Biblical names being used by non-religious parents?

What are your thoughts on non-religious parents using names heavily associated with the Bible, such as Ephriam and Ezra?

Would you automatically assume their parents were Christian and would you find it weird if their parents were in fact atheists? Or do you think names are just names, regardless of where they come from?


Sorry, I should have made the question clearer for some. I'm not really referring to common Biblical names such as Jacob or Rebecca. I'm talking more about the obsecure, unusual ones you rarely hear

25 Answers

  • Best Answer

    I would say they were deeply religious - Christian or Jewish, not just Christian, you know. Most of those names are Hebrew in origin.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Names are names.

  • Right now, it wouldn't really surprise me if non-Christian (even atheist) parents chose a more obscure Biblical name, since Biblical boys' names really are coming back into fashion. As of 2006, Ethan, Noah, Gabriel, Elijah, Caleb, Isaiah, Isaac, and Jeremiah were all in the top 100 boys' names. Twenty years before, the only one of these in the top 100 was Gabriel, and that one just barely made it at slot #96.

    In my experience, though, the less-common Biblical names are mainly used by fairly conservative Christian families. If I met someone whose children were named Ephraim, Judah, and Keziah, I would guess that person was probably Christian or Jewish (or Mormon or some other variation). Chances are, I would be correct.

    I think parents should choose names that have meaning to them, and meaning is present not only in the literal denotation of a name, but also in its cultural connotations. An atheist parent might like that the name Ezra means "help," but it still seems an odd choice given the name's clearly biblical roots -- unless of course that atheist parent is a fan of Ezra Pound or has a grandfather named Ezra.

    It would also strike me as strange if Christian parents named their child something like Ashtoreth (the Phoenician goddess of love, war, and fertility) unless they had some other connection to the name. Oddly enough, though, it doesn't seem as strange for Christian parents to name their children after Greek gods and goddesses, perhaps because Western art, literature, and culture has been so influenced by Greek mythology. It would strike me as a literary rather than religious choice.

    Interesting question!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No I would not assume that the parents are religious and I would see no problem with a non-religious parent using a more obscure Biblical name. I might be little surprised if they're atheists only because I'd assume they'd purposely choose names that have no link to the Bible (even common names like Rebecca).

    Source(s): A Christian/Religious person.
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 4 years ago

    Robert. William. Max. Christopher. Ross. Leonard. Colin. Damien. Dexter. George. Henry. Edward. Todd. Bradley. Dylan. Gordon.

  • 1 decade ago

    Some names tend to be used by certain relgions more than others. But if you go with names from the old testament they could be christian or jewish names. Some religious names, such as Michael, are used by lots of people. If you like a name, just go with it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm an atheist and I like Ephriam and Ezra and names like that. I live Hebrew names, so no, I don't automatically think the person is highly religious.

  • 1 decade ago

    You'd be surprised at how well a name that was chosen by a parent unknowly matches that person's personality. I think it's fun to look up the meaning of people's names to test that theory. Like the name Bridgette means strong and that she is. The name Wendy means gracious and that I am. You should check it out sometime. Perhaps those parents may have just liked the sound of the name, but it's amazing how accurate it turns out to be.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think for non-chrisitan parents they think the name sounds pretty, or is diffrent, or when they looked the name up liked the meaning.

    I think for Christian parents the name would have a deeper meaning, and maybe named their child because they liked the qualitite that the person poseesed OR they though it sounds pretty...

    i would not assume if someone name their child Joesph that they were of any relgion.

  • 1 decade ago

    My little brother's name is Noah, my family is Catholic but we're not heavily Catholic. I don't think my parents used Noah because it was religious or because it had Biblical meaning.

    Many names associated with the bible are beautiful, and people may choose them just for that reason, not because they are a certain religion.

    I believe names are names, as simple as that.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.