Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
NATHANAEL ( = Θεόδωρος, ‘Gift of God’ [Heb. נְחַנְאֵל, Numbers 1:8, 1 Chronicles 2:14 etc.]; cf. Adcodatus, Deodatus, Dcusdedit ).—We know nothing about him except what is told us in John 1:45-51; John 21:2. On the question of his identity with Bartholomew, see art. Bartholomew, i. p. 173a. The place at which Nathanael was found by Philip and brought to Jesus is not mentioned; but it is not improbable that Nathanael was returning from listening to the preaching of the Baptist. He may have been baptized by him. The very detailed account of the calling of Nathanael leads one to suppose that it was an important event, such as the calling of one who was afterwards to be an Apostle. In any case, the local knowledge shown in John 1:44 f. is very real and, so far as it goes, it tells in favour of Johannine authorship; for St. John would possess this knowledge, and a later writer would not, and would not care to invent such details. Philip, like Nathanael, was a Galilaean, the one of Bethsaida, time other of Cana ( John 21:2): they were therefore neighbours, and evidently friends. Like Andrew and John, Philip no sooner finds, or is found by, Christ, than he seeks to make Him known to others. The plural, ‘ We have found him,’ etc., seems to imply that Philip, with Andrew and Peter and John and James, was now a disciple of Jesus. These five formed the beginning of the Christian Church. The order of the words in the Greek is noteworthy: Him of whom wrote Moses in the law’ comes first, ‘and the prophets’ being added as an afterthought; and the whole of this comes with emphasis before the verb, ‘we have found.’ It looks as if Nathanael and Philip had at times discussed the OT descriptions of the Messiah. At this time Philip would know nothing of the virgin birth at Bethlehem: he quite naturally describes Jesus as He was commonly known. The Scriptures to which he specially refers would he Genesis 17:7; Genesis 49:10, Deuteronomy 18:15.
Nathanael’s question, ‘Can any good thing?’ etc., does not imply that Nazareth had a bad reputation, but that the insignificant village, so close to his own home, was not a likely birthplace for the Messiah. Was a petty place, so familiar to them both, thus honoured? What prophecy said anything of the kind? The prophecy alluded to in Matthew 2:23 is not known to us, and was probably unknown to Nathanael. In any case, Nathanael’s question confirms the statement that the miracle at Cana was the first of Christ’s signs. If Jesus had worked miracles at Nazareth, Nathanael at Cana must have heard of them.
Philip’s ‘Come and see’ is in harmony with the practical bent of his mind ( John 12:21; John 14:8), and is the best answer to anything like prejudice. ‘He that doeth the truth cometh to the light’ ( John 3:21, cf. John 1:9); and this is what Nathanael does, with good results. It is part of his guilelessness that he is willing to have any prejudice removed, and he at once accepts Philip’s proposal; cf. John 4:20; John 4:30. Christ praises him as truly an Israelite, i.e. as one who has something more than the blood of the patriarch, viz. a character which corresponds to the dignity of the name ( Psalms 73:1). In him the guile of Jacob the supplanter has given place to the righteousness which wins a victory with God. He is one whose death a prophet may desire ( Numbers 23:10).
Nathanael overhears the praise of himself, and the question with which he replies to it has been criticised as arguing a want of modesty on his part. But his reply does not mean, ‘I know that I am all that; but how do you know it?’ Rather, he exhibits surprise that a total stranger should express any opinion about him, lie somewhat coldly intimates that he doubts the value of praise which can hardly be based upon experience. But, like Mary’s ‘How shall this be?’ ( Luke 1:34), his question does not so much ask for proof as express astonishment. In both cases the proof which was not demanded was granted. Gabriel gave Mary a sign that he could read her future, for he showed that he knew all about Elisabeth’s prospects of a son; and Jesus gives Nathanael a sign that He could read his character, for He shows that He knows all about his private conduct (cf. what we read of Elisha in 2 Kings 5:26; 2 Kings 6:12). Nathanael at once recognizes the significance of this knowledge, and in his reply ‘the true Israelite acknowledges his King.’
