My Favorite Biblical Boys Names

IHi everyone! I'm so excited to be posting for the first time with the blog's new name:! This site is going to focus solely on baby names. All my other posts about life and faith can now be found at For this first post with the new name, I decided to talk about some of my personal favorite names from the Bible for boys. I'll do the same thing for girls soon. I wouldn't call this my list of top baby names but many of them are on that list (not going to mention which in this post). I chose 27 names for boys (in no particular order as far as favorites). It was so hard to narrow it down! I hope you enjoy hearing about some of my favorites and please share with me some of your favorites in the comments!

So it uploaded my pictures in alphabetical order so I decided to go with it. This is a long list of names so I'm going to try to keep it brief.

"God has helped"
Mentioned in Daniel 1:7
Ranked #838 in 2014 for boys

The biblical Azariah was one of Daniel's three friends (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) whose names were changed to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Even though Daniel's name was changed as well, we still call him Daniel (maybe because he was writing the book), whereas his friends are most often called by their Babylonian names.I'm sure Daniel had a reason for choosing to use their Babylonian names in his writing (maybe because that's how the people of his day would have known them...I really don't know) but I think that they deserve to be remembered by us in history by their Hebrew names, which honor the God that they so bravely served. I'm glad that Azariah has gained some popularity but I'm disappointed that it's being used for girls as well as it is exclusively a man's name in the Bible. Zar would be my choice of nicknames.

"Son of the Furrow"
Mentioned in Matthew 10:3
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

I'm so in love with this name! I've mentioned it before and I like it more every time I hear it. Nathanael/Barthomomew is one of my favorite disciples (read about him in John 1). Bart comes with some unfortunate conotations but there are a few other options foe nicknames like Barry, Tolly, Tully, Tolo, Mew, or even Bard.

Mentioned in Numbers 13:30
Ranked #35 in 2014

I have a cousin named Caleb so this name is special to me. I've always really liked the name and the character of the biblical Caleb but the ambiguous meaning (most likely "dog") is a little off-putting to me as I like to name primarily for meaning. The namesake of Caleb might make up for the lack of a strong meaning, though. I like Caleb on its own but Cal is a nickname too.

Mentioned in Judges 2:15
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Ehud is a really fun, underused Old Testament name. He has a very interesting story in the book of Judges.  I also love the meaning, especially since it is one of my husband's dreams to bring unity between churches.

God helps
Mentioned Exodus 28:1
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Eleazar is such a handsome name! The spelling Eliezer is also found in the Bible but the spelling Eleazar is what I would prefer. Eleazar was the son of Aaron who succeeded him as high priest. Zar is a cool nickname.

"God is my Father"
Mentioned in Numbers 1:9
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Eliab has such an interesting sound and would be a great alternative to Jacob and Caleb. It also has a fantastic meaning. 

"God has raised"
Isaiah 22:20
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

I just adore the name Eliakim (pn. ee-LYE-uh-keem). It's long, obscure and doesn't sound like a lot of other names (though Joaquin is a related name) but his biblical legacy is excellent and the nickname Eli makes this long name more accessible. I really like Eliakim's unique sound.

"God has taken possession of"
1 Samuel 1:1
Not in the top 1000 for 2014

Elkanah is a total guilty pleasure name of mine but I think it's totally usable. I just don't like the way that Elk and Elkan (best nicknames) sound with my last name. I would love to meet a little boy named Elkanah! Elkan can be used on its own as well. 

Mentioned in Ezra 1:7
Ranked #119 in 2014

People are really starting to take notice of Ezra lately, understandably so. Ezra has bold z sound in the middle and a soft ending, making it right on trend. I really like Ezra's meaning.

"God is my strength"
Mentioned in Luke 1:19
Ranked #24 in 2014

Gabriel is definitely a very popular name but it's one that I've loved since childhood. It could also be a subtle nod to my husband's name, Michael. Michael and Gabriel are the only angels in the Bible whose names are mentioned.

"Monument of testimony"
Jeremiah 8:22
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Gilead is a biblical place name with a distinguished sound. I really like the healing connotation that goes along with Gilead and the nickname Gil is amazing!

"The Lord's grace"
Daniel 1:19
Not in the top 1000 for 2014

Hananiah is my name crush of the moment! I used to think it was't usable because of how popular Hannah is for girls and the lack of obvious nicknames. I finally did think of a nickname that I liked and Hananiah with the nickname Hank is really awesome! You might know the biblical Hananiah by his Babylonian name Shadrach (see Azariah above).

Mentioned in Hosea 1:1
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

I love the name Hosea! It's related to the names Joshua and Isaiah but much less common. Hosea is also related to the name Jesus. In the Bible Hosea has a very interesting and unique story detailed in the book called Hosea. God has him marry a prostitute to symbolize his relationship with Israel. As far as naming a modern boy Hosea, I don't know if there's teasing potential that goes along with the biblical story or not. Hosea is a very positive character and I'm sure that less people than you'd think actually know that story. Another potential drawback is how similar it sounds to the popular name Jose. I think people might confuse Hosea and Jose pretty often. I haven't decided what I think of Hosea as a first name (middle name I think would be totally fine) but I really like it. (Please tell me your thoughts on Hosea in the comments!)

