The twelve apostles, the twelve companions of Jesus were known as the twelve followers, disciples or apostles. A disciple is one who is learning under the leadership of another person (his teacher). However, the bible interpretation of disciple is beyond a mere learner; it extends to being an advocate of the instructor’s doctrines.
An apostle is symbolic of an assignee, an emissary or legate of another individual. The margin between the biblical usage of apostle and disciple is thin. Nonetheless, there exists a little distinguishable difference. The bible did not tag all disciples as apostles. However, every apostle is a disciple.
Who were the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ?
Jesus’ twelve disciples have their names documented in four different places in the bible. Here are they:
Peter had his root name from “Petros” which interprets as “rock.” He used to fish for a living, and he was referred to as Simon in Hebrew. He was a brother to Andrew, who was also an apostle of Jesus Christ. Christian traditions believe that Jesus ordained Peter in Mattew 16:18 (the Rock of My Church dialogue”). Catholics regard him as the first Pope and founder of the Roman church. Biblical accounts suggest that he was very close to Jesus and witnessed important events that the other apostles did not see such as the transfiguration. He denied Jesus thrice at the crucifixion and preached on the day of Pentecost.
Also a fisherman, John the apostle was the son of Zebedee. He happened to be a brother to James. He was believed to be the youngest disciple and author of several books of the New Testament.
The Greeks call James “Andreas,” and this means “manly.” James is also the son of Zebedee and brother to John who was a fisherman too, and an apostle of Christ. The scriptures also referred to him as” James, the brother of Jesus.”
Andrew’s Greek name is “Iakobos” which interprets as Jacob. He used to be a fisherman, and he is a brother to Simon and an apostle of John.
A native of Bethsaida, He was known as the apostle who preached the gospel in Syria, Greece, and Phrygia. According to the Gospels, it was Phillip, who asks Jesus about how they will “feed the five thousand.”
Bartholomew is coined from Bartholomeus which interprets as the Son of Talmai. Jesus met him in Galilee.
Thomas, who’s a native of Aramaic had his name from “Te’oma” which is twins. He distrusted Jesus’ resurrection.
Matthew, who was a tax collector got his name from “Matthias” which interprets the blessing from Yahweh.
James was the son of Alpheus (he is not the same as “James, the son of Zebedee”). The scriptures referred to him as James the less in Mark 15:10. That can also be translated as the “younger,” or the “little.”
His first name was Lebbaeus, and his last name was Thaddaeus. He was Judas, but not Iscariot.
Popularly known as Simon, the Zealot, Simon was a Canaanite.
This is the apostle that betrayed Jesus.
How Did the Twelve Disciples Die?
The twelve disciples were all but one martyred. Peter and Andrew were nailed to the cross. James was beheaded, and John, who would later escape and die a natural death, was thrown into boiling oil.
Simon was nailed while Jude was hacked to death, James (Junior) was pushed down from temple summit. Philip was nailed upside down while Bartholomew was skinned alive.
Matthew was also martyred while Thomas was stabbed till he gave up. Judas Iscariot killed himself after betraying Jesus.
The disciples of Jesus did so many miracles and pulled the crowd to him in Jerusalem. The twelve disciples were advocates of Jesus’ gospel. They believed in his mission and assisted him in fulfilling it. That is why they were referred to as Jesus’ apostles.