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List of names for the Biblical nameless

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This list of names for the Biblically nameless compiles names given in Jewish or Christian mythology for characters who are unnamed in the Bible itself.

Magi (1)

The Three Wise Men are given the names Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar in this late 6th century mosaic from the Basilica of Saint Apollinarius in Ravenna, Italy.

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Wives of the antediluvian patriarchs

Patriarch Wife
Cain Âwân
Seth Azûrâ
Enos Nôâm
Kenan Mûalêlêth
Mahalalel Dinah
Jared Baraka
Enoch Edna
Methuselah Edna
Lamech Betenos
Noah Emzârâ
Source: the apocryphal book of Jubilees
Appears in the Bible at: Genesis 4-5

The book of Jubilees provides names for a host of unnamed Biblical characters, including wives for most of the antediluvian patriarchs. The last of these is Noah's wife, to whom it gives the name of Emzara. Other Jewish traditional sources contain many different names for Noah's wife.

The book of Jubilees says that Awan was Adam and Eve's first daughter. Their second daughter Azura married Seth.

For many of the early wives in the series, Jubilees notes that the patriarchs married their sisters.

The Cave of Treasures and the earlier Kitab al-Magall (part of Clementine literature) name entirely different women as the wives of the patriarchs, with considerable variations among the extant copies.

The Muslim historian Ibn Ishaq (c. 750), as cited in al-Tabari (c. 915), provides names for these wives that are generally similar to those in Jubilees; however he makes them Cainites rather than Sethites, despite clearly stating elsewhere that none of Noah's ancestors were descended from Cain.

Cain and Abel's sisters

Name: Calmana
source: Golden Legend [1] which also tells stories about many of the saints
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Genesis
Name: Delbora
source: Golden Legend [1] which also tells stories about many of the saints
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Genesis

See also: Balbira & Kalmana for alternate traditions of names.

Noah's wife

Name: Naamah
Source: Middrash Genesis Rabah 23:4
Appears in the Bible at: Genesis 4:22; Gen. 7:7

Daughter of Lamech and Zillah and sister of Tubal-cain (Gen. iv. 22). According to Abba ben Kahana, Naamah was Noah's wife and was called "Naamah" (pleasant) because her conduct was pleasing to God. But the majority of the rabbis reject this statement, declaring that Naamah was an idolatrous woman who sang "pleasant" songs to idols.

See also Wives aboard the Ark for a list of traditional names given to the wives of Noah and his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Nimrod's wife

Name: Semiramis
Source: The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop  

A large body of legend has attached itself to Nimrod, whose brief mention in Genesis merely makes him "a mighty hunter before the Lord". These legends usually make Nimrod to be a sinister figure, and they reach their peak in Hislop's The Two Babylons, which make Nimrod and Semiramis to be the original authors of every false and pagan religion.

Mother of Abraham

Name: Amthlai daughter of Khrubu
Source: Babylonian Talmud Tractate Baba Bathra Chapter 5[2]
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Genesis

Lot's daughter

Name: Pheiné and Thamma
Source:
Name: Paltith
Source: Book of Jasher 19:24
[3]
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Genesis

Lot's wife

Name: Ado ( or Edith )
Source: Book of Jasher 19:24
[3]
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Genesis

Laban's wife

Name: Adinah
Source: Book of Jasher 28:28
[4]
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Genesis

Potiphar's wife

Name: Zuleika Zulaikha
Source: The Sefer Hayyashar, a book of Jewish lore published in Venice in 1625. [1]
Appears in the Bible at: Genesis 39:12

Potiphar's wife tempted Joseph in Egypt, and is the mother of Joseph's eventual wife.

Pharaoh's daughter

Name: Bathya
Source: Jewish tradition
Appears in the Bible at: Exodus 2

Pharaoh's daughter, who drew Moses out of the water, is known as Bathya in Jewish tradition.

