BARTHOLOMEW (Gk. Bartholomaios, Aram.
Bar-Talmai, “Son of Talmai"): One of the twelve
Apostles, mentioned in
Matt. x, 3;
Mark iii, 18;
Luke vi, 14;
Acts i, 13.
Nothing is told in the New
Testament of his work as an apostle. According
to Eusebius (Hist. eccl., v, 10) and Jerome (De
vir. ill., xxxvi), he preached the Gospel in India—that
is, in what is called India to-day, not, as some
have argued, Arabia Felix. Other Asiatic countries
have been named as the scenes of his labors,
especially Armenia, where he is said to have been
flayed alive and crucified with his head down.
Legend narrates that his body was miraculously
conveyed to the island of Lipari, and thence to
Benevento. His feast-day is usually the 24th of
August; at Rome, however, it is celebrated on the
25th. An old and wide-spread theory (though Augustine,
for example, did not accept it) identifies Bartholomew
with Nathanael of Cana in Galilee
(John i, 45-51; xxi, 2).
That John counted Nathanael
as an apostle is probable because in the former
of these passages he represents him as joining the
company of Jesus with the earlier and later apostles,
and in the latter passage he mentions him in the
company of apostles. In support of the theory, it
is noticed that in the lists of the apostles in the synoptic
Gospels (though not in the Acts) he is mentioned
next to Philip, while Nathanael was brought
to Jesus by Philip; and John nowhere mentions
Bartholomew, while the synoptists do not mention
Nathanael. But, on the other hand, it is remarkable
that the synoptists do not give the other name
for Bartholomew, if he is the same, while John
speaks of Nathanael as if the reader would know
at once who he was.