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Discover the meanings of thousands of Biblical names in Abarim Publications' Biblical Name Vault: Nathanael

Nathanael meaning

Ναθαναηλ
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🔼The name Nathanael in the Bible

Nathanael plays a cameo role in the gospel of John, but is remembered for having sat under the fig tree before meeting Jesus (John 1:48), and expressing his amazement and that of many after him about the Messiah coming from Nazareth (John 1:46). Apparently, Nathanael stayed closely associated to Jesus and the other disciples. After the resurrection He appears to seven disciples, and Nathanael is one of them (John 21:2).

It has been suggested that Nathanael and the apostle Bartholomew are the same person. Also note that in the gospel of John Nathanael is the first the pronounce Jesus King of the Jews, which parallels him to the Magi of the Matthean gospel (2:1). Note further that both the names Nathanael and Matthew come from the same verb נתן (natan), meaning to give, and that the name Nathanael is a paraphrased version of the name Zebedee.

The name Nathanael occurs 6 times in the New Testament; see full concordance. Read our article on the name Nazarene for a discussion of Nathanael's initial reluctance to accept Jesus as the Christ.

🔼Etymology of the name Nathanael

The name Nathanael is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Nethanel, and that name ends with the element אל (El), the common abbreviation of Elohim, the Hebrew word for God:

The first part of the names Nathanael and Nethanel comes from the verb נתן (natan), meaning to give:

🔼Nathanael meaning

For a meaning of the name Nathanael, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads God Has Given. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names doesn't treat this Greek name, but for the Hebrew equivalent Nethanel Jones reads Given Of God.

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