Theophoric name


Theophoric name

:"See technical note on viewing special characters."

A theophoric name (Greek: "bearing a deity") embeds the name of a god, both invoking and displaying the protection of that deity. Instances of theophoric names embedding Apollo, will be familiar among the many men named "Apollonios" or "Apollodorus" in Greek Antiquity.

Theophoric names were also exceedingly common in the Ancient Near East and Mesopotamia, where the personal name of an individual included the name of a god in whose care the individual is entrusted. The practice, called in onomastics theophory, refers to this naming convention of adding a god's name (or the local equivalent of the generic term for "god") to an individual's proper name.

Judaism and biblical

The name of God that appears in Hebrew biblical texts as יהוה transliterates as YHWH,(For more information about the pronunciation of יהוה see Tetragrammaton, Jehovah and Yahweh)

Here, "-hh" at the end of a word means Hebrew "h" with mappiq, showing that that 'h' must be pronounced and is not a mater lectionis.

Among the Biblical names that have developed this way are:
Referring to God:
*El: Elizabeth: Hebrew Elisheva = "my God is an oath" or "my God is abundance"
*El: Samuel: "his name is El"
*El: Michael: "Who is like God?"
*YHWH /Yahweh: Jonathan (Hebrew Yônāṯān or Yehônāṯān: "who Yahweh gave"
*YHWH: Jesus: Ye·shu′a‛ or Yehoh·shu′a‛: “Yahweh/Jehovah Is Salvation”.

Referring to other gods:
*Yam: Abijam: "my father is Yam"
*Zedek: Melchizedek: "My king is Zedek"
*Nabu: Nebuchadnezzar (in Babylonian Nabu-kudurri-usur)
*Baal: Ishbaal: "man of Baal".

Theophoric names in Baal were sometimes "censored" as "-bosheth" = "shameful one", whence Ishbosheth etc.

Some names could be controversial political statements: "Beliah" can mean "Baal is Yahweh", "Jael" and "Elijah" can mean "Yahweh is El" (and vice-versa, respectively), while "Jabin" can mean "Yahweh is the son".

Theophoric names with "Yeho" or "Yo" prefixes or "Yah" or "Yahu" suffixes

"The name of the Israelite deity YHWH (usually shortened to Yah or Yahu) appears in many theophoric names of the First Temple Period, e.g., Yirme-yahu (Jeremiah), Yesha-yahu (Isaiah), Netan-yah, Yedid-yah, Adoni-yah, Nekhem-yah.

"Yahū" or "Yehū" is a common short form for "Yahweh" in Hebrew names; as a prefix it sometimes appears as "Yehō-". In former times that was thought to be abbreviated from the supposed pronunciation "Yehowah". There is nowadays an opinion [http://members.fortunecity.com/yahuwthah/Resource-577/AnsonLetter.htm] that, as "Yahweh" is likely an imperfective verb form, "Yahu" is its corresponding preterite or jussive short form: compare "yiŝtahaweh" (imperfective), "yiŝtáhû" (preterit or jussive short form) = "do obeisance".

However, the name Judah (Yehūdah) is not an example: here the "ye-" is a verb imperfective prefix, and the name means "He adds [a son to my family] ". Some other examples of "y-" in biblical Hebrew names are also verb imperfectives.

"Yeho" prefixes changed to "Yo" prefixes

In the table below, 13 theophoric names with "Yeho" prefixes have corresponding forms (in bold type) where the letters "eh"' have been omitted. There is a theory by Christian Ginsburg that this is due to Hebrew scribes omitting the "h", changing Jeho (hebrew|יְהוֹ) into Jo (hebrew|יוֹ), to make the start of "Yeho-" names not sound like an attempt to pronounce the Divine Name. [Christian Ginsburg, Introduction To the Massoretico-Critical Edition Of The Hebrew Bible, p 369] and [http://www.lamblion.net/Articles/ScottJones/jehovah1.htm]

Table of theophoric names with "Yeho" and "Yo" prefixes

[Note that theophoric names with "hebrew|יוֹ" [i.e. "Yo"] are written in bold letters.]