Simeon's wife

Name: Bunah
Source: Book of Jasher Chapter 34[5] Legends of the Jews Volume 1 Chapter 6 [6]
Appears in the bible at: Genesis

Pharaoh's magicians

Names: Jannes and Jambres
Source: 2 Timothy 3:8[7], Book of Jasher chapter 79[8] Antiquities of the Jews Book 2 [9] Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ Chapter 109 [10] Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII[11] Easton's Bible Dictionary[12] The Book of the Bee Chapter 30 [13] Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. XIII [14] Legends of the Jews Volume 2 Chapter 4[15], Chronicles of Jerahmeel, Papyrus Chester Beatty XVI: The Apocryphon of Jannes and Jambres
Appears in the Bible at: Exodus 7

The names of Jannes and Jambres, or Jannes and Mambres, were well known through the ancient world as magicians. In this instance, nameless characters from the Hebrew Bible are given names in the New Testament. Their names also appear in numerous Jewish texts.

The Cushitic wife of Moses

Name: Tharbis
Source: Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Book II, Chapter 10 [16]
Appears in the Bible at: Numbers 12

Job's wife

Names: Sitis, Dinah
Source: The apocryphal Testament of Job [17]
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Job

Apocryphal Jewish folklore says that Sitis, or Sitidos, was Job's first wife, who died during his trials. After his temptation was over, the same sources say that Job remarried Dinah, Jacob's daughter who appears in Genesis.

Samson's mother

Name: Z'llpunith
Source: Babylonian Talmud Tractate Baba Bathra Chapter 5[2]
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Judges 13

Samson's sister

Name: N'shiin
Source: Babylonian Talmud Tractate Baba Bathra Chapter 5[2]
(The person of Samson appears in the Bible at Book of Judges, but a sister of Samson is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.)

Samson's son

Name: AKAMḤÊL
Source: Kebra Nagast[18]
(The person of Samson appears in the Bible at Book of Judges, but a son of Samson is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.)

Jephthah's daughter

Name: Seila
Source: Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum
Appears in the Bible at: Judges 11

The Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum falsely ascribes itself to the Jewish author Philo. It in fact did not surface until the sixteenth century; see Works of Philo.

The Witch of Endor

Name: Zephaniah
Source: A Rabbinical midrash[19]
Name: Sedecla
Source: Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum
Appears in the Bible at: 1 Samuel 28

According to a midrash on 1 Samuel 28, Zephaniah was the mother of Abner, Saul's cousin, and a military commander in Saul's army. (See 1 Samuel 14)

David's mother

Name: Nzb'th daughter of Edal
Source: Babylonian Talmud Tractate Baba Bathra Chapter 5 (folio 91a)[2]
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Samuel

The Queen of Sheba

Name: Makeda
Source: Traditional Ethiopian lore surrounding Emperor Menelik I; see the Kebra Nagast
Name: Bilqis
Source: Islamic traditions
Appears in the Bible at: 1 Kings 10; 2 Books of Chronicles 9

According to Ethiopian traditions, the Queen of Sheba returned to Ethiopia pregnant with King Solomon's child. She bore Solomon a son that went on to found a dynasty that ruled Ethiopia until the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974.

Haman's mother

Name: Amthlai daughter of Urbthi
Source: Babylonian Talmud Tractate Baba Bathra Chapter 5[2]
Appears in the Bible at: Book of Esther

New Testament

The Magi

Names: Balthasar, Melqon, Gaspar
Source: Armenisches Kindheitsevangelium [20]
Names: Balthasar, Melchior, and Caspar (or Gaspar)
Source: European folklore
Names: Hor, Basanater, and Karsudan
Source: The Book of Adam, an apocryphal Ethiopian text
Names: Larvandad, Hormisdas, and Gushnasaph
Source: Syrian Christian folklore
Appear in the Bible at: Matthew 2

The Gospel does not state that there were, in fact, three magi or when exactly they visited Jesus, only that multiple magi brought three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Nevertheless, the number of magi is usually extrapolated from the number of gifts, and the three wise men are a staple of Christian nativity scenes. While the European names have enjoyed the most publicity, other faith traditions have different versions.

According to the Armenisches Kindheitsevangelium, the three magi were brothers and kings, namely Balthasar, king of India; Melqon, king of Persia; and Gaspar, king of Arabia. The Chinese Christian Church believes that the astronomer Liu Shang was one of the wise men.

The Nativity shepherds

Names: Asher, Zebulun, Justus, Nicodemus, Joseph, Barshabba, and Jose
Source: The Syrian Book of the Bee
Appear in the Bible at Luke 2

The Book of the Bee was written by Bishop Shelemon in the Aramaic language in the thirteenth century.

