Judas Iscariot is the twin brother of St. Thomas the Apostle?

I am not saying that St. Thomas the Apostle's is the twin brother of Judas Iscariot. I am simply seeking resource historical information that states this so.

Some years ago, a priest friend of mine stated that there was an obscure legend or tradition that St. Thomas the Apostle, who was called the twin, claimed that his twin brother was no one other than the infamous traitor of Our Lord, Judas Iscariot. My priest friend in no longer amongst us and I have never known him to be wrong on such things. I have not been able to locate a source of any such legend or tradition.

Can anyone locate a possible source of this obscure legend or tradition?

  • Isn't this a duplicate or related: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/14874/…
    – Grasper
    Nov 21, 2018 at 15:10
  • @Grasper It is related, but not a duplicate of that question. I am not asking who is the twin of St. Thomas, but requesting information concerning a legend about Judas Iscariot being his twin brother. The question who sourced does not answer that. It involves more than stating that "the sainted apostle "Doubting" Thomas is called Didymus, the Twin. Indeed, Thomas also means Twin."
    – Ken Graham
    Nov 21, 2018 at 15:23
  • @KenGraham I think your priest friend was confusing "Brother of Judas" and "Brother of Jesus?" Can you cite the tradition you refer to? (see my answer for why I think your source was confused.) Jul 9, 2023 at 4:33
  • @DanFefferman I have never him to have made a mistake in this domain.
    – Ken Graham
    Jul 9, 2023 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


Not only is Thomas called the Twin, it also happens that his Jewish name was Judas, according to the Gospel of Thomas, probably the best known of the Gnostic (or semi-Gnostic) gospels.

These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded.

I have not found the tradition that the OP mentions, but the above could be related to it, for here the apostle is called both Twin (Didymos) and Judas. Even more relevant is the tradition that Thomas was the twin brother of Jesus himself. This is from the the apocryphal Acts of Thomas, where once again Thomas' Hebrew name is given as Judas:

He saw the Lord Jesus bearing the likeness of Judas Thomas and speaking with the bride... But the Lord said to him: I am not Judas which is also called Thomas but I am his brother. (AT 11)

the apostle said: 'Yea, say on.' And the serpent said: '...I know that thou art the twin brother of the Christ and always abolishest our nature.' (AT 30)

In addition to these references, though probably unconnected, we have the NT tradition in which "Jude/Judah" is named as one of the brothers of Christ. (Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 )

Conclusion: I have found no tradition in which Thomas was the twin brother of Judas. However he is identified by the name Judas (a very common Jewish name) in heterodox sources, where he is sometimes the twin brother of Jesus. I suspect the OP has confused the idea of Thomas being Judas' brother with the well documented apocryphal tradition that "Judas Thomas" was the twin brother of Jesus.

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