Nathaniel (Bartholomew)

Nathaniel is also called Bartholomew and one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. Bar-Tolmai, the son of Tolmai. In the list of the apostles, Nathaniel is invariably associated with Philip. He made his home at Cana of Galilee. Legend says that he was a man of higher position than the rest of the apostles, "can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Nathaniel, to whom Philip in his turn spoke of Jesus, was a different proposition. He had to be convinced. "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.. I saw you under the fig tree." Whatever happened under the fig tree loomed large in his mind. "Rabbi" he said, "you are the son of God, you are the king of Israel."

Being fron Cana it may have been Nathaniel who invited Jesus and his disciples, Andrew, Peter, John and Philip to the wedding, which may have been that of some relative or friend of his. The Mother of Jesus was there and there may be a connection with Mary and the wedding couple. They may have already been there in advance to help with preparations.

Nathaniel is said to have preached in Armenia, Cilicia, and as far as India. Here he is to have died by being flayed. Three large knives, the instrument of his death, have become his symbol in church art. He preached in several countries, and having translated the Gospel of Matthew into the language of India, he propagated it in that country. He was at length cruelly beaten and then crucified by the impatient idolaters.
[309, 318, 324, 331, 18]

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