From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

BOANERGES. —In  Mark 3:17 we read that Christ ‘gave to James and John name(s) Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder’ (καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτοῖς ὄνομα [ v.l. ὀνόματα] Βοανηργές, ὅ ἐστιν υἱοὶ βροντῆς).* [Note: The MSS give: βοανηργεςא AB, etc., βοανεργης D, βοανεργες EF, etc.] The equation Boanerges = ‘sons of thunder’ presents two difficulties: ( a ) the Hebrew בִּנַי does not naturally give rise to the two vowels οα; ( b ) no known Hebrew or Aram. [Note: Aramaic.] root rgs or rgsh has the meaning ‘thunder.’ A third difficulty might be added, that the title Boanerges , whatever its meaning, does not accurately correspond to ὀνομα(τα), ‘name(s).† [Note: ὁυουατα is read by א AC, etc., ὀνομα is the reading of BD.] If the Evangelist be right in saying that the original title meant ‘sons of thunder,’ we must suppose that Βοανη or Βοανε is due to inaccurate transliteration of בִּנִי, or to a conflation of two readings with a single vowel (see Dalm. Gram. 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] p. 144). But the difficulty as to ργες = βροντή remains. Jerome (on  Daniel 1:7) thought that Boanerges should be emended into Benereem = בִּנִירֽעִס. In that case the s is a mistake on the part of the Evangelist or his copyists for m . Others prefer to think that the original title was בִּנִירְנַז = ‘sons of wrath,’ or בְּנַירְנַשׁ = ‘sons of tumult,’ and that υἱοὶ βροντῆς is an inaccurate translation on the part of the Evangelist. The Syriac Version (Sinaiticus) unfortunately gives us no assistance. It transliterates Bĕnai Ragsh or Ragshi , and omits the explanation ὅ ἐστιν υἱοὶ βροντῆς (see Burkitt, Evangelion da-Mepharreshe , i. 181, ii. 280). It is possible, however, that the corruption lies deeper than this. Just as Dalmanutha ( Mark 8:10) is probably a corruption of an Aramaic proper name (see Burkitt, ii. 249), so Boanerges may be a fusion of two names answering to the ὀνόματα. In that case the Evangelist, misreading or mishearing his Aramaic original, has fused two names into one, and has tried to give a rough translation of the word thus formed. The first name might be בַנּי (Banni), בַנַּי ( Bannai ), or בּ֖נּי ( Bunnai ). Curiously enough, the Babylonian Talmud gives Bani as the name of one of the disciples of Jesus (Bab. [Note: Babylonian.] Sanh. 43 a ). For the second name we offer no conjecture. See, further, John, James.

Literature.— Encyc. Bibl. art. ‘Boanerges’; Expositor , iii. x. [1889] 332 ff.

W. C. Allen.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

This word is neither Hebrew nor Syriac, and some have thought that the transcribers have not exactly copied it, and that the word was benereen βενερεεν , which expresses the sound of the Hebrew of the phrase, "sons of thunder." Parkhurst judges the word to be the Galilean pronunciation of the Hebrew בנו רעש expressed in Greek letters. Now, רעש properly signifies a violent trembling or commotion, and may therefore be well rendered by βροντη , thunder, which is a violent commotion in the air; so, vice versa, any violent commotion is figuratively, and not unusually, in all languages, called thunder. When our Saviour named the sons of Zebedee, Boanerges, he perhaps had an eye to that prophecy of Haggai, "Yet once, and I will shake the heavens and the earth,"   Haggai 2:6; which is, by the Apostle to the  Hebrews 12:26 , applied to the great alteration made in the economy of the Jews by the publication of the Gospel. The name Boanerges, therefore, given to James and John, imports that they should be eminent instruments in accomplishing the wondrous change, and should, like an earthquake or thunder, mightily bear down all opposition, by their inspired preaching and miraculous powers. That it does not relate to their mode of preaching is certain; for that clearly appears to have been calmly argumentative, and sweetly, persuasive—the very reverse of what is usually called a thundering ministry.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

"Sons of thunder." The Aramaic name given to James and John by Jesus. Hebrew Beney Regesh ; Their fiery zeal appears in ( Luke 9:54) their desiring the Lord's permission that they should command fire from heaven (like Elias) to consume the Samaritans who would not receive Him, "because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem." Also in ( Mark 9:38) their forbidding one casting out demons in Christ's name, because he followed not with them. Compare also their ambition for the highest place in Christ's kingdom, next Himself ( Mark 9:35-41). Grace subsequently corrected this zeal without knowledge, making James the willing martyr (Acts 12) and John the apostle of gentleness and love. Still the old zeal against perverters of the truth as it is in Jesus appears in  2 John 1:10-11;  3 John 1:10.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

