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Nathanael (follower of Jesus)

Nathanael (Hebrew נתנאל, "God has given") is a follower of Jesus, mentioned only in the Gospel of John Chapter 1 and Chapter 21.


In the Gospel of John, Nathanael is introduced as a friend of Philip. [1] He is described as initially being skeptical about the Messiah coming from Nazareth, saying: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?", but nonetheless, follows Philip's invitation. Jesus immediately characterizes him as "Here is a man in whom there is no deception." Some scholars[citation needed] hold that Jesus' quote "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you", is based on a Jewish figure of speech[citation needed] referring to studying the Torah. Nathanael recognizes Jesus as "the Son of God" and "the King of Israel".

He reappears (as "Nathanael of Cana") at the end of John's gospel as one of the disciples to whom Jesus appeared at the Sea of Galilee after the Resurrection.[1]

Nathanael has often been identified with Bartholomew the Apostle in the synoptic Gospels,[1] although most modern commentators reject the identification of Nathanael with Bartholomew.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Driscoll, James F. "Nathanael." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 10 Aug. 2014
  2. ^ Smith, D. Moody. Abingdon New Testament Commentaries: John. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1999. ISBN 0687058120

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