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A theophoric name (from Greek: , theophoros, literally "bearing or carrying a god") embeds the name of a god, both invoking and displaying the protection of that deity. For example, names embedding Apollo, such as Apollonios or Apollodorus, existed in Greek antiquity.
Theophoric personal names, containing the name of a god in whose care the individual is entrusted (or a generic word for god), were also exceedingly common in the ancient Near East and Mesopotamia. Some names of theophoric origin remain common today, such as Theodore (theo-, "god"; -dore, origin of word compound in Greek: doron, "gift"; hence "God's gift"; in Greek: Theodoros) or less recognisably as Jonathan (from Hebrew Yonatan/Yehonatan, meaning "Yahweh has given").
Rarely, Germanic names contain the element Wod (such as Woðu-riðe), potentially pointing to an association with the god Odin. In connection, numerous names containing wulf "wolf" have been taken as totemistic, expressing association with Odin in the earliest period, although -ulf degenerated into a mere suffix from an early time (Förstemann 1856).
Some traditional Hindu names honor Hindu gods or goddesses. Often, the same name is ascribed to multiple deities.
It is not uncommon to find Hindus with names of gods. Shiva, Krishna, Ganesh, Durga, Radha, and Sita are all names of Hindu gods or goddesses as well as being personal names for Hindus. Hindu gods themselves have multiple names, so it is not always apparent if an Indian name is the name of a god or not.
In later times, as the conflict between Yahwism and the more popular pagan practices became increasingly intense, these names were censored and Baal was replaced with Bosheth, meaning shameful one. However the name Yahweh does not appear in theophoric names until the time of Joshua, and for the most part is very rare until the time of King Saul, when it began to be very popular.
The name of the Israelite deity YHWH (usually shortened to Yah or Yahu, and Yeho or Yo) appears as a prefix or suffix in many theophoric names of the First Temple Period. For example, Yirme-yahu (Jeremiah), Yesha-yahu (Isaiah), Netan-yah, Yedid-yah, Adoni-yah, Nekhem-yah, Yeho-natan (Jonathan), Yeho-chanan (John), Yeho-shua (Joshua), Yeho-tzedek, Zekharya (Zechariah).
"Yah?" or "Yah" is the abbreviation of YHWH when used as a suffix in Hebrew names; as a prefix it appears as "Yeh?-", or "Yo". It was formerly thought to be abbreviated from the Masoretic pronunciation "Yehovah". There is an opinion that, as Yahweh is likely an imperfective verb form, "Yahu" is its corresponding preterite or jussive short form: compare yi?tahaweh (imperfective), yi?táhû (preterit or jussive short form) = "do obeisance".
However, the name Judah (Yeh?dah) is not an example. The name Judah, comes from the root word Yadah = Yud-Dalet-Hey, which means "praise". The letter Yud is also a prefix pronoun in Hebrew, thus not every name or word beginning with Yud or Yud-Hey is theophoric.
In the table below, 13 theophoric names with "Yeho" have corresponding forms where the letters eh have been omitted. There is a theory by Christian Ginsburg that this is due to Hebrew scribes omitting the "h", changing Jeho () into Jo (), to make the start of "Yeho-" names not sound like an attempt to pronounce the Divine Name.
|Strong's #||the name||other element||English conventional form|
|long form||short form||long form||short form||long form||short form|
|3059||3099||?||Y?how'achaz||Yow'achaz||achaz [# 270]||Jehoachaz||Joachaz|
|3060||3101||Y?how'ash||Yow'ash||'esh [# 784]||Jehoash||Joash|
|3075||3107||?||Y?howzabad||Yowzabad||zabad [# 2064]||Jehozabad||Jozabad|
|3076||3110||?||Y?howchanan||Yowchanan||chanan [# 2603]||Jehochanan||Jochanan|
|3077||3111||?||Y?howyada||Yowyada||yada [# 3045]||Jehojada||Jojada|
|3078||3112||Y?howyakiyn||Yowyakiyn||kuwn [# 3559]||Jehojakin||Jojakin|
|3079||3113||Y?howyaqiym||Yowyaqiym||quwm [# 3965]||Jehojakim||Jojakim|
|3080||3114||Y?howyariyb||Yowyariyb||riyb [# 7378]||Jehojarib||Jojarib|
|3082||3122||?||Y?hownadab||Yownadab||nadab [# 5068]||Jehonadab||Jonadab|
|3083||3129||?||Y?hownathan||Yownathan||nathan [# 5414]||Jehonathan||Jonathan|
|3085||--||?ְ?ַ?ָּ?||Y?how'addah||--||--||'adah [# 5710]||Jehoaddah||--|
|3087||3136||?||Y?howtsadaq||Yowtsadaq||tsadaq [# 6663]||Jehotsadak||Jotsadak|
|3088||3141||Y?howram||Yowram||ruwm [# 7311]||Jehoram||Joram|
|3092||3146||?||Y?howshaphat||Yowshaphat||shaphat [# 8199]||Jehoshaphat||Joshaphat|
|3470a||3470||Y?sha'yahuw||?||Y?sha'yah||yasha [# 3467]||Jeshajahu||Jeshajah|
|5418a||5418||N?thanyahuw||N?thanyah||nathan [# 5414]||Nethanjahu||Nethanjah|
|138a||138||'Adoniyahuw||?||'Adoniyah||'adown [# 113]||Adonijahu||Adonijah|
|452a||452||?||'Eliyahu||'Eliyah||'el [# 410]||Elijahu||Elijah|
|3414a||3414||Yirm?yahuw||Yirm?yah||ruwm [# 7311]||Jirmejahu||Jirmejah|
|--||5166||--||--||N?chemyah||nacham [# 5162]||--||Nechemjah|
Some names might be controversial theological statements: Bealiah could mean Baal is Yahweh and Elijah could mean Yahweh is El (and vice versa, respectively). On the other hand, as traditionally understood, these names simply mean "YHWH is Master" and "YHWH is God."