Bible – All the Apostles of the
Of all men of any age trained for
It would, therefore, be quite an interest for us to learn of these great men in our church history. Before considering the twelve in alphabetical order, it would be wise for us to first know the meaning of the word “apostle”. There are over 80 occurrences of the Greek word “apostolos” in the NT, mostly in Luke and Paul. It is from the very common verb apostellÕ, to send. So, Apostle simply means “one who is sent”.
Although references to Andrew in the gospel are few indeed, what is recorded of him reveals him as a humble, unassuming, devoted and consistent disciple of Christ. He enjoyed a special intimacy with his Master (Mark 13:3). Andrew, whose name means “manliness” was a manly man, as were the rough and hardy fisherman of his time (Matt. ). He is the brother, probably the younger, of Simon Peter sons of Jonas or John (John )
The two brothers were of the two first disciples of Jesus, but Andrew was also a disciple of John the Baptist and met Jesus earlier. What he learned from Jesus that day convinced him that he was indeed the promised Lamb of God. Andrew met and followed the Lamb through John. He returned home with a soul ablaze witnessed Christ to Peter and in effect the spiritual father of him.
Early tradition says Andrew went to the land pf cannibals on the southern coast of the black sea. He also figured as a missionary to
Bartholomew, who is Nathanael, lived at Cana of Galilee (John 21:2). All we know of Bartholomew is from seven verses in the opening chapter of John’s gospel in the Bible. Yet we know that Bartholomew is a man of Christ, knew to Him even before they met. “When you were under the fig-tree, I saw you” John 1:48
Eusebius in his Church history relates that a copy of Hebrew Gospel according to Matthew was left behind in
James, the son of Alphaeus
Here is an apostle who is remembered only by his name, for we do not have a single authentic word in the NT. as to the life he lived or the service he rendered.
Some ancient writers affirm Alphaeus did a great work in
James, the son of Zebedee
Biblical reference to James, the son of Zebedee is fragmented. As the Gospels generally place the name of James before John, and allude to the latter as “the brother of James,” it is inferred that he was the elder of the two brothers (Matt. ; Mark ; Luke ). James may have been a near relation to Jesus Himself (Matt. 27:56; Mark ; John ). Christ surnamed him “Boanerges” or “The son of Thunder” to reflect his being hot, impulsive temper, given way to sudden outbursts of passion.
James, the son of Zebedee, together with John and Peter, were selected for closer intimacy to Jesus. He and other two were allowed to enter the chamber to witness Christ’s resurrection. Then, there was the awe-inspiring experience on the mount of transfiguration before Peter, James and John. The intimacy of James with Jesus is also found in the record of
The stirring and active zeal of James, his bold reproof of the Jews and his vigorous defense of the Christian faith brought him under the wrath of Herod Agrippa. By the brutal hand of Herod (Acts 12:2), James was the first of the twelve to suffered death. On the way to martyrdom, the officer who had guarded James was so impressed by his courage that he repented and fell at the apostle’s feet. The apostle raised up the officer embraced and kissed him, saying “Peace to be with you”. The officer publicly confessed to Christ, and was beheaded along with James.
Note: James, the son of Zebedee, was not the one who wrote the epistle of the same name, nor the one who became the president of the Council at
John was the younger son of Zebedee and brother of James. He was the youngest among all disciple of Christ and the longest lived apostle. Some of the early writers affirm that John seems always to have led a single life. Ambrose positively declared that all the apostles were married except John and Paul.
John earned the title of “the apostle of love” because of the love life he shared with Jesus and the prominence given to love in his writings. When John was at
The stories told of John are manifold, and it is well-nigh impossible to decide if any of them grew out of imagination or fact. What we are certain of is he was banished to
Judas was called to the apostleship in Mat 10:4. Probably he had been present at teaching of John the Baptist at
Judas held a position of trust and confidence as the purse-bearer of the apostolic band. The very fact that he was given this responsibility proves that the other apostles had faith in his honesty up to the very night of the betrayal. And because of this, I would like to think that at the time of his choice to follow Jesus, Judas was no hypocrite, but enthusiasm. But the fact remains that while he might have been sincere, he was not repented. He did not become a true believer.
The Bible clearly describes the terrible death of Judas, “All his bowels gushed out” (Acts ). His was the only suicide’s grave among the apostles.
