🔼The name Calvary: Summary
- From the Latin noun calvaria, skull.
🔼The name Calvary in the Bible
The name Calvary occurs only once in the Bible, and only in the King James Version, which reads "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him" (Luke 23:33). Other versions of the Bible say "the place which is called The Skull," which is the proper translation of τοπον τον καλουμενον κρανιον. The other gospels also call the place where Jesus was crucified The Skull, but they additionally offer the Hebrew or Aramaic equivalent: Golgotha (Matthew 27:33, Mark 15:22, John 19:17).
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Calvary
The name Calvary is a transliteration of the Latin word calvaria, as used in the Vulgate version of the Bible. It has the same meaning as the Greek word κρανιον (kranion), namely that of skull (of a human or an animal — hence our English word "cranium").
The Hebrew noun גלגלת (gulgoleth), from whence comes the name Golgotha, also means skull, but it should be noted that to the Hebrews a skull was something completely different than what it is to us. Please see our article on the name Golgotha for an extensive discussion on this.