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BIS LIVES Blog

Unique and Usable Biblical Baby Names

girl names from the bible boy names from the bible

Chilly weather does wonders for bringing couples together. It’s no wonder that the month with the highest number of births year after year is September, followed closely by August and July. This means that in the coming months, thousands of couples will be on the hunt for that perfect name for their newest bundle of joy!

Bible names consistently show up on the Top 100 Baby Names list. Who doesn’t love names like “Luke,” “Noah,” and “Sarah”? They’re classics for a reason! Not only do they roll off the tongue easily, they also bring to mind incredible men and women of God. It’s no wonder Christian parents turn to the Bible time and time again for worthy monikers!

Unique and Usable Biblical Baby Names

Despite the goodness of the classics, sometimes people want something that is both faith-inspired and unique.

For that reason, we’ve sifted and searched for Bible names you aren’t likely to hear on a daily basis. You won’t find any of these on the list of top 100 baby names!

Biblical Girl Names and Their Meaning

  • Abilene //  A city with connections to John the Baptist (Luke 3:1). Abi (pronounced ay-bee) is a catchy alternative to Abby.
  • Abra // A soft, dainty version of the conventional Abram and Abraham.
  • Ariel // Forget mermaids, the name means “Lion of God” and is a symbolic name for Jerusalem (Isaiah 29:1, 29:2, and 29:7).
  • Bilhah // The handmaid of Rachel who mothers two of Jacob’s sons (Gen 29:29; 46:25). “Billi” would make a sweet nickname for a “bashful” little girl (which is what the name means in Hebrew).
  • Cana // The place where Jesus performed his first public miracle (John 2:1-11); the name is smooth, pleasant, and feminine.
  • Carmel // A place of great Biblical importance. It’s where Elijah slew the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18) and also where Elisha raised a mother’s son back from the dead (2 Kings 4:25-37).
  • Cilicia // Sounding similar to Cecilia, Cilicia (suh-lihs-ee-ah) was a Roman province where St. Paul was born (Acts 9:30).
  • Delilah // She was loved by Samson but betrayed him (Judges 16). Are we going to let one person ruin a perfectly “delightful” name? Even the name Judas was redeemed by St. Jude. We’ll let you decide…
  • Elisheva // Pronounced “eh-lee-shev-uh,” she was Aaron’s wife (Exodus 6:23). The common nickname is “Shevi” (pronounced like the car).
  • Galilee // A place central to Jesus’ public life. It comes with the modern and powerful nickname of “Gal.”
  • Jubilee // Every fiftieth year was to be consecrated as a Jubilee year (Leviticus 25:1-4, 8-10). There were feasts and celebrations, but even more graces and blessings. A little girl with this name is sure to bring about a lot of merriment! Plus, “Jubi” is a cute nickname.
  • Junia // Imprisoned alongside St. Paul and referred to as “prominent among the apostles” (Romans 16:7). The name can be shortened to “Juni.”
  • Keilah // A city which was rescued from the Philistines by King David (1 Samuel 23:1); it’s pronounced, “kay-lah”.
  • Keziah // A daughter born to Job after his suffering (Job 42:14). Pronunciation options include “KEE-zee-ah,” “KEE-szhah,” “KEZ-ee-ah,” and “keh-ZYE-ah.” Regardless of which you choose, it comes with the adorable nickname, “Kizzy.”
  • Lois // An oldie, but a goodie! Plus, vintage names and comic books are making a comeback. Biblically speaking, it’s the name of Timothy’s grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5).
  • Mara // After losing both her sons and her husband to untimely deaths, Naomi uses this name to refer to herself because it means “bitter” (Ruth 1:20). If you tie this story to the truth of the Beatitude, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4), the name takes on a beautiful and redemptive meaning.
  • Martha // She may have a bad rap from her first appearance in the Gospel, but Martha shows amazing faith and comprehension of Jesus’ ministry after the death of her brother (John 11:23-30).
  • Moriah // The name of the mountain on which Abraham intended to sacrifice Isaac; it is the same place that Jesus was crucified generations later (Genesis 22).
  • Olive // The Mount of Olives is where Jesus’ Agony in the Garden occured (Luke 22:39-44).
  • Phoebe // A disciple of Christ and friend (pun-intended) of St. Paul; she delivered his letter to the Romans (Romans 16:1-2).
  • Priscilla // A strong woman who risked her life for St. Paul (Romans 16:4). The name is considered uptight by some and elegant by others (including Tolkien, as it was the name of his only daughter).
  • Selah // A term used 71 times in the Bible, always at the end of a psalm, denoting a breath or pause, but also a finality and everlasting affirmation of the truth proclaimed.
  • Tirzah // The exotic name of both a city and a woman. The city was majestic, conquered by Joshua, and loved by King Solomon (Joshua 12:24, Song of Solomon 6:4). The woman was one of five sisters who helped to bring about a change in the hereditary law of Moses (Numbers 26:33).
  • Zibiah // A princess of Judah. Her son Joash became king and did  “that which was right in the sight of the Lord all his days…”, which says something about her own mothering skills and virtue (2 Kings 12:1, 2 Chronicles 24:1). “Zibi” is a sweet sounding nickname for any little gal.
  • Zilpah // Leah’s handmaid who mothers Jacob’s sons, Gad and Asher.

