The name Boanerges occurs only once in the Bible. Boanerges is the nickname that Jesus gives to James and John, the two sons of Zebedee (Mark 3:17). Jesus doesn't explain why He gives them this name, but author Mark explains that Boanerges means υιοι (uioi meaning sons; or figuratively, partakers) βροντης (bronthes meaning of thunder).
Jesus gives some of His disciples a nickname, and since we like to believe that Jesus was always full of love for His people, we also readily assume that His nicknames reflect that appreciation. But, quite contrarily, Jesus very often expresses His disappointment towards His disciples. Right before Mark mentions Boanerges, he reports that Jesus renders Simon the name Peter. Peter doesn't mean rock as many believe, but pebble (see our article on the name Peter). Peter is the footloose pebble, but his faith is the petra upon which Jesus would build His church. In Matthew 16:23, Jesus even goes as far as to call Peter 'Satan'.
Even though James and John would grow to be giants of the faith, their career started off with some serious hiccups. And those hiccups were invariably met by Jesus' insistence for the boys to pipe down. Luke tells the story of how Jesus and the disciplines are denied lodging in a Samaritan village. James and John helpfully offer to command fire from heaven to destroy the town. Jesus rebukes them by telling them that they have no idea of what kind of spirit they are, and supposed to be (Luke 9:51-56).
Fire from heaven is lightning, and the lightning part is the damaging part. All visible lightning comes with audible thunder, but not all audible thunder comes with visible lightning ... Calling James and John 'Sons Of Thunder' when they propose to command fire from the sky, is highly satirical.
He doesn't praise the sons of Zebedee with a lofty-sounding 'Sons Of Thunder', but rather 'Thunder Boys', that is 'Bunch Of Windbags', or 'All Bark, No Bite'.
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"Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. 'Teacher,' they said, 'we want you to do for us whatever we ask.' 'What do you want me to do for you?' he asked. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
"In the art of the Roman imperial period, the Dioscuri commonly appeared on the right and left of an enthroned deity. A star above the head of each brother symbolized his heavenly glorification."
Mining the Graeco-Roman legends for supporting data, Ronald Brownrigg contended that Boanerges was "a title exactly equivalent to 'the heavenly twins,' Castor and Pollux, the sons of Zeus the Sky-God, who sit on each side of him as 'the children of the sky' controlling thunder and lightning ...."