Alphabet 5--Spelling of Biblical Names

Many Biblical names are spelled and pronounced differently in Russian. If you take a name from the English Bible and apply these rules to it, you can make a fair guess at its Russian spelling.


Rule NumberRule
1change j to и
2change b to в
3change th to ф
4 drop final -us or -as from all names except Jesus. If a vowel is left, add й
5change final -ah to just -а
6change u to в or у
7change w to й
8drop any remaining h except in Jehovah where it changes to г
9change ph to ф


English NameRussian NameRules Applied
JehovahИегова1, 5, 8
MatthewМатфей3, 7
MatthiasМатфей3, 4
Saul (king)Саул6
Saul (Paul)Савл6
PaulПавел6
Surgius PaulusСергей Павел4, 6
RuthРуфь3
ThomasФома3, 4?
JoshuaИисусswitch to Septuagint form, 1
NicolausНиколай4
StephanСтефан9
JohnИоанн
JehoshaphatИосафат1, 8, 9
JehuИиуй1, 8
BabylonВавилон2