Matthew was likely a Galilean born near
It is generally supposed that for eight years after the ascension of Christ, Matthew preached the Gospel in
No name comes up so often as Peter after Jesus Himself in the four Gospel. No disciple speaks so often and as much as Peter. No disciple is so pointedly reproved by our Lord t than Peter. No disciple ever ventures to reprove his Master but Peter. No other disciple ever so boldly confessed and outspokenly acknowledged and encouraged our Lord as Peter repeatedly did. And no one ever intruded, and interfered, and tempted Him as repeatedly as Peter did.
Peter is believed to be finally martyred as suggested by the words addressed to him by Christ: “When you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you so not wish to go” (John ).
Philip was a Jew born in
Philip is certainly not bright in comparison to the other apostles. Yet, he was chosen by Jesus for His plan and purpose. He was one of the Galileans who proclaimed the wonderful works of God (Acts ), and his name adorns one of the twelve foundations of the
The apostles undoubtedly journeyed far and wide often alone and seldom to
Simon the Canaanite
Simon the Canaanite has been wrongly interpreted as coming from his birth place
Eusebius in his Church History names Simon Zealot as one of the apostolic missionaries who spread the Gospel to
Thaddaeus is the only disciple who has three names – Thaddaeus (Matt. 1:3); Lebbaeus (Matt. 1.3); and Judas (Luke ). All we are told about this apostle apart from his three names is that one day he asked Jesus a brief question: “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” (John 14:22)
Thaddaeus is believed to be taken prisoner and martyred in the
Thomas is a Hebrew name with its Greek equivalent Didymus, meaning “Twin”. Tradition saying is that his other twin was a sister called Lysia. He was a Jew from Galilean (Acts).
Life was changed for Thomas from the hour he met Christ. And he went forth a messenger of the Master, receiving power over all kinds of diseases, rejoicing that even the demons were subject unto him (Luke 10:17-26).
Thomas went out to labor in
These are the twelve apostles Jesus chose and disciple them throughout His three years ministry on earth. But there are also others whom Jesus chose and send forth too. There were for instance, the “other seventy also…” (Luke 101).
Others apostles who were called and sent we read in the Bible are:
Andronicus was the apostle described as being “of note among the apostles” (
Apollos seems to have a remarkable ability to expound the scriptures (Acts -28). Paul also includes him along with himself in the apostolate (1 Cor. 4:6, 9) and recommended him to Titus in Titus 3:13.
Although Barnabas was not one of the twelve, he stands out as the most important early apostle to the gentile after Paul. He is the central figure in the affair of the infant church (Acts ). He also received frequent mention in Paul’s epistles (1 Cor. 9:6; Gal. 2:1, 9, 13; Col. 4:10).
It has been questioned whether Epaphroditus should be numbered among the apostles. But Paul answered this clearly in
James, the Lord’s brother
Paul mentioned of this apostle in Gal, “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lords brother”. James was converted at the resurrection and joined the company of the believer. He was made an authority in the
Junias was among the first converts after Pentecost (Acts ). He is well known to the apostolate circle and is distinguished as apostle in the widest sense as missionary (1Cor. 15:7). He was faithful and sacrificial envoy of the Gospel as Paul’s description of him testifies.
Matthias was appointed to take the place in the apostolate which Judas vacated according to Acts 1:26. Apart from this, we do not know any that is authentic.
Paul is known as the apostle to the gentiles. The three missionary journeys of Paul and an account of cities and towns he visited are clearly indicated in Acts and Pauline epistles.
Because of his daring missionary journeys to the unknown land, Paul anticipated the early end of his earthly sojourn. Sentences like, “I have finished my course”; “I am now ready to be offered”; “To die is to gain”; “We that are in this tabernacles do groan,” indicates that Paul was under no delusion as to the nearness of his possible martyrdom.
Tradition has always been cleared that he was beheaded in the reign of Nero in
The authority that makes Silas, “the merry singer” as has been called, among the apostate is Paul himself. Paul wrote about the “apostles of Christ,” referring to Timothy, Silas and himself (1 Thess. 1:1, 2:6; 2 Thess. 1:1).
Silas was a faithful friend of Paul traveled together with him in
Timothy was not a Christian until he was converted probably during Paul’s first visit to Iconium Lystra (2 Tim. -11). He had a gentile father and a Jewish mother which made his witness to the gentile rather natural. Although a minor apostle alongside of a major apostle like Paul, Timothy nevertheless exercises an apostolic ministry.
And these are all the apostles named in the Holy Bible.