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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Nathan´ael (given of God), a person of Cana in Galilee, who, when informed by Philip that the Messiah had appeared in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, asked, 'Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?' But he nevertheless accepted Philip's laconic invitation, 'Come and see!' When Jesus saw him coming he said, 'Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.' Astonished to hear this from a man to whom he supposed himself altogether unknown, he asked, 'Whence knowest thou me?' And the answer, 'Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee,' wrought such conviction on his mind that he at once exclaimed, 'Rabbi, thou art the son of God; thou art the king of Israel!' (). It is clear, from the effect, that Nathanael knew by this that Jesus was supernaturally acquainted with his disposition and character, as the answer had reference to the private acts of devotion, or to the meditations which filled his mind, when under the fig-tree in his garden. It is questioned whether Jesus had actually seen Nathanael or not with his bodily eyes. It matters not to the result; but the form of the words employed seems to suggest that he had actually noticed him when under the fig-tree, and had then cast a look through his inward being. It is believed that Nathanael is the same as the apostle Bartholomew. All the disciples of John the Baptist named in St. John 1 became apostles; and St. John does not name Bartholomew, nor the other evangelists Nathanael in the lists of the apostles (; ; ): besides, the name of Bartholomew always follows that of Philip; and it would appear that Bartholomew (son of Tholmai) is no more than a surname [BARTHOLOMEW].





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Nathanael'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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