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Sunday, August 24, 2014

24 August. 1662 Book of Common Prayer: Bartholomew the Apostle

24 August.  1662 Book of Common Prayer:  Bartholomew the Apostle . 

St. Bartholomew the Apostle. The name Bartholomew being only a patronymic, he is generally identified with Nathanael, the "Israelite without guile," brought by St. Philip to Our Lord (John i. 45, 46), because his name is always joined with that of St. Philip in all the catalogues of the Apostles. He is said by a tradition of the 2nd century to have preached in "India." As we know nothing special of him, it will be seen that the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel all refer to the Apostolic mission in general. -- August 24th.

24 August.  1662 Book of Common Prayer:  Bartholomew the Apostle . 

Saint Bartholomew the Apostle.

The Collect.


O ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst give to thine Apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word; Grant, we beseech thee, unto thy Church, to love that Word which he believed, and both to preach and receive the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

One of the Twelve Apostles, mentioned sixth in the three Gospel lists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14), and seventh in the list of Acts (1:13).

The name (Bartholomaios) means "son of Talmai" (or Tholmai) which was an ancient Hebrew name, borne, e.g. by the King of Gessur whose daughter was a wife of David (2 Samuel 3:3). It shows, at least, that Bartholomew was of Hebrew descent; it may have been his genuine proper name or simply added to distinguish him as the son of Talmai. Outside the instances referred to, no other mention of the name occurs in the New Testament.

Nothing further is known of him for certain. Many scholars, however, identify him with Nathaniel (John 1:45-51; 21:2). The reasons for this are that Bartholomew is not the proper name of the Apostle; that the name never occurs in the Fourth Gospel, while Nathaniel is not mentioned in the synoptics; that Bartholomew's name is coupled with Philip's in the lists of Matthew and Luke, and found next to it in Mark, which agrees well with the fact shown by St. John that Philip was an old friend of Nathaniel's and brought him to Jesus; that the call of Nathaniel, mentioned with the call of several Apostles, seems to mark him for the apostolate, especially since the rather full and beautiful narrative leads one to expect some important development; that Nathaniel was of Galilee where Jesus found most, if not all, of the Twelve; finally, that on the occasion of the appearance of the risen Savior on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, Nathaniel is found present, together with several Apostles who are named and two unnamed Disciples who were, almost certainly, likewise Apostles (the word "apostle" not occurring in the Fourth Gospel and "disciple" of Jesus ordinarily meaning Apostle) and so, presumably, was one of the Twelve. This chain of circumstantial evidence is ingenious and pretty strong; the weak link is that, after all, Nathaniel may have been another personage in whom, for some reason, the author of the Fourth Gospel may have been particularly interested, as he was in Nicodemus, who is likewise not named in the synoptics.

No mention of St. Bartholomew occurs in ecclesiastical literature before Eusebius, who mentions that Pantaenus, the master of Origen, while evangelizing India, was told that the Apostle had preached there before him and had given to his converts the Gospel of St. Matthew written in Hebrew, which was still treasured by the Church. "India" was a name covering a very wide area, including even Arabia Felix. Other traditions represent St. Bartholomew as preaching in Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Armenia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, and on the shores of the Black Sea; one legend, it is interesting to note, identifies him with Nathaniel.

The manner of his death, said to have occurred at Albanopolis in Armenia, is equally uncertain; according to some, he was beheaded, according to others, flayed alive and crucified, head downward, by order of Astyages, for having converted his brother, Polymius, King of Armenia. On account of this latter legend, he is often represented in art (e.g. in Michelangelo's Last Judgment) as flayed and holding in his hand his own skin. His relics are thought by some to be preserved in the church of St. Bartholomew-in-the-Island, at Rome. His feast is celebrated on 24 August. An apocryphal gospel of Bartholomew existed in the early ages.

From Wikipedia

Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and is usually identified with Nathanael (alternatively spelled Nathaniel),[1] who is mentioned in John 1. He was introduced to Christ through Philip, another of the twelve apostles as per John 1:43–51, where the name Nathanael first appears. He is also mentioned as "Nathanael of Cana in Galilee" in John 21:2. The account of the calling of Nathanael of Cana occurs at the end of John 1, immediately followed by the account of Jesus' miracle at the Marriage at Cana in John 2. The name Nathanael is the one used for him in John’s Gospel. The relationship between Philip and Nathanael is noted as per John 1:43–51. Bartholomew (Greek: Βαρθολομαος, transliterated "Bartholomaios") comes from the Aramaic bar-Tôlmay (בר-תולמי), meaning son of Tolmay or son of the furrows (perhaps a ploughman).

