Quoting Quiverfull: How Godly Is Your Name?

Quoting Quiverfull: How Godly Is Your Name? March 4, 2014

From The Christian Post: Advice on Godly names from Jim Bob Duggar and Alan Robertson (Duck Dynasty) – How Godly Is Your Name

“The Bible and God give a lot of significance to names, especially in the Old Testament days,” Alan Robertson told The Christian Post in a statement on Friday. Robertson explained that “names could signify life change – like Jacob (Deceiver) to Israel (Struggles with God) and also described attitudes and character.”

Jim Bob Duggar, patriarch of TLC’s reality TV show “19 Kids and Counting,” agreed with the importance of names, and emphasized of other significant factors in raising children as well. “I think it is important for parents to prayerfully consider what they name their child, and for that name to express what they want their child to become,” Duggar told CP in an interview on Friday.

Both Jim Bob Duggar and Alan Robertson mentioned “Jezebel” as a poor name choice for a child. “If somebody named their child Jezebel, they might have a tendency to feel rejection like they’re an outcast,” Duggar told CP. He suggested that these feelings would follow from the fact that Jezebel is “the name of somebody who had a lot of issues in the Bible.”

Duggar then contrasted Jezebel with the name Joseph.

“If their name is Joseph, I think the vision is cast for them to resist temptations and live for God and do great things,” the “19 Kids and Counting” star said.

Robertson also emphasized that the choices a person makes in life and their character is more important than their name. Nevertheless, he added, “that being said, I didn’t name either of my daughters Jezebel!”

Comments open below

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Nea

    Why am I supposed to take naming advice seriously when it comes from someone whose first and most important impulse is to ensure that NO child gets their own initials, only his? Over and over and over, only his initials, with zip thought about how that affects how the child is treated or sees him/herself.

  • Allison the Great

    This is coming from someone named Jim Bob who named his daughter Jinger and named all of his kids names that start with J. Oh dear god I can imagine the prayers that Jim Bob and creepy whispery Michele prayed as the birth of each of their billion kids approached “Dear Lord Jesus, we come to you today and ask that you give us a good name for our new son/daughter. We want to do your will , Lord Jesus, but can you please pick a name that starts with J? We want all our kids to have the same initials cuz it’s cute”

    And I love how they included the obvious “don’t name your daughter Jezebel”. I was gonna name my kid Damien… Or maybe Moldwhistle or Malwick.

  • Sounds like my excessively Catholic mom. Every time I’ve been pregnant and told her the name I picked – “What about a saint’s name?” Never mind that maybe someone’s kid will be the first St. Jezebel. And how exactly did we end up with all these saint’s names if they were all supposed to be named after previous saints? Whatever.

    What’s interesting to me is that these guys actually sound more liberal than my mom – when I told her I had picked out a strong yet tasteful Old Testament name for my son, she said – you guessed it – “What about a saint’s name?” /eyeroll

  • Joy

    Male name = good, female name = bad. Got it.

    Oh, and my Mennonite grandmother’s name was Minerva. Yep, solid Biblical name there… (Actually, in her generation, it was quite a common name.)

  • aim2misbehave

    Definitely should name a future daughter Daenerys, then, because I want her future to involve bad-assery and dragons…

  • Catherine

    This from someone who named their kid “Jinger”?

  • Nightshade

    I was surprised the first time I met a Mennonite named Minerva, wondered where the heck did they pull a pagan goddess name from, but over time found that it was indeed a fairly common name at least among the ones I came to know.

  • Trollface McGee

    Like everyone else has said, this is rich from someone who insists all his kids names start with his initials (because sperm magic power).
    I think names are important, I’m a writer so I like creating names, I like having cool sounding names but it’s important to understand that the kid, not you have to live with them so they can’t be too out there, but blah, Joseph, Mary, blah, blah so boring. I’m a Jennifer, there were 4 Jennifers in my class – so, yeah – a good mix of creative and not horrible is good.

  • Joy

    I wonder if they thought it sounded old and therefore Biblical? I was rather surprised when I found out just “who” Minerva really was!

  • bobbiperryman

    Being named “Joseph” didn’t stop my BIL from being gay (and a really great person). On the negative side: Joe Kennedy sure did do great things for God. Josef Mengele too. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, dumbass.

