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Who Are The 12 Apostles In The Bible

Get More Familiar With The Bible

The 12 Apostles Children’s Bible Song/ Acapella/To Memorize Bible Facts

The Bible is a big book. Technically, its a collection of 66 books. And it was written over the course of centuries by 35 authors. Whether youve never opened the Bible before or youve been studying it for decades, it can be overwhelming to keep track of whos who and whats important.

Thats why we created The Beginners Guide to the Bible. Its a non-preachy, jargon-free handbook to what the Bible is, where it came from, and what its all about.

An Apostle Is One Who Is Commissioned

The term apostle was also used in the New Testament to describe an individual who was commissioned and sent by a community or church to preach the gospel. Saul of Tarsus, a persecutor of Christians who was converted when he had a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus, is also called an apostle. We know him as the Apostle Paul. Paul spread the gospel to the gentiles throughout the Mediterranean.

Paul’s commission was similar to that of the 12 apostles, and his ministry, like theirs, was guided by God’s gracious leading and anointing. Paul, the last person to witness an appearance of Jesus after his resurrection, is considered the last of the chosen apostles:

But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.

Limited details are given in the Bible of the apostles‘ ongoing evangelistic work, but tradition holds that all of them, except John, died martyrs’ deaths for their faith.

Peter Apostle Of Jesus Christ

Peter was the second of the 12 disciples of Jesus.

Before he became Jesus’ disciple, his name was Simon. Jesus later changed his name to Peter, which means “rock.” According to the Gospel of Matthew 16:18, Jesus told Peter that he is the rock upon which He would build His church.

His date of birth is unknown, but the date of his death is believed to be in the year 64 AD. His death was by way of crucifixion, but he told them not to crucify him in the same position as his Lord, because he felt unworthy to die exactly as Jesus died, therefore he was crucified upside down.

Simon Peter did not receive any formal education, and the only language that he spoke was Aramaic.

Most of what is known about Peter today, is what we read in the Bible, and his stories can be found in the New Testament Scriptures.

Peter was a fisherman by profession. His birth town was Bethsaida, Roman Empire.

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How Did The Twelve Apostles Die

The table below provides the best information that we have on the deaths of the apostles.

Tradition says that Simon was crucified. It is believed that he ministered together with Thaddaeus.
Judas Iscariot Judas hanged himself before Jesus Christ died by crucifixion . His death is the second one that is recorded in the Bible.

Was Mark One Of The Disciples

The Twelve Disciples: Part 2

Mark the Evangelist, commonly believed to also be a man named John Mark, is the traditional author of the Gospel of Mark. The Bible doesnt explicitly connect these two people, and neither do the early church fathers, but its certainly possible that theyre the same person.

John Mark was a traveling companion of Paul and Barnabus , and a man named Mark was also a close companion of Paul. Interestingly, when Peter escapes from prison in Acts 12, he flees to John Marks mothers house, which was an important gathering place for the early Christians. So Peter and John Mark likely crossed paths, and it wouldnt be surprising if they developed a lasting relationship as a result.

All that said, Mark, the traditional author of the Gospel of Mark was not one of the Twelve, and probably wasnt an eyewitness of Jesus ministry, either. According to tradition, Marks gospel is based on Peters account of his time with Jesuswhich could be why Matthew and Lukes gospels appear to be based on the Gospel of Mark, even though Matthew was an eyewitness!

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The Four Lists Of The 12 Apostles

Four passages in the Bible give us the names of the apostles: Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:13-16, and Acts 1:13. While the order the names appear in is generally about the same, these lists dont actually include all the same names, and some of them provide details the others dont.

In some cases, early Christians and modern scholars have assumed this meant some of these apostles went by multiple namessuch as Judas son of James, who may be listed by the nickname Thaddeus in Matthew and Mark to avoid confusing him with Judas Iscariot, the infamous traitor.

The lists found in the synoptic gospels appear when Jesus calls these 12 disciples aside for a special purpose and officially appoints them as apostles. The list in Acts occurs after Jesus ascends to heaven, and the believers decide to replace Judas Iscariot while waiting for the Holy Spirit.

The apostles are generally listed in order of importance and paired according to their associations. The main exception is Andrew. His brother Peter was the most prominent disciple, but Andrew was less important than James and John, who were part of Jesus most inner circle .

To help you see the differences between the lists, here are the names in the order they appear in each passage.

