Ang Pagpapalaganap ng Pananalig o Pananampalataya

Ang Pagpapalaganap ng Pananalig o Pananampalataya

(tungkol ito sa “chain prayer” at iba pa)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Maraming paraan ang maaaring gamitin sa pagpalaganap ng pananalig o pananamapalataya sa Diyos. Subali’t magandang gawin ito sa paraang walang karahasan o pamimilit.

 

Ang isang halimbawa ay ang ginagawa ng ISIS sa Gitnang Silangan na gumagamit ng dahas upang maisakatuparan ang hangad nilang mapalawak ang pamumuno ng “Islamic Caliphate”. Inabuso din nila ang tunay na kahulugan ng “jihad” na ginamit nilang pangbalatkayo sa pulitikal nilang layunin.

 

Ang iba naman ay gumagamit ng “literal” na kahulugan ng mga sinasabi sa Bibliya upang ipakita na malawak na ang narating sa kababasa ng nasabing libro. Hindi man lang nila naisip na ang Bibliya ay may iba’t-ibang bersiyon na ginagamit ng iba’t- iba ring relihiyon. Ang matindi pa nga ay ang sinadyang pagkaltas ng ibang bahagi ng nasabing libro upang umangkop sa layunin ng mga namumuno ng relihiyon.

 

May mga taong sumasampa sa mga bus at jeep o di kaya ay nagtitiyagang magsalita sa matataong lugar tulad ng palengke. Ang iba naman ay naghahanap ng makikinig sa kanila kaya umiistambay sa mga mall at liwasan o park tulad ng Luneta. Karamihan sa kanila ay nag-resign sa trabaho upang bigyan ng halaga ang “nararamdaman” daw nilang utos sa kanila ng Diyos, kaya ang resulta….pagtigil ng pag-aaral ng mga anak, at kagutuman ng pamilya. Ang mga nasa palengke naman ay matiyaga din, at kadalasan ay grupo sila – habang ang isa ay nagsasalita o kumakanta sa harap ng mikropono, ang mga kasama naman niya ay nakakalat hanggang sa paligid ng palengke na hindi na abot ng loud speaker, lumalapit sa mga tao habang may hawak na lagayan ng “donation”.

 

Noong wala pa ang computer, ang tawag sa daluyan ng teknolohiyang hatid ng radyo at telebisyon ay “air wave”. Ngayon naman ay may mas malawak na daluyang kung tawagin ay “cyberspace”. Kung noon ay may “air time” na binabayan ang mga maperang pastor na kung tawagin naman ay “block timer” upang magpalaganap ng mga salita ng Diyos ayon sa kanilang paniniwala, ngayon ang napakasimpleng gagawin lang ng isang tao ay magbukas ng facebook account, at presto!…mayroon na siyang venue, o outlet, o labasan ng kanyang mga saloobin.

 

Ang “facebook” naman ay para lang sana sa mga larawan ng mga magkaibigan upang maipakita nila ang  aktwal nilang hitsura o mga ginagawa lalo na ng pamilya, na maaring samahan ng maikling bagbati. Subalit dahil nakita ang lawak ng inaabot ng facebook, naisip ng mga may malakas na pananampalataya na magpalaganap ng kanilang paniniwala sa pamamagitan ng paglagay sa “frame” ng mga dasal na ginamit sa “chain” o tanikala upang marami ang marating na kaibigan. Ang nakasama ay ang “babala” o warning na kung hindi ipagpapatuloy ng nakatanggap ay may mangyayaring sakuna o kamalasan sa kanyang buhay. Ang mga may mahinang pundasyon ng pananalig ay natataranta at natatakot dahil kung minsan ang natatanggap nila ay may warning na  “dapat ay sa 50 na kaibigan” ipaabot. Kaya ang mga kawawang nakatanggap na ang kaibigan sa facebook ay wala pa ngang 10 ay  hindi na magkandaugaga sa paghanap ng iba pang tao kahit hindi gaanong kilala upang umabot lang 50 ang kanyang padadalhan! Ang iba ay hindi makatulog dahil dapat daw ay ikalat ang dasal sa loob ng 24 na oras!

