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The Christian Bible has long been a source of inspiration for people all over the world, in all facets of everyday life. The stories within are often strong reminders of how to be good people and how to live our lives according to God’s will. But the teachings of the Bible go beyond morality. The revelations from the many texts included in the Bible make themselves known in all kinds of unexpected places in everyday life. Among other things, the Bible is full of names.
Biblical names are so common in Western culture that many parents don’t even realize the name they’ve chosen for their children come from the Good Book. Christian names have long topped the lists of popular names. Some parents actively seek out Christian names for their babies, as a form of living their faith. Others look to the Bible for inspiration and something less common. Whether you’re looking for an old favorite or something unique for your new daughter, the Christian faith is a great place to start.
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This feminine-sounding Hebrew name appears in the Old Testament as a (male) soldier in King David’s army, but most parents would agree that Adina sounds much more suitable as the name for a lovely daughter. The most common meaning ascribed to Adina is “slender,” although other sources say it could also mean “delicate” or “dainty,” or “adorned.” Alternately, some say Adina could mean “voluptuous,” which is kind of the opposite but still a pleasant meaning. Whichever meaning appeals to you, there’s no denying that Adina is a beautiful name. Perhaps it’s the perfect name for your new little girl!
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The name Ariel is most commonly thought of as a female name, although in the Bible it’s the name of a male angel. Of Hebrew origin, Ariel is usually said to mean “lioness of God,” and what’s not to love about that? The name also sometimes means “light of God” or “altar of God,” meanings which would be wholeheartedly embraced by Christian parents. Ariel also is the origin of a number of variant spellings and pronunciations, such as Arielle, Ariele, or Ariela. The name is also famously associated with Disney’s The Little Mermaid movie, as well as Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.
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This lovely name, of Greek origin, is usually said to mean “blooming,” or “young shoot.” While perfect for a springtime baby, the symbolism behind Chloe is beloved by many, and the name would suit any family celebrating a new member of the family. In Greek, the name is usually spelled with a ‘K,’ and that spelling may be more familiar to many. In the Bible, Chloe was included in the New Testament, a convert of St. Paul. No matter which specific aspect of the name appeals, there’s no denying that this beautiful name is perfect for a beloved little girl.
This name is relatively popular among modern parents, currently ranking in the top 100 girls’ names (for 2019), and it’s quite possibly the most popular name that starts with the letter ‘D.’ Delilah is Hebrew in origin, and it can mean “delight,” “delicate,” “to flirt,” or “small.” Once, the name had a stigma attached to it, as Delilah was the mistress of Samson, who famously convinced him to reveal that his hair was the source of his strength. Nowadays, however, Delilah is appreciated for its overall beauty, and the name appears frequently in pop culture, through movies, songs, and even in books.
This lovely Hebrew name is often said to mean “God is my salvation” or “salvation of God,” depending on which wording you prefer. The name can be considered male or female, and while in the Old Testament it was decidedly a boy name, today it’s generally much more popular as a name for little girls. Some parents like Elisha because of it appears to be a spelling variant of Alicia, and others liken it to a shortened version of Elizabeth. No matter what aspect of the name appeals to you, there’s no denying it’s pretty, not to mention likely unique among your circle of friends.
This incredibly unusual name is Hebrew in origin, and may be recognized as an actual region in northern Israel, as well as the name of a sea. The area around the Sea of Galilee, actually, is where Jesus spent a good deal of time teaching. Galilee is sometimes said to mean “wheel,” “revolution,” or “rolling,” and the symbolism behind it — renewing, new beginnings — may strongly appeal to many parents. Despite its uncommon use as a baby name, Galilee is pretty and gentle-sounding, even a bit delicate, and would be a great fit for a beloved little girl.
The name Hannah has long been a popular one, often ranking in the top 100 in recent years. In the Bible, Hannah is the name of the mother of Samuel, and the name is one of the most popular Biblical girls’ names in the United States. The name is most commonly said to mean “grace,” although other sources say it means “favor” or “grace of God,” or even merciful. Hannah has numerous spelling variations and can be shortened to the perennial favorite Anna. And its popularity is well documented throughout popular culture, with various actresses bearing the name, as well as characters in a number of popular television shows.
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The unique name Iscah is often thought to be the origin of the more modern name Jessica, so it could be a great fit for parents looking for a fresh take on that older favorite, especially if there’s a family connection. In the Old Testament, Iscah is the daughter of Haran and the niece of Abraham, mentioned only briefly. The name is usually said to mean “anointed” or “to behold,” and while some sources say it can be a boy’s name, in its origin it’s feminine. This Hebrew name is lovely and distinctive, and would shine in any situation.