Matthew 10:2-4
Judas of James

Now lets take a closer look at the disciples.

Replacement Of Judas Iscariot

After he betrayed Christ , the apostles numbered eleven. When Jesus had been taken up from them, in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit that he had promised them, Peter advised the brethren:

Judas, who was guide to those who took Jesus… For he was numbered with us, and received his portion in this ministry… For it is written in the book of Psalms, “Let his habitation be made desolate, Let no one dwell therein”, and, “Let another take his office”… So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us, must become with us a witness to his resurrection.

Acts 1:1522

So, between the Ascension of Jesus and the day of Pentecost, the remaining apostles elected a twelfth apostle by casting lots, a traditional Israelite way to determine the will of God . The lot fell upon Matthias.

Paul the Apostle in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, appears to give the first historical reference to the Twelve Apostles: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve” .

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Apostles James Thaddaeus Simon And Judas

We know very little about the third group of four apostles. We know almost nothing about James the son of Alphaeus from the Bible other than that he was also called James the Less and that Matthew was his brother . Thaddaeus was also called Lebbaeus and was known as Judas, the son of James. Simon the Cananaean was also called Simon the Zealot. The Zealots were anti-Rome and were politically motivated. One wonders how Simon felt about Matthew, who would have been considered a traitor by the Jews because he was a tax-collector for Rome. The Bible reveals nothing significant about this apostle. Judas Iscariot was the traitor who later hung himself and was therefore not listed in the book of Acts.

Qualifications Of An Apostle

Who Were the 12 Apostles? [Whiteboard Bible Study]

An apostle as defined strictly by the New Testament, no longer exists today, since these three conditions had to be met: The person had to have been an eyewitness to Jesus after his resurrection had to have been chosen by the Holy Spirit and had to have ministered with miraculous signs and wonders .

A modern-day apostle would typically function as a church planterone who is sent out by the body of Christ to spread the gospel and establish new communities of believers.

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How Did The 12 Disciples Die

  • Andrew = Crucified on an X-shaped cross
  • Bartholomew or Nathanael = Flayed alive with knives
  • James the elder = First apostle martyred
  • James the lesser = Sawn in pieces
  • John = Died of natural causes on the isle of Patmos
  • Judas Iscariot = Hung himself
  • Jude or Thaddeus = Killed with arrows
  • Matthew or Levi = Martyred in Ethiopia
  • Peter = Crucified upside-down on a cross
  • Philip = Died by hanging
  • Commissioning Of The Twelve Apostles

    The commissioning of the Twelve Apostles is an episode in the ministry of Jesus that appears in all three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 10:14, :1319 and Luke 6:1216. It relates the initial selection of the Twelve Apostles among the disciples of Jesus.

    According to Luke:

    One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon , his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

    Luke 6:1216

    In the Gospel of Matthew, this event takes place shortly before the miracle of the man with a withered hand. In the gospels of and of Luke, it appears shortly after that miracle.

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    Andrew The Brother Of Peter

    When we see Andrew mentioned in the Gospels, he’s usually listed after his brother Peter. This seems to suggest that Andrew was Peter’s younger brother. And like Peter, Andrew was a fisherman.

    One of Jesus’ first followers

    Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist and one of the first to follow Jesus. John’s Gospel tells us how he met the Christ:

    The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”They said, “Rabbi , where are you staying?””Come,” He replied, “and you will see.”So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” . And he brought him to Jesus .

    No matter where Andrew fell in the birth order, he could take pride in being the person that introduced Peter to Jesus. For this reason, the Orthodox church gave Andrew the Greek name Protokletos, meaning “first-called.”

    Andrew brought people to the Lord

    Simon: The First Disciple

    Jesus Chooses 12 Apostles  SDA Journal

    Simon : Peter made his home in Bethsaida, a small town on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Peter is generally the first of Jesus disciples to be listed when naming off the twelve disciples and he is the most well-known disciple referenced in The Bible.

    Peter is characterized as a strong-willed and courageous man however, at times he could be quick to speak, impulsive, and impetuous. Peter seems to embody every man in his strength and weakness. Peter held a firm belief in the teachings of Christ and made up one of the three closest disciples to Christ.

    Historical evidence points to the fact that during the time of Nero, Peter was crucified upside down. Crucifixion was the general means of death for Christians during the Roman empire and when condemned to death Peter requested to be crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy to perish in the same way as Jesus.

