Why is Thomas called the twin and who is his twin?


John 20:24

ESV - 24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 05 2018 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
My understanding is that Thomas' name by itself comes from the Semitic word (Anglicized as "ta'am") meaning "twin", which indicates that "Thomas" may have been a nickname or title -- as indicated by the verse cited in the question, which says that he was "called" (rather than named) The Twin -- and we thus may not even know his actual given name. 

In any case, as far as I can determine, there is no contemporaneous indication (in the gospels or elsewhere) of whether he actually was a twin, or, if so, who his twin was.

If he was not an actual twin, and if Thomas was not his actual given name, perhaps the name derives from a physical resemblance that he bore to someone else (either in his life prior to becoming an apostle, or in Jesus' circle of followers). But, again, there is no Scriptural indication of that.

November 06 2018 1 response Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Another view of Thomas was that Thomas, we are told, was not really a name but an epithet, meaning, like its Greek equivalent Didymus, “the twin.” David Smith suggests that the apostle’s name was Judas, but that he was named “the twin” to distinguish him from Judas, the son of James, and Judas Iscariot. Tradition credits him with the authorship of a gospel which is included in apocryphal literature: the Gospel of Thomas; you may have heard of it.

One Christian brother with whom I went to the same Scottsdale Bible Church, Scottsdale High School, and then Dallas Seminary for 4 years is Mark Hopper who married a twin.

Mark taught the Jr. High Boys at SBC in a Saturday morning program called "REWOP." (POWER, spelled backward). They lifted weights together in the church basement and talked Jesus.

This twin, Jeanne, also went to SHS and they married. He writes about her on his website which was EXTREMELY interesting. 

He has this website called letmarkencourageyou.com

You should read it for yourself, but here's the gist:

"My wife is an identical twin. Jeanne and her sister Joanne have the same birthday. Their names are spelled with only one letter different. Their social security numbers are only one number different. They look alike, laugh alike and have many other similarities.

When they were very young even their parents had trouble determining who was who. There are photos of the young twins where it is almost impossible to tell them apart. When they were in grade school they traded classes for a day and the teacher didn’t know it. They loved being twins in grade school and high school. Everyone remembers the twins. During most of their adult lives they continued to look alike."

February 07 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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