As we all know, Judas Thomas was one of Jesus’s beloved twelve apostles. But, hold on to your seats and get this – originally Thomas was not a name at all, but rather an adjective meaning twin. Yap, Judas Thomas actually means ‘Judas the twin’.
The name Thomas derives from the Aramaic word Ta’oma’ and the Hebrew word Te’om, both meaning twin.
So, whose twin was he? – Some assert his appellation the ‘twin’ derives from the fact that he was the second Judas of the Apostles, the first being Judas Iscariot.
Others contend he was a twin spirit of Jesus, looked very much like him, or …. was his brother!
Bonus fact: According to the tradition of the churches of South India, the Apostle Thomas landed in 52 AD on Malabar Coast in southeast India. There he preached until executed in a cave on “Mount Thomas” in Milpur. His alleged remains are still displayed there at the St. Thomas Basilica in Chennai.
Interestingly, until the Portuguese conquest of that area in the 16th century, Christians of that province were associated with the Assyrian Church of the East. This fact supports the assertion that if not Thomas himself then at least someone from the Holy Land region introduced Christianity to South India.