First Followers

The original Twelve Apostles may be considered, with one exception (i.e. Judas), to be some of the most fortunate people that ever lived. Often referred to simply as “The Twelve,” they were chosen by Jesus Christ Himself, and actually lived and worked with Him during His Ministry.

The names of The Twelve are listed in 4 places in The Bible (Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:12-19, Acts 1:13) with some minor differences due to the various uses of first, family, or nicknames at different times.

Simon
Called Peter (Bowen, Grk. petros, petra; Aram. kēf; Engl. rock) by Jesus, also known as Simon bar Jonah and Simon bar Jochanan (Aram.) and earlier (Pauline Epistles were written first) Cephas (Aram.), and Simon Peter, a fisherman from Bethsaida “of Galilee” (John 1:44; cf. 12:21) Simon/Peter – Andrew’s brother (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14), Mary’s husband, Mark’s father (1 Peter 5:13; Acts 12:12) and Barnabas’ brother-in-law (Acts 15:39; Colossians 4:10)

Andrew
Brother of Peter, a Bethsaida fisherman and disciple of John the Baptist, and also the First-Called Apostle. (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14) and Mark’s uncle (Matthew 4:18)

James
John’s brother, son of Zebedee, Borgerges, son of Thunder (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:17; Luke 6:14)

John
The youngest of the deciples, sons of Zebedee, called by Jesus Boanerges (an Aramaic name explained in Mk 3:17 as “Sons of Thunder”) – James’ brother (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:17; Luke 6:14)

Philip
From Bethsaida “of Galilee” (John 1:44, 12:21) (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14)

Nathaniel (Bartholomew)
In Aramaic “bar-Talemai?”, “son of Talemai” or from Ptolemais, some identify with Nathanael. (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14)

Thomas
Also known as Judas Tomas Didymus – Aramaic T’oma’ = twin, and Greek Didymous = twin (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15)

Matthew (Levi)
And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

Judas Iscariot the name Iscariot may refer to the Judaean towns of Kerioth or to the sicarii (Jewish nationalist insurrectionists), or to Issachar; (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:16)

Simon the Zealot or Simon the Cananean The Zealots were a nationalistic sect with very strong political views. There seemed to be a wide variety of personalities among the apostles.

Thaddaeus or Judas, son of James and Judas (not Iscariot)”, (Matthew 10:3, Acts 1:13, Luke 6:16, John 14:22). Lebbaeus/Judas/Juda – , Simon’s brother (Matthew 10:3; 13:55; Mark 3:18; 6:3; Luke 6:16; Jude 1:1)

James (son of Alphaeus) Known as James the Younger, or James the Less, he wrote the epistle which bears his name.


Saul of Tarsus becomes the Apostle Paul
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God. The first mention of Paul in Bible History was prior to his conversion when he was known as Saul, the Christian-hating Pharisee who fanatically took part in the persecution and killing of Christi

Matthias is chosen to replace Judas Iscariot upon the latter’s death

Barnabas
Barnabas was a Levite. His actual name was Joseph, or Joses, but the apostles called him Barnabas which meant “son of encouragement,” or “son of consolation.”


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Are there any Apostles today? Bible Questions with Michael Pearl

Are There Any Living Apostles Today?

The Apostle Paul was uniquely prepared for preaching the gospel. What about you?

The Four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — are the main source of information on the life of Jesus.