Who was given a
NEW name by God?

Submit Bible questions, through our easy to use form,
to our team of mature Christians known as the Email Evangelists.

Question: Who was NAMED or RENAMED directly by God or Jesus Christ?

Answer: First, there are several people in the Bible who have been renamed by others for a variety of reasons. For example, as captives in Babylon, Daniel and his three friends were renamed when they were selected to serve the king. David will given the name Belteshazzar, Mishael was renamed Meshach, Hananiah was given the name Shadrach and Azariah became Abed-Nego (Daniel 1:6 - 7).

The Bible does mention a few individuals who were either RENAMED, or even initially named, by God or Jesus.

God changed Abram's name to Abraham (meaning father of many nations - Genesis 17:1-5) then changed his wife's name from Sarai to Sarah (mother of many nations - verses 15 - 16).

Jacob, the grandson of Abram (Abraham), had his name changed directly by God to Israel (meaning someone who prevails with God - Genesis 32:24 - 28).

Did God give names to children born of a PROSTITUTE?

One rather unique example of God directly naming humans was when He commanded the prophet Hosea to marry a known WHORE as a sign of Israel's sin.

When the Lord first spoke to Israel through Hosea, he said to Hosea, 'Go and get married; your wife will be unfaithful (the KJV has 'a wife of whoredoms' or a wife who is a whore), and your children will be just like her.' (Hosea 1:2)

As children were born to Hosea's "whore wife" God gave each of them names as a testament against the house of Israel (northern ten tribes). The first child, a boy, was named Jezreel, meaning that God would avenge the blood of Jezreel on the royal house of king Jehu. The second child of the whore, a girl, was called Lo-Ruhamah, since God decided to no longer be merciful to the house of Israel. The third child, a boy, was called Lo-Ammi, which generally means God no longer considered Israel his people or their God (Hosea 1:3 - 4, 6, 8 - 9).

What are the
facts about God?
Must we pray
to God using a
special name?
What are the
different titles
the Bible
gives Jesus?
Did Jesus have
a last name?
Should people be
baptized ONLY
in the name
of Jesus?
Who in the New Testament got RENAMED?

Only four people in the entire New Testament had their names changed. The scriptures tell us that Jesus renamed three of these people during his earthly ministry. Everyone is aware that Christ renamed Simon to Peter, which means a little stone (John 1:40 - 42). Not many people, however, are aware that Jesus gave the brothers John and James a rather humorous designation of 'the sons of thunder' (Mark 3:13 - 17)!

The fourth person renamed in the New Testament was Saul, who got renamed to Paul. The Bible does not state if God directly renamed Saul or not. We do know, however, that he was called Paul sometime after his baptism. Acts 13:9 is the last time Saul is mentioned in the New Testament and the first place where Saul is called Paul. The name Saul means "demanded" or "death." The name Paul means "small" or "little." (Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary).

Additional Study Materials
Important People
in the Old Testament
Important People
in the New Testament
How and when did
the apostle Paul DIE?
Bible Answers to Questions  -  Basic Articles  -  Beginners Studies  -  Pictures  -  In-Depth Articles  -  Life of Paul
Maps and Timelines  -  Prophecy  -  Reference Materials  -  Roman Empire  -  The Sabbath  -  Study by Topic
Discount Bookstore  -  FREE books