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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 "Yahweh 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.


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 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[edit]

In the Bible[edit]

Ancient era[edit]

Modern period[edit]

  • 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
  • Yoichanan Nesanel Goldstein (nee - Woznika) (born 1882) Prominent Ahkenazic Rebbe of Kraków, Poland, killed in World War II (1941)

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Nehemiah 12:22-23
  3. ^ Jeremiah 42:8-22
  4. ^ 2 Kings 25:23-26, Jeremiah 43:5-7