Is the name John considered a Jewish/Hebrew name?

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,157
USA
Is the name John considered a Jewish/Hebrew name? Or would it maybe be considered Greek or Italian or all?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
36,304
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Well, clearly since one of Jesus' disciples was called John, and they were all Jewish...

QED.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,729
Italy, Lago Maggiore
It's Jewish as for origin. Checking around I've found out that it came from "יוֹחָנָן " [Yochanan], passing through the form "יהוחנן " [Yehochanan] from which the Greek "ioannes" ... and so on.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,729
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The definition of "Jewish name" is "polluted" by one's cultural background.

Since Christians share the Tanakh with the Jews, many names from the Jewish Bible have been adopted by the Christian culture [less or more adapted to modern languages]. This has made many Jewish names "Christians" or "Westerns" and it has limited a lot the group of "real" Jewish name from a Western-Christian perspective.

An other example: how do you consider "Matthew" at first sight? It's a Jewish name ... but probably in the modern versions [Matthew in English, Matteo in Italian ...] this is not so evident.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,764
Portugal
The definition of "Jewish name" is "polluted" by one's cultural background.

Since Christians share the Tanakh with the Jews, many names from the Jewish Bible have been adopted by the Christian culture [less or more adapted to modern languages]. This has made many Jewish names "Christians" or "Westerns" and it has limited a lot the group of "real" Jewish name from a Western-Christian perspective.

An other example: how do you consider "Matthew" at first sight? It's a Jewish name ... but probably in the modern versions [Matthew in English, Matteo in Italian ...] this is not so evident.
In Europe most of the people have Jewish names in origin or relatives with Jewish names. The Bible had a strong influence. Now I see families giving names to their sons influenced by a Soap Opera character or a football player.
 
Jul 2019
1,204
New Jersey
The name John derives from the Hebrew name Yohanan (a diminutive form of Yehohanan, which means "favored of God"). John is an anglicization of the Hellenized form of the name - hence its appearance in English translations of Greek works, such as the NT and Josephus. Traditionally minded Jews generally do not name John, as that form of the name now bears heavy Christian connotations, but I do know several individuals named Yohanan.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
36,304
T'Republic of Yorkshire
The name John derives from the Hebrew name Yohanan (a diminutive form of Yehohanan, which means "favored of God"). John is an anglicization of the Hellenized form of the name - hence its appearance in English translations of Greek works, such as the NT and Josephus. Traditionally minded Jews generally do not name John, as that form of the name now bears heavy Christian connotations, but I do know several individuals named Yohanan.
Does Yonatan have a diminutive?