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    Who Exactly Were The 12 Apostles

    The Lord Jesus had many followers during His earthly ministry, and many more have chosen to do so in the centuries following. As Jesus began to obtain followers, He selected twelve to follow Him in a closer way, who received personal teachings and explanations. He called them personally to Him.

    These twelve are known as the apostles. Though Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, eventually betrayed Jesus and lost the position after his suicide, another was voted in by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. These apostles became the catalyst for the spread of the Gospel.

    What Are Some Interesting Facts About Da Vincis Last Supper

  • 1. The Last Supper took 3 years to complete and was started in 1495
  • 2. It depicts the reactions of all 12 apostles when Jesus announces that one of them is going to betray him.
  • 3. It is a mural not a painting.
  • 4. Very little of the Last Supper still remains today. When Da Vinci started the mural he didnt have very much expertise in it. It has also undergone many restoration efforts.
  • 5. It is housed in a monastery and not a museum.
  • 6. There is a theory that every apostle was painted after a real person and that therefore Judas was modeled on a real criminal.
  • 7. Some conspiracy theories say that the apostle sitting next to the right of Christ is not the apostle John but Mary Magdalene.
  • Would you like to commission a hand painted reproduction oil painting of Da Vincis Last Supper or another Easter painting?

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    Prayer To Saint Bartholomew The Apostle

    O Glorious Saint Bartholomew, Jesus called you a person without guile and you saw in this word a sign that he was the Son of God and King of Israel. Obtain for us the grace to be ever guileless and innocent as doves. At the same time, help us to have your gift of faith to see the Divine hand in the events of daily life. May we discern the signs of the times that lead to Jesus on earth and will eventually unite us to him forever in heaven. Amen.

    Where Are The Apostles Found In The Bible

    The Twelve Apostles | The Doctrine of The Twelve Apostles

    The apostles are featured heavily in the Gospels and are mentioned in some of the other books of the New Testament. Matthew and John were each apostles and wrote a Gospel book. They are introduced as the Lord Jesus calls each one of them to Him. Each of the Synoptic Gospels has a full list of the twelve.

    And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him .

    These men came from different walks of life, and different backgrounds. The sons of Zebedee and the other brothers – Simon Peter and Andrew – were fishermen. Levi, also known as Matthew the Gospel writer, was a tax collector. Thomas, also known as Didymus, is presumed by many Biblical scholars to be a twin because of the English translation of his name, though this fact is not confirmed or denied in the Bible. While we do not know the details of all the apostles, we can presume they were called in a similar manner to the accounts given for Matthew and the fishermen.

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    The Apostles Of Jesus

    The 12 disciples/apostles of Jesus were the foundation stones of His church, several even wrote portions of the Bible. In Revelation 21:14 we are told that the twelve foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem will have in them the names of the twelve disciples/apostles. It is evident, therefore, that God attaches great importance to these 12 men.

    As we study these courageous first-century lives, and what discipleship meant in the time of Jesus, we may expect to be aided in developing a Spirit-directed twenty-first-century discipleship as Christ must have meant it to be.

    The following biographical information about the 12 original disciples of Jesus uses the New Testament accounts along with the most respected legends and traditions. We do not mean to infer, that legend and tradition constitute historical fact. We do feel, however, that they do have value in the study of the lives of these men who “turned the world upside down”

    These 12 Men Shaped Christianitybut Were They Real

    Historical evidence of the Apostles is scarce, and some of it contradicts core Christian beliefs.

    In the Bible, Jesus Christ names 12 apostles to spread his gospel, and the early Christian church owes its rapid rise to their missionary zeal. Yet, for most of the Twelve, there’s scant evidence of their existence outside of the New Testament.

    In Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve, author Tom Bissell sets off to discover whether the Twelve Apostles were actual historical figures or merely characters in a fictional story. On the way, he walked for 500 miles along the Camino de Santiago pilgrim route in northern Spain, visited the place where Judas Iscariot reportedly hanged himself, and hunted in vain for a mysterious monastery in Kyrgyzstan where the bones of the Apostle Matthew are believed to be buried. Its a journey full of false starts, dead ends, and unsolved riddles that leaves him as perplexed as when he began.

    Speaking from Vancouver, Bissell explains why one of the inspirations for his book was the Monty Python film Life of Brian and how his views of Christianity changed along the way.

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