NATHANAEL (na-thăn'ā-ĕl, Heb. nethan’ēl, God has given). One of the apostles introduced to Christ by Philip (
Nathanael is mentioned only in John. Efforts to identify him with the Apostle Bartholomew are only conjectures. Though double names (even double Sem. names) were sometimes used, there is no real ground for an identification of these two individuals.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(1) One of the "captains over thousands" who furnished the Levites with much cattle for Josiah’s Passover (1 Esdras 1:9) equals "Nethanel" of
(2) (Nathanaelos, Codices Vaticanus and Alexandrinus omit): One of the priests who had married a "strange wife" (1 Esdras 9:22) equals "Nethanel" of
(3) An ancestor of Judith (Judith 8:1).
(4) One of the Twelve Apostles. See next article.
Although Nathanael is mentioned by name only once again in the
(1) Nathanael is never mentioned by the synoptists, and Bartholomew is never mentioned by John, who further implies that Nathanael was one of the twelve disciples (compare
(2) in the Synoptists, Philip is closely connected with Bartholomew (compare lists of the apostles), and in John with Nathaniel (compare
(3) the fact that most of the other apostles bear two names. Arguments are also adduced to identify him wit h Simon the Cananean (compare SIMON). Nathanael has also been identified with Matthew and Mattbias (based on the similarity of name-meanings), with John the son of Zebedee, with Stephen, and even with Paul.