Ranking in 2013: #135
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "dove"
    • Bible reference: book of Jonah and others
Some might vehemently disagree with me but I'm not sure Jonah is the namesake I want for my son. Maybe what the Bible has recorded for us about Jonah was an "off" time in his life but it's not the most positive example. Other than that, Jonah has an attractive sound and a sweet meaning. Jonas is on the list at #488.

  • Ezra
    • Ranking in 2013: #143
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "help"
    • Bible reference: book of Ezra and others
Here's another strong biblical man! I'm a little surprised to see Ezra so high on the list. I know very few Ezras. However, Ezra is a worthy name with an appropriate meaning for new parents.

  • Joel
    • Ranking in 2013: #144
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "the Lord is God"
    • Bible reference: the book of Joel and others 
Joel is kind of a parallel name to Elijah. They mean the same thing but the order is reversed. Both were even prophets. However, there's a book named after Joel. Joel may be a short, one-syllable name but it packs a big punch!

  • Jesse
    • Ranking in 2013: #158
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "gift"
    • Bible reference: 1 Samuel 16:10
Jesse in the Bible was a shepherd and the name retains that rustic feel. Like I've emphazised before, gift is a great meaning for a baby's name. The only draw back is the popularity of the girl's name Jessica which has Jessie as a nickname. On the bright side, Jessica is on the decline do Jesse as a boys name could experience life out of her shadow.

  • Jude
    • Ranking in 2013: #162
    • Language: Latin diminutive of Judah
    • Meaning: "praised"
    • Bible reference: book of Jude
Jude is a stylish one-syllable name that was gaining some momentum throughout the 2000s but now seems like it might be back on the way down. Who knows, though? It could still make a comeback. I'm all in favor of Jude's sound, meaning, and history.

  • Emmanuel
    • Ranking in 2013: #171
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God with us"
    • Bible reference: Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14, 8:8
Emmanuel is a very worthy name, one that God chose for his own son. It's not a name we hear for Jesus outside of the Christmas season. Using the name Jesus is off-putting to me but Emmanuel seems appropriate, maybe because it's not often used for Jesus. Emmanuel was also the name of a son of Isaiah. Parents seem to prefer the Emmanuel spelling found in the King James Version to the Immanuel spelling that so many other versions use. Immanuel is found almost at the very bottom for the list.  The meaning is impeccable and the sound is strong!  Possible nicknames are Emmy and Manny.

  • Malachi
    • Ranking in 2013: #177
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "messenger"
    • Bible reference: book of Malachi
Malachi is another strong prophetic name in the Bible with a great meaning. Malachi also has an attractive sound. The potential nick name Cai or Kai also gives this name quite the appeal. 

  • Abel
    • Ranking in 2013: #179
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "breath"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 4:2, Hebrews 11:4
Abel is a fantastic name and I'm glad to see it getting some attention. It might even be able to make it to the top! Get it? Able? No? Ok. Abel is a wonderful name of a righteous biblical man and a worthy 
namesake for any boy.


  • Abraham
    • Ranking in 2013: #183
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "father of many"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 24:1, Hebrews 11:17-19 and others
Abraham, the father of the faithful, is one of the biggest characters in biblical history who had such a special relationship with God. He would make a great namesake for any boy! If you don't like Abe as a nickname, you could always go with Ham. If that's not your style either, you could try the rough-and-tumble Ram or Bram.

  • Mark
    • Ranking in 2013: #184.
    • Language: Latin
    • Meaning: "warrior"
    • Bible reference: book of Mark and others
Mark is powerful name that has had it's day in the light of popularity. Unfortunately, that day has past. Mark was most popular in 1960 and has been on its way down. Personally, given its sound, meaning and history, I still think it's still a name worth using. Other forms of Mark, such as Marc, Marcos, and Marco are on the list as well. Marcus even surpass Mark.

  • Ezekiel
    • Ranking in 2013: #186
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God strengthens"
    • Bible reference: book of Ezekiel
Ezekiel is a most interesting prophet of the Lord. "God strengthens" is a faith-bolstering truth. Ezekiel has the common nickname of Zeke but if that's not for you, there's also Easy or EZ. Although, Ezekiel is not my style, it has everything going for it. Ezequiel is much further down the list.
  • Nicolas
    • Ranking in 2013: #191
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "victorious army"
    • Bible reference: Acts 6:5
The spelling Nicholas has always been more popular but Nicolas is the spelling found in the Bible. The biblical Nicolas was one of the seven men chosen to be in charge of serving widows in the early church in Jerusalem. In my opinion, Nicolas and Nicholas have seen their popular days. If you do go with Nicholas or Nicolas for your boy, try a fresher nickname than Nick. Nico is a cool one and it comes on the scene as an independent name at #484.


