A Greek name. A fisherman of Bethsaida at the lake of Gennesareth, son of Jonas. One of the first two called of the apostles; who in his turn called his brother Simon to Jesus (John 1:35-41). Previously he had been John the Baptist's disciple, and by him had been pointed to Jesus twice as the Lamb of God. Prompt decision for Christ, not levity, led him to obey. A further call took place subsequently and more formally, when, after they had resumed their usual occupation, Jesus found them casting their net into the sea (Matthew 4:18). Void of the boldness and rocklike robustness of Peter's character, which but few can aspire to, he had that feature which makes him a pattern within the reach of all, a simple, earnest determination in carrying out the dictates of conscience. Another feature in Andrew was, though not so qualified for public usefulness as some, he was as ardent as any to win souls in private to Jesus.

When we admire the foremost apostle through whom 3000 were added to the church on Pentecost, let us not forget that, without Andrew, Simon would never have become Peter. So well known was his love for souls, that when certain Greeks desired to see Jesus, Andrew was the person to whom Philip (whose name also is Greek, and who, like Andrew, when called, in turn called Nathanael) brought them. Then he and Philip (the two whose names imply connection with the Greeks; an interesting coincidence, and who had shown their zeal for conversions) brought them to Jesus (John 1:43-46; John 12:20-22). Andrew had his faults too; he shared in the disciples' unbelief when Jesus tried their faith, "Whence shall we buy bread that these (5000) may eat?" (John 6). Andrew answered, "There is a lad here that hath five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"

Even here he suggests a supply, but with defective faith. Andrew was one of the four who asked Jesus privately, "When shall these things be, and what is the sign of Thy coming and the end of the world?" Andrew was not elsewhere admitted to the private interviews which Peter, John, and James enjoyed: at the raising of Jairus daughter, the transfiguration, and Gethsemane. In Matthew 10:2 and Luke 6:14 Andrew is next after Peter; but in Mark 3:10; Acts 1:14, after the first and foremost three, Peter, James, and John, and before his Greek-named associate Philip. Eusebius makes him after Christ's ascension preach in Scythia; Jerome, in Greece; where tradition makes him to have been crucified on a crux decussata, an X-shaped cross.