Strong's #Hebrew wordStrong's Transliteration
Strong's Words Compounded
English Spelling

3059

Hebrew|יְהוֹאָחָז

Yehow'achaz

Jehovah & achaz [# 270]

Jehoachaz

3099

Hebrew|יוֹאָחָז

Yow'achaz

"a form of 3059"

Joachaz

3060

Hebrew|יְהוֹאָש

Yehow'ash

Jehovah & 'esh [# 784]

Jehoash

3101

hebrew|יוֹאָש

Yow'ash

"a form of 3060"

Joash

3075

hebrew|יְהוֹזָבָד

Yehowzabad

Jehovah & zabad [# 2064]

Jehozabad

3107

hebrew|יוֹזָבָד

Yowzabad

"a form of 3075"

Jozabad

3076

hebrew|יְהוֹחָנָן

Yehowchanan

Jehovah & chanan [# 2603]

Jehochanan

3110

hebrew|יוֹחָנָן

Yowchanan

"a form of 3076"

Jochanan

3077

hebrew|יְהוֹיָדָע

Yehowyada

Jehovah & yada [# 3045]

Jehojada

3111

Hebrew|יוֹיָדָע

Yowyada

"a form of 3077"

Jojada

3078

Hebrew|יְהוֹיָכִין

Yehowyakiyn

Jehovah & kuwn [# 3559]

Jehojakin

3112

Hebrew|יוֹיָכִין

Yowyakiyn

"a form of 3078"

Jojakin

3079

hebrew|יְהוֹיָקִימ

Yehowyaqiym

Jehovah & quwm [# 3965]

Jehojakim

3113

hebrew|יוֹיָקִימ

Yowyaqiym

"a form of 3079"

Jojakim

3080

hebrew|יְהוֹיָרִיב

Yehowyariyb

Jehovah & riyb [# 7378]

Jehojarib

3114

hebrew|יוֹיָרִיב

Yowyariyb

"a form of 3080"

Jojarib

3082

hebrew|יְהוֹנָדָב

Yehownadab

Jehovah & nadab [# 5068]

Jehonadab

3122

hebrew|יוֹנָדָב

Yownadab

"a form of 3082"

Jonadab

3083

hebrew|יְהוֹנָתָן

Yehownathan

Jehovah & nathan [# 5414]

Jehonathan

3129

hebrew|יוֹנָתָן

Yownathan

"a form of 3083"

Jonathan

3085

hebrew|

Yehow'addah

Jehovah & 'adah [# 5710]

Jehoaddah

3087

hebrew|יְהוֹצָדָק

Yehowtsadaq

Jehovah & tsadaq [# 6663]

Jehotsadak

3136

hebrew|יוֹצָדָק

Yowtsadaq

"a form of 3087"

Jotsadak

3088

hebrew|יְהוֹרָם

Yehowram

Jehovah & ruwm [# 7311]

Jehoram

3141

hebrew|יוֹרָם

Yowram

"a form of 3088"

Joram

3092

hebrew|יְהוֹשָפָט

Yehowshaphat

Jehovah & shaphat [# 8199]

Jehoshaphat

3146

hebrew|יוֹשָפָט

Yowshaphat

"a form of 3092"

Joshaphat

Table of Theophoric names with "Yah" and "Yahu" suffixes

Strong's #Hebrew wordStrong's Transliteration
Strong's Words Compounded
English Spelling

3470

hebrew|יְשַׁעְיָה

Yesha'yah

yasha [# 3467] & Yah

Jeshajah

3470a

hebrew|יְשַׁעְיָהוּ

Yesha'yahuw

yasha [# 3467] & Yahu

Jeshajahu

5418

hebrew|נְתַנְיָה

Nethanyah

nathan [# 5414] & Yah

Nethanjah

5418a

hebrew|נְתַנְיָהוּ

Nethanyahuw

nathan [# 5414] & Yahu

Nethanjahu

138

hebrew|אֲדֹנִיָּה

'Adoniyah

'adown [# 113] & Yah

Adonijah

138a

hebrew|אֲדֹנִיָּהוּ

'Adoniyahuw

'adown [# 113] & Yahu

Adonijahu

452

hebrew|אֵלִיָּה

' Eliyah

'el [# 410] & Yah

Elijah

452a

hebrew|אֵלִיָּהוּ

' Eliyahu

'el [# 410] & Yahu

Elijahu

3414

hebrew|יִרְמְיָה

Yirmeyah

ruwm [# 7311] & yah

Jirmejah

3414a

hebrew|יִרְמְיָהוּ

Yirmeyahuw

ruwm [# 7311] & yahu

Jirmejahu

5166

hebrew|נְחֶמְיָה

Nechemyah

nacham [# 5162] & yah

Nechemjah

Greek, Roman and Christian names

*The name "Christopher" literally means "Christ-bearer"
*Theodore/Theodora means "gift of God" [http://www.lgpn.ox.ac.uk/names/developments.html]
*Dorotheus/Dorothea means "gift to God"
*Theodosius/Theodosia, Theodotos/Theodotē and Dositheus/Dosithea mean "God-given"
*Theophilus (Greek), Amadeus (Latin), Gottlieb (German) and Bogumił (Polish) mean "one who loves God"
*Theognis means "god-knowing"
*Theophanes means "manifestation of God"
*Theophrastus means "godly speech"
*Theaetetus means "one who pleads to God"
*Fürchtegott (German) means "fear God"
*Martin for the Roman god Mars

Some Christian saints have polytheistic theophoric names (such as Saint Mercurius, Saint Saturninus, Saint Hermes, Saint Martin of Tours).