  • I saw somewhere that Mary was THE top name for girls from like the 1880’s through the 1950’s. Mary’s a cool namesake and all, but there’s just so MANY Mary’s out there. At least be a little creative – Miriam, Maryam – something.

  • Trollface McGee

    I saw a chart of popular names by year. And the year I was born “Jennifer” was the #1 name, so yeah, I’m all for creativity. (Just as long as they aren’t naming their kid something like Hashtag)

  • persephone

    Thank you for mentioning how creepy michelle’s voice is. It has always freaked me out. I’ve noticed a tendency of the women shown in fundagelical groups to have a similar voice. Ugh.

  • texcee

    I’m only surprised they haven’t named one of their kids Jesus, because that starts with a J.

  • texcee

    I’ve noticed how many Jim Bobs and Alans there are in the Bible. Both were common names in the Bronze Age Middle East, you know. And, for the record, I have never in my life come across any person named Jezebel. It’s not exactly something I lay awake at night worrying about.

  • texcee

    When my daughter was born in the late 80’s, I noticed that everyone seemed to be naming their daughters Tiffany or Brandy. I gave her the good old-fashioned name of Katharine. Can you guess how many girls with that or similar names were in her class? Right, there must have been half a dozen or more!

  • Carry

    My name doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible, but it’s not something I spend sleepless nights thinking about. My parents gave me my name because it sounds pretty, plus it isn’t exactly an über popular name (but it is fairly popular in Denmark). I share a name with royals, as well as a certain US ambassador to Japan, as well as a scientist who became a super deadly AI (Portal 2 spoilers!).

    Maybe I will name my child Jezebel, if she’s in an environment that won’t ostracize her just because of her name. Other names I may use (assuming I have daughters) are Emily, Lilith, as well as others.

    Jezebel is a beautiful name, it’s not like naming your kid Satan, so please don’t act like it is.

  • Madame

    Jesús is a common name in Spanish speaking countries.

  • gimpi1

    My parents didn’t think they could have kids, so when they discovered my mother was pregnant, they wanted a name that reflected how important I was to them. They wanted the initials V.I.P. (Our last name starts with a P) so they decided on Victoria Irene for a girl or Victor Irving for a boy. Glad I was born a girl:-)

    No bible-stuff. No saints names. But they did want my initials to send a message.

  • I did okay with my first two – both girls, and I gave them names that are pretty and not all that common. But with my baby boy, his name is actually in the top 50 for last year. I didn’t want to pick a name that was so popular but I was SO in love with the name I decided I didn’t care. I may come to regret that when he gets to school age and hates me for it …

  • “Victoria Irene” – very pretty!

    When I was pregnant with my second, we agreed that if she was a boy (this was before we knew she was a girl, obviously), she would be named Isaac Osiris. By the time I actually got pregnant with a boy, I was divorced and remarried – my husband, sadly, didn’t go for this name combo.

  • Plus it shortens nicely to “Jez” or “Bella” or “Jess” or “Jeza.” Lots of good nickname options.

  • gimpi1

    I love Isaac Osiris. But then I named my one-eyed grey cat Odin.

  • KarenJo12

    My sons are Andrew Nathan and Aaron Michael, chosen in large part because they were Biblical, unlike Jim Bob, Alan, and Jinger. I really liked the stories about all four characters, but mostly I wanted my sons to have easy to spell and pronounce names that communicated as little as possible about them. Their names don’t have strong connotations for anything but “parents spoke English.”

  • Trollface McGee

    Just in my classroom of 30 we had 4 Jennifers – I got to be “Jenn” another one was “Jen” and then “Jenny” and a “Jennifer” it was pretty funny. I don’t even know how many were in our entire class but it was a lot.

  • Nea

    Of course, that assumes that you don’t use the kind of monogram that puts the last initial as the big one in the middle. I know someone who had to be careful about her monograms because if they did the last-in-the-middle version, it would read B-R-A.

  • ILoveJellybeans

    Jimbob shouldn’t have an opinion on Godly baby names. He named one of his kids Jinger.

  • Allison the Great

    YES! If I decide to have kids, I am naming my daughter Arya! I want my daughter to be a tom-boyish ass kicker!
    I love the way you think!

  • Allison the Great

    It’s an exhibition of their meekness and submission. Women in that world should not even raise their voice because that is unfeminine and it to speak loudly and assertively shows that they’re stepping out of their place and they’re taking command, which is something that a woman should NEVER do. Ugh, I hate that mentality. Screw that shit! I’mma talk loud as I want.

