Sons of Thunder

From AnthroWiki

Sons of Thunder (GreekΒοανηργές Boanerges) are called James the Elder and John, the two sons of Zebedee, in the New Testament. The epithet derives from their fiery zeal (see Luke 9:54; cf. Rev 6:10; Mark 9:38) and/or from their mighty shaking, fiery power of speech, which had penetrated hearts like thunder (cf. Psalms 68:34 and Rev 10:3).

„Remember how, right at the beginning of Mark's Gospel, when he speaks of the appointment of the twelve and the naming of them, he calls two of his apostles the "sons of thunder" (Mk 3:17 LUT). This is not something you can just read over; this is something you have to take into account if you want to understand the gospel. Why does he call them the sons of thunder? Because, in order that they may become his servants, he wants to transplant into them an element that is not of the earth, that comes from outside the earth, because it is the Gospel from the realms of the Angeloi and Archangeloi, because it is something entirely new, and because it is no longer sufficient to speak merely of men, but of a heavenly, supernatural element, the I, and because it is necessary to emphasise this. He calls them sons of thunder to show that his own also have a relationship to the supernatural element. The next world, which is linked to ours, is the elementary world, through which only becomes explicable what plays into our world. And the Christ gives his disciples names by which it is said that our world adjoins a next supersensible one. He gives them the epithets of the properties of the elemental world. The same is the case when he calls Simon the "rock man" (Mk 3:16 LUT). Again, this refers to something supersensible. Thus the whole Gospel announces the coming of the "Angelium", the impulses from the spiritual world.“ (Lit.:GA 139, p. 42f)

According to Rudolf Steiner, John Zebedee is not identical with the favourite disciple of Christ, who later became the author of the Gospel of John as John the Evangelist. Rather, he was the reawakened Lazarus. John Zebedee had only acted as Lazarus' placeholder until his inauguration and was not an apostle in the true sense of the word.

„Among the twelve apostles, Lazarus-John himself is, as it were, again represented by another. John, the brother of James and son of Zebedee, is not an apostle in the proper sense. James and John are in a certain sense one, they represent among the more intimate disciples of the Christ Jesus the power of the intellectual or mind soul, which has a double function in man, but is nevertheless a unity. Hence they are called "sons of thunder", for thunder is macrocosmically the same as thought is in the human microcosm. But when Lazarus becomes John, he takes the place of the one son of Zebedee, and as such he is the one who lay at the breast of Jesus at the Last Supper.“ (Lit.:GA 264, p. 232f)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.