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Biblical Boy Baby Names and Their Meaning

  • Abel // This name comes with the popular abbreviation “Abe”; Abel’s heart was oriented towards worship and gratitude (Genesis 4:1-16).
  • Abner // A general in King Saul’s army (2 Samuel 3), this name is suitable for fans of King David and baseball alike.
  • Amos // He was a minor prophet in the kingdom of Judah and a true social justice warrior.
  • Bezer // A city of refuge (a place where a person who accidentally killed another could flee and not be put to death under Mosaic law). Thus the name is a reminder both of justice and mercy, and comes with the cool nickname of “Bez”.
  • Crispus // He was head of the synagogue at Corinth before being baptized by St. Paul, Crispus went on to become the Bishop of Chalcedon, and then later, a canonized Saint (1 Corinthians 1:14).
  • Darius // One of the kings of Babylon during the time of Daniel (Daniel 11:1).
  • Elon // Elon was a judge of Israel. Very little is known about him besides his name and the fact that he existed (Judges 12:11-12).
  • Erastus // Talk about a masculine sounding name! Erastus was a public official in Corinth before become a disciple of Paul (Acts 19:22, Romans 16:23).
  • Gad // This name means “good luck” and carries lots of strength. He was the son of  Zilpah and Jacob, had seven sons of his own, and his descendants were strong warriors. They were responsible for guarding the north-eastern border of the Promised Land—no small feat (Genesis 49:19).
  • Gideon // A name growing in popularity among Christian circles, the man was a reluctant prophet and judge who grew in faithfulness and humility (Judges 6-8).
  • Hezekiah // A righteous King of Judah; God saved his kingdom from the Assyrian exile by sending the angel of death to kill 185,000 soldiers. “Hez” and “Ki” are short and hip options for nicknames (2 Kings 19:35).
  • Jared // The great great grandfather of Noah (Genesis 5:15). This name is a little more common to the ear than the others on the list.
  • Joah // An alternative to the popular names “Noah” and “Jonah”. Quite a few “Joahs” can be found throughout the Old Testament.
  • Malchus // Had his ear cut off by St. Peter and then restored by Christ (John 18:10). The fact that John mentions him by name in the Gospel could indicate that Malchus became a Christian himself, but there is no other evidence to support that belief.
  • Micah // The name of an important minor prophet and a popular choice for many parents. It nearly makes the Top 100 Baby Names list, coming in around 107.
  • Omar // The grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:15).
  • Phineas // “Phin” is the popular and attractive nickname for this moniker. There are three different men who don the name in Scripture, the most prominent and virtuous being Aaron’s grandson (Numbers 25).
  • Quartus // A disciple mentioned by Paul at the end of his letter to the Romans (Romans 16:23).
  • Reuben // Though it’s a friendly name with a guy-next-door kind of vibe, the name has never been super popular. Perhaps because it belonged to the eldest son of Jacob who made lots of questionable decisions.
  • Samson // A “strong” alternative to the classic “Samuel”.
  • Silas // One of the disciples of prominence mentioned multiple times throughout Acts and the Epistles. A popular name with modern-day Christians.
  • Simeon // An alternative to Simon with a little zing to it. There are two Simeons in Scripture, the son of Jacob and the prophet in the Temple at Jesus’ presentation.
  • Theophilus // An alternative to Theodore, but you still get to use the nickname “Theo.” The name is found at the beginning of Luke and Acts. It could be a person or simply a universal title for Christians as it means, “friend of God”.
  • Tiras // One of Noah’s 16 grandsons (Genesis 10:2). “Ti”—pronounced like the men’s garment—is the typical abbreviation.
  • Zebedee // With the accompanying nickname “Zeb”, this name has a strong, no-nonsense, country-southern feel. Zebedee was the father of James and John (Matthew 4:21-22).

More Faith-Centered Baby Names

If you’re looking to name your little one after a Saint and want a unique name, too, here’s that list.

What are you favorite Bible names for babies?

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Grace Bellon is a regular contributor to the BIS blog. She’s a lover of bearded men, rich coffee, cheesy puns, cuddly doggies, and Catholicism. You can find out more about her here (warned ya she liked cheesy puns).

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Noëlle Pottle
    March 22, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    I have always loved baby names, even when I was a little girl, and even though I don’t have any kids of my own yet, I love thinking about Catholic names for my future children. I’ve always loved Our Lady of Lourdes, and I was wondering if there are any baby names associated with her. Does anyone know?

  • Reply
    Melisa
    March 23, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Maybe they’re a little more common, but 3 of my favorite Biblical boy’s names are Caleb, Seth and Elijah (Elijah is especially meaningful to me as I’m a fan of the Carmelite Spirituality). These might or might not also be the names of our 3 sons. 🙂
    I also really like Tobias, but could never get my husband to agree on that one…
    Baby names are so fun to choose!
    God bless,
    Melisa

  • Reply
    Moira
    March 25, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Noëlle, I just discovered my name is linked with that particular title of Mary. It is an Irish name, but the traditional association of the name is with Our Lady of Lourdes. It is Moira.

  • Reply
    Becca
    March 26, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Not strictly Biblical, but I love the idea of a baby name coming from the home of the saint. Then you get the perks of patronage, but without having a very common name, if that’s not your style. Lots of potential with {Teresa of) Avila & (Catherine of) Siena, for example

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