 

Sa isang banda, hindi dapat ipinipilit ang pagyakap sa isang paniniwala na mula’t sapul ay ayaw ng isang tao. Hindi dapat idaan sa “chain prayer” ang pagpapalaganap ng pananalig sa Diyos, kung mismong ang nagpadala ay hindi rin gumagawa ng dapat gawin ayon sa dasal na ikinakalat niya. Paano kung ang pinadalhan ay bistado ang ugaling masama ng nagpadala? Alalahaning hindi nakokontrol ang ganitong uri ng pamamahagi o sharing at hindi maiwasang magkakabistuhan ng ugaling “plastic”. Ang mangyayari niyan, baka libakin pa ang nagpada ng “chain prayer”, ng mga pinadalhan niya dahil sa kanyang pagkukunwari. Yan ang dapat pag-ingatan sa paggamit ng “social media” tulad ng facebook.

 

At, ang pinakamahalaga….dapat alalahaning, mas malakas ang internet sa “itaas”….iba ang gusto ni Lord na mangyari, ang ipakita sa gawa at kilos ang mga Salita Niya, hindi ipakalat sa facebook na may kasamang pananakot….dahil marami nang taong pagod sa mismong pananakot ng ibang relihiyon na ang gagawa ng masama ay “mahuhulog sa nag-aapoy na impyerno”!

 

On the Value of Books, Magazines, Etc.

On the Value of Books, Magazines, Etc.

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

I just cannot understand how some people can fail to appreciate the value of books, magazines, etc. just because they are two, three or more years old. For them such materials are already outdated, so they do not deserve appreciation. The fact is, these materials, especially books can be updated while retaining their historical usefulness, hence, never outdated. Books are updated based on the old editions, and this is necessary, as some authors are found to bungle or distort facts, especially, on political issues.

 

Even for scientific and technical books that are supposed to be updated regularly due to the fast turnover of new ideas and discoveries, there is still a need to maintain old editions so that basic information will always be on hand, in case of verification.

 

The notion that hard copies of books are no longer necessary with the onset of high technology is wrong. What the cyberspace keeps in its archives are actually digitized old books and their new editions if there are, for easy reference. Important issues here are the convenience and affordability of access, as not everybody can afford the installation of computers at home or the expense for browsing in internet cafes. On the other hand, there are the so-called e-books, but such are just “versions” of printed ones. In fact, some authors venture into e-book publication first, to sell their books on-line which is easier, but still print them later, using the earnings.

 

While before, the book was considered as a precious commodity for the acquisition of knowledge, today, book publication is viewed more as a very profitable business venture. This is the reason why the questionable Philippine educational system has allowed the “conversion” of text books into workbooks with the insertion of a portion on questions and answers at the end of each chapter. This practice of the educational institutions, including government agencies, in connivance with the unscrupulous publishers and agents has made many people shamefully rich on one end, while on the other end, the parents and students suffer. In their haste for printing, some books even come off the press with so many errors. The practice no longer made possible the passing on of old books to younger members of the family, as buying new sets with unanswered questions at the end of chapters, has become necessary and a requirement of the school.

 

People love trivia. But where do all the information come from? – old books and magazines! Those found in the internet are the upload, patiently done by website owners that earn through ads squeezed in available spaces of their site’s pages, or number of viewers they generate. This is how servers and website owners in the cyberspace earn. Netizens thought that they owe a lot to them thinking that they are the originators of the information, when all these website owners do is upload information. On the other hand, the servers only provide space for these websites from which they earn enormous income.

 

I have no quarrel with the servers and website owners, but my effort here is directed at how people have been misled by thinking that because of the computers, hard copies of reading materials have become obsolete or on a kindlier view, unreliable.

 

Before the onset of the internet, students had no choice but to diligently turn the pages of books to cull the needed information for their theses. They were forced to make summaries or condense sourced materials. But because of the advance technology, some of them just “copy” and “paste” pages from sources in the internet, make minimal revisions, by deleting sentences and paragraphs, then, collate them into a “thesis”. That is the ongoing sad reality.

 

When I did a job on the side editing theses of students from a reputable university, I discovered one time, that four drafts were identical word for word – with the same source in the internet. Two other students tried their best to be authentic by jumbling the sequence of paragraphs that they copied and collated. And there’s the story shared by a librarian about two similar theses, but with submission dates of more than ten years apart.  They were discovered later when a researcher took note of the similarity and called the librarian’s attention about it. And, there’s a classic story of how the whole content of a thesis reference was peeled off from its cover by a student researcher, and who inserted folded newspapers, afterwards, as replacement to make the reference material look intact when it was returned to the librarian who did not bother to check.

