Apostles

Among Jesus’s followers were his disciples, who traveled with and learned from him; and his apostles, whom he chose to continue his teachings after he died. The twelve apostles were, in effect, the first missionaries. As told in the New Testament of the Bible, they were the twelve men Jesus dined with the night before he was crucified. Additionally, they were among those to whom Jesus revealed himself after he had been resurrected.

The number twelve reflected the original twelve tribes of Israel. Some of Jesus’s followers believed the restoration of ancient Israel would coincide with the coming Kingdom of Heaven.

Some of the more notable Apostles are:

SIMON: Simon was called Peter by Jesus. He was given a rare leadership role by Jesus and eventually became the first pope. Jesus told him, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:13–20). It is debated whether the “rock” was Peter himself, as the Catholics believe, establishing the papacy, or simply Peter’s faith.

ANDREW: Andrew, Simon’s brother, was one of Jesus’s first followers and convinced Simon to become a disciple as well.

JOHN: John was purportedly the author of the Gospel according to John and perhaps four additional New Testament books.

MATTHEW: Matthew, called Levi in some textual references, is believed to be the author of the Gospel according to Matthew.

THOMAS: Thomas was very skeptical of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead and demanded to feel his wounds before believing in the miracle.

JUDAS ISCARIOT: Judas was the man who betrayed Jesus by kissing him. This kiss allowed the authorities to identify him. By some accounts, Judas committed suicide out of guilt during the three days between Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection.

ADDITIONAL FACTS

  1. According to Mormon beliefs, after Jesus was resurrected, he went to South America and chose a set of twelve apostles there. Among these were the Three Nephites, who did not die but rather remain on earth today awaiting the second coming of Jesus.
  2. Apart from the twelve original apostles, several other successful missionaries have received the title of apostle over the centuries of Christian history. The honor is bestowed on people who bring Christianity to a particular country, area, or population for the first time.
 
 
 

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