Sisters/Step-sisters/Female Cousins of Jesus

Names: Maria
Source: Gospel according to Phillipus [21]
Names: Lysia and Lydia
Source: History of Joseph the Carpenter [22]
Names: Maria or Anna, Salomé
Source: Epiphanus[22]

The fact that Jesus had at least two sisters/stepsisters/female cousins is mentioned in Mark 3, 32–34 and Matthew 12, 50, though their exact number is not specified in either gospel. In addition, the various versions of Epiphanus differ on whether one of the sisters was named Maria or Anna.

Herodias' daughter

Name: Salomé (sometimes: Salome)
Source: The Jewish Antiquities of Josephus[23]
Appears in the Bible at: Matthew 14, Mark 6

Syrophoenician woman

Name: Justa
Source: Third century pseudo-Clementine homily
Appears in the Bible at: Matthew 15, Mark 7

According to the same source, her daughter was Berenice.

Hæmorrhaging woman

Name: Bernice
Source: The apocryphal Acts of Pilate
Name: Veronica
Source: Latin translation of the Acts of Pilate
Appears in the Bible at: Matthew 9:20–22

Veronica is a Latin variant of Berenice (Greek: Βερενίκη). According to the Acts of the Apostles, Veronica or Berenice obtained some of Jesus' blood on a cloth at the Crucifixion. Tradition identifies her with the woman who was healed of a bleeding discharge in the Gospel (see also: Veil of Veronica).

Samaritan woman at the well

Name: Photini
Source: Eastern Orthodox Church Tradition
Appears in the Bible at: John 4:5-42

In the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the woman at the well became a follower of Christ, was baptized, proclaimed the Gospel over a wide area, and was later martyred. She is recognized as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Damned rich man

Name: Nineveh
Source: Coptic folklore
Name: Phineas
Source: Pseudo-Cyprian, De pascha computus
Name: Dives
Source: European Christian folklore
Appears in the Bible at: Luke 16

Dives is simply Latin for "rich", and as such may not count as a proper name. The tale of the blessed Lazarus and the damned rich man is widely recognised under the title of Dives and Lazarus, which may have resulted in this word being taken for a proper name.

Woman taken in adultery

Name: Mary Magdalene
Source: Western Christian tradition
Appears in the Bible at: John 8

A long standing Western Christian tradition first attested by Pope Gregory I identifies the woman taken in adultery with Mary Magdalene, and also with Mary of Bethany.[24] Jesus had exorcised seven demons out of Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9), and Mary Magdalene appears prominently in the several accounts of Jesus' entombment and resurrection, but there is no indication in the Bible that clearly states that Mary Magdalene was the same person as the adulteress forgiven by Jesus. Roman Catholics also have identified Mary Magdalene as the weeping woman who was a sinner, and who anoints Jesus' feet in Luke 7:36-50, and while the Church has dropped this interpretation to a degree, this remains one of her more famous portrayals.

The Eastern Orthodox Church has never identified Mary Magdalene as either the woman taken in adultery, or the sinful woman who anointed Jesus' feet; rather, Orthodox sacred tradition identifies Mary Magdalene as a virtuous woman.

Name: Naomi
Source: The Spear by Louis de Wohl
Appears in the Bible at: John 8

De Wohl's historical novel tells the story of the centurion who pierced Christ's side. Named Cassius Longinus, he falls in love with a young Jewish woman named Naomi who is married to a much older rich merchant. She is convicted of adultery and sentenced to be stoned, but is saved by Christ.

The man born blind

Name: Celidonius
Source: Christian tradition
Appears in the Bible at: John 9:1-38

Pontius Pilate's wife

Name: Claudia, Procla, Procula, Perpetua or Claudia Procles
Source: European folklore; Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ (as "Claudia Procles")[25]
Appears in the Bible at: Matthew 27:19

During the trial of Jesus the wife of Pontius Pilate sent a message to him saying, "Have nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him."

The proposed names of Procla and Procula may not be names at all, but simply a form of Pilate's official title of Procurator, indicating that she was the Procurator's wife.