This beautiful Hebrew name means “God is gracious” or “gift from God,” and is a wonderful choice for any looking to give their daughter a strongly symbolic Christian name. Joanna is one of those names that has not been particularly fashionable in recent decades, yet has never managed to fall into complete obscurity. In the Bible, Joanna was a woman who accompanied Jesus on some of his travels. Joanna has many spelling variations — Joannah and Joanne being the most popular — and can be easily abbreviated to Jo or Anna (or Anne). This beautiful, melodic name will likely maintain some level of popularity forever, even if it doesn’t make it into the top 100 anytime soon.
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The name Josephine is usually said to be either Hebrew, French, or English, and the most commonly given meanings are “Jehovah increases” or “may Jehovah give.” Josephine is a female version of the enduringly popular boys’ Biblical name Joseph, and Josephine has long hovered near (but not quite in) the top 100 names in the United States. This old fashioned-sounding name can easily be abbreviated to the endearing Josie, and various forms of the name have appeared throughout pop culture for years, as well as being the given name of various historical figures. This beautiful name will never truly go out of style.
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Should you choose this name for your baby girl, don’t be surprised if a lot of people misspell it as “Karen”... or assume you misspelled it yourself! But Keren — spelled with two ‘e’s — is a Hebrew name, seen in the Bible as one of the daughters of Job. The name can mean “love,” “strength,” or “power.” Some sources say it means “ram’s horn” or “horn of antimony” (antimony being a substance used in cosmetics in ancient times, that may have been stored in a hollowed animal horn), but chances are you prefer one of the other meanings! This ancient take on a longstanding classic is a great choice.
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A long time ago, Lydia was the name of an area in Asia Minor; consequently, the most common meaning ascribed to the name Lydia is “from Lydia,” which wouldn’t make much sense on the surface. Lydia is also sometimes said to mean “beauty” or “a standing pool.” In the Bible, many might know the story of Lydia of Thyatira, who sold purple cloth and is believed by many to be the first European Christian convert. In pop culture, perhaps the most well-known Lydia is one of Lizzy Bennett’s youngest sisters in Pride and Prejudice, but that character’s selfish nature is no reason to disregard an otherwise lovely name. Today, Lydia remains a relatively popular female name.
For such a beautiful name, Mara has a less than appealing meaning; nearly all sources agree on the meaning being “bitter.” In the Bible, Mara is the name chosen by Naomi after the death of her husband and sons in the Book of Ruth. But please don’t let the meaning put you off! Mara, which many might consider to be a more unique spelling of Mary, is a pretty name, short and simple and hard to mispronounce. This Hebrew name could easily find new life when given to a sweet, vivacious young daughter.
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There’s a reason why Mary is such a longstanding classic name, even if it has fallen somewhat out of favor in recent years. This old-fashioned name has long been a Christian favorite, along with its many variations: Maria, Marie, Maryann, Mamie, and more. Mary is sometimes said to mean “wished for child,” while other times it means “rebellion.” Some trace the history of the name Mary back to the older Mara, and thus Mary can also mean “bitter.” Until recently, the popularity of Mary was such that it was frequently at or near the top of the charts, but even today it’s still used commonly for religious or familial reasons.
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This lovely name is thought by many to be a variation of Mara or Mary, but we think it deserves its own mention because of the bigger difference in spelling and pronunciation. In the Old Testament, Miriam was the sister of Moses, and thus there is a strong religious component for many who choose the name for their own daughter. Miriam usually means “longed for child” or “wished for child,” although some sources say it can also mean “rebellious.” The name Miriam appears frequently throughout classic literature, and many parents love the nickname options if offers: Mira, Mia, Ria.
Naamah is a gorgeous name that comes from Hebrew, and is usually said to mean “pleasantness,” “sweetness,” “grace,” or “beauty.” In the Bible, Naamah was the wife of Solomon and a daughter of King Ammon; other sources name Naamah as the wife of Noah, although the Old Testament doesn’t specifically name her. Fans of fantasy author Jacqueline Carey may also recognize the name as a prominent figure in the mythology of her books. Regardless of what draws you to the name, Naamah is a lovely name for a sweet daughter, and a relatively uncommon one at that; most people have never even heard of it, which may make it that much more desirable for some parents!
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Naomi is a classic Hebrew name usually said to mean “sweet” or “pleasant,” or sometimes “agreeable.” Naomi has been gaining on the popularity charts in recent years, and currently ranks well within the top 100 according to most sources. Naomi is a well-known figure in the Bible, who loses her husband and sons in a famine and ends up moving back to Bethlehem with one of her daughters-in-law, Ruth. In modern times, this lovely name is associated with various actresses and singers and other figures from pop culture. Some parents may prefer alternative spellings (Noemie, in French, or Noemi, in Italian), but no matter how you spell it, this name is a great one.
