Twelve Apostles

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The Twelve Apostles or The Twelve Disciples were the twelve followers of Jesus Christ while He walked the earth. Jesus called each of them to Him at the start of His earthly ministry and they followed Him during the three years of his teaching. While making many gaffes and having difficulty understanding all that Jesus was, after His crucifixion and Resurrection and the imparting of the Holy Spirit, they became men of great valor and the forefathers of Christianity. The four initial Apostles were Peter, Andrew, James and John.

The Apostles were ethnic rivals of each other: two were likely Samaritans (John and James), at least one Greek (Philip), and among the others were Jewish (e.g., Matthew) and Gentiles. The repeated references throughout the synoptic Gospels about how many of the Apostles did not observe Jewish customs, such as honoring the Sabbath or doing religious hand-washing, confirm that they were ethnically diverse. The miracle of Jesus is illustrated by the unanimity[1] of the Apostles despite their ethnic diversity and rivalries.

Two of the Apostles authored Gospels: John and Matthew. The other two Gospel authors were the outsider eyewitness Mark and the historian Luke, both of whom knew the Apostles and Mark was unflattering towards them in his Gospel.

They are Saints in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions except for Judas Iscariot, the traitor of Jesus.[2] The Apostles were:

After the death of Judas (Matt 27:5), his place was taken by:

While not one of the Twelve, an Apostle is considered

  • Saint Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles (Years later)

Remembering the Apostles

The Apostles' names can easily be remembered through the use of the following mnemonic poem:

This is the way the disciples run

Peter, Andrew, James and John

Phillip and Bartholemew

Thomas next and Matthew, too.

James the less and Judas the greater

Simon the zealot and Judas the traitor.

See also

External links


  1. Judas betrayed Jesus but while accepting his divinity.
  2. See Why Did He Do It?