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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: "heard by God"
  • El: Michael: "Who is like God?"
  • El: Emmanuel/Immanuel: "God is with us"
  • El: Gabriel: "strong man of God"
  • El: Israelmarker: ...
  • YHWH /Yahweh: Jonathan (Hebrew Yônāṯān or Yehônāṯān: "who Yahweh gave"
  • YHW: Joshua: Anglicized version of the Hebrew name Yahu·shu′a‛: “Yahu Is Salvation” (Jesus is the Anglicized version of the Greek transliteration (ιησους/Iesous) of "Joshua").


Referring to other gods:

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

Some names might be controversial theological statements: Bealiah could mean Baal is Yahweh and Elijah could mean Yahweh is El (and vice-versa, respectively). On the other hand, as traditionally understood, these names simply mean "YHWH is Master," and YHWH is God."

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, and Yeho or Yo) appears as a prefix or suffix 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, Yeho-natan, Yeho-chanan, Yeho-shua, Yeho-tzedek.

"Yahū" or "Yah" is the abbreviation of "YHWH" when used as a suffix in Hebrew names; as a prefix it appears as "Yehō-", or "Yo". In former times that was thought to be abbreviated from the Masoretic pronunciation "Yehovah". There is nowadays an opinion [99351] 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 ( ) into Jo ( ), to make the start of "Yeho-" names not sound like an attempt to pronounce the Divine Name. and [99352]

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

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























































Strong's # Hebrew word Strong's Transliteration
Strong's Words Compounded
English Spelling
3059
Yehow'achaz
Jehovah & achaz [# 270]
Jehoachaz
3099
Yow'achaz
"a form of 3059"
Joachaz
3060
Yehow'ash
Jehovah & 'esh [# 784]
Jehoash
3101
Yow'ash
"a form of 3060"
Joash
3075
Yehowzabad
Jehovah & zabad [# 2064]
Jehozabad
3107
Yowzabad
"a form of 3075"
Jozabad
3076
Yehowchanan
Jehovah & chanan [# 2603]
Jehochanan
3110
Yowchanan
"a form of 3076"
Jochanan
3077
Yehowyada
Jehovah & yada [# 3045]
Jehojada
3111
Yowyada
"a form of 3077"
Jojada
3078
Yehowyakiyn
Jehovah & kuwn [# 3559]
Jehojakin
3112
Yowyakiyn
"a form of 3078"
Jojakin
3079
Yehowyaqiym
Jehovah & quwm [# 3965]
Jehojakim
3113
Yowyaqiym
"a form of 3079"
Jojakim
3080
Yehowyariyb
Jehovah & riyb [# 7378]
Jehojarib
3114
Yowyariyb
"a form of 3080"
Jojarib
3082
Yehownadab
Jehovah & nadab [# 5068]
Jehonadab
3122
Yownadab
"a form of 3082"
Jonadab
3083
Yehownathan
Jehovah & nathan [# 5414]
Jehonathan
3129
Yownathan
"a form of 3083"
Jonathan
3085
Yehow'addah
Jehovah & 'adah [# 5710]
Jehoaddah
3087
Yehowtsadaq
Jehovah & tsadaq [# 6663]
Jehotsadak
3136
Yowtsadaq
"a form of 3087"
Jotsadak
3088
Yehowram
Jehovah & ruwm [# 7311]
Jehoram
3141
Yowram
"a form of 3088"
Joram
3092
Yehowshaphat
Jehovah & shaphat [# 8199]
Jehoshaphat
3146
Yowshaphat
"a form of 3092"
Joshaphat


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

























Strong's # Hebrew word Strong's Transliteration
Strong's Words Compounded
English Spelling
3470
Yesha'yah
yasha [# 3467] & Yah
Jeshajah
3470a
Yesha'yahuw
yasha [# 3467] & Yahu
Jeshajahu
5418
Nethanyah
nathan [# 5414] & Yah
Nethanjah
5418a
Nethanyahuw
nathan [# 5414] & Yahu
Nethanjahu
138
'Adoniyah
'adown [# 113] & Yah
Adonijah
138a
'Adoniyahuw
'adown [# 113] & Yahu
Adonijahu
452
' Eliyah
'el [# 410] & Yah
Elijah
452a
' Eliyahu
'el [# 410] & Yahu
Elijahu
3414
Yirmeyah
ruwm [# 7311] & yah
Jirmejah
3414a
Yirmeyahuw
ruwm [# 7311] & yahu
Jirmejahu
5166
Nechemyah
nacham [# 5162] & yah
Nechemjah


Greek, Roman and Germanic Christian names



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

Many Polytheistic deity names are also used as Christian names, such as



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



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


Islamic names which some think are faulty

  • ‘Abdal Rasoul 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

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

External links



References




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