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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Thomas

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It seems, from his name, that the apostle Thomas was a twin. The names Thomas and Didymus come from the words for ‘twin’ in the Aramaic and Greek languages respectively (Matthew 10:3; John 11:16).

Three incidents show that Thomas was a straightforward person who expressed his feelings openly. The first occurred when Jesus, after leaving Judea to escape the Jews’ attempt to kill him, decided to return. The disciples feared the dangers ahead and tried to dissuade him. When Jesus made it clear that he was determined to go, Thomas showed his courage and his pessimism by suggesting that they go with him so that they might die with him (John 10:39; John 11:7-8; John 11:16).

The second incident occurred as the time drew near for Jesus to return to the Father. He reminded his disciples that they knew where he was going, but Thomas, with characteristic bluntness, replied that they did not (John 14:1-5).

The third incident occurred soon after the resurrection, when Thomas refused to believe the report that Jesus was alive. Upon meeting Jesus himself, he readily repented of his doubts and confessed Jesus to be his Lord and his God (John 20:24-29).

Thomas was one of the eleven apostles to hear Jesus’ command to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:6-13). According to tradition, his chief contribution to this task was to take the gospel to India.

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Thomas'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/bbd/t/thomas.html. 2004.

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