There are some names that are always popular, John being one of them. It is an ancient name used frequently by the Jewish people. In Hebrew the name is Yehohanan and is usually translated as “God has been gracious.”
It is a popular name in the New Testament, given to five different people with varying levels of importance. Here is a brief list of them, along with a short profile.
John the Baptist
Son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, he is a relative of Jesus Christ. He preached in the desert and baptized people, including Jesus, in the Jordan river. Herod beheaded John to placate his wife, because John had condemned their marriage as adulterous.
John, father of Peter the Apostle
Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus, who said, “‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter)” (John 1:42). Little is known about Peter’s father, other than he was probably a fisherman.
John the Apostle
Commonly referred to as the “beloved” disciple, John is believed to have written the Gospel of John as well as the letters with his name in the New Testament and the book of Revelation. He may have taken the Virgin Mary into his home after Jesus was crucified.
Throughout Acts there is listed, “John whose other name was Mark” (Acts 12:12). Most identify him with St. Mark the Evangelist, the writer of the Gospel of Mark. Scholars have continuously debated over the years whether the two are identical or are indeed separate persons.
John, a member of the High Priest’s family
This person is briefly mentioned in the book of Acts at the trial of Peter, “The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family” (Acts 4:5-6).
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