It is right to allow for the possibility that in Nathanael’s confession ( John 1:49), and in that of the Baptist ( John 1:34), the Evangelist may be putting into the months of others language which had become natural to himself, but was not actually Used by them. St. John was so full of the doctrine that Jesus as the Messiah was the Son of God, that he may have made those who accepted Him as the Messiah express their belief in a form which was not used until somewhat later. We must admit that thus to antedate the terminology of a fuller appreciation of the truth would be possible. But Psalms 2:6-7 will suffice to explain the language which the Evangelist attributes to the Baptist and to Nathanael. This Psalm was generally recognized as Messianic, and seems to have been very familiar ( Acts 4:25-28; Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 5:5). In the fulness of his conviction Nathanael quite naturally uses the fullest Scriptural designation of the Messiah with which he was acquainted. Experience of Christ’s miraculous knowledge had convinced him, as it convinced the Samaritan woman ( John 4:29) and Thomas ( John 20:27-28), that Jesus stood in the closest relation to God. Hence he uses this title of the Messiah ( John 11:27, Matthew 26:63, Mark 3:11 || Mark 5:7 || Mark 15:39 ||, Luke 4:41) rather than the common ‘Son of David’ ( Matthew 9:27; Matthew 12:23; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 20:30-31; Matthew 21:9-15; Matthew 22:42 etc.). Although ‘Son of God’ and ‘King of Israel’ both indicate the Messiah, the titles are not quite synonymous, as is shown by the repetition of ‘Thou art.’ ‘Son of God’ gives the relation to God—a relation which would be only vaguely understood by Nathanael; ‘King of Israel’ gives the relation to the Chosen People. Thus the two titles complete one another.
Nothing is gained by suggesting (Cheyne in Enc. Bibl. iii. col. 3338) that ‘when thou wast under the fig-tree’ ought to be ‘when thou wast making supplication,’ because the Hebrew for the one (וְאַתֶּאמִתְחַנֵּן wĕattâ mithhannçn ) would resemble the Hebrew for the other (וְאַתָּאתַּהַתהַתְּאֵנָה, wĕattâ tahath hattĕ’çnâ ). What the Evangelist gives us is intrinsically more probable, as being more definite, and therefore more likely to impress Nathanael. Nathanael seems to have believed that Jesus knew what he was thinking about under the fig-tree, just as the Samaritan woman believed that He knew all about her past life. Fresh from the teaching of the Baptist, Nathanael may have been meditating on the coming of the Messiah as near at hand. It was under a fig-tree that Augustine heard the ‘Tolle, lege’ ( Conf. viii. xii. 1). See OT reff. to ‘fig-tree.’
Believest thou?’ implies something of surprise at the rapidity of Nathanael’s conviction (contrast Mark 6:6); but ‘thou believest’ is perhaps right. Christ approves of his faith and of its basis; and He forthwith promises him an ampler basis, and therefore the prospect of a loftier faith. This wider basis of ‘greater things’ refers to the public signs which are to follow, and which seem to be alluded to in ‘the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.’ Angels are instruments of the Divine power in nature ( Revelation 14:18; Revelation 16:5). Nathanael has believed because of a miracle of knowledge which could be appreciated by himself alone: he is hereafter to witness miracles of power which can be appreciated by all. And here it is to be noted that, while the ‘Israelite indeed’ enters upon a new life in recognizing his King by the sign granted to him, the Messiah Himself enters upon a new career in granting the sign. This private sign to Nathanael was a prelude to those public miracles in which Christ ‘manifested His glory’ to the Jewish nation and through it to all the world. The angels, who are to be instruments of the manifestation, are represented as being already on earth, the ‘ascending’ being placed first. They are ready to carry men’s prayers to heaven, and to bring down the blessings which prayer wins. But there is a reference to Jacob’s dream ( Genesis 28:12), suggested possibly by the place; for Bethel, Mahanaim, and the ford Jabbok all lay close to the route which Christ would take in going from Judaea to Galilee; and in the narrative in Genesis the ascending angels are mentioned first. What Jacob had dreamed was fulfilled in Jesus. Heaven was opened and remained so (perfect participle) to mankind. Heaven came down to earth in the Person of the Son of God, and, by a regular intercourse between His place of sojourn and His home, man became capable of attaining to heaven. It narrows the meaning far too much when the promise to Nathanael is interpreted of the angels who appeared after the Temptation, at the Agony, and after the Resurrection and Ascension.
