Thomas the Apostle (Aramaic: 𐡀𐡌𐡅𐡕𐡌, Biblical Hebrew: תוֹמָאס הקדוש, Classical Syriac: ܬܐܘܡܐ, Tʾōmā, meaning “twin”; Koinē Greek: Θωμᾶς),[a] also known as Didymus (“twin”), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Thomas is commonly known as “Doubting Thomas” because he initially doubted the resurrection of Jesus Christ when he was told of it (as is related in the Gospel of John alone); he later confessed his faith (“My Lord and my God”) on seeing the wounds left over from the crucifixion.
According to traditional accounts of the Saint Thomas Christians of modern-day Kerala in India, Thomas travelled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, travelling as far as the Tamilakam which is in South India, and reached Muziris of Tamilakam (modern-day North Paravur and Kodungalloor in Kerala State, India) in AD 52. In 1258, some of the relics were brought to Ortona, in Abruzzo, Italy, where they have been held in the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle. He is regarded as the patron saint of India among its Christian adherents, and the Feast of Saint Thomas on July 3 is celebrated as Indian Christians’ Day. The name Thomas remains quite popular among the Saint Thomas
Gospel of John
Thomas speaks again in John 14:5. There, Jesus had just explained that he was going away to prepare a heavenly home for his followers, and that one day they would join him there. Thomas reacted by saying, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”
John 20:24–29 tells how doubting Thomas was skeptical at first when he heard that Jesus had risen from the dead and appeared to the other apostles, saying, “Except I shall see on his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” But when Jesus appeared later and invited Thomas to touch his wounds and behold him, Thomas showed his belief by saying, “My Lord and my God”. Jesus then said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.”
Names and etymologies
The name Thomas (Koine Greek: Θωμᾶς) given for the apostle in the New Testament is derived from the Aramaic תְּאוֹמָא Tʾōmā (Classical Syriac: ܬܐܘܿܡܵܐ/ܬ݁ܳܐܘܡܰܐ Tʾōmā/Tāʾwma), meaning “twin” and cognate to Hebrew תְּאוֹם tʾóm. The equivalent term for twin in Greek, which is also used in the New Testament, is Δίδυμος Didymos.