Christian History

Facts About Bartholomew the Apostle (Nathanael)

Bartholomew Nathanael was quite possibly the only disciple that was of royal blood. He was related to Talmai, or Tolmai, who was king of Geshur. Talmai’s daughter, Maacah, was married to David, the father of Absolom. Bartholomew was always regarded as a scholar, and held great interest in law and the prophets. Bartholomew was a man who had completely surrendered his life to Christ, and was one of his most staunch followers. His ministry took him from Phrygia to Armenia. He is considered the founder of the Armenian Church. He was eventually martyred for this faith, flayed alive with knives. His symbol in the Catholic Church is three parallel knives.

Name: Bartholomew Nathanael

Family: Talmai or Tolmai (Relative)

Nicknames: (Meaning of Name)

  • Bartholomew means son of Talmai (Tolmai)
  • Nathanael means “Gift of God”


  • Stalwart
  • Studious
  • Brilliant
  • Incredibly devoted

Life before Christ:

  • Lived in Cana of Galilee
  • Was of noble blood, his father was king of Geshur
  • Was introduced to Jesus by Phillip


  • Was called a man with no guile, a true Israelite, by Jesus (John 1:47)
  • Was a great searcher for Scripture
  • Was a noted scholar in regards to the law and the prophets
  • Was one of Jesus’ most adventurous servants
  • Preached with Phillip in Phrygia, Hierapolis, and Armenia
  • Armenian church claims him to be their founder
  • Became a martyr for God


    • Was martyred through being flayed alive by knives

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