Thieves crucified with Jesus

Names: Zoathan and Chammata
Source: Gospel of Mark (Latin addition to the Greek text)[26]
Names: Zoatham and Camma
Source: Gospel of Matthew (Latin addition to the Greek text)[27]
Names: Joathas and Maggatras
Source: Gospel of Luke (Latin addition to the Greek text)[28]
Names: Titus and Dumachus
Source: Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour
Names: Dismas and Gestas (or, Gesmas)
Source: Acts of Pilate
Appears in the Bible at: Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23

Dismas is revered as a saint under that name by Roman Catholics.

Soldier who pierced Jesus with a spear

Name: Longinus
Source: Acts of Pilate
Appears in the Bible at: John 19:34

In tradition he is called Cassius before his conversion to Christianity.[29] The Lance of Longinus, also known as the Spear of Destiny, is supposedly preserved as a relic, and various miracles are said to be worked through it.

Man who offered Jesus vinegar

Name: Stephaton
Source: Codex Egberti, tenth century
Appears in the Bible at: Matthew 27:48

Guard(s) at Jesus' tomb

Name: Petronius
Source: Apocryphal Gospel of Peter
Names: Issachar, Gad, Matthias, Barnabas, Simon
Source: The Book of the Bee
Appears in the Bible at: Matthew 27:62–66

There is some confusion as to whether there was one guard, or more than one. It was written that Pilate gave the Pharisees permission to make the tomb as secure as possible. He also told them to "take a guard". Literally we understand it as one guard. However, contextually during the time of Roman rule, a guard refers to a guard or detail of soldiers. It is very similar to how we quantify soldiers nowadays as a platoon or a regiment or brigade.

Cleopas's companion on the road to Emmaus

Names: Nathanael, Nicodemus, Simon, or Luke
Source: European folklore
Appears in the Bible at: Luke 24:18

Some have surmised that it was indeed the author of the Gospel of Luke who is this nameless Biblical character.

See also

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Medieval Sourcebook: The Golden Legend: Volume 1 (full text)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Babylonian Talmud, Rodkinson tr., Book 7.: Tract Baba Bathra, Part I: Chapter V
  3. 3.0 3.1 Book of Jasher, Chapter 19
  4. Book of Jasher, Chapter 28
  5. Book of Jasher, Chapter 34
  6. Chapter VI: Jacob
  7. BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: 2 Timothy 3:8
  8. Book of Jasher, Chapter 79
  9. http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-2.htm
  10. Chapter 106
  11. Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII: Apocrypha of the New Testament.: Chapter 5
  12. Easton's Bible Dictionary
  13. Chapter XXX - The History of Moses' Rod
  14. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. XIII: The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.: 2 Timothy 3:1-7
  15. Chapter IV: Moses in Egypt
  16. http://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-2.htm
  17. JewishEncyclopedia.com - JOB, TESTAMENT OF:
  18. 81. How the son of SAMSON slew the son of the King of the PHILISTINES
  19. JewishEncyclopedia.com - ENDOR, THE WITCH OF
  20. Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Neutestamentarische Apokryphen. In deutscher Übersetzung: 2 Bde., Mohr Siebeck; 1999
  21. Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Neutestamentarische Apokryphen. In deutscher Übersetzung: 2 Bde., Mohr Siebeck; 1999, Vol. 1, p. 159
  22. 22.0 22.1 Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Neutestamentarische Apokryphen. In deutscher Übersetzung: 2 Bde., Mohr Siebeck; 1999, Vol. 1, p. 363
  23. http://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-18.htm
  24. Italians find 'Jesus' foot salve', Dec 10, 2008
  25. Dolorous Passion Of Our Lord Jesus Christ
  26. Nomine Zoathan et nomine Chammata; in: Codex Colbertinus, 4051 (Lat. 254), National Library, Paris
  27. Nomine Zoatham et nomine Camma; in: Codex Colbertinus, 4051 (Lat. 254), National Library, Paris
  28. Joathas et Maggatras; Codex Rehdigeranus 169, National Library, Berlin (Depot Breslau 5); facsimile: Library of the University of Basel, A. N. IV.2
  29. "Longinus", in: Johann Evangelist Stadler et al., Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon, 1858-1882 (reprint: Hildesheim, 1996)

For further reference


Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at List of names for the Biblical nameless. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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