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 "Yahu is gracious".
The name is ancient, recorded as the name of Johanan, high priest of the Second Temple around 400 BCE. It became, however, a very popular Christian given name in reference to either John the Apostle or John the Baptist.
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.
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 Ioon 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 Bible
- Johanan ben Joiada, a high priest mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah who is fourth in the line of high priests after Joshua the High Priest, who returned from the Babylonian captivity with Zerubbabel
- Johanan, son of Kareah, mentioned as a leader of the army who led the remnant of the population of the Kingdom of Judah to Egypt for safety after the Babylonian dismantling of the kingdom in 586 BC and the subsequent assassination of Gedaliah, the Babylon-appointed Jewish governor.
- Jehohanan, a man put to death by crucifixion in the 1st century CE, whose ossuary was found in 1968 in northern East Jerusalem
- Johanan ben Bag-Bag, one of the tannaim, who is mentioned several times in the Talmud
- 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
- 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
- Yochanan Afek (born 1952), Israeli chess player
- Yohanan Aharoni (1919–1976), Israeli archaeologist and historical geographer
- Yohanan Alemanno (c. 1435–after 1504), Italian Jewish humanist philosopher and exegete
- Yohanan Bader (1901–1994), Revisionist Zionist leader and Israeli politician
- Yohanan Cohen (born 1917), Israeli former politician and diplomat
- Yohanan Danino (born 1959), chief of the Israel Police
- Yohanan Friedmann (born 1936), Israeli scholar of Islamic studies
- Yohanan Levi (1901–1945), Hebrew linguist and historian
- Yochanan Muffs (1932–2009), American–Jewish professor of the Bible and religion
- Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern (born 1962), historian, philologist and essayist
- Yohanan Plesner (born 1972), Israeli politician
- Yohanan Simon (born 1905), Israeli painter
- Yochanan Sofer (born 1923), Rebbe (leader) of the Erlau Hasidic dynasty
- Yochanan Vollach (born 1945), Israeli former footballer and businessman
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