This name, signifying 'sons of thunder,' was given by the Lord to James and John the sons of Zebedee,  Mark 3:17 , perhaps because of their urgent zeal, as was manifest when, indignant at the treatment of their Lord, they asked if they should call down fire from heaven.  Luke 9:54 . It was John who told the Lord that they had forbidden one who was casting out demons in His name, because he followed not with them.  Mark 9:38 . This act of the apostles was condemned by the Lord, but it is to be feared that similar prohibition has often been repeated by others since those days.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [5]

BOANERGES (  Mark 3:17 ), ‘Sons of Thunder.’ The Master’s appellation of James and John. Jerome takes it as a reference to their fiery eloquence. Others derive it rather from their fiery disposition in early days (cf.   Luke 9:52-56 ). It would thus be a playful yet serious sobriquet, constantly reminding them of their besetting sin and warning them to overcome it.

David Smith.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Boaner'ges. A name signifying Sons Of Thunder , given by our Lord, to the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, probably on account of their fiery earnestness.  Mark 3:17. See  Luke 9:54;  Mark 9:38. Compare  Matthew 20:20, etc.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]

Sons of thunder, a name given by our Savior to James and John the sons of Zebedee,  Mark 3:17; perhaps on account of their power as preachers. Some suppose it was given on the occasion of their request that Christ would call for fire from heaven, and destroy a village of the Samaritans, which had refused to entertain them,  Luke 9:53,54 .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [8]

Boanerges ( Bô'A-Ner'Jçs ), Sons Of Thunder. The name Christ gave to James and John, probably because of their fiery zeal; for proof of which see  Luke 9:54;  Mark 9:38; comp.  Matthew 20:20.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [9]

The meaning of this name is explained to us, as given by Jesus himself, ( Mark 3:17) "the Sons of thunder." Perhaps the word is a compound, from Bini, son; Regem, thunder, or tempest; intimating, perhaps, that those sons of Zebedee would be powerful preachers under the Lord.

Holman Bible Dictionary [10]

sons of thunder  Mark 3:17ApostlesDisciples

Easton's Bible Dictionary [11]

 Mark 3:17 Luke 9:54

Webster's Dictionary [12]

Any declamatory and vociferous preacher or orator.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

( Βοανεργές , explained by Υἱοὶ Βροντῆς , sons of thunder,  Mark 3:17), a surname given by Christ to James and John, probably on account of their fervid, impetuous spirit (comp.  Luke 9:54, and see Olshausen thereon; see also  Mark 9:38; comp.  Matthew 20:20 sq.). The word boanegyes has greatly perplexed philologists and commentators. It seems agreed that the Greek term does not correctly represent the original Syro- Chaldee word, although it is disputed what that word was. (See Gurlitt, Ueb. d. Bedeutung d. Benamens Βοανεργές , in the Theol. Stud. U. Krit. 1829, 4:715 sq.; Jungendres, Etymon. voc. Nouv., Norimb. 1748.) It is probably for בָּיָּנאּרְגֶוֹ , Boyani 'Regets', a Galilean pronunciation of בְּנֵי רְגִז , Beney'Regaz', " sons of commotion," or of בְּנֵי רֶגֶשׁ , Beney'-Re'gesh, "sons of tumult." (See James); (See John).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

- a - nûr´jēz ( Βοανηργές , Boanērgés  ; בּני רגשׁ , benē reghesh , "sons of thunder"): The surname bestowed by Jesus upon James and John, the sons of Zebedee, when they were ordained to the apostleship ( Mark 3:17 ). See James , Son Of Zebedee . It has also been regarded as an equivalent of the "Heavenly Twins," the Sons of Zeus or Thunder. According to this interpretation, the name Boanerges would represent the Dioscuri in some form or other of their varied presentation in the cults of the Mediterranean (compare Professor J. Rendel Harris in The Expositor , series vii, III, 146).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [15]

Boaner´ges (sons of thunder,  Mark 3:17), a surname given by Christ to James and John, probably on account of their fervid, impetuous spirit.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [16]

E . Sons of Thunder), applied by Christ to the sons of Zebedee for the vehemence of their zeal.