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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Bible babies

Faith-inspired names gain in popularity

Are you, or someone you know, stuck on choosing a name for a newborn? Try flipping through the index of your Bible — and venture beyond the familiar favorites of Jacob or Sarah.

Across the country, faith-inspired first names are one of the hottest trends on birth certificates today, said Linda Rosenkrantz, who has tracked Americans' name choices for more than 20 years. She's seen a growing number of parents opting for bold names found in the Bible — ranging from Asher for boys to Zorah for girls.

"Parents want to give their babies special names that reflect the kind of values they want their children to live," said Rosenkrantz, co-founder of Nameberry, a resource for baby names. "Some parents, of course, are probably giving their daughter a name like Bethany without even realizing it's in the Bible, but we're definitely seeing more of an interest in these types of names."


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