Yohanan, Yochanan and Johanan are various transliterations to the Latin alphabet of the Hebrew male given name יוֹחָנָן‎ (Yôḥānān), a shortened form of יְהוֹחָנָן‎ (Yəhôḥānān), meaning "YHWH is gracious".

The name is ancient, recorded as the name of Johanan, high priest of the Second Temple around 400 BCE. It became the most popular Christian given name in reference to either John the Apostle or John the Baptist.


The Hebrew name was adopted as Ἰωάννης (Iōánnēs) in Biblical Greek as the name of both John the Baptist and John the Apostle.

In the Latin Vulgate this was originally adopted as Iohannes (or Johannes – in Latin, J is the same letter as I). The presence of an h, not found in the Greek adaptation, shows awareness of the Hebrew origin. Later editions of the Vulgate, such as the Clementine Vulgate, have Ioannes, however.

The anglicized form John makes its appearance in Middle English, from the mid-12th century, as a direct adaptation from Medieval Latin Johannes, the Old French being Jean. The feminine form Joanna is also biblical, recorded in the form Ἰωάννα as the name of Joanna, wife of Chuza.[1]

The form Johanan, even closer to the Hebrew original than Latin Johannes, is customarily used in English-language translations of the Hebrew Bible (as opposed to John being used in English translations of the New Testament), in a tradition going back to Wycliffe's Bible, which uses John when translating from the Greek (e.g. of John the Baptist in Mark 1:4), but Johannan when translating from the Hebrew (as in Jeremiah 40:8).

People of that name

In the Old Testament (c. 7th – 1st century BCE)

Patrilineal descent
  1. Abraham
  2. Isaac
  3. Jacob
  4. Levi
  5. Kohath
  6. Amram
  7. Aaron
  8. Eleazar
  9. Phinehas
  10. Abishua
  11. Bukki
  12. Uzzi
  13. Zerahiah
  14. Meraioth
  15. Amariah
  16. Ahitub
  17. Zadok
  18. Ahimaaz
  19. Azariah

Roman era (c. 1st century BC - 4th century AD)

Rabbinic sages

  • Johanan ben Bag-Bag, one of the tannaim (rabbinic sages), who is mentioned several times in the Talmud.
  • Johanan ben Baroka, second and third generation Jewish Tanna sage (2nd century).
  • Johanan ben Torta, rabbi of the early 2nd century (third generation of tannaim).
  • Johanan HaSandlar (c. 200–c. 300), one of the tannaim, whose teachings are quoted in the core text of Rabbinical Judaism, the Mishnah
  • Johanan bar Nappaha (died c. 279), a rabbi in the early era of the Talmud, better known simply as "Rabbi Yohanan"
  • Johanan ben Nuri, one of the tannaim of the 1st and 2nd centuries, frequently cited in the Mishnah
  • Johanan ben Zakai (c. 30–90), one of the tannaim, widely regarded as one of the most important Jewish figures in the era of the Second Temple and a primary contributor to the Mishnah

Middle ages (4th century - 15th century)

Modern period

See also


  1. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006). A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1.
  2. ^ 1 Chronicles 3:15
  3. ^ Jeremiah 42:8–22
  4. ^ 2 Kings 25:23–26, Jeremiah 43:5–7
  5. ^ Nehemiah 12:22–23
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