  • Paul
    • Ranking in 2013: 198
    • Language: Latin
    • Meaning: "small"
    • Bible reference: Titus 1:1 and many, many others                                                                                                                               
I don't know whether to be surprised Paul is the high on the list or surprised that it's this low. Paul
has been a majorly popular name for years and is still clinging to the top 200. The biblical Paul was a major figure in the early church, wrote most of the New Testament, and still makes a great namesake for modern boys. Spanish verson Pablo comes in at #402.

  • Omar
    • Ranking in 2013: #204
    • Language: Arabic
    • Meaning: "eloquent"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 36:11, 36: 15; 1 Chronicles 1:36
Surprised this name is in the Bible? It is. It's mentioned three times and about all we know is he's the son of Eliphaz, grandson of Esau. He's listed among the leaders of Esau's family.

  • Peter
    • Ranking in 2013: 208
    • Language: Greek 
    • Meaning: "pebble"
    • Bible reference: books of 1st and 2nd Peter and many more
Here's another biblical mainstay that's slipping from popularity. Peter was also a major player in the New Testament and still a great namesake despite his falling popularity (due to over-popularity in years past). Spanish version Pedro is at #344

  • Simon
    • Ranking in 2013: #229
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "heard"
    • Bible reference: Mark 1:6
Simon is the apostle Peter's given name and the name of a few other men in the Bible. This is a great name with a great meaning and namesake that's been steadily rising for decades.

  • Seth
    • Ranking in 2013: #231
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "appointed"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 5:6
Seth is the third son of Adam and his outcome was better than his brothers. I love the way Seth sounds and the meaning "appointed" is well, meaningful. However, Seth has been on a steady decline for the past several years.

  • Zion
    • Ranking in 2013: #236
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning:  "highest place"
    • Bible reference: Joel 3:16
This poetic name for Jerusalem is one of the place names featured on this list and probably the most important place name in the Bible. It sounds cool and edgy but I don't really care for it on a boy or a girl.

  • Israel
    • Ranking in 2013: #245
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "wrestles with God"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 32:28
Israel is another important place name but this one did belong to a person first. God gave Jacob this name after a wrestling match and it turned out to be an appropriate title for the nation of Jacob's decedents. Israel has a lot going for it, including the cool nickname Izzy.


  • Stephen
    • Ranking in 2013: #252
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "laurel crowned"
    • Bible reference: Acts 6:8 and others
Stephen is a great namesake and has a meaning to aspire to but I've never cared for the sound. Plus, because of its former popularity it feels dated and is on its way down.

  • Judah
    • Ranking in 2013: #265
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "praised"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 29:35
Judah is a name on the rise. Judah was a man with some problems in his life but he made a turn around. The tribe of his descendants was the tribe that ruled the southern kingdom of Judah and would eventually be the tribe that Jesus came from. Shorter version Jude is much higher on the list, though.

  • Felix
    • Ranking in 2013: #296
    • Language: Latin
    • Meaning: "happy"
    • Bible reference: Acts 23:24
This delightful little name has a happy sound and meaning. The biblical Felix was a Roman official who never converted to Christ (that we know of) so the namesake is not as solid.

  • Jared
    • Ranking in 2013: #305 
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "flowing downward"
    • Bible reference:Genesis 5:20
Jared is a suave but strong name but it's on its way down. Jared experienced its peak popularity in 1998 but it's been yo-yoing for years so maybe it's not downward forever.

  • Titus
    • Ranking in 2013: #316
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "titan" 
    • Bible reference: book of Titus and others
Titus is another biblical name packed with strength and on the rise. In the Bible Titus was a missionary who was mentored by Paul so I think the namesake is solid.

  • Messiah
    • Ranking in 2013: #334
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "anointed one"
    • Bible reference: John 1:41
I knew that this name was getting some attention but I was surprised to see it on the list, especially this high. This wasn't anyone's given name in the Bible but a title that referred to Jesus. We often use the Greek term that is equivalent to Messiah, which is Christ. I'm not sure how I feel about this being used as a name...


  • Nehemiah
    • Ranking in 2013: #346
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "comforted by God"
    • Bible reference: book of Nehemiah
I'm a little surprised to see Nehemiah on the list and especially in the top 500. It's a solid biblical name with a great meaning that belong to the man who helped organize the rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem after some of the Jews returned from exile. Another interesting fact about Nehemiah is that it comes with the adorable (yet fish-y) nickname of Nemo.