 

I am not saying that we fill whatever space we have at home and offices with books and magazines and hold on to them till time eternal.  What I am trying to share is the restraint that we should observe in disposing books and other reading materials that have outlived their immediate usefulness. What we do not need can be shared, instead of dumping them in garbage bins. What shocked me was when I found two copies of pocket edition of Bible in a box of junk, and worse, a copy of Koran in another junk shop! I found my rare copies of biography of Queen Victoria, “Pepe En Pilar”, and “Codigo Penal” printed in 1870, in a pile of junks sold on a sidewalk.

 

As a high school and college student in Notre Dame of Tacurong, a parochial school in the far southern province of Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao, I had a grand time poring over the pages of National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, and Encyclopedias in our library, all old editions, solicited by Oblate priests in the United States. Some of them were even dated as early as 1950’s, especially, the Reader’s Digest and National Geographic, but I still enjoyed reading them. We were lucky, as our bespectacled librarian, Leonardo Ninte and his student assistants, carefully, rebound the reading materials, to make them endure regular handling. A good number of shelves in the library were filled with donated books, with only very few important current editions purchased due to the scant fund of the school. Those “outdated” materials helped me a lot in developing my love for reading. Accordingly, if some people who are in charge of libraries today will nurture an attitude of abhorrence to old books, they will eventually deny others the opportunity to earn knowledge from books, be they old or new.

 

The fast advancing technology on information is proving its great help to mankind. But we should understand that technology in whatever form has limitations. The gadgets we see now as “repository” of information, still need to be fed with basic information by man as basis for their mechanical “intelligent” subsequent actions. Most importantly, what are fed to these machines come from the human brain. These invented and fabricated machines come about as forms of convenience that man seeks tirelessly for his comfort. Man started with barks, leaves, rocks and even pot shards in recording events long time ago. What resulted into modern day codices – books, should therefore be given due respect and importance for all their worth which is fathomless. To tip the balance in favor of these machines as regards the perception on the value of books, therefore, is not fair.

 

Magpapasko pa naman!…nakakahiyang expression ng mga Pilipino

Magpapasko pa naman!

…nakakahiyang expression ng mga Pilipino

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Dapat ay isama ng mga moralista ang pagbawal sa paggamit ng expression na “magpapasko pa naman” na tumutukoy kay Hesus, tuwing may kalamidad na mangyari bago sumapit ang “pista” na ito. Halatang ang habol lang talaga sa pistang ito ay mga kasiyahang dulot ng bonus, pagkain, gifts, Christmas lights, simbang gabi, caroling, etc.

 

Tuwing may kalamidad na nangyayari bago magpasko, ang mga naaawa sa mga nasalanta ay nagsasabi ng nabanggit na expression dahil siguro iniisip ng mga “naaawa” na ito, na mami-miss ng mga nasalanta ang mga kasiyahan, at hindi dahil bertdey ito ni Hesus… isang isyu ding kinukuwestiyon. Bakit hindi na lang dumamay at magbigay ng tulong dahil kailangan ng mga nasalanta at hindi dahil sa kung anu-ano pang dahilan tulad ng pasko?

 

Ang sabi ng mga researchers, ang talagang bertdey ni Hesus ay sa unang linggo (week) ng Abril. Ginamit ng mga matataas na opisyal ng simbahang Katoliko na mga Romano ang Disyembre dahil dati na itong ginugunita ng mga pagano sa Roma…isang makamundong pista na puno ng mga kasiyahang nakikita sa pagbaha ng pagkain, alak, at kalaswaan. Ang talagang orihinal na ginugunita ng mga Hudyo noon pa man ay ang araw ng pagbinyag kay Hesus na nakatala sa mga sinaunang records na ang iba ay inilagay sa Bibliya. Walang binabanggit ang Bibliya tungkol sa eksaktong bertdey niya. Ang sinasabi lang ay panahon ng pag-census ng mga Hudyo kung kaylan ay nataon sa pagpanganak kay Hesus. Ang census na ito ang ginawang batayan ng mga mananaliksik upang matukoy ang “panahon” at ang buwan batay sa kalendaryong pinagamit ng Roma sa mga nasasaklaw ng Kristiyanismo.