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Perhaps the most well-known Phoebe of modern times is the character from the television show Friends, but the name has been around for countless generations. Phoebe is initially a Greek name, but there are many who know it better due to the mention of a woman by that name in the Biblical book Romans. Phoebe is usually said to mean “shining” or “shining one,” or sometimes “brilliant” or “radiant.” There are no commonly used spelling variations, but Phoebe invites a handful of unique nicknames. This beautiful name is an excellent choice for a much loved and wished for daughter!
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Perhaps the most lovely meaning offered for the girls’ name Ruth is “compassionate friend,” although other sources say “companion,” “vision of beauty” or, simply, “friend.” A strong Christian name, in the Bible Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, the devoted one who chose to follow Naomi back to Bethlehem. In modern times, parents may choose the name Ruth for a variety of reasons beyond the fact that it’s a solid Christian name, be it as baseball fans (Babe Ruth) or even as tribute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. No matter the motivation, Ruth is a classic name that will never fully go out of style.
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As you may have been able to guess, the name Sapphira is derived from sapphire, the vibrant blue gemstone, and that’s what virtually every book and website declares the name to mean. Sapphira is Hebrew in origin, and while there is a Sapphira in the Bible, she’s not necessarily a character you’d want to name your child after; in the New Testament, Sapphira lied to God, and was punished with death. But getting past that unsavory association, the name itself is gorgeous, and one that many girls, especially those that love all things girly, would feel lucky to be blessed with.
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Sarai is a name of Hebrew origin that is usually said to mean “princess” or “my lady,” both meanings that many parents would adore to have associated with their daughter. In the Bible, Sarai is the original spelling of Sarah, wife of Abraham. Sarah has long been a popular Christian name; perhaps it’s time for the old-fashioned version to make a comeback! This lovely name comes across as unique, and it looks simply wonderful when written, with the double-vowel at the end. Sarai has steadily gained in popularity over the past few decades, but it’s still far from popular.
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Shiloh is the name of a town featured several times throughout the Old Testament, so it has a strong Christian association. Historically, Shiloh is also the name of a site in Tennessee where a major battle was fought during the Civil War. As far as modern popularity goes, the name became quite prominent when celebrities Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt gave it to their daughter, yet that prominence never actually transferred to popularity; even now, the name is nowhere near the top 100. Shiloh is usually said to mean “tranquil,” “peace,” or “abundance.” This lovely name will always be an excellent choice for a beloved daughter.
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Tabitha has not been a particularly prolific name in recent times, although it was once popular among puritans for its Biblical association. In the Bible, Tabitha was the name of a woman who was brought back to life by Saint Peter. The name is Aramaic in origin, and is almost always said to mean "gazelle," an animal long regarded as a symbol of grace. In more modern times, the best known Tabitha is likely the character from the television show Bewitched. Parents who do give this name often find it leads nicely to the nickname Tabby, which is fun and quirky.
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This strong girls’ name is Hebrew in origin and almost always said to mean “date palm tree,” an ornamental tree that represents beauty. In the Old Testament, Tamar is a name with rich history; the name appears several times, including as a daughter of King David. Many people are much more familiar with the variation Tamara, or the shortened Tamra, but the root name has a stronger, richer history and may be due for a resurgence. While the name is uncommon in America, it is incredibly popular in Israel, on of the top names. This beautiful name is well suited to any daughter.
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Vashti is a Persian name that is usually said to mean “beautiful,” “lovely,” or “best.” In the Bible, Vashti was a queen who refused to let her husband parade her about, and was deposed as a result. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that many feminists see her as an icon of sorts! The name has a warm feel, and with its straightforward spelling, it’s easy to pronounce, which is always a bit of a blessing in this age of one-of-a-kind names. A name like Vashti sounds just that unique, but modern Christian families can really appreciate what the name stands for.
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This girls’ name is usually said to mean “shade” or “shadow.” In the Book of Genesis, Zillah was one of the wives of Lamech, who was a descendent of Cain. With its strong Christian association, one would think that Zillah would be more popular, but it remains virtually unheard of; while it’s gained dramatically in the past couple of years, most baby name sites and books hardly have it on their radar, and it’s a long ways from the tops of any popularity lists. Still, those who do opt for the name love the willowy beauty of it, feeling it fitting for a sweet girl who brings refreshment to life.