  • Julius
    • Ranking in 2013: #347
    • Language: Latin
    • Meaning: "youthful"
    • Bible reference: Acts 27:1-6 and others
The name Julius is found in the Bible and not in reference to Julius Cesar who was already dead by the time Christ was born. Julius in the Bible was a Roman soldier who showed kindness to Paul. Julius is a powerful name with an ancient flair.



  • Gideon
    • Ranking in 2013: #370
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "wood cutter"
    • Bible reference: Judges 6 and following
I've heard of Gideon getting plenty of attention lately. It's been rising steadily out of near obscurity in the last 13 years. I was curious to see how many Gideons were born in 2013 and the number was 830 little Gideons. The biblical Gideon was someone whom God used despite his flaws. I wish the last things we heard about him in the Bible were more positive. Gideon has a super-cool sound. The meaning "wood cutter" is so-so. Some have tried to give Gideon the implied meaning of warrior but the most authentic meaning is wood-cutter. I predict Gideon will continue to climb and will become a leading Bible name in the years to come.

  • Abram
    • Ranking in 2013: #375
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "exalted father"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 15:1
I was a little surprised to see Abram on the list and it's been steadily rising for decades. Abram was Abraham's name before God changed it. It comes with the great nickname Bram.

  • Philip
    • Ranking in 2013: #386
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "lover of horses"
    • Bible reference: Acts 8:36
Philip is another biblical mainstay but if you think about it, it has quite a unique sound. There were two different biblical Philips and both were leaders in the early church.

  • Darius
    • Ranking in 2013: #412
    • Language:  Persian
    • Meaning: "to possess"
    • Bible reference: Daniel 6:25 and others
Darius was one of the kings that Daniel served under. Darius was kind to Daniel. This name takes on a kingly quality because of its namesake but it also comes with the option of the nickname Darry.

  • Solomon
    • Ranking in 2013: #424
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "peace"
    • Bible reference: 1 Kings 3:6
Solomon was the 3rd king of Israel, writer of a few psalms and books of the Bible, and  the wisest man who ever lived. Unfortunately, despite his wisdom, he made some bad choices. I still think this is a worthy name for a boy today.

  • Cyrus
    • Ranking in 2013: #436
    • Language: Persian
    • Meaning: disputed meaning, possibly "throne"
    • Bible reference: Isaiah 44:28
Cyrus is quite the interesting biblical character. He was the king that allowed the Jews to return to their homeland after 70 years in captivity. The prophet Isaiah prophesied about him by name many years before he was ever born---before the Jews were even in captivity. Cyrus is a powerful name with the charming nickname possibility "Cy".

  • Saul
    • Ranking in 2013: #439
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "prayed for"
    • Bible reference: 1 Samuel 26:25; Acts 26:14
There are two notable Sauls in the Bible: the first king of Israel and Saul of Tarsus, better known as the apostle Paul. Saul had a lot of issues as king and Saul of Tarsus was an enemy of the church until Jesus appeared to him and changed his life. During most of the better parts of his life, he was known as Paul. Saul looks and sounds cool but I have mixed feelings about this name.
  • Deacon
    • Ranking in 2013: #441
    • Language: Greek
    • Meaning: "servant"
    • Bible reference: 1 Timothy 3:10
Deacon isn't anyone's name in the Bible but someone who serves in the church. Many modern parents think it makes a great given name, probably because of it's cool sound.

  • Moses
    • Ranking in 2013: #468
    • Language: Egyptian
    • Meaning: "drawn out of the water"
    • Bible reference: Exodus 2:10
Moses was a major figure in the Bible who had one of the most special relationships with God that we have recorded. However, the name Moses hasn't achieved major popularity in recent years, gaining it's highest spot on the list in the late 1800's.






  • Adriel
    • Ranking in 2013: #470
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God is my master"
    • Bible reference: 1 Samuel 18:19
This is an unusual Old Testament name that has risen from near obscurity in the last eleven years. It's been a quick rise for Adriel, possibly on the much more popular (but unrelated) Adrian's coattails. Adriel has a great meaning but not a lot is known about the biblical Adriel other than he was Saul's son-in-law. The real question is will Adriel continue to rise or will it fizzle out?

  • Uriel
    • Ranking in 2013: #482
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God is my light"
    • Bible reference: 1 Chronicles 15:5
What I have to say about Uriel is this: it has a fantastic meaning but I can't stand the sound of any of the Uri names.

