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Summer Bible Study on the Apostles: St. Bartholomew

posted Aug 5, 2017, 5:52 AM by Jason Stegman

               

The Apostles

St. Nathaniel/Bartholomew


1. Name: Bartholomew is an Aramaic name which means “son of Tolmai.” Tolmai, or more accurately in Hebrew “Telem,” which means ‘furrow.’ Nathaniel is listed as Bartholomew in all four lists of the twelve. In John he is always called Nathaniel, which means “God has given.” So he is Nathaniel son of Tolmai, or Nathaniel Bar-Tolmai.


2. Who was he?

a. John 21:2,

b. John 1:44-51 Who is his closest friend?

3. What does Nathaniel know? John 1:45ff

a. About the prophets? (Micah 5:2)

b. About the Messiah? Obviously, the truth of scriptures was something that mattered to Nathaniel.

c. What does vs. 46 gives another insight into his character.

d. How does Philip deal with Nathaniel’s ‘question?”

e. What is the most important aspect of Nathaniel’s character? Vs. 47


3. Discipleship under Jesus.

a. Contrast John 1:50-51 to Genesis 28:12.

b. Unfortunately there is little else about Nathaniel found in Scripture during the 3 year ministry of Jesus or after Pentecost.


4. Lore/Church tradition.

a. A later apocryphal gospel is wrongly attributed to him. Later Church tradition describes his missionary activities in Egypt, Persia, India, and Armenia where he was reportedly martyred by being flayed alive. Hence he is considered the patron saint of tanners, (or plasterer’s depending on the region). There is no reliable record of how he died. One tradition says he was tired up in a sack and thrown into the sea. Another tradition says he was crucified. By all accounts he died a martyr’s death.

b. What we do know is that Nathaniel was faithful to the end because he was faithful from the start. Everything he experienced with Christ and whatever he experienced after the birth of the New Testament church ultimately only made his faith stronger. And Nathaniel, like the other apostles, stands as proof that God can take the most common people from the most insignificant places and use them to His glory.

c. The feast of St. Bartholomew is celebrated on August 24th the theme of the day is loyal faith. The shield of St. Bartholomew shows a single knife to portray the horrible way in which he died.


Prayer: Almighty God, Your Son, Jesus Christ, chose Bartholomew to be an apostle to preach the blessed Gospel. Grant that Your Church may love what he believed and preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit one God, now and forever. Amen.


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Jason Stegman,
Aug 5, 2017, 5:52 AM
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