The change in the designation of the Messiah is significant. Nathanael had called Him ‘the Son of God’: He calls Himself ‘the Son of Man,’ and it is the earliest occasion on which He does so. In the Synoptic Gospels the title ‘son of Man’ occurs 69 times, and Christ is represented as using it (always of Himself) on about 40 different occasions. In John the title is used 11 or 12 times, John 9:35 being doubtful; and none of these passages is parallel to anything in the Synoptics. Here the point may be that He is come, not to revive the old theocracy, nor to ‘restore the kingdom to Israel’ ( Acts 1:6), but to redeem the whole human race. It may also be that at this beginning of His ministry Jesus will not definitely accept the title ‘Son of God.’ Without rejecting it, He substitutes for it a title which seems to have been adopted by Him to veil, rather than to reveal, the fact that He was the Messiah. But here again we must allow for the possibility that the Evangelist is wording Christ’s reply according to language which he had often heard from His lips, but which was not used quite so early in the ministry as this.
In Nathanael we have an instance of a good man hampered by prejudice, but quite willing to be enlightened. He comes to the Light, and is searched, approved, and illuminated. In Christ’s treatment of him we have an instance of His knowledge of what was in man ( John 2:25), not only in the case of mankind in general, but with regard to individual character; also of the working of the law that ‘whosoever hath, to him shall be given.’
The narrative of the call of Nathanael, like the rest of John 1, strongly confirms the belief that the writer is a Jew of Palestine, well acquainted with the Messianic hopes, and with the traditions and phraseology current in Palestine at the time of Christ’s ministry; able also to give a lifelike picture of Christ’s first disciples.
Literature.—B. F. Westcott, Gospel of St. John , 28 f., 33 ff.; R. C. Trench, Studies in the Gospels , 66; H. P. Liddon, University Sermons , 2nd ser. 4; Phillips Brooks, Mystery of Iniquity , 129; A. Maclaren, A Year’s Ministry ; 2nd ser. 169; W. Boyd Carpenter, Son of Man , 163; J. G. Greenhough, Apostles of our Lord , 74; H. T. Purchas, Johannine Problems , 68; G. Matheson, Representative Men of the N.T. 71; Expos. 5th ser. viii. (1898) 336.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
NATHANAEL. 1 . Esther 1:8 Esther 1:8 = 2 Chronicles 35:9 Nethanel. 2 . Esther 9:22 Esther 9:22 = Ezra 10:22 Nethanel. 3 . An ancestor of Judith ( Jdt 8:1 ). 4 . Nathanael of Cana in Galilee ( John 21:2 ) appears twice in the Fourth Gospel. (1) When told by Philip, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph,’ Nathanael hesitated. ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ he asked. Philip thereupon conducted him to meet Jesus, and, when he looked on that wondrous face, his doubt vanished, and he hailed Him as the Messiah, ‘the Son of God, the King of Israel.’ See John 1:43-51 . (2) Nathanael was one of the seven to whom the risen Lord manifested Himself at the Lake of Galilee ( John 21:2 ). His name occurs only in Jn. but the following are reasons for believing that he was identical with Bartholomew , who is never mentioned by St. John, and by the other Evangelists only in their catalogues of the Apostles ( Matthew 10:3 = Mark 3:18 = Luke 6:14 ). ( a ) Bartholomew is not a name, but a patronymic Bar Talmai , ‘the son of Talmai.’ ( b ) Nathanael appears in St. John’s narrative as a friend of Philip, and Bartholomew is coupled with Philip in the lists of the Apostles. ( c ) Since the others of the seven at the Lake whose names are indicated by St. John were Apostles, it is probable that Nathanael also was an Apostle. His title would thus be Nathanael har Talmai.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
("God given".) Hebrew Nethaneel. Of Cana in Galilee ( John 1:47; John 21:2). Three or four days after the temptation, Jesus when intending to "go forth into Galilee findeth Philip and saith, Follow Me." Philip, like Andrew finding his own brother Simon ( John 1:41), and the woman of Samaria ( John 4:28-29) inviting her fellow townsmen, having been found himself by Jesus, "findeth" his friend Nathanael, and saith, "we have found (He Should Have Said, We Have Been Found By: Isaiah 65:1 ; Philippians 3:12 Ff, Song of Solomon 1:4 ) Him of whom the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph" (He Should Have Said The Son Of God) . (For The Rest, See Bartholomew.) Tradition makes Nathanael to have been the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana, to which he belonged.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
Only John’s Gospel mentions Nathanael, though he is probably the same person whom Matthew, Mark and Luke call Bartholemew. (For the identification of the two names see Bartholemew .) He lived in Galilee and was introduced to Jesus by Philip ( John 1:43-45; John 21:2).
