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Nathanael (Bartholomew) -- The Pure Disciple (6 of 15)
TWELVE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD
John 1:45-51 -- (45)Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the One Moses wrote about in the law (and so did the prophets): Jesus the son of Joseph, from Nazareth!" (46) "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Nathanael asked him. "Come and see," Philip answered. (47) Then Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said about him, "Here is a true Israelite; no deceit is in him." (48) "How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you," Jesus answered. (49) " Rabbi," Nathanael replied, "You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" (50) Jesus responded to him, "Do you believe [only] because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this." (51) Then He said, " I assure you: You will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
I. SURROUNDINGS OF NATHANAEL
A. His Parent
1. The name Bartholomew, because of the first syllable, "bar" which means "the son of,"
indicates that his father was "Talmai."
2. This explanation of the name compares to Peter being called at one time by the Lord,
"Bar-Jona" (Matt. 16:17) which means son of Jonas.
B. His Person -- Nathanael is identified with Bartholomew in the fourth gospel.
1. We believe they are one and the same for four reasons:
a. The citing of the names: The name Bartholomew appears only four times in
the Bible and is found on the four lists of the twelve disciples given in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts.
b. Twice John speaks of Nathanael (John 1 and 21) and the situations in which Nathanael is mentioned support the conclusion that Bartholomew is Nathanael.
2. The coupling of the names; In the disciple lists in the Synoptic Gospels, Bartholomew is always coupled with Philip, but in Acts Bartholomew is coupled with Thomas. (John 21:2)
3. The companions of the names: Bartholomew is never mentioned in Scripture except
as being associated with the disciples.
4. The compliancy of the names -- to identify Bartholomew and Nathanael as the same
person creates no difficulty whatever in scripture, rather, it solves the problem of why
John speaks of Nathanael as he does.
C. His Place -- "Nathanael of Cana in Galilee (John 21:2)
1. Assuming that Bartholomew is Nathanael, we learn from the Gospel of John that he came from Cana of Galilee.
2. Cana was the scene of Christ's first miracle where he turned the water into wine (which Nathanael obviously witnessed).
D. His Profession
John 21:1-3 -- (1) After this, Jesus revealed Himself again to His disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed Himself in this way: (2) Simon Peter, Thomas (called "Twin"), Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, Z ...
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