THADDAEUS (thă-dē'ŭs, Gr. Thaddaios). One of the twelve apostles, mentioned only twice in Scripture—in two of the four lists of the apostles (
The name is found only in the lists of the twelve apostles recorded in the first two gospels (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18). In its place Luke has Judas the son (or brother) of James (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13). The unpopularity of the name “Judas” because of the treachery of Iscariot may have led to this man's being known by another name. “Thaddaeus” is thought to have been derived from Aramaic meaning the “breast nipple.” This might suggest that he was a character of almost feminine tenderness. Some Western manuscripts read “Lebbaeus” at Matthew 10:3. This is usually thought to be inauthentic and, as probably derived from Hebrew leb, “heart,” may have been an explanation of the name “Thaddaeus.” If Judas is the same as Thaddaeus, he is not likely to be the brother of our Lord or the author of the epistle of Jude, though he may be the same as “Judas (not )" of John 14:22. Jerome equates Thaddaeus, Lebbaeus, and , and tells how he was sent on a mission to Abgar, king of Edessa. He was thought by Eusebius to be one of the seventy disciples sent out by Jesus (Luke 10:1).
THADDAEUS thă dē’ əs (Θαδδαι̂ος, G2497). One of the twelve apostles (
H. B. Swete, The Gospel According to St. Mark (1905), 61; V. Taylor, The Gospel According to St. Mark (1952), 233, 234.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
One of the Twelve Apostles (
See also SIMON THE CANANAEAN.
According to the "Genealogies of the Twelve Apostles" (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, II, 50), Thaddaeus was of the house of Joseph; according to the "Book of the Bee" he was of the tribe of Judah. There is abundant testimony in apocryphal literature of the missionary activity of a certain Thaddaeus in Syria, but doubt exists as to whether this was the apostle. Thus
(1) according to the "Ac of Peter" (compare Budge, II, 466 ff) Peter appointed Thaddaeus over the island of Syria and Edessa.
(2) The "Preaching of the blessed Judas, the brother of our Lord, who was surnamed Thaddaeus" (Budge, 357 ff), describes his mission in Syria and in Dacia, and indicates him as one of the Twelve.
(3) The "Acta Thaddaei" (compare Tischendorf, Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha, 1851, 261 ff) refers to this Thaddaeus in the text as one of the Twelve, but in the heading as one of the Seventy.
(4) The Abgar legend, dealing with a supposed correspondence between Abgar, king of Syria, and Christ, states in its Syriac form, as translated by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, I, xiii, 6-22) (compare THOMAS), that "after the ascension of Christ, Judas, who was also called Thomas, sent to Abgar the apostle Thaddaeus, one of the Seventy" (compare Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 76 ff).
Jerome, however, identifies this same Thaddaeus with Lebbaeus and "Judas .... of James" of Luke (
See Apocryphal Acts.
The general consensus seems to indicate, however, that both Thomas and Thaddaeus the apostle had some connection with Edessa. Of the various identifications of Thaddaeus with other Biblical personages which might be inferred from the foregoing, that with "Judas .... of James" is the only one that has received wide acceptance.
The burial place of Thaddaeus is variously placed at Beirut and in Egypt. A "Gospel of Thaddaeus" is mentioned in the Decree of Gelasius.
C. M. Kerr