Bartholomew is one of the twelve Apostles known to us only by his being listed among them in the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. His name means “Son of Tolmai,” and he is sometimes identified with Nathanael, the friend of Philip, the “Israelite without guile” in John’s Gospel, to whom Jesus promised the vision of angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
Nothing more is heard of him in the four Gospels.
Some sources credit Bartholomew with having written a Gospel, whose existence was known to Jerome and Bede, but which is lost today. There is a tradition that Bartholomew traveled to India, and Eusebius reports that when Pantaenus of Alexandria visited India, between 150 and 200, he found there “the Gospel according to Matthew” in Hebrew, which had been left behind by “Bartholomew, one of the Apostles.”
An ancient tradition maintains that Bartholomew was flayed alive at Albanopolis in Armenia.