 

Sa makabagong panahon, maski sinong bata ay umaasam ng mga regalo tuwing sasapit ang pasko dahil ito ang itinanim sa isip nila ng mga nakakatandang Romanong Katoliko. Inaasahan nila ang paglundo ng mesa sa bahay dahil sa dami ng pagkaing idi-display. Ang mga tin-edyer naman ay excited sa pagsapit ng simbang gabi dahil magkakabandingan na naman sila ng mga kabarkada, at ang iba naman ay magliligawan – sa labas ng simbahan. Ang mga talagang isip at asal demonyo ay may lakas ng loob pang magsuot ng mga damit na kung hindi manipis ay may plunging neckline naman, at ang lalong malaswa ay ang pagsuot nila ng short shorts na nagdi-display ng maitim naman nilang kuyukot! Ang iba naman ay magdi-displey ng mga alahas na tulad ng ginagawa nila sa pagdalo ng misa kung araw ng Linggo.

 

Ang isa pang itinuro ng simbahang Romano Katoliko upang mapilitang magsimba araw-araw ang mga kasapi ay ang pagbuo ng siyam na araw upang matupad daw ang kanilang mga hiling! Hindi ba ito katarantaduhan….dahil wala naman yan sa Bibliya? Ang dapat na itinanim sa mga kasapi ng simbahang Romano Katoliko ay ang sakripisyo na kaakibat sa pagdalo sa misa tuwing madaling araw o gabi, upang pagdating ng talagang “kapanganakan” ni Hesus, ay hindi nakakahiyang humarap sa kanya….hindi yong hihiling ng kung anu-ano para sa sarili na kalimitan naman ay pera. Pati ang mga prutas na kung ilang piraso na puro bilog ay kasama din sa kinalolokohan ng mga Pilipino…pero ito ay paganong paniniwala naman ng mga Intsik na isinabay sa pasko at bagong taon dahil nakita ng mga taong ito ang malaking kikitain na resulta ng panloloko nila…mga negosyante kasi!

 

Bakit hindi sundin ang panawagan ng mismong santo papa na si Francis na sa paggunita ng “kapanganakan” ni Hesus, dapat ay iwasan ang pagiging materialistic?…dahil ba marami ang gustong magpakita ng karangyaan? Bakit pa ituturing ng mga Katolikong “tatay” nila si Francis kung hindi rin lang siya pakikinggan?…dahil ba sagad-buto na ang kanilang pagiging makasarili?

 

At, kung seseryusuhin na talagang “bertdey” ni Hesus ang isi-celebrate bakit hindi sa isang araw lang – ang pinaniniwalaang December 25? …dahil ba ginagamit ito bilang dahilan upang mag-celebrate ng mga makamundong bagay na orihinal na ginagawa ng mga pagano sa Europe?

 

Pinagmamalaki ng mga Pilipino ang “pinakamahabang pasko” sa buong mundo, pero kung talagang iisipin ang diwa ng pasko…ang kahabaang ito ay dapat ikahiya dahil sa kahirapang dinadanas na ng mga Pilipino at kalagayan ng Pilipinas! Nakakahiyang Setyembre pa lang ay hindi na magkandaugaga ang karamihan sa paglagay ng mga palamuti na para bang “mauubusan na ng pasko”. Kanya-kanya ang mga lunsod at bayan sa pagtayo ng mga giant Christmas tree pati mga lugar kung saan ay may mga kalakalan tulad ng malls. Ang maririnig sa radio ay mga kantang pang-krismas. Ang nakikita sa mga TV screens ay mga pagkaing mararangya na pang-pasko, etc….hanggang Enero ito. Habang nangyayari ang mga nabanggit , marami namang mga Pilipino ang halos hindi makakain ng kahit isang beses sa isang araw. Ang iba, makakain lang ay namumulot ng mga tira-tira sa basurahan.

 

Ang mga Pilipinong ayaw tumingin sa katotohanang ito, simple lang naman ang mga sagot: “kasalanan ko ba kung naghihirap sila at kaya naming gumastos?”, o di kaya ay, “kasalanan nila kung bakit sila naghihirap, dahil tamad sila!”….masasabi bang tamad ang isang taong nauulanan na’t lahat at halos malapnos na ang balat dahil sa init ng araw ay nangangalkal pa rin ng basura?

