Bartholomew the Apostle

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Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and is usually identified with Nathanael[1] (mentioned in the first chapter of John's Gospel). He was introduced to Christ through St. Philip, another of the twelve apostles as per (John 1:43-51), where the name Nathaniel first appears. He is also mentioned as “Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee” in(John 21:1). The name Nathaniel is the one used for him in St. John’s Gospel. The attachement of the names Nathaniel and Bartholomew to the same person is because the other three synoptic Gospels mention the name Bartholomew right after Philip but don’t mention the name Nathaniel. The relationship between Sts. Philip and Nathaniel is noted as per John 1:43-51. Bartholomew (Greek: Βαρθολομαίος, transliterated "Bartholomaios") comes from the Aramaic bar-Tôlmay (תולמי‎‎‎‎‎-בר‎‎), meaning son of Tolmay (Ptolemy) or son of the furrows (perhaps a ploughman). Based on this meaning, many have assumed it was not a given name, but a family name.[2]

According to the Synaxarium of the Coptic Orthodox Church [The Church of Alexandria, the ancient Church of Egypt, one of the Oldest in Christianity], his martyrdom is commemorated on the 1st day of the Coptic Calendar (1st day of the month of "Thout"), which currently falls on September 11 [this corresponds to August 29 in the Gregorian Calendar, due to the current 13 day offset between the Julian and Gregorain Calendars]. The festival in August has been a traditional occasion for markets and fairs, such as the Bartholomew Fair held in Smithfield, London since the Middle Ages that served as the scene for Ben Jonson's homonymous comedy.


New Testament references

Though Bartholomew was listed among the Twelve Apostles in the three Synoptic gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and also appears as one of the witnesses of the Ascension,[Acts 1:4,12,13] each time named in the company of Philip, he is one of the apostles of whom no word is reported nor any individual action recorded in the New Testament. Nor are there any early acta,[3] the earliest being written by a pseudepigraphical writer who assumed the identity of Abdias of Babylon and is called "the pseudo-Abdias".[4]

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