One of the apostles; mentioned only in Matt. x. 3; Mark iii. 18; Luke vi. 14; Acts i. 13. Some writers identify him with the Nathanael of John i. 45 et seq., xxi. 2, but on insufficient grounds. He is mentioned by Eusebius ("Church History," v. 3, 10) as having preached the Gospel in India (which name included Arabia Felix). According to other legends he suffered martyrdom (Assemani, "Bibl. Orientalis," iii. 2, 20; see also Lipsius, "Apocryphe Apostelgeschichten," ii. 2, 54-108). In Coptic Gnostic literature he is often mentioned (see Carl Schmidt, "Gnostische Schriften in Koptischer Sprache," 1892, p. 451).
- Hastings, Dict. of the Bible, s.v.;
- Cheyne, Encycl. Biblica.