Calling all Christians.. Jonah for a boy

Hi everyone!

I love the name [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] for a boy. I like the sound, and I think its meaning (dove) is absolutely perfect. However, I worry that a child named [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] would read the biblical book bearing his name and be conflicted. What do you think?

Do you know any [name_m]Jonahs[/name_m]? What do they think of their name? Does it cause them to feel any sort of spiritual shame?

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I don’t know any [name_u]Jonah[/name_u]’s personally but as a [name_u]Christian[/name_u], I think that seeing your name in the Bible would get any little kid excited! It’s definitely conflicting in the beginning but I feel that by the end he’s strong in his faith and any little kid would be excited to have that name! I think every biblical figure (except [name_m]Jesus[/name_m] lol) has good and bad to their name so [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] doesn’t stand out! It’s not like you’re naming the kid [name_m]Judas[/name_m] (even though there is still a good one)!


I think it’s actually a cute name. It isn’t really a negative association, and if he didn’t like it when older he could always go by [name_m]Joe[/name_m]. I’ve only known one [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] (when he was a baby) and though the name was different, it wasn’t bad.

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Well, it’s not really a bad association. [name_f]My[/name_f] name is [name_f]Mary[/name_f] which is a pretty prominent name within Christianity. But it is always nice to know that I have a significant figure who shares my name that I can look up to or read about. The meaning is also really cool.

I agree with this! As a [name_u]Christian[/name_u], if [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] was my favorite name I wouldn’t be deterred from using it! I think it’s a name that represents growth. :slight_smile:


God used [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] in an amazing way and he is remembered as a faithful prophet of God.

The only [name_u]Jonah[/name_u]’s I know are young children so…

My son is [name_u]Benjamin[/name_u] and there is a very, um, interesting passage about some, um, very interesting things they did. He nor I batted an eye about it- even when it was preached in service.

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I don’t see any issues with it!

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I know plenty of [name_m]Jonahs[/name_m]! And yes [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] did some unsavory things but so did many bible characters who’s names are incredibly popular. [name_m]King[/name_m] [name_m]David[/name_m] committed adultery with [name_f]Bathsheba[/name_f] and killed her husband and yet we still use his name! Also [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] is a redeemable character. He makes mistakes but he repents of them and turns to [name_m]Jesus[/name_m]. I am a [name_u]Christian[/name_u] and I wouldn’t place [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] in the list of taboo [name_u]Christian[/name_u] names like [name_m]Lucifer[/name_m], [name_f]Delilah[/name_f], [name_m]Cain[/name_m] and [name_m]Judas[/name_m]. So I think your son will be fine.

Lol I just realized I said “Jesus” I meant God


Jewish people would know the Biblical story behind [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] as well.

Personally, [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] doesn’t have any negative associations. [name_u]Noah[/name_u] is really popular and he is a frustrating character, but [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] doesn’t invoke any strong feelings for me.

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I completely get where you’re coming from. [name_f]My[/name_f] hubby and I have made it a point to shy away from giving our kids biblical names that we’d have to explain our choice to with our kids.

Names like [name_m]Judah[/name_m], [name_u]Noah[/name_u], [name_m]Hezekiah[/name_m]… we’ve all considered but alas for fn purposes we’ve then nixed them for the same reasoning as yours.

I do think people on the outside won’t really care at all. [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] is one of the good guys. [name_m]Even[/name_m] [name_m]Christ[/name_m] referenced him as a means of explaining the gospel… so there is strong positive connotations. It’s not like you’re having to explain why you names your child [name_m]Ahab[/name_m] or [name_m]Abner[/name_m].

So in the end it really comes down to if it’ll bother you. And if it’ll bother you to have to make it a point so to speak to separate the good from the bad and even find the good from the “bad” and bring out the names significance that way


I thought this lovely article might give you insight further into [name_u]Jonah[/name_u]! It’s not very long.

It’s interesting that everything that happened with [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] was only 50-80 years before the Assyrian exile of [name_u]Israel[/name_u]. And then only about 150 years after that exile the city of [name_f]Nineveh[/name_f] is destroyed by Babylon as stated by [name_m]Josephus[/name_m] and also mentioned in the book of [name_m]Tobit[/name_m]. [name_m]Tobit[/name_m] actually refers back to [name_m]Jonahs[/name_m] prophecy in the book. On another interesting note commentators have mentioned that you can see [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] does care for human gentile life because he offers to throw himself in the sea to save the sailors from Gods wrath. It’s speculated that [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] knew that Assyria would be the down fall of his people and didn’t want them to be saved for that reason.

So in short I don’t think there is any shame in Jonah. It’s a wonderful name with a lot of history surrounding it in Judaism and Christianity.

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I’m a [name_u]Christian[/name_u], although I think everyone’s opinions of this question would be valid/helpful, and I see no problem with using the name [name_u]Jonah[/name_u]; it’s actually on our list, [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] us a great name!

Like others have said, all Bible characters have good and bad things to remember about them - we’re all human!

I cannot imagine any spiritual shame coming from a Biblical name. I know many [name_m]David[/name_m]’s for example, and no one is talking about how we can’t use the name [name_m]David[/name_m] because of his negative traits/decisions.

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I go to a [name_u]Christian[/name_u] School and know 2 [name_u]Jonah[/name_u]'s. One is a teacher and the other is a student. I think it’s totally fine. It’s not got as many connotations as a name like [name_m]Judas[/name_m].

I love meeting other [name_f]Marys[/name_f]. I named my daughter [name_f]Mary[/name_f] two years ago. :slight_smile:

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Jonah is fairly common (but not TOO common) now, that I think the whale might not necessarily be the first association people jump to. Go for it.

So cute! It’s especially fun when I meet [name_f]Mary[/name_f]’s who are younger than me!

I absolutely adore the name [name_u]Jonah[/name_u]! It’s one of my all time favorites. Plus, as others have said, [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] is not a negative biblical figure and his story is not only fun and exciting for a little kid, but incredibly meaningful and teaches many lessons. I think it’s a wonderful name that any child would be lucky to have!

I love a good article! thank you for such a thoughtful response!

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I think [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] is a great name. His is a story of growth and learning. Not really a negative association with the name.

I knew a little [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] from when I was served in the nursery at my church! Absolutely adorable little boy, and I don’t think anybody gave a second thought to his name. I know that [name_u]Jonah[/name_u] from the bible can be a bit easy to poke fun at, but the guy was still a prophet who communicated with God. Not a bad name to associate with!

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