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Meaning and etymology of the name John

John (=Ioannes) John

The English name John is the transliteration of the Greek name Ioannes, and the Greek name Ioannes is the transliteration of the Hebrew name Johanan.

The Hebrew name Johannan was quite popular in ancient Israel, and subsequently shows up quite a few times in the New Testament.

The Greek name John (or rather: Ioannes) occurs five or six times in the New Testament: John the Baptist (Mat 3:1); John the Apostle (Matthew 4:21) who may or may not be the same as John the Revelator (Rev 1:4); The father of Simon Peter (John 1:42); a Levite of high-priestly descent (Acts 4:6); A man a.k.a. Mark. Paul averts to his mother Mary's house after the angel walks him out of prison (Acts 12:12).

The name John or rather the Hebrew name Joanan where it came from, consists of two elements:

The first element is jah, which is the abbreviated form of the appellative YHWH, which in turn is YHWH, the Name of the Lord. Other names that start with this appellative are Jochebed and Joab).

The second part of the name comes from the verb hanan (hanan) meaning be gracious, pity, beseech, implore. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament states that this verb 'depicts a heartfelt response by someone who has something to give to one who has a need.' Derivatives are hen (hen), meaning favor, grace; hinnam (hinnam), meaning freely (for nothing); hannun (hannun), meaning gracious; hanina (hanina), favor; tehinna (tehinna), supplication.

For a meaning of the name John, NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Has Been Gracious, but for Johanan NOBS reads Yahweh Is Gracious. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names does not treat John or Johanan separately and refers to the name Jehohanan, which Jones takes to mean The Lord Graciously Gave.

Related names are Baal-hanan, Anna, Hannah, Hen, Hanan, Hanun, Hanniel, Hananel, Henadad, Hanani, Hananiah(u), Hannathon, Joanna , Johannan and Tehinnah.



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