8 Popular Baby Names Found in the Bible

(Photo: Courtesy of Niederman Family Farm)The Nativity scene at Niederman Family Farm in Liberty Township, Ohio is part of a larger display which includes approximately one million Christmas lights.

 1. Matthew

Meaning: Gift of God

- The biblical Matthew was the apostle who wrote the first Gospel. The name suddenly became very popular in the US in the 1960s, with Matts appearing on many Western (eg Gunsmoke's "Marshall Matt Dillon") and other TV shows.

2. Adam

Meaning: Son of the red earth

- As an English Christian name, Adam has been common since the Middle Ages, and it received a boost after the Protestant Reformation. Adam--a primal Old Testament name-- was revived as a 1960s cowboy name.

3. John

Meaning: "YAHWEH is gracious"

- This name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who was considered the forerunner of Jesus Christ. The second is the apostle John, who is also traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth Gospel and Revelation.

4. Noah

Meaning: rest; wandering

- Noah, the name of the Old Testament patriarch of the ark, is one of those unexpected fashion hits. It seems Noah has definitely shaken off its ancient image and is now rising rapidly up the popularity charts.

5. Sarah

Meaning: Princess

- Sarah is an Old Testament name -- she was the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac -- that is a timeless classic, as perpetually stylish as it is traditional.

6. Elizabeth

Meaning: 'God's promise', or 'my God is generous'

- Among Christians, this name was originally more common in Eastern Europe. It was borne in the 12th century by Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, a daughter of King Andrew II who used her wealth to help the poor.

7. Daniel

Meaning: "God is my Judge"

- It was the name of one of the greatest biblical heroes, with the inspiring story of the prophet whose faith protected him when he was thrown into a den of lions. Its nicknames--Danny and Dan--make it sound even friendlier, though, as with other classics, many modern parents are opting to use the name in full.

8. Mary

Meaning: 'Mother of Christ', wise woman' or 'lady'

- This is the name of several New Testament characters, most importantly Mary the virgin mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene. Due to the Virgin Mary this name has been very popular in the Christian world, though at certain times in some cultures it has been considered too holy for everyday use.