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Ira Shafiroff

Thank you, George, for reading and commenting on my blog. Very informative!


Andrew derives from the greek word "ανδρείος" (andreios) which derives from the greek word "ανήρ" (anir). Ανήρ means "man", ανδρείος means "brave". So probably Andrew is just a greek translation of a hebrew name just as Peter's name was. Therefore it may as well be that both brothers had hebrew names as expected only we never learned Andrew's.

Prince Uzi

It is weird that many don't take in to effect what you said "the 12 tribes were Hebrew" there were 12 disciples and Yahshua was sent to free Israel, so how could anyone but paul who was no disciple had been greek?

Ira Shafiroff

Thank you, again, Jonathan, for writing! The points you make are very interesting. What you suggest is certainly possible. I will have to give it more thought! As for Alphaeus and Lebbeus, well, I don't know what they mean. I have, quite frankly, never run across these names before. Are they found in the New Testament or some other writings? I just don't know. I hope to hear from you again, soon, Jonathan. Again, thank you. Ira


Ira, it certainly sounds like it does have a noted impact on the Roman quest for maintenance of the social order.

In our modern era many do not appreciate just how significant names were then.
Almost all, if not every disciple seems to have two names, maybe one Jewish and one not. Its logical the twelve disciples like the twelve tribes have Jewish names. Though it could be more akin to a Shaul (Saul) and Paulos (Paul) type of thing.
Or perhaps where only one has come down to us there was a second but it simply wasn't recorded.

Another intriguing possibility is that names that are clearly not original Andrew, Philip, Thomas is that they had a relatively common name that would have caused confusion if they were known by it, so they were known more by their non Jewish names instead. Not Judah (Judas) as that clearly was used more than once. But just possibly Joshua (Jesus). Could it have originally been Jacob (James) Barzoanerges, Levi Mattitayahu (Matthew) (OK this one doesn't fit so well), Nathaniel Bartalmai (Bartholomew), Simon Peter and Jesus Andrew, or Jesus Thomas, radical suggestion - perhaps - but it is just possible.

Oh and perhaps you could clarify for me, what does Alphaeus and Lebbeus mean?

Ira Shafiroff

Again, I thank you, Jonathan, for taking the time to comment. You are, of course, correct: If Andrew were a Greek, so, too, was Simon Peter, his brother. Isn't it odd that parents would give one chld (Simon) a fully Hebrew name, while give the other (Andrew) a fully Greek name? I certainly do not have a definitive answer to this one! I do offer a possibility, however: Could one parent have been a Greek Jew while the other was a Judean Jew? Hence, the naming was a compromise of sorts?

Your other comments are true, too: that Jesus' group was indeed a "radical bunch." Do you think this has any impact on the Roman quest for maintaining the status quo and social order? Take care. Ira


If Andrew was a Greek Jew then Simon Peter his brother would have to have been one too.

Interestingly Andrew could be rendered "Butch", with his brother Peter "Rocky" and Philip "Hoss". With the other disciples including the two sons of thunder, a zealot (violent revolutionary), and a daggerman (sicarii) they make for a radical bunch.

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