Famous Names: James T. Kirk

It just occurred to me this morning that the character James T. Kirk of Star Trek fame has a name that is potentially loaded with meaning. Supposedly the character got his name from Captain James Cook (1728-1779), but I wonder if there’s a sly reference to the early church in there?

James is a name with several biblical associations. I think the easiest connection to make is with the book of James in the Bible, which begins in verse two, “Count it pure joy, brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Church tradition also holds that the author of James (? – 62AD) was a relative of Jesus, and the first bishop of Jerusalem.

Tiberius could be a reference to Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (42 BC – 37 AD), the Roman emperor during the ministry of Jesus.

Kirk is the Scottish English word for “church.”

I doubt this is all intentional, but it is pretty cool. Early church? Sent out into unexplored territory from Jerusalem and Rome? Seems like a pretty good fit to me. What other well-known names have meanings I didn’t notice?


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