Barnabas – Name Meaning

The name Barnabas is a biblical name derived from the Aramaic language. It is composed of two elements, “bar” meaning “son” and “naba” meaning “prophet”. The name Barnabas is often translated as “son of prophecy” or “son of encouragement”.

In the Bible, Barnabas was an early Christian leader who accompanied Paul on his missionary journeys. He was known for his generosity and courage in the face of adversity. He was also a great encourager to those around him, which is why his name has come to mean “son of encouragement”.

The name Barnabas has been popular throughout history, especially among Christians. It has been used as a given name since at least the 16th century and is still popular today. In the United States, it ranked in the top 500 baby names in 2019.


The name Barnabas symbolizes courage, generosity, and encouragement. It is a reminder that we should be willing to stand up for what we believe in and help others when they are in need. It also encourages us to be kind and supportive to those around us.

Famous People Named Barnabas

There have been many famous people throughout history who have borne the name Barnabas. Some notable examples include:

  • Barnabas Collins – a fictional character from the television series Dark Shadows
  • Barnabas Kelechi Ibe – Nigerian footballer
  • Barnabas Dungu – Ugandan politician
  • Barnabás Szőke – Hungarian actor


The name Barnabas is not particularly common in the United States but it does have some popularity in other countries such as Hungary, Nigeria, and Uganda. In 2019, it ranked #478 in baby names in the United States.

By Ava Isabella Hartley

Ava Isabella Hartley is a renowned expert in the field of onomastics, the study of names and their meanings, with a particular focus on baby names. She holds a Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge and has over 15 years of experience in the study of etymology, name trends, and cultural naming practices.

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