Nathanael was an honest person, free of deceit ( John 1:47). At first he had difficulty believing that the Messiah should come from the small Galilean town of Nazareth, but he was quickly convinced when he learnt first-hand of Jesus’ supernatural knowledge ( John 1:48-49). Jesus assured Nathanael that the Messiah was more than just a person with superhuman knowledge. He was the divinely given mediator, God’s unique ‘ladder’ that connected earth and heaven. Jesus’ mission was to bring God to the world and to make it possible for the world to come to God ( John 1:50-51).
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Nathan'ael. (Gift Of God). A disciple of Jesus Christ , concerning whom, under that name at least, we learn from Scripture little more than his birthplace, Cana of Galilee, John 21:2, and his simple, truthful character. John 1:47. The name does not occur in the first three Gospels, but it is commonly believed that Nathanael and Bartholomew are the same person.
The evidence for that belief is as follows: St. John, who twice mentions Nathanael, never introduces the name of Bartholomew at all. St. Matthew, Matthew 10:3, St. Mark, Mark 3:18, and St. Luke, Luke 8:14, all speak of Bartholomew, but never of Nathanael. If was Philip who first brought Nathanael to Jesus , just as Andrew had brought his brother, Simon.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Nathanael ( Na-Thăn'A-El ), Gift Of God. A native of Cana of Galilee, John 21:2. whom our Lord called an Israelite without guile. John 1:47. He was led by Philip to Jesus, He went doubting, with the words on bis lips, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Jesus, however, at once convinces him that he is the Messiah by the exhibition of his knowledge, declaring that he had seen Nathanael under the fig tree before ever Philip had called him. Nathanael confesses him to be the Son of God and the King of Israel. The name Nathanael occurs only in John. For this reason, combined with the fact that John never mentions the name of Bartholomew, it is generally supposed that the two are identical.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
One of whom the Lord said, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." He answered, "Whence knowest thou me?" The Lord told him that he had seen him under the fig tree, where probably he had been in some exercise of soul Godward: we may gather this from Psalm 32:2,5 , as one in whom is no guile is one who confesses his transgressions to the Lord. At once Nathanael said, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel." John 1:45-49 . John 21:2 speaks of Nathanael, of Cana in Galilee, who was with the apostles when they went fishing. This is doubtless the same person. It is thought by many that Nathanael was an apostle, and was the same as Bartholomew, whom John never otherwise mentions.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
A disciple of Christ, probably the same as John 21:2 , and was one of the first to recognize the Messiah, who at their first interview manifested his perfect acquaintance with Nathanael's secret heart and life, John 1:45-51 . He was introduced by Philip to Jesus, who on seeing him pronounced that remarkable eulogy which has rendered his name almost another word for sincerity: "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." He was one of the disciples to whom Christ appeared at the sea of Tiberias after his resurrection, John 21:2; and after witnessing the ascension returned with the other apostles to Jerusalem, Acts 1:4,12,13 .
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
a disciple of our Lord. He appears to have been a pious Jew who waited for the Messiah: and upon Jesus saying to him, "Before Philip called thee, I saw thee under the fig tree," Nathanael, convinced, by some circumstance not explained, of his omniscience, exclaimed, "Master, thou art the Son of God, and the King of Israel." Many have thought that Nathanael was the same as Bartholomew. The evangelists, who mention Bartholomew, say nothing of Nathanael; and St. John, who mentions Nathanael, takes no notice of Bartholomew. We read at the end of St. John's Gospel, that our Saviour, after his resurrection, manifested himself to Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, and the sons of Zebedee, as they were fishing in the lake of Gennesareth. We know no other circumstances of the life of this holy man.
