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What Does Your Name Mean?

By Dennis Love

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 The name Benedict Arnold will always be associated with treason and betrayal.  He was a general in the American Continental Army who fought the British during the Revolutionary War.  But in 1780, Benedict Arnold defected and turned his back on George Washington.  He then became a spy for the British and plotted a siege against West Point.  Throughout history, when people hear the name Benedict Arnold, the first word that comes to mind is the word traitor.

This is also how people remember Judas Iscariot.  Although he was a follower, friend, and disciple of Jesus Christ, Judas committed an act of high treason and became a traitor.  The Bible calls him a traitor in Luke 6:16. When Luke gives us the names of the chosen 12 disciples of Jesus, he says in Luke 6:16; “And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.”    

The Greek word for traitor means “to give over or surrender to the enemy.”  Although the name Judas will forever be associated with treason, this is not what his name originally meant.  The Hebrew name for Judas comes from the word “Judah” and it means “to praise.”  But no one will ever remember that, because Judas blew it big time.

No matter what your name is, it is very important.  My name is Dennis, and it means “follower of Dionysus.”  In Greek mythology, Dionysus was the son of Zeus.  He was also the god of fertility and wine.  Now to me, that is not important at all. I have no interest at all in Greek mythology and the gods of the Greeks.  They were pagan, and I’m a born-again Christian with a new name.  My name is a child of the Most High God.

However, my earthly name is very important.  Why?  Because what other people think of me when they hear my name mentioned does matter.  When people think of your name or hear your name mentioned, what does it mean to them?  Do words like, “Considerate, Thoughtful, Generous, Sincere, Friendly, Trustworthy, Reliable, Caring, Cheerful, Kind, and Loving, come to mind?”

What does your name mean to God, the One who knows us by name, and the One who knows us better than we know ourselves?  If it means anything other than “My Child” then it is high time to change the meaning of your name!   The Good News is God can change your name and give you a new name the instant you call out to Him and trust Him as your personal Lord and Savior.



Dr. Dennis Love is the Associational Missions Strategist for the Blue Ridge Baptist Association in McDowell County.  Dr. Love has been in full-time ministry work for 31 years.  He and his wife Vicki have been married for almost 42 years, and they have lived in Marion for almost 8 years.  They have two sons, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.  He can be reached via email at:

Read more of his articles here….