Is it okay to use the name of a Greek goddess on a Christian girl?

I am [name_m]Christian[/name_m], but I love the names of Greek goddesses for girls. However, I am concerned that it goes against my religious beliefs to ever name a child the name of an unchristian deity. Is it the same as naming a child a secular name with no religious meaning (like [name_f]Emily[/name_f] or [name_f]Scarlett[/name_f]) or would it be awkward?

Thanks in advance!! :slight_smile:

(Not expecting, I just love names!:))

I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.

I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with it either. A lot of people don’t know the etymology of their names so may date back to the [name_m]Pagan[/name_m] era yet they don’t mind. If you love a name then it shouldn’t matter. I’m a [name_m]Christian[/name_m] and I absolutely love Greek goddess names! Not all of the Biblical names have great meanings either eg [name_f]Mara[/name_f] meaning bitterness so names have many dimensions so I don’t think it matters. X

Many names of Greek and [name_m]Roman[/name_m] mythology also happen to be [name_m]Christian[/name_m] saint names so I don’t think it would be a problem. We have to remember that before their conversions to Christianity, many people were pagans or worshipped gods and goddesses. I would suggest you take a look at the list of saints on the web if you’re interested and see if one jumps out at you. Personally, I wouldn’t name a child [name_f]Scarlett[/name_f] just because of the negative associations with the name (scarlet woman, scarlet fever). [name_f]Emily[/name_f] IS a saint name so that name wouldn’t be a problem for any [name_m]Christian[/name_m]. I like [name_f]Persephone[/name_f] but since she was the queen of the underworld and the daughter of [name_m]Zeus[/name_m], I would hesitate to use it. I guess it’s very subjective and it depends on your comfort level. What kind of names do people in your church choose for their children?

It’s okay in my opinion. [name_f]Athena[/name_f] is my fave Greek name. I like [name_f]Penelope[/name_f] a lot too.

I don’t see a problem with it. So many mythological and biblical names have become common place that many people probably won’t notice or care. For instance, I’m Catholic, and [name_f]Diana[/name_f] (a [name_m]Roman[/name_m] [name_f]Goddess[/name_f]) is one of my favorite picks for a girl. And if I met a [name_f]Sarah[/name_f] or [name_f]Mary[/name_f] who was nonreligious, I probably wouldn’t bat an eye.

When it comes to name - the names used in the bible were likely used before they became a [name_m]Christian[/name_m] name too and only became associated with Christianity after being mentioned in say the bible or being canonized as saints.

I don’t think it would be strictly appropriate, but I guess it depends how religious you are. You might not want to choose a name that people immediately associate with another religion.
[name_u]Artemis[/name_u], [name_f]Aphrodite[/name_f] or [name_f]Athena[/name_f] for example are major deities & make most people think of the Greek goddesses right away.
[name_f]Selene[/name_f], [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] or [name_f]Rhea[/name_f] are less commonly known deities or titans or whatever, and people don’t immediately make the connection to the mythology so those might be more appropriate choices for a religious person.

I’m a christian and I named my daughter [name_f]Lily[/name_f] [name_f]Rose[/name_f] [name_f]Athena[/name_f]. I think it’s alright to do, I just wouldn’t name my children anything with a bad meaning.

There’s nothing in the Bible that says you can’t.

I’ve always been really leery toward it. When I first really seriously got interested in names, I didn’t want to go near them at all. I felt like (and still feel like) it’s hypocritical to say that I love and follow the one God of the Universe, but that I would name my child after (what I believe to be) a false god/goddess. I like some names from Greek mythology, as much as the next person. Ariadne, Penelope, Calliope, Maia, Clio, Daphne, Thalia… but I wouldn’t use them. I just don’t feel that it’s right. But obviously some disagree with me. I’ve made an exception for Arianne (my second pick for a girl!) because it’s not Ariadne outright, and it means “very holy one”, which I think is a great meaning for a Christian. I’ve also made an exception for Penelope because, well–she’s not a goddess (not that I know of, anyway!), and because she’s in Homer’s The Odyssey and not just a collection of Greek myths, it feels more literary than just another goddess. Plus, I think she’s a great example of commitment to one’s spouse/partner, and the way she never gives up on Odysseus is a lot like the verses in the New Testament talk about supporting one’s husband.

Meh, it’s probably hypocritical, haha. I try to stay away from Greek mythology names, but I do really love Penelope, Ariadne, and Daphne, and would be most tempted to use those. I seem to keep coming back to Daphne, but it never seems to stick because I feel guilty about using it, when my faith is so obviously forefront in my life! It just doesn’t seem right to do, but if I met a little girl named Daphne or Penelope in my church, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. One of the little old ladies in my church actually has a granddaughter named Daffeny, and I’ve never thought less of her parents. I am happy to hear “Daphne” every so often, even though I greatly dislike the spelling!

When it comes down to it, I think it’s mostly just a personal choice (like many things are when you’re a Christian!). Christians are so varied on so many subjects that it’s hard to judge, especially when the Bible doesn’t have anything to say about it. I don’t really feel comfortable using a Greek mythology name, but some Christians wouldn’t even bat an eye at it. I certainly wouldn’t be offended if I came across a Persephone or an Athena or an Adonis or an Apollo within the church (although I would find it quite jarring, as they are such big names in Greek mythology!), not like I’d be offended if I came across a Messiah or a Trinity (which I do find very bothersome).

