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Andrew, Apostle, St.


The name νδρέας is Greek in origin (perhaps related to the Greek word for "courage") and has no apparent Aramaic or Hebrew equivalent, although the name was used among Jews at the time of Jesus (Str. B. I, 535). For the most part Andrew remains an enigmatic figure in the New Testament. Matthew, Luke, and John all agree that he was the brother of Simon peter, but beyond this there is little information that could be of historical value.

The Synoptic tradition consistently groups Andrew with Peter, james, and john in the list of the Twelve (Mk 3.18; Mt 10.2; Lk 6.14; Acts 1.13). Occasionally Andrew is also included in this "inner circle" apart from the catalogue of the Twelve (Mk 13.3). In the Gospel of Mark, Andrew first appears in a scene whose literary form resembles that of the calling of Elisha in 1 Kgs 19.1921. A commission is received and this commission entails a radical change of life. elisha, as well as Andrew and Simon, abandon their respective occupations to receive the divine callElisha to become a prophet and Andrew and Simon to become "fishers of men" (Mk 1.1618). Andrew is also mentioned, along with others, as one of those present when Jesus heals Simon's mother-in-law (Mk 1.29). Matthew and Luke both preserve the Marcan material, but omit the name of Andrew from Mk 1.29, Mt 8.14, 4.3841 and Mk 13.3, Mt 24.3, Lk 21.5. Acts also fails to mention Andrew apart from the catalogue of the eleven in Acts 1.13.

Andrew enjoys a more significant place in the Fourth Gospel. Though John does not contain a catalogue of the Twelve, Andrew does play a role in the development of two important episodes. In Jn 1.3540, Andrew is the first of the disciples to follow Jesus. He is counted as one of two disciples of john the baptist who hear John identify Jesus as "the Lamb of God" (1.356) and then pursue Jesus. It is only after they remain (Greek: μένω) with Jesus some time that Andrew finds his brother, Simon Peter, and declares, "We have found the Messiah" (1.41). In the Fourth Gospel Andrew is the first to make this declaration, and he makes it at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. This stands in contrast to the Synoptic tradition, where Peter is the first to make this declaration of faith after a lengthy period of following Jesus in his ministry. In Jn 6.8 Andrew appears again, this time with Philip, as both disciples express their incredulity at the prospect of feeding the multitude with the five barley loaves and two fish presented by a young man. As in the case with Mk 1 and 1 Kgs 19, Andrew plays a part in an episode that evokes the memory of the prophet Elisha who multiplies barley loaves in 2 Kgs 4.4244. In Jn 12.2022, Andrew again appears along side Philip, and together they present Jesus with Greek proselytes who have come "to see" (believe in?) him. Since both Philip and Andrew have Greek names and hail from a Gentile region of Palestine (i.e., Bethsaida in Galilee), they become the appropriated intermediaries to bring the Gentiles to Jesus, and help provide the transition to the Fourth Gospel's "Book of Glory."

Many of the traditions about Andrew emerge from the late second century Acts of Andrew, the complete Greek text of which does not survive except in fragments, most of which contain the account of Andrew's martyrdom. The sixth-century historian and hagiographer Gregory of Tours made an abstract of the Acts of Andrew in his Liber de miraculum and helped contribute to Andrew's popularity in the West. In the Acts Andrew is portrayed as a zealous missionary who evangelized the region around the Black Sea (Scythia), and this tradition is picked up by Origen and Eusebius (Histoire ecclesiastique III, 1), while other ancient writers suggest that Andrew was active in and around Greece and Asia Minor. According to the Acts of Andrew, the Roman Governor Aegeas (or Aegeates), crucified him by tying him to a cross.

In the early Middle Ages Andrew became a politically significant figure in the struggle between Rome and Constantinople. The See of Constantinople, owing its prominence and indeed its existence to the Emperor Constantine, used the legends of Andrew in an effort to demonstrate its apostolic origin. The figure of Andrew was well suited for these polemics given the account in Jn 1:37 where he was the "first called" (προτοκλήτος), i.e. before Peter, and on account of the legends that placed his missionary activity in the area of the Black Sea.

In iconography, Andrew is sometimes depicted with a long beard and fishing net, or other symbol of his life as a fisherman. He is also represented with the implements of his death, including, beginning in the Middle Ages, a saltire (X-shaped) cross and a rope. Andrew is celebrated as the patron saint of Scotland and Russia.

Feast: Nov. 30.

Bibliography: r. e. brown, The Gospel According to John, (Anchor Bible 29, 29A; Garden City, NJ, 1966, 1970). d. macdonald, "Andrew," ABD 1:242244. p. m. peterson, Andrew, Brother of Simon Peter: His History and Legends (Nov. Test. Suppl. 1; Leiden, 1958).

[c. mcmahon]

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