The name Bartholomew translates from the Hebrew name, Bartholomaios, meaning son of Talmai. The life and history of St. Bartholomew the Apostle is largely pieced together based on speculation and loose associations within the Bible. Biblical scholars deduce references to a man named Nathaniel, a name not mentioned in the synoptic Gospels. Bartholomews name is associated with St. Philip, who may have been a follower of John the Baptist. His name is closely linked to several apostles. Nathaniel is assumed to be of Galilee where Jesus assembled all of his disciples.

The death of St. Bartholomew is also uncertain, and perhaps occurred in Armenia. It is further speculated that Astyages, King of the Median Empire, ordered him to be flayed alive and crucified upside down for converting his brother Polymius, King of Armenia. Michelangelos famous Last Judgment shows him flayed and holding his own skin. His feast day is celebrated on the 24th of August.