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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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NATHANAEL. 1 . Esther 1:8 Esther 1:8 = 2 Chronicles 35:9 Nethanel. 2 . Esther 9:22 Esther 9:22 = Ezra 10:22 Nethanel. 3 . An ancestor of Judith ( Jdt 8:1 ). 4 . Nathanael of Cana in Galilee ( John 21:2 ) appears twice in the Fourth Gospel. (1) When told by Philip, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph,’ Nathanael hesitated. ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ he asked. Philip thereupon conducted him to meet Jesus, and, when he looked on that wondrous face, his doubt vanished, and he hailed Him as the Messiah, ‘the Son of God, the King of Israel.’ See John 1:43-51 . (2) Nathanael was one of the seven to whom the risen Lord manifested Himself at the Lake of Galilee ( John 21:2 ). His name occurs only in Jn. but the following are reasons for believing that he was identical with Bartholomew , who is never mentioned by St. John, and by the other Evangelists only in their catalogues of the Apostles ( Matthew 10:3 = Mark 3:18 = Luke 6:14 ). ( a ) Bartholomew is not a name, but a patronymic Bar Talmai , ‘the son of Talmai.’ ( b ) Nathanael appears in St. John’s narrative as a friend of Philip, and Bartholomew is coupled with Philip in the lists of the Apostles. ( c ) Since the others of the seven at the Lake whose names are indicated by St. John were Apostles, it is probable that Nathanael also was an Apostle. His title would thus be Nathanael har Talmai.

David Smith.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Nathanael'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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