Holman Bible Dictionary 
giver of God John 1:47 John 1:49
Nathanael was from Cana of Galilee ( John 21:2 ) and apparently became one of the inner core of disciples who followed Jesus. Although Matthew, Mark, and Luke do not mention him by name, his two appearances in John point to his devotion to Christ. Some have equated him with Bartholomew.
Philip announced to Nathanael that Jesus was the promised Messiah ( John 1:45 ). It was then that Nathanael made the infamous remark, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” See Disciples .
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
Compounded of Nathan, giftâ€”and El, God. We have many of this name, Numbers 1:8; 1 Chronicles 2:14; 1Ch 15:24; 1Ch 24:6; 2 Chronicles 17:7; 2Ch 35:9; Ezra 10:22. And the eminent Nathaniel, so highly spoken of by the Lord Jesus Christ, John 1:47.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
( Ναθαναήλ , but Ναθανάηλος in 1 Esdras 9:22; for the Heb. נְתִנְאֵל , Given Of God, i.q. Θεόδορος ; comp. Nathan), the name of three men in the Apocrypha and one in the N.T. (See Nethaneel).
1. A brother of Samaras the Levite, in the time of Josias ( 1 Esdras 1:8); evidently the NETHANEEL (See Nethaneel) (q.v.) of the Heb. text ( 2 Chronicles 25:9).
2. One of the "sons of Phaisus" who renounced their Gentile wives after the captivity. ( 1 Esdras 9:32); evidently the NETHANEEL (s.v.) of the Heb. text (Esdr. 10:22).
3. Son of Samael and father of Eliab among the ancestry of Judith ( Judith 8:1), and therefore a Simeonite ( Judith 9:2). (See Judith).
4. One of the earliest disciples of our Lord, concerning whom, under that name at least, we learn from Scripture little more than his birthplace, Cana of Galilee ( John 21:2), and his simple, truthful character ( John 1:47). We have no particulars of his life. Indeed the name does not occ'ur in the first three Gospels. We learn, however, from the evangelist John that Jesus on the third or fourth day after his return from the scene of his temptation to that of his baptism, having been proclaimed by the Baptist as the Lamb of God, was minded to go into Galilee. He first then called Philip to follow him, but Philip could not set forth on his journey without communicating to Nathanael the wonderful intelligence which he had received from his master the Baptist, namely, that the Messiah so long foretold by Moses and the prophets had at last appeared. Nathanael, who seems to have heard the announcement at first with some distrust, as doubting whether anything good could come out of so small and inconsiderable a place as Nazareth — a place nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament — yet readily accepted Philip's invitation to go and satisfy himself by his own personal observation ( John 1:46). What follows is a testimony to the humility, simplicity, and sincerity of his own character from One who could read his heart, such as is recorded of hardly any other person in the Bible. Nathanael, on his approach to Jesus, is saluted by him as "an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile" — a true child of Abraham, and not simply according to the flesh. So little, however, did he expect any such distinctive praise, that he could not refrain from asking how it was that he had become known to Jesus. The answer, "before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee," appears to have satisfied him that the speaker was more than man — that he must have read his secret thoughts, and heard his unuttered prayer at a time when he was studiously screening himself from public observation, as was the custom with pious Jews (Tholuck, Comment. on John, ad loc.). The conclusion was inevitable. Nathanael at once confessed, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel" ( John 1:49). B.C. 25. The name of Nathanael occurs but once again in the Gospel narrative, and then simply as one of the small company of disciples to whom Jesus showed himself at the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection. B.C. 29. On that occasion we may fairly suppose that he joined his brethren in their night's venture on the lake — that, having been a sharer of their fruitless toil, he was a witness with them of the miraculous draught of fishes the next morning — and that he afterwards partook of the meal, to which, without daring to ask, the disciples felt assured in their hearts that he who had called them was the Lord ( John 21:12). Once therefore at the beginning of our Savior's ministry, and once after his resurrection, does the name of Nathanael occur in the sacred record.
