Bartholomew and Nathan


I have always believed the Nathan was the Apostle Bartholomew. I have read this is thought by some. Some must be in doubt. The Copts were mentioned on this. They must’ve been established with Mark as their leader. Hence one meaning of Jesus’ " have sheep in other fields…" Anyway. Are they the same person? According to writings of the church, or Church tradition?




Not all NT scholars accept that Bartholomew and Nathanael are to be considered as the same person. Richard Bauckham is one who explicitly rejects that hypothesis. His view is that, in addition to the Twelve, there were a number of other people who were also considered as Jesus’ disciples, and that Nathanael was one of these. Bauckham develops this argument at some length in his book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, published in 2006. In a five-page section entitled The Identity of the Beloved Disciple, on pp. 412-416, his main argument is that the Beloved Disciple, too, was not one of the Twelve, along with Nicodemus, Lazarus, and several others, including Nathanael.


I was wondering if the Church had a stance on this. I know of many sources saying many things. But is there no tradition or magisterial insight?


I don’t think so. If there was, it would have been mentioned in the Catholic Encyclopedia entry that SMOM linked to (#2 on this thread).


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit