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bartholomew Summary and Overview

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bartholomew in Easton's Bible Dictionary

son of Tolmai, one of the twelve apostles (Matt. 10:3; Acts 1:13); generally supposed to have been the same as Nathanael. In the synoptic gospels Philip and Bartholomew are always mentioned together, while Nathanael is never mentioned; in the fourth gospel, on the other hand, Philip and Nathanael are similarly mentioned together, but nothing is said of Bartholomew. He was one of the disciples to whom our Lord appeared at the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection (John 21:2). He was also a witness of the Ascension (Acts 1:4, 12, 13). He was an "Israelite indeed" (John 1:47).

bartholomew in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(son of Tolmai), one of the twelve apostles of Christ. #Mt 10:3; Mr 3:18; Lu 6:14; Ac 1:13| It has been not improperly conjectured that he is identical with Nathanael. #Joh 1:45| ff. He is said to have preached the gospel in India, that is, probably, Arabia Felix, and according to some in Armenia.

bartholomew in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

BARTHOL'OMEW (son of Tolmai) is supposed to be the same person who is elsewhere called Nathanael. This conjecture rests in part upon the fact that Philip and Nathanael are associated together by John, and in the parallel passages of the other evangelists Philip and Bartholomew are associated; and further, that Bartholomew is not mentioned in John's list of the twelve, nor is Nathanael in the list of the other evangelists. It is therefore in every way likely that he bore two names, as so many others did. We know nothing of his history save the fact of his conversion, John 1:45-51, and his presence on the Lake of Tiberias when the risen Lord appeared to him and other disciples. John 21:2.

bartholomew in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

("son of Tolmai or Talmai"), an Old Testament name, Joshua 14:14. One of Christ's 12 apostles (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13). His own name probably was Nathanael (John 1:45-51), just as Joses or Joseph is called Barnabas. The three synoptical Gospels never mention Nathanael, John never mentions Bartholomew; the two names belong probably to the same person. Brought by Philip to Jesus. It is in undesigned accordance with this that Philip is coupled with Bartholomew in the first three lists, as Philip is coupled with Nathanael in John 1. The place given him also in the fishing after the resurrection of the Lord (John 21:2) implies his being one of the twelve. Thomas is put before him and after Matthew in Acts 1:13 (See APOSTLE), perhaps because of his taking a more prominent position spiritually after his doubts were removed. Nathanael was of Cans in Galilee. India (i.e. Arabia Felix, as many think) is assigned to him as his subsequent sphere of missionary labors (Eusebius, H. E. 5:10). His prominent characteristics: narrowness of prejudice in him ("Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?") immediately gave place to conviction, when the Savior revealed Himself. Like Jacob, he wrestled alone with God in prayer under the fig tree. But, unlike that cunning supplanter, he was "an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile"; compare Revelation 14:5. Adam and Eve vainly cloaked their shame under fig leaves. Nathanael bored his whole soul before God under the fig tree in simplicity and sincerity. Fearless candor made him avow his convictions as promptly as he reached them, "Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel." His reward was according to his faith: "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given." "Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these: hereafter (from this time forth, Greek) ye (not merely thou alone, but all My disciples) shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man," the true ladder between earth and heaven, of which that in Jacob's dream was the type (Genesis 28:12), and upon which angels delight to minister. The "ascending" stands first, because the Lord was now below on earth, not above, as when Jacob saw Him; and from Him as their center they go up, and to Him they return: the communication between earth and heaven, closed by sin, is opened by Christ's making earth His home. His miracles and His teaching and His divine manifestation, of which Bartholomew had just a taste, were a sample and installment of a continually progressing opening of heaven to earth and earth to heaven (Revelation 4:1; Acts 7:56; Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 10:19-20) wherein angels minister to and for Him (Luke 2:9; Luke 2:13; Luke 22:43; Acts 1:10); to be consummated when "the tabernacle of God shall be with men," and "the holy Jerusalem shall descend out of heaven from God" (Revelation 21; 1 Corinthians 13:12).