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Category: biblical boys’ names



New biblical boys

Yes, Noah is Number 1 in popularity and Jacob and Benjamin and Samuel are right up there too, but there’s a whole generation of new biblical boys—all as old as Methuselah—who are in line to challenge them. Some of them, like Amos and Abel, are usably familiar, while others—Hezekiah, anyone?—were considered too clunky in the recent past. Here are 12 Old Testament boy names that are moving up the popularity ladder.

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Jewish New Year

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The surprise top name for boys in 2013 was the Old Testament Noah, followed by the not so surprisingly high-on-the-list Jacob, Ethan, Daniel, Benjamin, David, Joseph, Joshua and Samuel—in other words many of the same biblical boys’ names that have been recycled for eons.

I thought that today, in commemoration of the Jewish High Holy Days, we would shake things up a bit and look at some Bible names that aren’t even in the Top 1000, but might be worthy of some consideration

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The Most Popular Biblical Names for Boys


Biblical names have always been popular for boys, and their influence has only risen in recent years.  The dozen boys’ names here all stand below the Top 20.   Eight derive from the Old Testament, three from the New, with one – Michael – figuring in both.  A half century ago, there were fewer biblical names on the boys’ Top 20 and more of those were from the New Testament.  What hasn’t changed is that all these names are well liked and have deep roots, and will serve any boy well.  The most popular biblical names for boys today, and the figures behind them, are:

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Biblical Baby Names: Why Noah now?


It seems that just about every few decades since the 1940’s, one Old Testament patriarch name has entered the popularity list’s Top 5, some lingering longer than others.  From the forties through the early eighties it was David,  joined by Joshua in 1983, Daniel for the single year 1985, Jacob ten years later– and holding first place for the past thirteen years– and Ethan (a more minor biblical figure) in 2002.

And now we have Noah, which entered the golden circle last year at Number 5.

Noah fits right into this group—like the earlier Joseph, and David, Jacob and Ethan, it’s a simple, modern-sounding  two-syllable name with a strong first syllable and softer second.  And like Joseph, David, Daniel, Joshua and Jacob, Noah comes with a dramatic narrative that’s well known to most children.

As every Sunday school alumnus knows, Noah was deemed the only righteous man of his time, singled out by God to survive the great flood sent to punish an evil world, and instructed to build an ark to save his family and all species of animals from the flood.

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Classic names are just as hot for boys as they are for girls right now—but there’s a difference. Most of the vintage boys’ names that are rising in popularity aren’t the  traditional classics like William and James, which have never been subject to the whims of fashion, or fusty Victorian vestiges like Clarence or Elmer, but are mainly names that date from further back in time.
The classic boys’ names that are hottest–and coolest–at this moment are either a) offbeat biblical choices rarely heard in modern times, or b) true classics dating from the Roman era.  Those listed below—some of which might surprise you—all feature on the official list of fastest-rising boys’ names in the past year.

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