  • Uriah
    • Ranking in 2013: #539
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "The Lord is my light"
    • Bible reference:
Uriah and Uriel are basically counterparts and my opinion on it is about the same: great meaning but I don't like the sound of any of the Uri names. There was more than one Uriah in the Bible but the most famous one was the strong and righteous man who was part of David's mighty men. He was a great man but David committed adultery with his wife and eventually orchestrated his death, making his story kind of tragic. Urijah (found at #755) is also in some versions of the Bible.

  • Asa
    • Ranking in 2013:  #554
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "healer"
    • Bible reference: 2 Chronicles 14:1
Asa is a super cool name with a great sound and meaning. Asa was a good king of Judah, at least for a little while. Unfortunately, he wasn't such a good king at the end of his days.

  • Matthias
    • Ranking in 2013: #610
    • Language: Aramaic version of Hebrew Matthew
    • Meaning: "gift of God"
    • Bible reference: Acts 1:26
Matthias was a faithful disciple who was chosen to become and apostle to replace Judas in the book of Acts. Matthew has been highly used for decades so maybe it's time to give Matthias a try. Nicknames include the obvious Matt and the more unique Thijs (pronounced tice or thice). My last name (Thys) is actually based off of Thijs, a form of Matthias.

  • Eden
    • Ranking in 2013: #643
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "place of pleasure, delight"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 2:15; 2 Chronicles 31:15
Eden was a very important place name in the Bible but also a briefly mentioned person's name. The one time we see it as a person's name it is for a male but maybe because of the picture I have of the garden of Eden, it feels like a girl's name to me. Like I said before, though, I don't think that either gender can make a definitive claim on a place name.

  • Samson
    • Ranking in 2013: #671
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "sun"
    • Bible reference: Judges 16:12, Hebrews 11:32
Despite its cool sound, this is a name that I have mixed feelings about. Samson was a man that god used mightily but so little of what have recorded displays a positive example. On the bright side, Samson is mentioned in the "hall of faith" in Hebrews 11.

  • Zechariah
    • Ranking in 2013: #680
    • Language: Hebrews
    • Meaning: "the Lord remembers"
    • Bible reference: book of Zechariah and others
I love this name because of it's awesome sound, but mostly because of the powerful truth of it's meaning. The more common variation of this name, Zachary, has been much more popular in recent memory, coming in at #73. Variant spelling Zacheriah, is more commonly used as well. It's at #398.

  • Augustus
    • Ranking in 2013: #688
    • Language: Latin
    • Meaning: "respected"
    • Bible reference: Luke 2:1 and others
Augustus is a name on the rise. It hasn't gotten as much attention as it's getting now since the 1940's. Lately parents have focused more on the simpler version Austin (#65---formerly top 10). Even more recently, parents have caught on to August (#319). The meaning "respect" is a desired attribute and I like Augustus's clunky-but-cool sound. As for the Augustus in the Bible, it refers to Caeser Augustus, who was the Roman emperor when Christ was born.

  • Elisha
    • Ranking in 2013: #694 
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God is my salvation"
    • Bible reference: 2 Kings 2:12 and others
Elisha is right on trend and would be more appealing if it weren't for the fact that it could be mistaken as a girls name. Some pronounce it the same as Alicia.

  • Amos
    • Ranking in 2013: #778
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "carried by God"
    • Bible reference: book of Amos
Amos was a prophet and a book of the Bible bears his. The meaning "carried by God" is fantastic! Some aren't in favor of the sound and there are no obvious nicknames but I think Amos is a great name!

  • Cain
    • Ranking in 2013: #784
    • Language: Hebrew 
    • Meaning: "acquired"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 4:5 and others
In my opinion the only thing this name has going for it is it's cool, edgy sound. The meaning is so-so and the namesake is not so awesome. However, the extreme mercy God showed to Cain gives me hope.

  • Thaddeus
    • Ranking in 2013: #797
    • Language: Aramaic
    • Meaning: "gift of God"
    • Bible reference: Mark 3:18; Matthew 10:3
Thaddeus was one of Jesus's 12 apostles. "Gift of God" is one of my favorite name meanings and Thaddeus comes with nickname possibilities of Thad or Tad.

  • Misael
    • Ranking in 2013: #801
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "who is like God?"
    • Bible reference: Daniel 1:9
This name is related to Michael and in most English translations it's spelled Mishael. The spelling Misael is most often used by Spanish-speakers but at least one English translation spells it this way so I included it. 

