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Jude Thaddeus, St.


One of the Twelve Apostles. He is called Jude (Gr. ούδας, representing Heb. y ehûdâ, Judah) in the lists of Lk 6.16 and Acts 1.13; but the corresponding passages of Mt 10.3 and Mk 3.18 have Thaddeus (Θαδδα[symbol omitted]ος). In all four passages he is the 11th named. The reason for the use of Thaddeus in Matthew and Mark may lie in a certain care the first two Gospels take not to confuse him with Judas Iscariot. In Jn 14.22 he is called "Judas, not the Iscariot," and in Luke and Acts he is called "Judas of James." Yet the use of Thaddeus in Matthew and Mark is not absolutely constant, for some manuscripts have Lebbeus instead. Both seem to have the same meaning, for Thaddeus from Aramaic taddai (Aramaic tad, chest) means chesty, and Lebbeus from Hebrew libbai (Heb. leb, heart) means hearty. Some scholars, however, believe that Thaddeus is a variant of the Greek name Theudas. According to a very early tradition in the Church the James referred to in "Jude of James" is james, son of Alphaeus, and James and Jude are to be identified with the brothers of jesus (i.e., His relatives) mentioned in Mt 13.55 and Mk 6.3. Furthermore, since Jude was probably less known, to identify him better his name was associated with that of his brother. This has remained the predominant view among Catholic commentators.

But in recent times certain difficulties about this interpretation have been raised. While the expression "Judas of James" used in Lk 6.16 and Acts 1.13 can mean "the brother of James" (under the influence of Jude 1), it is a rare usage. Its ordinary meaning would be "Jude the son of James," and it is precisely in this sense that the same passage uses "James [the son] of Alphaeus." Thus Jude would be the son of an otherwise unknown James. The author of the Epistle of St. Jude, whom Catholic tradition considers the same as Jude the Apostle, calls himself simply "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and the brother of James" (v. 1).

The traditional material about Jude Thaddeus's later ministry and martyrdom is completely unreliable. Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 2.40) relates various supposed areas of his preaching, while the Roman Breviary mentions only Mesopotamia and Persia. He is said to have died a martyr, and in art he is represented with a halberd, the instrument of his martyrdom. Mention is made of his grandsons by Hegesippus (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.20.15); they were tried and acquitted under Domitian (8196) and ruled Christian communities of Palestine under Trajan (98117).

Feast: Oct. 28 (with simon the apostle).

See Also: jude, epistle of st.

Bibliography: r. leconte, Dictionnaire de la Bible, suppl. ed. l. pirot et. al., 4:128891. Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, tr. l. hartman (New York 1963) 123435. j. blinzler, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 (Freiburg 195765) 5:115455. j. chaine, Les Épîtres catholiques (2d ed. Paris 1939) 269271. l. cerfaux, La Communauté apostolique (3d ed. Paris 1956) 8997. a. charue, Les Épîtres catholiques in La Sainte Bible, ed. l. pirot and a. clamer, 12 v. (Paris 193561) 12:375379. l. trotta, Jude: A Pilgrimage to the Saint of Last Resort (San Francisco 1998), cult and legends.

[j. a. lefranÇois]

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