Lists of All Kinds

Jesus’s Disciples

Peter: He was a fisherman from Capernaum (John says Bethsaida). He’s also often called Simon, Simon Peter, or Cephas. (Cephas comes from the Aramaic for “rock,” and Peter comes from the Greek equivalent for the same.)

Andrew: He was Peter’s brother and fishing partner; John’s gospel says that Andrew was first a disciple of John the Baptist.

James: He was son of Zebedee and a fisherman from Capernaum. He’s called “James the Great” in later tradition.

John: He was James’s brother and partner in the family fishing business. And maybe because they’re so brazen, in Mark, Jesus gives the two brothers the name Boanerges, which is a Greek form of the Aramaic “sons of thunder” (Mark 10:35–45).

Philip: He was from Bethsaida, another town on the coast of the Sea of Galilee.

Bartholomew: This member of the Twelve doesn’t get a lot of press. There simply aren’t any stories about him apart from the list of the Twelve. Since the ninth century CE, some people have wondered if he’s the Nathanael mentioned in John 1:45–51 and 21:2. Why? Because Nathanael is a normal first name and Bartholomew was more likely a surname (the Greek is based on the Aramaic Bar-Talmai, which means “son of Talmai”).

Matthew: He’s called a toll collector in Matthew’s gospel. This reference solves the problem in Mark that the toll collector Levi is called (Mark 2:13–17), but never listed among the Twelve (Mark 3:13–19).

Thomas: Thomas, or “twin” in Aramaic, is called “doubting Thomas” because he doubted Jesus’s resurrection until he could touch Jesus’s wounds himself (John 20:24–29). He’s also called Didymus Thomas (which is like saying “twin” twice in both Greek and Aramaic).

James: This man, who was the son of Alphaeus, was called in later tradition “James the Less” — not to be confused with James the Great or James brother of Jesus (James was obviously a popular name at the time!).

Simon: He was called “the Cananean” (which means “zealous” or “jealous” in Aramaic) in Matthew and Mark and “the Zealot” (the Greek equivalent of the same) in Luke.

Thaddeus: There’s a bit of controversy when it comes to this 11th disciple. In Mark and Matthew, he’s called Thaddeus. Luke, on the other hand, calls this man Jude, son of James.

Judas Iscariot: He’s the one who betrayed Jesus to the authorities (so he’s always put last on lists of the Twelve!).



June 28, 2009 - Posted by | Religion

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