Reply To: Random Thoughts

Reply To: Random Thoughts

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Jeff Ross

Today I was reading the Bible in John 11:16. In the English versions I’m familiar with, the verse says that Thomas’s nickname is “Didymus”. However, today I was reading it in German and found that the nickname was “Zwilling”, which is the German word for “Twin”. I then looked and found other English translations that render the nickname as “Twin”. I immediately investigated and found that “Thomas” (an Aramaic name) and “Didymus” (a Greek name) both mean “Twin”.

According to my research, there is no explanation on whether he actually had a twin or if he looked close enough to someone else to be nicknamed “Twin” or if his parents named him “Twin” just for the fun of it (tradition says his real name may have been Jude, Judas, or Judah, but there’s no confirmation on that).

I’m not saying we should start calling him “Twin Thomas” because it sounds like “Twin Towers” and the names of “Apostle Thomas” or “Doubting Thomas” are sufficiently descriptive names, but I was mildly surprised in my brief research to find that there really hasn’t ever been a time when English speakers decided to capitalize upon the alliterative opportunity to call him “Twin Thomas” on a regular basis.

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