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Thomas

Thomas, also known as Didymus, from the Hebrew and Greek words both meaning the twin, was one of The Twelve Apostles. Although perhaps not as well known as Peter or John, millions of people are still familiar with him by his popular nickname, "Doubting Thomas."

Tomb of Lazarus Despite the label that has been put on him, Thomas was not lacking in courage or loyalty. When the other disciples tried to keep Jesus from going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead (Lazarus' tomb is shown in the photograph at right) because of the danger from those in the area who had just earlier tried to stone Him (John 11:8), Thomas said to them, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." (John 11:16 RSV)

It was Thomas who asked The Lord one of the most famous questions in The Bible:

"Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am The Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me." (John 14:5-6 RSV)

Thomas was not present when The Lord first appeared to some of the apostles after His Resurrection from The Tomb, and when told of His appearance, his response earned him the nickname, "Doubting Thomas," that has lasted already nearly 2,000 years:

"Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord."

"But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe."

"Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you."

Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side; do not be faithless, but believing."

"Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!"

"Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." (John 20:24-29 RSV)

It is not written what eventually happened to Thomas, however one tradition holds that he traveled widely through the east, spreading the Gospel through Parthia, Persia, and India - where he was one day martyred with a spear. See also What Happened To The Apostles?

Fact Finder: Did Thomas witness the The Lord's ascension into the heavens?
Acts 1:9,12-13


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