Mark 3:17

And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
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Basil the Great

AD 379
Thunder is produced when a dry and violent wind, closed up in the hollows of a cloud and violently hurled around in the cavities of the clouds, seeks a passage to the outside. The clouds, offering resistance under the excessive pressure, produce that harsh sound from the friction of the wind. But when, like bubbles distended by the air, they are unable to resist and endure any longer, but are violently torn apart and give the air a passage to the outer breeze, they produce the noises of the thunder. And this normally causes the flash of lightning. It is the Lord who is upon the waters and who arouses the mighty noises of the thunder, causing such an exceedingly great noise through the delicate medium of air. The eloquent teaching which leads from baptism to sanctification is like thunder to the soul. That the gospel is like thunder is made evident by the disciples who were given a new name by the Lord: sons of thunder.

Eusebius of Caesarea

AD 339
Thunder here refers to the preaching of the gospel. For as a heavenly shout occurs like a voice of thunder, surpassing all human power, in the same way also the preaching of the gospel, which is a heavenly happening, does not consist of human strength. The gospel did not fill the world by human planning, but by divine power.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
And he called James The words, he called, are no addition, as they only express the literal sense: they are included in what is said, ver. 13, that he called to him whom he would. Boanerges, the sons of thunder, or thunderers, is only to express their great zeal. (Witham) He gave also the two sons of Zebedee the name of Boanerges, (Boanerges) from the Syriac, Benairegesch; or the Hebrew, Beni, sons, regesch, thunder, noise or tumult. In conformity to their name, we find these two apostles asking Jesus, (Luke ix. 54.) wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, to consume them? They spread the fame of the gospel through the whole world. So great was the zeal of St. James, that he incurred the resentment of king Agrippa, and was the first of the apostles to seal the doctrines of Jesus Christ with his blood. St. John also fulfilled the import of his name, as appears from his gospel, epistles, apocalypse, and the sufferings he underwent at Rome for the faith. Sts. Peter, Jam...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
James and John his brother he called “sons of thunder.” Why? To show that he was the same One who, in giving the old covenant, altered names, who called Abram “Abraham,” and Sarai “Sarah” and Jacob “Israel.” … It was also a custom of the patriarchs to give descriptive names to persons, as Leah did. This is not mere arbitrariness, but in order that they may have a hallmark to remind them of the goodness of God. By this means, a perpetual memory of the prophecy conveyed by the name sounds forth in the ears of those who receive it. Homilies on St. John, Homily

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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