Which of Jesus Disciples Was a Roman Soldier?

Have you ever heard the rumor that one of Jesus’ disciples was a Roman soldier? It’s a fascinating idea that has been circulating for centuries, but is there any truth to it? Let’s take a closer look.

The Disciples of Jesus

Before we get into the specific question of whether or not one of Jesus’ disciples was a Roman soldier, let’s review who the disciples were. According to the Bible, Jesus had 12 disciples who followed him throughout his ministry. Their names were:

  • Peter
  • James (son of Zebedee)
  • John (brother of James)
  • Andrew
  • Philip
  • Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael)
  • Matthew (also known as Levi)
  • Thomas (also known as Didymus)
  • James (son of Alphaeus)
  • Thaddaeus (also known as Judas, son of James)
  • Simon the Zealot
  • Judas Iscariot

The Possibility of a Roman Soldier Disciple

So, where did the idea come from that one of Jesus’ disciples was a Roman soldier? The answer lies in the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew chapter 8, verses 5-13, there is a story about a centurion who comes to Jesus and asks for his help in healing his servant. A centurion was a high-ranking officer in the Roman army, and it’s possible that this man was one of Jesus’ followers.

However, there is no evidence to support this theory beyond speculation. The Bible doesn’t mention the centurion becoming a disciple, and we don’t know anything about his life beyond this one interaction with Jesus. It’s important to remember that just because someone appears in the Bible doesn’t mean that they were a follower of Jesus or a significant figure in Christian history.

The Importance of the Disciples

While it’s interesting to speculate about the possibility of a Roman soldier being one of Jesus’ disciples, it’s not really relevant to our understanding and appreciation of the disciples as a group. The disciples were chosen by Jesus to be his closest companions and to spread his message after he was gone. They were ordinary men who faced extraordinary challenges and who ultimately played a crucial role in the establishment of Christianity.


Peter, for example, was one of Jesus’ most devoted followers and became a leader of the early Christian church. He was known for his impulsive nature and his tendency to speak first and think later. He famously denied knowing Jesus three times in the hours before Jesus’ crucifixion, but later became a powerful advocate for Christianity.


John, on the other hand, was known for his deep spiritual insights and his close personal relationship with Jesus. He wrote several books of the New Testament, including the Gospel of John, which provides a unique perspective on Jesus’ life and teachings.

Judas Iscariot

And then there’s Judas Iscariot, who is perhaps the most infamous disciple because he betrayed Jesus to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver. Judas’ actions led directly to Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion.


In conclusion, while there is no concrete evidence to suggest that one of Jesus’ disciples was a Roman soldier, it’s an intriguing idea that has captured the imagination of many people over the centuries. However, it’s important to remember that the disciples were a diverse group of ordinary men who played a crucial role in the establishment of Christianity. Their stories are fascinating and inspiring, and they continue to be an important part of Christian history and tradition today.