Have you ever wondered what happened to all of Jesus’ disciples after his death and resurrection? Many of them played significant roles in the establishment and spread of Christianity, but their stories are often overlooked. In this article, we will explore the fates of some of the most prominent disciples and how they contributed to the growth of the early church.
The Twelve Apostles
Peter: Peter was one of Jesus’ closest companions and is often referred to as the “rock” on which the church was built. After Jesus’ ascension, Peter became a leader in the early Christian community and eventually traveled to Rome, where he was martyred by crucifixion upside down.
Andrew: Andrew was Peter’s brother and one of the first disciples called by Jesus. He is believed to have preached in modern-day Turkey before being martyred on an X-shaped cross.
James: James was one of Jesus’ inner circle along with Peter and John. He became a leader in the Jerusalem church before being beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I.
John: John was also part of Jesus’ inner circle and is believed to have written several books in the New Testament, including the Gospel of John, three epistles, and Revelation. He lived to an old age and died a natural death.
Philip: Philip was originally from Bethsaida and is believed to have preached in modern-day Turkey before being martyred by crucifixion.
Bartholomew: Bartholomew is also known as Nathanael in some gospel accounts. He preached in India before being flayed alive for his faith.
- Fun fact: Bartholomew’s skin was allegedly used to make a bookbinding.
Matthew: Matthew was a tax collector before becoming a disciple of Jesus. He is believed to have written the Gospel of Matthew before being martyred in Ethiopia.
Thomas: Thomas is often referred to as “doubting Thomas” because he initially doubted Jesus’ resurrection until he saw him in person. He preached in modern-day Iraq and India before being martyred by spearing.
James son of Alphaeus: James son of Alphaeus is sometimes referred to as “James the Less” to distinguish him from James, the brother of John. He is believed to have preached in Syria before being stoned to death.
Jude: Jude, also known as Thaddeus, preached in modern-day Turkey and Iran before being martyred by axe.
Simon the Zealot: Simon the Zealot is believed to have preached in modern-day Iran and was eventually martyred by crucifixion.
Judas Iscariot: Judas infamously betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. After realizing his mistake, he tried to return the money but was rejected by the chief priests. Judas ultimately hanged himself in despair.
The Other Disciples
In addition to the twelve apostles, there were several other disciples who played important roles in the early church:
Mary Magdalene: Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ closest followers and witnessed his crucifixion and resurrection. She is believed to have traveled and preached extensively before settling in France, where she died.
Lazarus: Lazarus was famously raised from the dead by Jesus. He became a prominent figure in the early Christian community and is believed to have lived until old age.
The Legacy of the Disciples
The disciples played crucial roles in establishing and spreading Christianity throughout the world. Despite facing persecution and martyrdom, their faith and dedication to Jesus inspired countless others to follow in their footsteps. Today, we can look back on their lives and legacies with gratitude and admiration for their steadfast commitment to the gospel message.