"The Lord saves"
Mentioned in Isaiah 1:1
Ranked #48 in 2014

Isaiah is a name that I loved as a teenager and I think it was even in my top spot for a while with the combination Isaiah Pierce (reference to Isaiah 53:5, "He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.) I didn't hear this name a lot ten years ago but it has shot up in popularity so I don't think I'd want to use it anymore but I still love it. I love the nicknames Izzy and Zay. I recently heard of a little boy named Isaiah who went by the nickname Ike. Ike is usually a nickname for Isaac (or Eisenhower?) but I think it works for Isaiah too given its strong I sound at the beginning.

Greek from Hebrew Jacob
Mentioned in James 1:1
Ranked #9 in 2014

James is a name that I love but it's one that I think you have to choose the name you pair it with carefully. "Supplanter" (which is an older term that means deceiver) is not a great meaning but names like Isaiah, Joshua, and Hosea (which all have to do with salvation) balance it out nicely. Names with a meaning of healing, grace or God's love would also go well. Despite the fact that it's a top ten name, it's one I wouldn't mind using. James is really a timeless name that I never get tired of.

"God is gracious"
Mentioned in John 6:14
Ranked #26 in 2014

The name John sounds very plain to most people but the writings of John in the Bible are my favorite New Testament books. I love what he says in his writings and I just love his character. I think John might work best as a middle name or as a double-barrel name. I really like the combos Alistair John or Evander John and I like John-Ezra as a double-barrel name.

"May God increase"
Mentioned in Genesis 37:2
Ranked #20 in 2014

I like Joseph a lot even though it's a very common classic name because it is a family name for me (my great-grandfather) and because I love all the Josephs in the Bible. There's Joseph in Genesis, Joseph the stepfather of Jesus, and Joseph from the book of Acts who was given the nickname Barnabas. They're all fantastic characters. I really like the nickname Joss for Joseph.

Mentioned in Jude 1:1
Ranked #162 in 2014

Jude is such an awesome one-syllable name. The book of Jude, which many Bible scholars believe was written by one of Jesus's brothers, is definitely an intriguing little book. I didn't know how I felt about it when Jude first started regaining some popularity but I've determined that I really like it. 

"Who is like the Lord?"
Mentioned in 1 Kings 22:14
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

I fell in love with the name Micaiah several years ago after reading his story in 1 Kings. He's so bold and confident in doing what God asks of him! This name is related to Michael, which is my husband's name so I think it would be a cool way to honor him. I've found that it actually is used for a woman in the Bible as well (and I've met a girl named Macaiah) but it's probably a corruption of the name Maacah. I like Micaiah on a boy with the nickname Cai!

"Gift of God"
Mentioned in John 1:47
Ranked #586 in 2014

Nathanael used to be one of my top names but I'm not loving it quite as much lately. I love the conversation between Jesus and Nathanael in John 1. Although it would probably be misspelled often, I really do prefer the biblical Nathanael spelling to the more common Nathaniel spelling. My favorite nickname for Nathanael is Nate.

"Lion of God"
Mentioned in Judges 3:9
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Othniel is such a cool, underused Old Testament gem! It has a spunky but familiar sound, a fantastic meaning, and a wonderful history as the first judge of Israel. I like the nickname Otto or Ottie for Othniel but Niel would work too.

"Friend of God"
Mentioned in Numbers 10:29
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Reuel is another underused gem with a fantastic meaning and history! For as uncommon as this name appears to be, I know two of them and they're both great associations for me. I also really love to nickname Reu. Reuel is the second R in J.R.R. Tolkien.

Mentioned in Genesis 49:10, KJV
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014 for boys

Shiloh is in the top 1000 for girls right now but I really love it on a boy. Shiloh's meaning and sound are so incredibly handsome! Sadly, its on my guilty pleasure list because the obvious nickname Shy doesn't go well with my last name.

"Loved by God" or "Lover of God"
Mentioned in Luke 1:3
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Theophilus is a grand name but I think it is very wearable for a boy of any age, especially with the nickname Theo. I really love Theophilus's meaning. 

"The Lord has remembered"
Mentioned in Zechariah 1:1
Ranked #671 in 2014

Zachary has been popular for quite some time and Zechariah is certainly making itself known on the charts. There is more than one Zechariah in the Bible and timeline wise, the new testament begins with the story of a devout priest named Zechariah (Luke 1:5). The meaning is my favorite part of this name. 

"Treasured by God"
Mentioned in Zephaniah 1:1
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

I am currently in love with the name Zephaniah! Zephaniah 3:17 is my favorite verse because it shows how much God rejoices in his people. I also love Zephaniah's meaning! Although Zephaniah is by no means popular, I think it's sound is familiar enough that it's usable. Zeph and Zephyr are really cool nickname options!

So those were a few of my favorite biblical boys names! I guess I like a mixture of common classics and some of the more obscure biblical names. This list was very hard to narrow down and I could easily do a part two! The Bible is a treasure chest full of amazing baby names, as well as the message of eternal life! 

God bless and thanks for reading!

What are your favorite biblical boys names? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. The comments on Elkanah and Shiloh made me laugh:)

  2. It's cool to see a mix of some old classics, like James, and some "underused gems" as you put it :)

  3. Thank you for sharing at Waiting on...Wednesday! I hope you have a blessed day!


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