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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Andrew

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ANDREW (Ἀνδρέας, ‘manly’).—In the Synoptic Gospels, Andrew is little more than a name; but the references to him in the Fourth Gospel are of such a character as to leave upon our minds a wonderfully clear impression of the manner of man he was, and of the service which he rendered to the Church of Christ. Andrew was a native of Bethsaida (John 1:44), but afterwards shared the same house (Mark 1:29) at Capernaum (Mark 1:21) with his better known brother Simon Peter. By trade he was a fisherman (Matthew 4:18), but, attracted by all that he had heard or seen of John the Baptist, for a time at least he left his old work, and, following the Baptist into the wilderness, came to be recognized as one of his disciples (John 1:35; John 1:40). A better teacher Andrew could not have had; for if from John he first learned the exceeding sinfulness of sin, by him also he was pointed to the promised Deliverer, the Lamb of God, who was to take away the sin of the world. And when, accordingly, the Christ did come, it was to find Andrew with a heart ready and eager to welcome Him. Of that first interview between the Lord and His new disciple the Fourth Evangelist, who was himself present, has preserved the record (John 1:35-40), and he it is also who tells us that no sooner had Andrew realized for himself the truth regarding Jesus, than he at once went in search of his brother Peter (John 1:41-42). And thus to the first-called of Christ’s disciples (πρωτόκλητος, according to a common designation of Andrew in early ecclesiastical writers) was given the joy of bringing next his own brother to the Lord. The call of James and of John, if they had not been previously summoned, would seem to have followed; but in none of these instances did this imply as yet more than a personal relationship to the Saviour. The actual summons to work came later, when, by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus bade Andrew, along with the same three companions, leave his nets and come after Him (Matthew 4:18 ff.). And this in turn was followed shortly afterwards by Andrew’s appointment to a place in the Apostolic Band (Matthew 10:2 ff.). His place, moreover, was a place of honour, for his name always occurs in the first group of four, and it is with Peter and James and John that he is again associated in the ‘private’ inquiries to Jesus regarding the time of the Last Things (Mark 13:3).

Still more interesting, however, as illustrating Andrew’s character, are the two occasions on which he is specially associated with Philip, the only other Apostle who bore a Greek name. The first incident occurred at the Feeding of the Five Thousand, when, in contrast to the anxious, calculating Philip, the downright, practical Andrew thought it worth while to draw the Saviour’s attention to the lad’s little store, even though he too was at a loss as to what it could effect (John 6:5 ff.). And the second occurred when to Philip, again perplexed by the desire of certain Greeks (Gentiles, therefore) to see Jesus, Andrew suggested that the true course was at least to lay the request before Jesus Himself, and leave Him to decide whether or not it could be granted (John 12:20 ff.).

After this, with the exception of the incident already referred to (Mark 13:3), Andrew is not again mentioned in the Gospels, and the only subsequent reference to him in Scripture is the mere mention of his name in Acts 1:13. Tradition, however, has been busy with his after-history; and he is represented as labouring, according to one account, in Scythia (Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 1), whence he has been adopted as the patron-saint of Russia; or, according to another, in Achaia. In any case, there is general agreement that he was martyred at Patrae in Achaia, being bound, not nailed, to the cross, in order to prolong his sufferings. There is, however, no warrant for the belief that the cross was of the decussate shape (X), as this cross, usually associated with his name, is of a much later date.

A striking tradition preserved in the Muratorian Fragment brings Andrew and John together in their old age as they had been in their youth: ‘The fourth Gospel [was written by] John, one of the disciples (i.e. Apostles). When his fellow-disciples and bishops urgently pressed him, he said, “Fast with me [from] to-day, for three days, and let us tell one another any revelation which may be made to us, either for or against [the plan of writing].” On the same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the Apostles, that John should relate all in his own name, and that all should review [his writing]’ (see Westcott, Gospel of St. John, p. xxxv; History of NT Canon, p. 523).

It is also deserving of mention that about 740 Andrew became the patron-saint of Scotland, owing to the belief that his arm had been brought by St. Regulus to the town on the East Coast that now bears his name.

The character of Andrew, as it appears in the few scattered notices that we have of him, is that of a simple, kindly man who had the courage of his opinions, as proved by his being the first of the Baptist’s disciples openly to follow Jesus; who was eager to share with others the privileges he himself enjoyed (witness his search for Peter, and his treatment of the Greeks); and who, his work done, was always ready to efface himself (see especially Lightfoot, Sermons on Special Occasions, p. 160 ff.). Again, when we think of the Apostle in his more official aspect, it is sufficient to recall that he was not only the first home-missionary (John 1:41), but also the first foreign-missionary (John 12:22)—evidence, if evidence be wanted, of the close connexion between the two spheres of work.

Literature.—In addition to what has been noted above, and the references to Andrew in the different Lives of Christ, see H. Latham, Pastor Pastorum, p. 156 ff.; the present writer’s The Twelve Apostles (J. M. Dent), p. 24 ff.; Expositor, 1st ser. vii. [1882], 424 ff.; Ker, Sermons, 2nd ser. 100 ff. The principal authority on Andrew’s traditional history is Lipsius. Die Apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und Apostellegenden, i. p. 543 ff.; cf. M. R. James in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, vol. i. p. 93. His place in Art is discussed by Mrs. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, i. p. 226 ff. We may refer also to Keble’s poem on ‘St. Andrew’s Day’ in The Christian Year, and to the poem on ‘St. Andrew and his Cross’ in the Lyra Innocentium.

George Milligan.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Andrew'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdn/a/andrew.html. 1906-1918.

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