 

Peace to all!!!!

 

The “Overwhelming” Papal Power

The “Overwhelming” Papal Power

By Apolinario Villalobos

As every Christian knows, the Apostles spread themselves to proclaim the teachings of Jesus Christ. Congregations were addressed by authors of Epistles in the New Testament, and these messages contained instructions. Among these congregations were those located in Rome where, Christianity was supposed to have been planted after the Pentecost. Traditionally, the congregations had elders who served as administrators, but nobody among them acted superior than the rest. The elders acted with equal authority, during which time there was no so-called “bishop” or “pope”, yet.

The development of the “monarchial” leadership was during the second century. But the title “pope” was first used by the Bishop of Rome, Callistus, during the third century. Later, the title evolved as a firm official reference to the Bishop of Rome exclusively, as insisted by Pope Leo I. He also used the pagan title “Pontifex Maximus”, which is still used until today, although, such title was also used by the pagan Roman Emperors until the end of the fourth century. Leo I based his insistence on what Jesus said about Peter as the first among the Apostles, therefore, the St. Peter’s Church in Vatican should be the premier Church among the rest of Catholic Churches. With this basis, it was made clear that while “the emperor held temporal power in Constantinople in the East, the pope exercised spiritual power from Rome in the west”. Such authority was manifested when Charlemagne was crowned by Pope Leo III as the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Governments around the world viewed the pope, as the “ruler” of a separate sovereign state – the Vatican City. In this view, the Roman Catholic Church unlike the rest of religions, has the privilege to send officials vested with diplomatic authority to duly recognized governments around the world. Among the titles of the pope are: Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor to the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Sovereign of the Vatican City. When attending official ceremonies, he is accorded with pompous honor, appropriate for the Head of a State.

Could the current pope, Francis, have realized the overwhelming papal power that he cringed with remorse, thereby, deciding to live in an “apartment” rather than the “palatial” official residence? Compassion is among his advocacies…and this can only be done if he lives among his “flock”.

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

By Apolinario Villalobos

In the Old Testament, it says that despite Moses’ plea, the king of Edom refused passage to the band of Israelites through Kadesh in the course of their wandering in the desert (Numbers, Chapter 20). History is repeating itself, as lately, some European countries refuse passage to refugees/immigrants on their way to countries that are willing to give them refuge. Some parties are even questioning their status whether refugees or immigrants. Will that matter, especially, as lives are at stake? The two mentioned cases are just classic example of man’s inhumanity to man today!

No question about it…greed is the root cause of all the inhumanities that have taken place in the days of the old and still are happening on earth at this very moment. Such desire is what can be found beyond the line of satisfaction. Survival should have been enough to spell satisfaction, but the hideous side of man most often brings out greed which is oftentimes masked with compassion.

When Spain embarked on a spree of colonization, in which the Philippines was not spared, she brought forth “religion” as the reason – to spread Christianity, in particular, Catholicism. As soon as the cross was firmly planted, the sword followed. In the course of their “spiritual effort”, centuries-old cultures of natives have been replaced with Catholicism which even during that time was already facing insurmountable questions that resulted to schism or division. Opposing natives who refused to give in were systematically eradicated in the name of “God”, when what the missionaries presented to the natives were also paganistic rituals, only using statues with different faces.

When the Americans took over the stranglehold of the Philippines, the same fervor of masked compassion was shown, but this time, democracy was used followed by evangelization of Protestant missionaries. The “assimilation” had a high price as what happened during the time of the Spaniards – death to the defiant natives.

Practically, the whole face of the planet is not only pockmarked with inhumanity, but is practically, denuded by its many forms foremost of which are exploitation and corruption. It has come to a point that survival of the fittest has become the norm of life again, despite his having been “civilized”.

In the African continent, the prevailing force, ISIS, are razing down archaeological landmarks that have been painstakingly preserved as manifestations of man’s intellectual superiority. Villages of the weak suffer the same fate as human occupants and fragile homes are devastated without mercy. Refugees who trek over mountains or brave the ocean squalls are refused passage to friendly countries. And, in Asia, greed of a once dormant country, China, has systematically jumbled the once tranquil setting with its garrulous territorial claims.

For all these injustices, who will pass the judgment? On earth, the man-made United Nations seems helpless and inutile. Man is then, left with nothing else, but the Ultimate Judge whose verdict may, yet to come…

Do We Really Understand What Our Faith Stands For?

