What's in a name? Well, when it comes to biblical names, the answer is: plenty.

Names from the Bible have been popular as long as the Good Book has existed, and many have grown steadily in usage in recent years.

A few biblical characters made names for themselves performing miracles, like Aaron, who transformed his walking staff into a serpent and showed that he could bring on plagues of blood, frogs, and lice. Isaiah predicted the virgin birth of Christ, and Gabriel was the archangel who told the Virgin Mary the news of the Annunciation. Elijah performed miracles and upon his death was taken to heaven in a horse-drawn chariot of fire.

Some of the most intriguing namesakes are the stars of stories told generation after generation. Jonah was swallowed by a whale and sat in its belly for three days before he was hurled onto dry land. Delilah cut off her strong lover Samson's hair, rendering him powerless. Joseph was given a brightly colored coat by his father, making his brothers so jealous that they sold him into slavery and faked his death. Daniel was thrown into a den of lions, who did not eat him alive because an angel sent by God intervened.

Some names were popular in the Middle Ages, adopted by royalty and powerful popes. Others fell into disuse for centuries before they were brought back. Many have found their way into popular culture, as in the hit song "Hey Jude," the classic novel "Silas Marner," and the unstoppable Princess Leia of "Star Wars."

LOOK: The most popular biblical baby names

To determine the most popular biblical baby names, Stacker consulted the name origin site Behind the Name and the Social Security Administration's baby names database then ranked the top 50 names from Behind the Name's Biblical Names origins list of 564 names, based on how many babies had been given these names in 2019. Click through to find out which biblical names have stood the test of time.

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