According to the Synaxarium of the Coptic Orthodox Church, his martyrdom is commemorated on the 1st day of the Coptic Calendar (1st day of the month of "Thout"), which currently falls on September 11 (corresponding to August 29 in the Gregorian Calendar). His feast is June 11 in Eastern Christianity, and August 24 in both forms of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. The festival in August has been a traditional occasion for markets and fairs, such as the Bartholomew Fair held in Smithfield, London since the Middle Ages, which served as the scene for Ben Jonson's homonymous comedy.


 New Testament references

In the East, where Bartholomew's evangelical labours were expended, he was identified as Nathanael, in works by Abdisho bar Berika (often known as Ebedjesu in the West), the 14th century Nestorian metropolitan of Soba, and Elias, the bishop of Damascus.[2] Nathanael is mentioned only in the Gospel according to John. In the Synoptic gospels, Philip and Bartholomew are always mentioned together, while Nathanael is never mentioned; in John's gospel, on the other hand, Philip and Nathanael are similarly mentioned together. Giuseppe Simone Assemani specifically remarks, "the Chaldeans confound Bartholomew with Nathaniel".[3] Some Biblical scholars reject this identification, however.[4]

As Bartholomew

Bartholomew is listed among the Twelve Apostles of Christ in the three Synoptic gospels: Matthew,[10:1–4] Mark,[3:13–19] and Luke,[6:12–16] and also appears as one of the witnesses of the Ascension[Acts 1:4,12,13]; however, each time he is named in the company of Philip. He is not mentioned in John. Nor are there any early acta,[5] the earliest being written by a pseudepigraphical writer who assumed the identity of Abdias of Babylon and called the Saint-Thierry Manuscript and Pseudo-Abdias Manuscripts.[6][7]

As Nathanael

In the Gospel of John,[1:45–51] Nathanael is introduced as a friend of Philip. 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 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 referring to studying the Torah. Nathanael recognizes Jesus as "the Son of God" and "the King of Israel". He reappears at the end of John's gospel[21:2] as one of the disciples to whom Jesus appeared at the Sea of Galilee after the Resurrection.

Tradition Bartholomew Monastery at the site of the Apostle's martyrdom in historical Armenia

Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History (5:10) states that after the Ascension, Bartholomew went on a missionary tour to India, where he left behind a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. Other traditions record him as serving as a missionary in Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Parthia, and Lycaonia.[8]

Along with his fellow apostle Jude, Bartholomew is reputed to have brought Christianity to Armenia in the 1st century. Thus both saints are considered the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

He is said to have been martyred in Albanopolis in Armenia. According to one account, he was beheaded, but a more popular tradition holds that he was flayed alive and crucified, head downward. He is said to have converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity. Astyages, Polymius' brother, consequently ordered Bartholomew's execution.[9]

The 13th century Saint Bartholomew Monastery was a prominent Armenian monastery constructed at the site of the martyrdom of Apostle Bartholomew in the Vaspurakan Province of Greater Armenia (now in southeastern Turkey).[10]

Mission in India

Two ancient testimonies exist about the mission of Saint Bartholomew in India. These are of Eusebius of Caesarea (early 4th century) and of Saint Jerome (late 4th century). Both these refer to this tradition while speaking of the reported visit of Pantaenus to India in the 2nd century.[11]

The studies of Fr A.C Perumalil SJ and Moraes hold that the Bombay region on the Konkan coast, a region which may have been known as the ancient city Kalyan, was the field of Saint Bartholomew's missionary activities.[11]

Bartholomew's relics

The 6th-century writer in Constantinople, Theodorus Lector, averred that in about 507 Emperor Anastasius gave the body of Bartholomew to the city of Dura-Europos, which he had recently re-founded.[12] The existence of relics at Lipari, a small island off the coast of Sicily, in the part of Italy controlled from Constantinople, was explained by Gregory of Tours[13] by his body having miraculously washed up there: a large piece of his skin and many bones that were kept in the Cathedral of St Bartholomew the Apostle, Lipari, were translated to Beneventum in 803, and to Rome in 983 by Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, conserved at the basilica of San Bartolomeo all'Isola. In time, the church there inherited an old pagan medical centre. This association with medicine in course of time caused Bartholomew's name to become associated with medicine and hospitals.[14] Some of Bartholomew's skull was transferred to the Frankfurt Cathedral, while an arm is venerated in Canterbury Cathedral today

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