Did the Disciples Know Jesus Before He Called?

There is much debate among biblical scholars and historians about whether or not the disciples knew Jesus before he called them to follow him. Some argue that the disciples were complete strangers to Jesus, while others suggest that they may have had prior knowledge of him.

One argument in favor of the idea that the disciples knew Jesus before he called them is based on geography. Many of the disciples were from Galilee, which was a relatively small region where everyone would have known each other. It is possible that Jesus and his future disciples crossed paths at some point before their official meeting.

Another argument in favor of this idea is based on the fact that Jesus was a well-known figure in his time. He had already gained a reputation as a teacher and healer, and it’s possible that some of his future disciples had heard about him through word-of-mouth.

On the other hand, there are also arguments against the notion that the disciples knew Jesus beforehand. One such argument is based on John 1:35-42, which describes how two of John the Baptist’s followers began following Jesus after he was baptized by John. This passage suggests that these two men did not know Jesus beforehand, as they only began following him after witnessing his baptism.

Additionally, there are several instances throughout the gospels where Jesus seems to surprise his disciples with his teachings and actions. If they had known him beforehand, it seems unlikely that they would have been so surprised by what he was saying and doing.

In conclusion, while there is no definitive answer to whether or not the disciples knew Jesus before he called them, it seems likely that some of them may have been familiar with him in some way prior to their meeting. However, even if they did know him beforehand, it’s clear from their reactions to his teachings and actions that they were still deeply impacted by their time spent with him as his followers.

Arguments in Favor

  • Geography: Many of the disciples were from Galilee, a relatively small region where everyone would have known each other.
  • Reputation: Jesus was a well-known figure in his time and had already gained a reputation as a teacher and healer.

Arguments Against

  • John 1:35-42: This passage suggests that at least some of the disciples did not know Jesus before he called them.
  • Surprise: There are several instances throughout the gospels where Jesus seems to surprise his disciples with his teachings and actions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while there is no definitive answer to whether or not the disciples knew Jesus before he called them, it seems likely that some of them may have been familiar with him in some way prior to their meeting.