Do We Really Understand
What our Faith Stands For?
By Apolinario Villalobos

The fanatics who aver to be faithful Muslims, the ISIS group, kill people, as though they’re killing chickens. They look at themselves as Islamic messiahs. An elegant lady I know never misses Sunday Mass, but lets out a barrage of ear-splitting cuss as soon as she reaches home just because her housemaid forgot to water her favorite orchid. A Bible-toting house-to-house evangelist, a friend of my kumpare, never speaks to her neighbor, a single mom with three kids, just because the kids have different fathers. And, there’s another friend, a “faithful” born-again Christian who hosts weekly Bible reading in his home, but he never tires of finding faults in everything that his neighbors do, including the officials of the homeowners association of the exclusive subdivision where he lives.

The problem with man is that, he never makes God as the center of his life. For man, God is just among the “must do” in his list of activities. That is why, for the week, only one day, the one allotted for the worship finds man as seemingly “Godly”. And, for the rest of the week, he becomes ruthless in his ways, or to put it mildly, he gets off the track of goodness.

“Inconsistent” best describes man as regards his faith. Such truth is some kind of a pill that is hard to swallow, as the saying goes, but even the pope, himself, Francis, admits to being inconsistent in his faith. No man is born a saint. He may be innocent as an infant, but as he grows, he becomes influenced by his surrounding, and that includes even his parents and siblings.

Man is vulnerable to temptation but such vulnerability should not be made as an excuse to deviate from the Right Way. True faith can be equated with our honest and sincere effort to make God as the center of our life. In other words, there should be a constant awareness of His presence all the time, everywhere. Everything that we do should be God-centered…regardless of our religion.

It is difficult to be consistently and sincerely faithful, but we can try our best, at least. On the other hand, those who do not believe in His existence, should stop blaming Him for every misfortune that befall them.

Biblical Names and their meaning

More Biblical Names and their Meaning
By Apolinario Villalobos

Samuel – God hears
Eleazar – God has helped
Elijah – Jehovah is God
Micah – short for Micalah or Michel (who is like God?)
Zechariah – Jehovah remembers
Salome – female for Solomon
Solomon – peaceable
Deborah – bee
Ester – star
Reuel – God is friend
Jethro – excellence
Belah – destruction
Levi – joined
Asher – happy
Emmanuel – God with us
Babel – gate of God (tower of Babel/Babylon)
Anna – grace
Judith – Judean, Jew
Perez/Peres – to split
Simon – hearing
Zadok – righteous
Saul/Paul – asked of God
Judas – praised
Lebanon – white
Hazel – almond tree
Peor – opening
Euphrates – to break forth
Cyprus – copper
Elizabeth – God is my oath
Jonathan – Jehovah has given
Negeb – dry

Biblical Names and their Meaning

Biblical Names and their Meaning

By Apolinario Villalobos

When the Spaniards came to the shores of the Philippine archipelago, they found the early Filipinos using one name that described their quaint personalities, such as “Matapang” (brave), “Maganda” (beautiful), “Masipag” (industrious), “Mayumi” (modest), etc. This was also a practice of the people during the Biblical time. The following are some Biblical names and their corresponding meaning that might interest you:

Adam   – of the ground; taken out of the red earth; mankind

Eve      – life; living

Abel     – breath; shepherd; herdsman

Seth     – appointed; substituted (he was a “substitute” for Abel)

Abraham – the father is right

Sara/Sarah – princess

Moses – drawn out; born (he was drawn out of a river)

Isaac    – one laughs (before Isaac was conceived, Sarah laughed when she was told by an angel that she will bear a son, despite her old age)

Ishmael – God hears

Solomon – peaceable

Salome            – female name of Solomon

Jerusalem – city of peace; the city of God

David   – beloved; chieftain

Joseph – may God add

Bethlehem – house of bread

Paul     -little

Martha – mistress

Barak   – lightning

Samaria – watchtower

Samuel – name of God

Judah   – praised

Jacob   – supplanter

Joel      – Jehovah is God

Abigail – father is rejoicing

Anna    – grace

Alexander – man-defending

Jonathan – God has given

The above are the most familiar names that I have encountered in a Bible dictionary, salvaged from a heap of junked books in a sidewalk of Manila.