🔼The name John: Summary
- Yah Is Gracious, Yah Has Been Gracious
- From (1) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord, and (2) the verb חנן (hanan), to be gracious.
🔼The name John in the Bible
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 Johanan was quite popular in ancient Israel, and the Greek name John, or rather Ioannes, subsequently shows up quite a few times in the New Testament (132 times, to be precise; see full concordance). There are five or six different Johns mentioned in the New Testament:
- John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1)
- John the Apostle (Matthew 4:21) who may or may not be the same as John the Revelator (Revelation 1:4)
- The father of Simon Peter (John 1:42).
- A Levite of high-priestly descent (Acts 4:6).
- A man also known as Mark (Acts 12:12). Peter averts to his mother Mary's house after the angel walks him out of prison.
🔼Etymology of the name John
The name John, or rather the Hebrew original, Johanan, consists of two elements. The first part is יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which is the truncated form of יהוה, which is YHWH, the Name of the Lord.
The final part of the names John and Johanan comes from the verb חנן (hanan), meaning to be gracious:
The verb חנן (hanan) means to be gracious or to favor. Nouns חן (hen), חנינה (hanina), תחנה (tehinna) and תחנון (tahanun) mean favor or grace. Adverb חנם (hinnam) means freely or gratis, and adjective חנון (hannun) means gracious.
For a meaning of the name John, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Has Been Gracious, but for Johanan NOBSE 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.