Islam

"Abdul" names

"Abd" (= slave or servant) added to a name of Allah or one of his attributes.In Classical Arabic any of these names can be pronounced as "Abdul-" or "Abdal-" or "Abdil-" according to grammatical position in the speech.The most common are the first two:

Other Islamic names

*Asad-u-Allah (name)
*Saif-u-Allah (name) nickname for Khalid bin al Walid

*Habibur-Rahman
*Najibul-rahman
*Amatul-Laah
*Waliul-Laah
*Rooh-Allah

Islamic names which some think are faulty

*‘Abdal Rasoul (name) means "slave of the prophet", a misnomer according to orthodox Muslim thinking, some change the name to Abd-Rab-Ar-Rasoul to mean "slave of the Lord of the prophet".
*Examples in Arabic name#Common mistakes

Hinduism

Most traditional Hindu names honor Hindu gods or goddesses. Often, the same name is ascribed to multiple deities.

External links

*http://www.ancientneareast.net/religion mesopotamian/cult ritual/names theophoric.html Theophoric names: bibliography
* [http://www.lgpn.ox.ac.uk/names/developments.html Lexicon of Greek Personal Names]
* [http://www.edofolks.com/html/pub119.htm Ogden Goelet, "Moses' Egyptian Name"]
* [http://www.jewish-languages.org/onomastics.html Jewish onomastics]
* [http://www.slate.com/id/2179082/ When Can Muslims Use the Name Mohammed?: Plus, why don't English speakers name their children Jesus?] by Michelle Tsai

Technical note

The Hebrew-alphabet and Greek-alphabet text in this article may be displayed in some browsers at a size too small for clarity; printing the article out, or cutting-and-pasting text from the web-browser into a word processor and increasing the font size, may help. Some browsers also have a text- or pagezooming feature.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • theophoric — adjective contains the name of a deity. Elizabeth is still a common theophoric name, even though is becoming less well known …   Wiktionary

  • name — namer, n. /naym/, n., v., named, naming, adj. n. 1. a word or a combination of words by which a person, place, or thing, a body or class, or any object of thought is designated, called, or known. 2. mere designation, as distinguished from fact:… …   Universalium

  • theophoric — adj. bearing the name of a god. * * * theophoric, ous, physical see theo …   Useful english dictionary

  • theophoric — [θɪə fɒrɪk] (also theophorous) adjective bearing the name of a god …   English new terms dictionary

  • Zechariah (given name) — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Zechariah imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = Male meaning = God has remembered region = origin = Hebrew related names = Zachary, Zacharias, Zack, etc. footnotes = The male given name Zechariah is derived …   Wikipedia

  • Wajid (name) — Infobox Given Name Revised| name = Wajid | imagesize = | caption = pronunciation = wa JEED gender = Male | meaning = Finder region = Muslim world | origin = Arabic related names = Wajida (feminine) footnotes = Wajid is a family name and male… …   Wikipedia

  • Shahid (name) — wiktionary|Shaheedwiktionary|ShahidShahid or Shaheed is a a Muslim theophoric name, from Ash Shaheed (الشهيد), one of the 99 names of God in the Qur an. As a male given name it is common among Muslims, being also one of the names given to… …   Wikipedia

  • Arabic name — The tughra (stylized signature) of Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire. Influenced by Arabic culture, Ottoman rulers had stylized their names in the Arabic way, as depicted in this signature. Long ago, Arabic names were based on a long naming system; …   Wikipedia

  • Yeshua (name) — For the article on the person, teaching, and acts of Jesus Christ, see the Jesus article. For information on the various adherents to the religious teachings of Jesus, see the articles on Christianity and Messianic Judaism. For the article on the …   Wikipedia

  • List of Arabic theophoric names — This is a list of Arabic theophoric names.Islamic names Abdul namesThe following names are derived from the word Abd (= slave or servant ) added to a name of Allah or one of His Glorious attributes. In Classical Arabic, any of these names can be… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.