How many times is Christian mentioned in the Bible? (what does it mean to be a Christian?)

Mid-last year, I asked my students to ask me any question that they ever wished to find answers to, but they never have. I was shocked when one of them asked me what it meant to be a Christian and requested that I use verses that mention the word Christian in the Bible. She added that her friend from another religion was mocking her about Christian and Christianity not existing in our Holy book. So, I cleared her doubts and went on to read to her the verses that mention Christian, and we counted. So how many times is Christian mentioned in the Bible?

Christian is mentioned only three times in the whole Bible, and it is only in the New Testament. It is mentioned in the books of Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16.

So, join me in this piece where I discuss the Biblical meaning of being a Christian I will also use Biblical references to define who a Christian. I will also write about the synonyms of the word Christian according to the Bible. Read on to find out.

What does it mean to be a Christian?

How many times is Christian mentioned in the Bible?
What does it mean to be a Christian? Image source: Pixabay

Being a Christian means you have accepted what the Bible preaches about our God, humanity, and salvation. Therefore, to be a Christian means you fully embrace the following Biblical facts;

God is the supreme creator

The Bible says that God created everything, and it was through Jesus, according to John 1:3. This is contrary to the belief that humanity is a result of evolution from apes. As Christians, we should follow what the Bible says that we were Created by God to serve, fellowship, and love Him. For this fact, any person who claims to be a Christian is in agreement that Jesus Christ has all authority over our lives and over everything according to Psalms 103:19. In that case, Christians are supposed to obey and worship Jesus Christ.

God is Holy

Also, to be Christian means to embrace the fact that God is holy and cannot approve of any evil, according to James 1:13. Therefore, God requires us to be holy too, according to 1 Peter 1:16, and to be a Christian means to pursue holiness as God wants.

Humans are naturally sinful

To be a Christian is to realize that all of us are sinners and that we can only thrive by depending on God. It is only God that can help us understand Him and love Him while striving to please Him.

Jesus is our Lord and Savior

To be Christian means to confess that Jesus is our Lord and to accept and believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ was raised by God from the dead according to Romans 10:9. As a Christian, you are supposed to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins to save us from death, and that shows just how much God loves us.

To be Christian is to believe in the saving faith, and through the same faith, we repent and ask for forgiveness because we have already accepted that we are sinners. Also, it means to accept God’s calling.

Is Christianity mentioned in the Old Testament?

How many times is Christian mentioned in the Bible? 
Is Christianity mentioned in the Old Testament? Image source: Pixabay

No, Christianity is not mentioned in the Old Testament. Christians in the Bible times meant believers and followers of Christ. The birth and ministry of Jesus Christ are only found in the New Testament, and He is the founder of Christianity. People during the time of the New Testament started believing in him and following Him during His ministry and after He ascended. It is these believers that were first called Christians.

When does the term Christian first mentioned in the Bible?

The term Christian is first mentioned in the book of Acts 11:26. The verse says that in Antioch, followers of Christ were referred to as Christians. There are no other records before Acts that mention Christians, which makes the mention in Acts the first time in history for believers of Christ to be called Christians.

Who is a Christian according to the Bible?

According to the Bible, a Christian is a person who is born again. We have a case in the Bible where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about the Kingdom of God. He tells him that he must be born again to stand a chance if seeing God’s Kingdom. Christians not only believe in God but are in pursuit of seeking the kingdom of God, and that means they must be born again. To be born again is through water and Spirit, according to John 3:5; To be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.

Also, a Christian is a person who listens and believes the Gospel. Romans 10:10 says that we become right with God through faith and get saved by confessing the faith. Christians are people who have heard of the Gospel, choose to believe in it, and confess their belief in the Gospel.

Christian synonyms in the Bible

what does it mean to be a Christian?
Christian synonyms in the Bible. Image source: Freepik


Disciple is a synonym for Christians used to describe people who followed Christ and gathered around Him to listen. It is found in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts.

Brothers or Brethren

Christians are also referred to as brothers or brethren, depending on the Bible version. They are called brothers because Christians are part of God’s family, and we are His children.


Christians can also be referred to as Saints in Ephesians 1:1. Although some people argue that Saints is a much-honored title, Catholics and members of the Orthodox church consider all Christians in heaven as Saints.


The believer is another word that refers to Christians because those who believe in Jesus Christ are believers, according to 2 Corinthians 6:15. Unbelievers are those who do not believe in him. Christians believe and accept Christ as their personal savior.

Other synonyms include;

  • The elect
  • Nazarene
  • Follower of the way
  • Friend

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