How Many Disciples Did Jesus Had in Total?

When it comes to the question of how many disciples did Jesus have, the answer is not as straightforward as one might think. The Bible mentions several individuals who followed Jesus during his ministry, but not all of them were considered his disciples. In this article, we will explore the different categories of followers and attempt to arrive at an estimate of the number of disciples that Jesus had in total.

The Twelve Apostles

The most well-known group of Jesus’ followers is the twelve apostles. These were hand-picked by Jesus himself and were his closest companions during his ministry on Earth. The twelve apostles were Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael), Thomas, Matthew (also known as Levi), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (also known as Judas, son of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.

The Seventy Disciples

In addition to the twelve apostles, Jesus also appointed seventy disciples to go out and spread his message to various towns and villages. This group is mentioned in Luke 10:1-24 and is sometimes referred to as the “seventy-two” depending on which manuscript is being used. Some scholars believe that this group was a larger representation of all those who followed Jesus during his ministry.

The Women Who Followed Jesus

The Bible also mentions several women who followed Jesus and supported him financially. These women included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), Salome (the mother of James and John), Martha (the sister of Lazarus), Mary (the sister of Martha), and others.

Estimating the Total Number

Based on these three groups alone – the twelve apostles, the seventy disciples, and the women who followed Jesus – we can arrive at an estimate of around 100 individuals who were considered Jesus’ closest followers. However, it’s important to note that there were likely many more people who heard Jesus speak and were impacted by his teachings.

Additionally, it’s worth considering that the number of disciples may have fluctuated throughout Jesus’ ministry. Some individuals may have joined or left the group at different times, or only followed Jesus for a short period of time before moving on.


In conclusion, while we cannot know for certain how many disciples Jesus had in total, we can safely say that there were at least 100 individuals who were considered his closest followers during his ministry. This group included the twelve apostles, the seventy disciples, and several women who supported him financially. Regardless of the exact number, it’s clear that Jesus’ message resonated with many people during his lifetime and continues to do so today.