When it comes to the number of disciples that Jesus had, there is some debate among scholars. However, most agree that Jesus had twelve main disciples, also known as apostles. These were the men who were closest to him and who he chose to spread his teachings after his death.
The Twelve Disciples
The twelve disciples were Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John, 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.
In addition to the twelve main disciples, there were also other followers of Jesus who are sometimes referred to as disciples. These include Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and Lazarus.
What is the significance of the number 12?
The number 12 holds a special significance in Christianity. It represents completeness and is thought to be a symbolic reference to the 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament.
Judas Iscariot’s Betrayal
Judas Iscariot is perhaps one of the most well-known disciples because of his betrayal of Jesus. He infamously betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and later hung himself.
After Jesus’ Death
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, his disciples continued to spread his teachings and establish churches throughout the world. They are often referred to as “apostles” because they were sent out by Jesus himself to preach the gospel.
- Peter became a leader in the early Christian church.
- John wrote several books in the New Testament including The Gospel According to John.
- Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew.
- Thomas became known for his doubt and famously stated “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)
In conclusion, Jesus had twelve main disciples who he chose to spread his teachings after his death. These men went on to establish churches throughout the world and are often referred to as apostles. While there were also other followers of Jesus who are sometimes referred to as disciples, it is the twelve apostles who hold the most significance in Christianity.