  • Allison the Great

    That’s oh so biblical.

  • Allison the Great

    And Josef Goebbels and Josef Stalin…

  • Allison the Great

    I hate my first name, so I’ve always gone by an abbreviated form of my Middle name, which is Ally. My first name is Kelly and well, when I was growing up there would be 5 other Kelly’s in my class. It sucked.

    If by some miracle I have a massive change of heart and decide to have kids, I’ll go for a name from literature or a cool pagan name. The only traditional name that I really like is Thomas, because, well I’ve known some good people with that name, a couple of which were hotties so it makes me think of, well, hot dudes with that hot ass traditional name. I know that’s shallow but whatever.

  • Trollface McGee

    I was born in the USSR and when I came over here, they told my parents I guess that I needed an American name and told them that I could be Jennifer or Janet. My real name is Eugenia which isn’t that weird so I have no idea why they did that. And to make stuff worse, they kept my name officially as Eugenia but they spelled it in a really weird way that I, as a six year old, would have a hard time spelling so I just went with Jennifer.
    If I had kids though, I think I’d go with something from literature. I’m seeing some Hermiones these days which would be pretty cool, or maybe a little Aragorn or Arwen 🙂

  • Hannah

    Technically they did. Joshua is the Hebrew form of Yesu, Jesus is the Greek. Though given the lack of education they seem to have, they may not actually know this.

  • persephone

    exactly. And then their eyes are always weird. Sometimes it’s the thousand yard stare. Sometimes it’s as though their brains have frozen. Sometimes it’s glazed over like they’re on downers.

  • persephone

    I’ll see your Minerva and raise you two Mehitables, a Hepzibah, and two Cleopatras. Seriously, they’re ancestors of mine. The surname Starbuck also pops up. I’m kinda thinking of changing my name. Can you really get any cooler than Cleopatra Starbuck?

  • persephone

    It may have been that, or it sounded old school, or maybe they thought of it as one of those virtue names variations, sort of a neater name than Wisdom.

  • persephone

    My mother’s name is Mary, but she thought it was old-fashioned and common, so she goes by her middle name, which is a feminized spelling of a boy’s name. My grandmother hated her first name, Phoebe, so she went by an unusual nickname for her middle name. Her sisters hated their names too.

  • persephone

    I was one of three of my name in my class. It’s not a common name, but apparently it was popularized by a singer for a few years.

  • texcee

    I named my daughter Katharine Elizabeth, after Katharine Hepburn and Queen Elizabeth I, two ladies who lived their lives the way they chose and to hell with whoever objected.

  • centaurie

    While I’ve never heard Michelle’s voice, Nancy Campbell has the *exact* same voice (going by that radioprogramme the BBC once aired. It also had an interview with Vickie in it). Nails-on-chalkboard, as far as I”m concerned. Urgh!

  • Nea

    In so many pictures, I think Michelle looks like a kicked dog. She’s smiling, but her eyes tell a different story.

  • Allison the Great

    They’ve given up their right to think for themselves. Women can’t have opinions for themselves or speak assertively because they’re the weaker vessels in this world… such utter bullshit.

  • Nea

    Y’know, Andrea Yeats *was* on downers and Rusty argued that it was the doctors’ fault for not doping her enough.

  • Mel

    Or even the basic organization of having unique initials. I’m one of four kids. My mom, brother and I have the two letter initials of MR and my dad an sister are RR. (I doubt they planned that. I’m named after a woman who my mom was close to as a child. Dad liked my sister’s name. They picked my brother’s name which means strong after my other brother – who was DR – died in infancy.) Since we each had unique middle names, we just used 3 letter initials like MJR, MFR and MAR…..

    Ironically, my husband and his older brother have the exact same initials. The two of them used it to wreak havoc – ie if you can claim that snack is yours, even though it is your brothers. I really think that’s why my husband still writes his first name on everything…

  • RachelB

    I’ve got oodles of Jesses, a bunch of Graces, a Geneva, and a Zenobia in the family tree. (Can you tell which one of them was not born into the Reformed tradition?)

  • B.E. Miller

    Cleopatra Stabuck sounds like the name of an action adventuring heroine. “The Deep Space Adventures of Cleopatra Starbuck.” That sounds like a fantastic series.