What's in a name? If you lived in ancient Israel, your answer to this question might be, "Everything." Why were names so important in biblical times? What kinds of personal and place names do we see in Israel and in the surrounding cultures, and what role do these names play in biblical writings? This seminar will explore how the Hebrew language, culture, and religion are reflected in names and in the giving of names. In addition to more general discussion, several specific biblical examples will be examined: the renaming of Jacob, the significance of the names used for God and Israel in prophetic literature, etc.