Hello My New Name Is
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Section 2 • Study Guide

Throughout history, people for various reasons have had their names changed. Athletes, actors, religious leaders, writers, activists, kings, and slaves have all exchanged their names given at birth for something different. Here is a pop quiz. Can you identify (without googling) which given name and better-known name go together?


Pope John Paul II  Walker Smith
Muhammad Ali  Allen Stewart Konigsberg
Billy the Kid  Isabella Baumfree
Calamity Jane  Terry Gene Bollea
Sojourner Truth  Jerome Silber
Butch Cassidy  Caryn Johnson
Bill Clinton  Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili
Gerald Ford  Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.
Joseph Stalin  Erik Weisz
Gene Wilder Karol Wojtyla
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  Marion Robert Morrison
Hulk Hogan Robert Leroy Parker
Sugar Ray Robinson  William Blythe III
Harry Houdini  Martha Burk
Woody Allen Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.
Tom Cruise  Eric Bishop
Mark Twain  Leslie Lynch King Jr.
John Wayne  Frances Ethel Gumm
Jamie Foxx  Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Judy Garland Samuel Clemens
Whoopi Goldberg  Thomas Mapother IV
Elton John Henry McCarty

Source: famousnamechanges.net
Now imagine completely changing your name. What would your new name be?         


The book of Ruth introduces us to a lady who changes her own name to reflect the dramatic life changes she had experienced.

Let’s begin by reading Ruth 1:1-5.

What terrible events had transpired in Naomi’s life?          

What are some of the worst events of your life?        

In her brokenness, Naomi attempted to send both of her daughters-in-law away. Her daughter-in-law Orpah left her, while Ruth stayed.

In times of difficultly, why do we send people away?           

In tough circumstances, did you have Orpahs (those who left)?    

Did you have Ruths, who refused to leave, even when you told them to?           

Throughout the book of Ruth, Ruth is a type of Christ. Read Joshua 1:5 and Hebrews 13:5.

What is God’s promise to us?     

When Naomi and Ruth arrive back to Bethlehem, the famine of chapter 1 is over, but the dryness and hardness of the land has been replaced with the dryness and hardness of Naomi’s hurt heart. Naomi means “sweet,” but when she is welcomed back home, she refuses to be acknowledged as sweet. She demands to be called Mara, which means “bitter.”

How much control did circumstances have over Naomi/Mara’s life?

Have difficulties and trials shaped you in a way to completely change your personality, attitude, and outlook on life?            

Read Philippians 4:10-13.
What secret had the apostle Paul learned?



The prayer of Proverbs 30:7-9 seems out of step with today’s American, more-is-better, prosperity culture. Here is what the writer prays: “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”

Read Ruth 4:13-17.
What changed Mara's name back to Naomi?



God redeemed the brokenness and bitterness of Naomi and Ruth through a redeemer and the amazing birth of Obed. See Matthew 1:5-6 for Obed’s lineage. Whatever circumstances you are facing, have faced, or will face, Jesus has promised to redeem them. Read Romans 8:28. If you are “in Christ” then you can be confident that “all things” will be redeemed and used by God for His glory and your good.

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