  • Abdiel
    • Ranking in 2013: #802
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "servant of God"
    • Bible reference: 1 Chronicles 5:15
This obscure Bible name is only mentioned in one verse but it still managed to find it's way onto the top 1000 list in the US. The meaning is solid but the b and the d together feels a little too clunky to me.

  • Justus
    • Ranking in 2013: #811 
    • Language: Latin
    • Meaning: "just"
    • Bible reference:Acts 18:7
This is one of my favorite names on the list. It's meaning and sound are both awesome! There was more than one man called Justus in the New Testament but none have much written about them.

  • Jair
    • Ranking in 2013: #820
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "he shines"
    • Bible reference: Judges 10:3
There is more than one Jair in the Bible but the most notable is one of the Judges of Israel. Personally, I'm not a fan of the sound. Jairo is also on the list.

  • Azariah
    • Ranking in 2013: #834
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "helped by God"
    • Bible reference: Daniel 2:7 and others
There is more than one Azariah in the Bible as well. The one that we hear the most about is one of Daniel's faithful friends who survived the fiery furnace.

  • Enoch
    • Ranking in 2013: #836
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "dedicated"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 5:24
Enoch was an amazing man who was dedicated to the Lord---so much so that God took him to heaven without dying. He's for sure a worthy namesake.

  • Jadon
    • Ranking in 2013: #868
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "God has heard"
    • Bible reference: Nehemiah 3:7
This is a name that has climbed the charts! However, it's fading from popularity in this, it's authenic biblical form. Other forms such as Jaiden, Jaden, and Jayden are much more popular. Jayden is even in the top ten. Personally, I think Jadon is the only attractive version of this name. Other versions look a little too feminine to me. The biblical Jadon is only mentioned once in the Bible as a man that helped rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah's time.


  • Jedidiah
    • Ranking in 2013: #872
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "beloved of the Lord"
    • Bible reference: 2 Samuel 12:25
I think Jedidiah has one of the best meanings and name stories in the Bible. God gave of the David and Bathsheba's son Solomon a second name---Jedidiah, which means "beloved of the Lord".  Jedidiah and it's nickname Jed might sound a little backwoods-y to some but another option could be the ultra-cool Jedda.

  • Hezekiah
    • Ranking in 2013: #889
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "the Lord gives strength"
    • Bible reference: 2 Chronicles 29:20
Hezekiah is one of favorite people in the Bible and I always wondered why more people didn't name their kids after him. He had his struggles but he was one of Judah's very few good kings. As far as nicknames go, there's Zeke (Hezekiah and Ezekiel are counterparts) as well as Kiah or Kai/Ky/Ki.






  • Reuben
    • Ranking in 2013: #898
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "behold, a son!"
    • Bible reference: Genesis 29:32
Reuben was Jacob and Leah's firstborn. He was meant to be the leader of his family but he sinned against his father and was cast off by him. What Reuben does have going for it is it's cool sound.


  • Jericho
    • Ranking in 2013: #930
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "moon"
    • Bible reference: Mark 10:46 and others
Jericho was the name of an important biblical city that was destroyed and rebuilt in Bible times. Jericho has a fashionable meaning and sound.

  • Ephraim
    • Ranking in 2013: #972
    • Language: Hebrew
    • Meaning: "fruitful" 
    • Bible reference: Genesis 41:52, Hosea 11:3 and others
Ephraim is an attractive biblical name that's simliar in sound to the ultra-popular Ethan. Ephraim was one of Joseph's sons and his decendents became the half-tribe of Ephraim. After the kingdom divided, Ephraim became another name for the northern kingdom of Israel, which turned away from God quicker and more fully than the southern kingdom did. Throughout many of the books of prophecy, God begs Ephraim his child to return to him. Despite some of the sad things about its history, I think Ephraim makes a good name, Ray being a possible nickname.


Whew! That was a long list! Despite the fact that these names have been around for thousands of years, these names still hold quite the appeal for modern parents. As you can see, there are many, many Bible names that have gained popularity in the US but there are still more that remain under the radar. Soon, I'll be working a a list of girls names and a list of boys names that are not featured in the top 1000. Those list will just include some of my favorites because it would take much too long to do comprehensive ones! I hope you enjoyed this boys list! If you missed the girls list, go check it out!


Which biblical names do you like? Which ones did you use? Are there any you would like to see used more? Let me know in the comments! Happy naming!


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2 comments

  1. My brother's name is Asher and he is certainly a happy kid! Although he's 13 so maybe I should say "happy young man."

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  2. Thanks for linking up and sharing with us at Funtastic Friday. Hope you join us again this week.

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