Well, it depends on how you see Greek myths. Are they simply stories, or are they lies created by Satan to mislead people? I know different sects of Christianity have different opinions. I personally don’t see anything wrong with it, and I wouldn’t hesitate to give my child a Biblical or mythological name if I really loved the name.

Speaking as a practicing [name_m]Pagan[/name_m] of the Greek pantheon, and a Priestess, this is only my community of pagans, but it might be the same for most others. I would find it weird and sort of inappropriate for you to name your child the name of a major deity. You claim to worship one god and that he’s the only god and he commanded you not to worship other gods or idols, but isn’t naming your daughter [name_f]Athena[/name_f] or [name_f]Aphrodite[/name_f] sort of against the things he wants? If I wanted to name my son [name_m]Jesus[/name_m] (said like the Christians do, not Spanish) how many Christians would tell me how wrong and inappropriate that was?

I think the lesser mythological names are better – [name_f]Penelope[/name_f], [name_f]Callisto[/name_f], [name_f]Clio[/name_f] etc – because they aren’t major deities that large groups of Pagans still worship and respect. I find it a bit disrespectful considering we aren’t using [name_m]Jesus[/name_m] and it’s the same thing.

Now, the ones that are also [name_m]Saint[/name_m] names, there’s nothing to be done there. You feel free to use the god/goddess names that are also the names of saints.

This exactly. Except I would expect people to hesitate depending upon which god/goddess’ name they chose, because what child wants to have the name of a god/goddess whom hundreds upon thousands of babies were ‘sacrificed’ to. That would be horrible. As for myself, I wouldn’t use any such name unless, as previous posters said, the name in question was also linked to a Saint and ergo, Christianity.

I am also [name_m]Christian[/name_m], though I’m not super religious but I wouldn’t have a problem naming a future child [name_f]Athena[/name_f] or [name_f]Persephone[/name_f]. I do really admire the greek myths, and I like what the deities stand for, but that doesn’t have to mean they have religious significance to me. In the end, I think you shouldn’t let it mean any more than you want it to; just a beautiful name for a beautiful child.

I am a practicing, devout [name_m]Christian[/name_m] and I feel dantea said it perfectly. I think there are a lot of Greek names not associated with the gods/goddesses that would work without naming your child [name_f]Athena[/name_f]. [name_m]Just[/name_m] my two cents.

@ashthedreamer - There was a [name_m]MALE[/name_m] saint [name_m]Arian[/name_m] , a governor of Thebes, who converted to Christianity after witnessing the martyrdom of Sts. Apollonius and [name_m]Philemon[/name_m] so [name_f]Arianne[/name_f] would be quite acceptable as the female version of his name. Come to think about it, there was also a martyr in the 2nd century named St. [name_f]Ariadne[/name_f] so I wouldn’t worry about that name either. :slight_smile:

I had hoped you’d post on this thread, dantea, because I knew you’d bring a great perspective to it.

On the worshipping other gods or idols point, I think it’s inoffensive to most Christians on this thread because we view these names as they would literary character names. In fact, Greek myths are often taught in American schools as part of literature classes, so many American Christians may come to view these deities as characters that they like, admire, and/or become fascinated with, so they might want to honor a deity like [name_f]Athena[/name_f] in that way, just like you mentioned you wanted to honor Samwise Gamgee in your Tolkien thread. [name_m]Christian[/name_m] theology isn’t really taught this way to people of all faiths, so that may be why non-Christians using [name_m]Jesus[/name_m] might seem odd or offensive to some, while Greek mythology names don’t necessarily carry that stigma because they are taught as stories and become familiar to a wide range of people from many different religions.

I think it comes down to your own personal belief on this matter. Not very helpful, but very true. If you feel that naming your child after a Greek God or [name_f]Goddess[/name_f] somehow goes against your religious beliefs - then don’t do it. However, I am not aware of any “rule” saying that [name_m]Christian[/name_m] people can not name their children with a name that was once used for a Greek God or [name_f]Goddess[/name_f]. It is similar to naming your child [name_f]Mara[/name_f], the meaning of the name is “bitter”, does that mean you think your child is bitter? Or you are bitter about you child? No, of course not!

It all goes back to you. If you were actually pregnant, I would say ponder it on your own for a bit. Consult your SO. Talk about your concerns. And then come to a conclusion together. [name_m]Just[/name_m] because you choose not to name your child [name_f]Athena[/name_f], it does not mean you feel it is wrong to do so, it just means you have decided against it for you own child. Since you are not actually pregnant, I would still say ponder it. What would you say if a person came up to you and asked about your child’s name? What would you say? What if someone asked you why you chose a name, as you are [name_m]Christian[/name_m] (though that would be INCREDIBLY rude)? What would your response to that be?

These are exactly my thoughts, I just couldn’t get them into words! :slight_smile:

My faith in [name_m]Christ[/name_m] is very very prominent in my life, so although I like the names, it just wouldn’t be right in my soul to name a child something like that.

Thanks so much, [name_u]Ash[/name_u]! I’ve been trying to vocalize my opinion on this for the longest time, and I couldn’t have said it better myself!!