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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Λεββαῖος ), a surname of Judas or Jude (Matthew 10:3), one of the twelve apostles; a member, together with his namesake "Iscariot," James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, of the last of the three sections of the apostolic body. The name Judas only, without any distinguishing mark, occurs in the lists given in Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13; and in John 14:22 (where we find "Judas not Iscariot" among the apostles), but the apostle has been generally identified with "Lebbeus whose surname was Thaddaeus" (Λεββαῖος ἐπικληθεὶς θαδδαῖος ) (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18), though Schleiermacher (Critical Essay on St. Luke, p. 93) treats with scorn any such attempt to reconcile the lists. In both the last quoted places there is considerable variety of reading, some MSS. having both in Matthew and Mark Λεββαῖος, θαδδαῖος alone, others introducing the name Ι᾿ούδας, or Judas Zelotes, in Matthew, where the Vulgate reads Thaddaeus alone, which is adopted by Lachmann in his Berlin edition of 1832. This confusion is still further increased by the tradition preserved by Eusebius (H. E. 1:13) that the true name of Thomas (the twin) was Judas (Ι᾿ούδας καὶ θωμᾶς ), and that Thaddaeus was one of the "seventy," identified by Jerome in Matthew 10 with" Judas Jacobi," as well as by the theories of modern scholars, who regard the "Levi" (Λευὶς τοῦ Ἀλφαίου ) of Mark 2:14 : Luke v. 27, who is called "Lebes" (Λεβὴς ) by Origen (Cont. Cels. 1. 1, § 62), as the same with Lebb'aus. The safest way out of these acknowledged difficulties is to hold fast to the ordinarily received opinion that Jude, Lebbaeus, and Thaddaus were three names for the same apostle, who is therefore said by Jerome (in Matthew 10) to have been "trionimus," rather than introduce confusion into the apostolic catalogues, and render them erroneous either in excess or defect. (See THADDAEUS).

The interpretation of the names Lebbaeus and Thaddaeus is a question beset with almost equal difficulty. The former is interpreted by Jerome "hearty," corculum, as from לֵב , cor, and Thaddaeus has been erroneously supposed to have a cognate signification, honop ectorosus, as from the Syriac תִּד, pectus (Lightfoot, Horae Heb. p. 235; Bengel, Matthew 10:3), the true signification of תִּד being mamma (Angl. teat) (Buxtorf, Lex. Talnm. p. 2565). Winer (Realwö rterb. s.v.) would combine the two, and interpret them as meaning ierzensakind. Another interpretation of Lebbaeus is the young lion (leunculus), as from לָבַיא, leo (Schleusner, s.v.), while Lightfoot and Baumg. Crusius would derive it from Lebba, a maritime town of Galilee mentioned by Pliny (Hist. Nat. v. 19), where, however, the ordinary reading is Jebba. Thaddaeus appears in Syriac under the form Adai; hence Michaelis admits the idea that Adai, Thaddaeus, and Judas may be different representations of the same word (4:370), and Wordsworth (Gr. Test. in Matthew 10:3) identifies Thaddaeus with Judas, as both from הוֹדָה "to praise." Chrysostom (De Prod. Jud. 1. 1, 100, 2) says that there was a ‘‘ Judas Zelotes" anmong the disciples of our Lord, whom he identifies with the apostle. (See JUDE).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Lebbaeus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Lebeuf, Jean