This scanty notice of one who was intimately associated with the very chiefest apostles, and was himself the object of our Lord's most emphatic commendation, has not unnaturally provoked the inquiry whether he may not be identified with another of the well-known disciples of Jesus. It is indeed very commonly believed that Nathanael and Bartholomew are the same person. The evidence for that belief is as follows: John, who twice mentions Nathanael, never introduces the name of Bartholomew at all. Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; and Luke 6:14, all speak of Bartholomew, but never of Nathanael. It may be, however, that Nathanael was the proper name, and Bartholomew (son of Tholmai) the surname of the same disciple, just as Simon was called Bar-Jona, and Joses, Barnabas. It was Philip who first brought Nathanael to Jesus, just as Andrew had brought his brother Simon, and Bartholomew is named by each of the first three evangelists immediately after Philip; while by Luke he is coupled with Philip precisely in the same way as Simon with his brother Andrew, and James with his brother John. It should be observed, too, that as all the other disciples mentioned in the first chapter of John became apostles of Christ, it is difficult to suppose that one who had been so singularly commended by Jesus, and who in his turn had so promptly and so fully confessed him to be the Son of God, should be excluded from the number. Again, that Nathanael was one of the original twelve, is inferred with much probability from his not being proposed as one of the candidates to fill the place of Judas. Still we must be careful to distinguish conjecture, however well founded, from proof. To the argument based upon the fact that in John's enumeration of the disciples to whom our Lord showed himself at the Sea of Tiberias Nathanael stands before the sons of Zebedee, it is replied that this was to be expected, as the writer was himself a son of Zebedee; and, further, that Nathanael is placed after Thomas in this list, while Bartholomew comes before Thomas in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. But as in the Acts Luke reverses the order of the two names, putting Thomas first and Bartholomew second, we cannot attach much weight to this argument. St. Augustine not only denies the claim of Nathanael to be one of the Twelve, but assigns as a reason for his opinion that whereas Nathanael was most likely a learned man in the law of Moses, it was, as Paul tells us ( 1 Corinthians 1:26), the wisdom of Christ to make choice of rude and unlettered men to confound the wise (In Johan. Ev. chapter 1, § 17). St. Gregory adopts the same view (on John 1:33, chapter 16, B). In a dissertation on John 1:46, to be found in Thes. Theo. Philolog. 2:370, the author, J. Kindler, maintains (Nath. vere Israelites [Viteb. 1680]) that Bartholomew and Nathanael are different persons.
There is a tradition that Nathanael was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana (Calmet), and Epiphanius (Adv. Haer. 1, § 223) implies his belief that of the two disciples whom Jesus overtook on the road to Emnmaus Nathanael was one. The following additional monographs are extant: Lange, Nath. cosfessio (Lips. 1755); Pignatelli, De Apostolatu Nath. Barth. (Par. 1560); Robert, Nathanael Barth. (Duaci, 1519); Hartmann, Examen John 1:47 (Abose, 1753). (See Bartholomew).
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Nathan´ael (given of God), a person of Cana in Galilee, who, when informed by Philip that the Messiah had appeared in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, asked, 'Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?' But he nevertheless accepted Philip's laconic invitation, 'Come and see!' When Jesus saw him coming he said, 'Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.' Astonished to hear this from a man to whom he supposed himself altogether unknown, he asked, 'Whence knowest thou me?' And the answer, 'Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee,' wrought such conviction on his mind that he at once exclaimed, 'Rabbi, thou art the son of God; thou art the king of Israel!' . It is clear, from the effect, that Nathanael knew by this that Jesus was supernaturally acquainted with his disposition and character, as the answer had reference to the private acts of devotion, or to the meditations which filled his mind, when under the fig-tree in his garden. It is questioned whether Jesus had actually seen Nathanael or not with his bodily eyes. It matters not to the result; but the form of the words employed seems to suggest that he had actually noticed him when under the fig-tree, and had then cast a look through his inward being. It is believed that Nathanael is the same as the apostle Bartholomew. All the disciples of John the Baptist named in St. John 1 became apostles; and St. John does not name Bartholomew, nor the other evangelists Nathanael in the lists of the apostles (;; ): besides, the name of Bartholomew always follows that of Philip; and it would appear that Bartholomew (son of Tholmai) is no more than a surname [BARTHOLOMEW].
- ↑ Nathanael from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- ↑ Nathanael from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- ↑ Nathanael from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathanael from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathanael from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathanael from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- ↑ Nathanael from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathanael from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathanael from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- ↑ Nathanael from Holman Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathanael from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- ↑ Nathanael from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Nathanael from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- ↑ Nathanael from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature