General Information

In the Bible, apostle is a title conferred on one sent with a message. The term is applied primarily to the original Twelve called by Jesus to accompany him during his ministry (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16). In the Gospels, other followers are called disciples. The title was gradually extended to others such as Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:14; Rom. 9:1, 11:13); when this occurred, the Twelve were distinguished from all the apostles, as in 1 Corinthians 15:5-7.

Most of the Twelve were from the laboring class, with the exception of Matthew, a tax collector. None was from the religious sector of Jewish society. Peter, James (the Greater), and John formed an inner circle closest to Jesus; Judas Iscariot betrayed him, and Matthias was selected to replace Judas (Acts 1:16). The others were Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James (the Lesser), Simon, and Thaddeus (Jude).

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Douglas Ezell

Brownrigg, R., The Twelve Apostles (1974); Guthrie, D., The Apostles (1974); Huxhold, H. N., Twelve Who Followed (1987); Ruffin, C. B., The Twelve (1984).

Apostle, Apostleship

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The biblical use of "apostle" is almost entirely confined to the NT, where it occurs seventy-nine times: ten in the Gospels, twenty-eight in Acts, thirty-eight in the epistles, and three in the Apocalypse. Our English word is a transliteration of the Greek apostolos, which is derived from apostellein, to send. Whereas several words for send are used in the NT, expressing such ideas as dispatch, release, or dismiss, apostellein emphasizes the elements of commission, authority of and responsibility to the sender. So an apostle is properly one sent on a definite mission, in which he acts with full authority on behalf of the sender and is accountable to him.

The noun occurs only once in the LXX. When the wife of Jeroboam came to Ahijah seeking information about the health of her son, the prophet answered, "I am sent unto thee with heavy tidings" (I Kings 14:6). Here apostolos renders the Hebrew saluah, which became a somewhat technical term in Judaism. A saluah could be one who led the synagogue congregation in worship and thus represented it, or a representative of the Sanhedrin sent on official business. The priesthood was included under this term also, and a few outstanding personalities of OT story who acted strikingly on God's behalf. But in no case did the saluah operate beyond the confines of the Jewish community. So there is no anticipation in the Saluah of the missionary emphasis associated with the NT apostolos.

Christ as Apostle

In Heb. 3:1 Jesus is called "the apostle...of our confession," in conscious contrast to Moses, to whom Judaism ascribed the term saluah. Jesus spoke more directly from God than Moses was able to do. Repeatedly he made the claim of being sent by the Father. When he declared that he was sending his chosen disciples into the world even as the Father had sent him, our Lord was bestowing on apostleship its highest dignity (John 17:18).

The Twelve as Apostles

These men are most often called disciples in the Gospels, for their primary function during Christ's ministry was to be with him and learn of him. But they are also called apostles because Jesus imparted to them his authority to preach and to cast out demons (Mark 3:14-15; 6:30). Just because this activity was limited while Jesus was with them, the term "apostle" is rarely used. After Pentecost this situation was changed.

The number twelve recalls the twelve tribes of Israel, but the basis of leadership is no longer tribal, but personal and spiritual. Evidently the college of apostles was regarded as fixed in number, for Jesus spoke of twelve thrones in the coming age (Matt. 19:28; cf. Rev. 21:14). Judas was replaced by Matthias (Acts 1), but after that no effort was made to select men to succeed those who were taken by death (Acts 12:2).

Apostles receive first mention in the lists of spiritual gifts (I Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11). Since these gifts are bestowed by the risen Christ through the Spirit, it is probable that at the beginning of the apostolic age these men who had been appointed by Jesus and trained by him were now regarded as possessing a second investiture to mark the new and permanent phase of their work for which the earlier phase had been a preparation. They became the foundation of the church in a sense secondary only to that of Christ himself (Eph. 2:20).

The duties of the apostles were preaching, teaching, and administration. Their preaching rested on their association with Christ and the instruction received from him, and it included their witness to his resurrection (Acts 1:22). Their converts passed immediately under their instruction (Acts 2:42), which presumably consisted largely of their recollection of the teaching of Jesus, augmented by revelations of the Spirit (Eph. 3:5). In the area of administration their functions were varied. Broadly speaking, they were responsible for the life and welfare of the Christian community. Undoubtedly they took the lead in worship as the death of Christ was memorialized in the Lord's Supper. They administered the common fund to which believers contributed for the help of needy brethren (Acts 4:37), until this task became burdensome and was shifted to men specially chosen for this responsibility (Acts 6:1-6). Discipline was in their hands (Acts 5:1-11). As the church grew and spread abroad, the apostles devoted more and more attention to the oversight of these scattered groups of believers (Acts 8:14; 9:32). At times the gift of the Holy Spirit was mediated through them (Acts 8:15-17). The supernatural powers which they had exercised when the Lord was among them, such as the exorcism of demons and the healing of the sick, continued to be tokens of their divine authority (Acts 5:12; II Cor. 12:12). They took the lead in the determination of vexing problems which faced the church, associating the elders with themselves as an expression of democratic procedure (Acts 15:6; cf. 6:3).

Paul as Apostle

The distinctive features of Paul's apostleship were direct appointment by Christ (Gal. 1:1) and the allocation of the Gentile world to him as his sphere of labor (Rom. 1:5; Gal. 1:16; 2:8). His apostleship was recognized by the Jerusalem authorities in accordance with his own claim to rank with the original apostles. However, he never asserted membership in the Twelve (I Cor. 15:11), but rather stood on an independent basis. He was able to bear witness to the resurrection because his call came from the risen Christ (I Cor. 9:1; Acts 26:16-18). Paul looked on his apostleship as a demonstration of divine grace and as a call to sacrificial labor rather than an occasion for glorying in the office (I Cor. 15:10).

Other Apostles

The most natural explanation of Gal. 1:19 is that Paul is declaring James, the Lord's brother, to be an apostle, agreeable to the recognition James received in the Jerusalem church. In line with this, in I Cor. 15:5-8, where James is mentioned, all the other individuals are apostles. Barnabas (along with Paul) is called an apostle (Acts 14:4, 14), but probably in a restricted sense only, as one sent forth by the Antioch church, to which he was obligated to report when his mission was completed (14:27). He was not regarded as an apostle at Jerusalem (Acts 9:27), though later on he was given the right hand of fellowship as well as Paul (Gal. 2:9). Andronicus and Junias are said to be of note among the apostles (Rom. 16:7). Silvanus and Timothy seem to be included as apostles in Paul's statement in I Thess. 2:6. The references in I Cor. 9:5 and 15:7 do not necessarily go beyond the Twelve.

It is reasonably clear that in addition to the Twelve, Paul and James had the leading recognition as apostles. Others also might be so indicated under special circumstances. But warrant is lacking for making "apostle" the equivalent of "missionary." In the practice of the modern church, prominent pioneer missionaries are often called apostles, but this is only an accommodation of language. In the apostolic age one who held this rank was more than a preacher (II Tim. 1:11). All disciples were supposed to be preachers, but not all were apostles (I Cor. 12:29). Curiously, at one point in the church's life all were busy preaching except the apostles (Acts 8:4). Paul would not have needed to defend his apostleship with such vehemence if he were only defending his right to proclaim the gospel. Alongside the distinctive and more technical use of the word is the occasional employment of it in the sense of messenger (Phil. 2:25; II Cor. 8:23).

E F Harrison
Elwell Evangelical Dictionary

See also:
Apostolic Succession
Authority in Church

A. Fridrichsen, The Apostle and His Message; F. J. A. Hort, The Christian Ecclesia; K. Lake in The Beginnings of Christianity, V, 37-59; J.B. Lightfoot, St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians; T. W. Manson, The Church's Ministry; C. K. Barrett, The Signs of an Apostle; W. Schmithals, The Office of Apostle in the Early Church; K. E. Kirk, ed., The Apostolic Ministry; E. Schweizer, Church Order in the NT; J. Roloff, Apostalat, Verkundigung, Kirche; G. Klein, Die Zwolf Apostel, Ursprung und Gehalt einer Idee; K. H. Rengstorf," TDNT, I, 398ff.; J. A. Kirk, "Apostleship Since Rengstorf," NTS 21:2149ff.; D. Muller and C. Brown, NIDNTT,I, 126ff.


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A person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. This word is once used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the Sent of the Father (Heb. 3:1; John 20:21). It is, however, generally used as designating the body of disciples to whom he intrusted the organization of his church and the dissemination of his gospel, "the twelve," as they are called (Matt. 10:1-5; Mark 3:14; 6:7; Luke 6:13; 9:1). We have four lists of the apostles, one by each of the synoptic evangelists (Matt. 10: 2-4; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14), and one in the Acts (1:13).

No two of these lists, however, perfectly coincide. Our Lord gave them the "keys of the kingdom," and by the gift of his Spirit fitted them to be the founders and governors of his church (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-15). To them, as representing his church, he gave the commission to "preach the gospel to every creature" (Matt. 28: 18-20). After his ascension he communicated to them, according to his promise, supernatural gifts to qualify them for the discharge of their duties (Acts 2:4; 1 Cor. 2:16; 2:7, 10, 13; 2 Cor. 5:20; 1 Cor. 11:2).

Judas Iscariot, one of "the twelve," fell by transgression, and Matthias was substituted in his place (Acts 1:21). Saul of Tarsus was afterwards added to their number (Acts 9:3-20; 20: 4; 26:15-18; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11). Luke has given some account of Peter, John, and the two Jameses (Acts 12:2, 17; 15:13; 21:18), but beyond this we know nothing from authentic history of the rest of the original twelve. After the martyrdom of James the Greater (Acts 12:2), James the Less usually resided at Jerusalem, while Paul, "the apostle of the uncircumcision," usually travelled as a missionary among the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8).

It was characteristic of the apostles and necessary (1) that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21, 22; 1 Cor. 9:1; Acts 22:14, 15). (2.) They must have been immediately called to that office by Christ (Luke 6:13; Gal. 1:1). (3.) It was essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus secured against all error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Thess. 2:13). (4.) Another qualification was the power of working miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; 1 Cor. 12:8-11). The apostles therefore could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders. In 2 Cor. 8:23 and Phil. 2:25 the word "messenger" is the rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered "apostle."

(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)

The Apostles

Saint Matthew

In the New Testament, Saint Matthew was the New Testament tax collector called by Jesus Christ to be one of the 12 apostles (Matt. 9:9). Matthew has often been identified with Levi, the son of Alphaeus, also a tax collector (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27-28). Although traditionally regarded as the author of the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, modern scholarship strongly disputes this attribution. Matthew's symbol as an evangelist is an angel, and in art he is often depicted with sword and money bag. Feast day: Sept. 21 (Western); Nov. 16 (Eastern).

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint Matthew

Saint Peter

Saint Peter was the most prominent of Jesus Christ's disciples. Originally named Simon son of Jonah (Matt. 16:17), he was given the Aramaic name Cephas by Jesus or the early church; the name means "rock" and is translated into Greek as Peter.

All that is known of Peter's life before he was called by Jesus is that he was a Galilean fisherman with a brother named Andrew. Peter is mentioned numerous times in the Gospels and first 15 chapters of Acts. He is pictured as a leader and spokesman of the disciples; he identifies Jesus as Messiah (Mark 8:27; Matt. 16:16) and is selected as the rock on which the church will be built (Matt. 16:18). He is several times mentioned with the brothers James and John, with whom he witnesses the Transfiguration and Jesus' agony in Gethsemane. After Jesus' arrest Peter denies knowing him three times and later repents his denial (Matt. 26:69-75; John 18:10-27).

In Acts, Peter is a leader in the Jerusalem church and engages in missionary activity in Samaria, Galilee, Lydda, Sharon, and Joppa. He favors admission of Gentiles into the church but occupies a middle position between James (the "brother" of Jesus), who wants to keep Christianity very Jewish in practice, and Paul, who wishes to minimize requirements for Gentile converts.

The New Testament says nothing about Peter's life after his presence at the meeting in Jerusalem with James and Paul (Acts 15). Later sources say that Peter went to Rome, was martyred (64-68) under Nero, and buried on Vatican Hill. Evidence concerning his presence, activity, and death in Rome is slight.

New Testament documents assign Peter a variety of roles. He is seen as a missionary fisherman, pastoral shepherd, martyr, recipient of special revelation, confessor of the true faith, magisterial protector, healer, and repentant sinner. These roles and images help explain the wealth of later stories and legends surrounding Peter and his high status in Christian literature, including his role in Roman Catholic belief as founder of the papacy. The two Epistles of Peter are ascribed to Peter, although the attribution is questioned. Many postbiblical books were also produced in his name, notably the Acts of Peter. Feast day: June 29 (with Saint Paul).

Anthony J. Saldarini

Brown, R., et al., eds., Peter in the New Testament (1973); Cullmann, Oscar, Peter, Disciple, Apostle, Martyr, trans. by F. V. Filson, 2d ed. (1962); Murphy, W.F., Upon This Rock (1987); O'Connor, D. W., Peter in Rome (1969); Taylor, W.M., Peter, The Apostle (1990); Thomas, W.H., The Apostle Peter: His Life and Writings (1984); Winter, Michael M., Saint Peter and the Popes (1960; repr. 1979).

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint Peter

Saint James (James the Great)

Together with his brother Saint John, Saint James was among the first disciples called by Jesus (Matt. 4:21). These sons of Zebedee, called the Boanerges ("Sons of Thunder"), joined the brothers Peter and Andrew, also fishermen by trade, in a close inner circle around Jesus. James, Peter, and John were the only disciples present, for example, at the Transfiguration (Luke 9) and near Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. James was martyred under Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12). According to legend, his bones were taken to Spain, and his shrine at Santiago de Compostela was one of the most important pilgrimage centers in the Middle Ages. Feast day: Apr. 30 (Eastern); July 25 (Western).

Saint James (James the Great)

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Boaner'ges, sons of thunder, a surname given by our Lord to James and John (Mark 3:17) on account of their fervid and impetuous temper (Luke 9:54).

(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint James

Saint John

Saint John, a Galilean fisherman and the son of Zebedee, was one of the Twelve Apostles. John and his brother, Saint James (the Great), were called Boanerges, or Sons of Thunder, by Christ. Several passages in the Bible imply that this describes their intense loyalty and aggressive zeal (Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49, 54). John was one of the inner circle among the Twelve. Saint Peter, James, and John witnessed the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1; Mark 9:2; Luke 9:28) and went to Gethsemane with Jesus (Matt. 26:37; Mark 14:33).

Many people believe that John was the beloved disciple referred to in the fourth gospel. If so, he was beside Jesus at the Last Supper (John 13:23), was asked to care for Jesus' mother Mary (John 19:26), and was the first to comprehend Jesus' Resurrection (John 20:2-9). John had a prominent role in the early church (Acts 1:13, 8:14). Traditionally, five New Testament books are ascribed to him: the fourth gospel, three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. Feast day: Dec. 27 (Western); Sept. 26 (Eastern).

Douglas Ezell

Saint John

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Boaner'ges, sons of thunder, a surname given by our Lord to James and John (Mark 3:17) on account of their fervid and impetuous temper (Luke 9:54).

(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint John

Judas Iscariot

{joo'-duhs is-kair'-ee-uht}

Judas Iscariot was the Apostle who betrayed Jesus Christ to the authorities. According to Matthew 27:4, Judas, distraught over Jesus' condemnation, returned his reward of 30 pieces of silver and hanged himself. According to Acts 1:18, Judas bought a field with the money, but fell headlong in it, injured himself, and died. His surname may indicate that he belonged to the Sicarii, a radical political group.

Bibliography: Gartner, Bertil, Iscariot (1971); Schaumberg, E.L., Judas (1981).

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Judas Iscariot

Saint Matthias


In the New Testament, Matthias was the apostle chosen by lot to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:15-26). According to one tradition, he preached the gospel in Ethiopia. Feast day: May 14 (Roman); Feb. 24 (other Western); Aug. 9 (Eastern).

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint Matthias

Saint Andrew

St. Andrew was a fisherman whom Jesus called to be an Apostle (Matt. 4:19). He was also the brother of Simon Peter. According to a popular but mistaken tradition, Andrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross. The crossed bars of the Scottish flag are derived from this belief. St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and Russia. Feast day: Nov. 30.

Saint Andrew

General Information

Saint Andrew was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and the brother of Simon (later the apostle Peter). A Galilean fisherman of Bethsaida, he was originally a disciple of John the Baptist. In the Gospel of John (1:35-42), Andrew was the first called of Jesus' disciples. According to tradition, Andrew was crucified at Patras, in Achaea, on an X-shaped cross, the form of which became known as Saint Andrew's Cross (see Cross). Eusebius of Caesarea records that Andrew preached Christianity among the Scythians, thus becoming the patron saint of Russia. He is also the patron saint of Greece. In the 8th century relics of Andrew were taken to the future site of Saint Andrews in Scotland, so that he is the patron saint of that country as well; a white Saint Andrew's cross on a blue field is the national flag of Scotland. Andrew's feast day is November 30.

Saint An'drew

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Andrew, manliness, a Greek name; one of the apostles of our Lord. He was of Bethsaida in Galilee (John 1:44), and was the brother of Simon Peter (Matt. 4: 18; 10:2). On one occasion John the Baptist, whose disciple he then was, pointing to Jesus, said, "Behold the Lamb of God" (John 1:40); and Andrew, hearing him, immediately became a follower of Jesus, the first of his disciples. After he had been led to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, his first care was to bring also his brother Simon to Jesus. The two brothers seem to have after this pursued for a while their usual calling as fishermen, and did not become the stated attendants of the Lord till after John's imprisonment (Matt. 4:18, 19; Mark 1:16, 17). Very little is related of Andrew. He was one of the confidential disciples (John 6:8; 12:22), and with Peter, James, and John inquired of our Lord privately regarding his future coming (Mark 13:3). He was present at the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:9), and he introduced the Greeks who desired to see Jesus (John 12:22); but of his subsequent history little is known. It is noteworthy that Andrew thrice brings others to Christ, (1) Peter; (2) the lad with the loaves; and (3) certain Greeks. These incidents may be regarded as a key to his character.

(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint Andrew

Saint Philip

Saint Philip, one of Jesus' first apostles, brought Nathanael (or Bartholomew) to Jesus (John 1:43-51). He was present at the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:5-7) and acted as an intermediary for Gentiles wishing to meet Jesus (John 12:20-22). Feast day: Nov. 14 (Eastern); May 3 (Western).

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint Philip

Saint Bartholomew

Saint Bartholomew was one of the Apostles, mentioned only in the lists of the Twelve (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13). His name means "son of Tolmai," and he is frequently identified with Nathanael (John 1). According to tradition, he was martyred in Armenia. Feast day: Aug. 24 (Western); June 11 (Eastern).

He may have been the same person as Nathanael.


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Bartholomew was a son of Tolmai, and one of the twelve apostles (Matt. 10:3; Acts 1:13); generally supposed to have been the same as Nathanael. In the synoptic gospels Philip and Bartholomew are always mentioned together, while Nathanael is never mentioned; in the fourth gospel, on the other hand, Philip and Nathanael are similarly mentioned together, but nothing is said of Bartholomew. He was one of the disciples to whom our Lord appeared at the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection (John 21:2). He was also a witness of the Ascension (Acts 1:4, 12, 13). He was an "Israelite indeed" (John 1:47).

(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint Bartholomew

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Nathanael

Saint Thomas

One of the original 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ, Thomas, called Didymus, refused to believe in the testimony of the other Apostles concerning the resurrection of Jesus until he saw the wounds of the resurrected Christ himself (John 20:24, 25, 26-29). From this comes the expression "doubting Thomas." Thomas earlier had expressed great devotion (John 11:16) and a questioning mind (John 14:5).

Eusebius of Caesarea records that Thomas became a missionary to Parthia. The Acts of Thomas (3d century), however, states that he was martyred in India. The Malabar Christians claim that their church was founded by him. This tradition can neither be substantiated nor denied on the basis of current evidence. Saint Thomas' Mount in Madras is the traditional site of his martyrdom. Feast day: July 3 (Western and Syrian); Oct. 6 (Eastern).

Douglas Ezell

Griffith, Leonard, Gospel Characters (1976); Perumalil, Hormice C., and Hambye, E. R., eds., Christianity in India (1973).

Saint Thomas

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Thomas, twin, one of the twelve (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18, etc.). He was also called Didymus (John 11:16; 20:24), which is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name. All we know regarding him is recorded in the fourth Gospel (John 11:15, 16; 14:4, 5; 20:24, 25, 26-29). From the circumstance that in the lists of the apostles he is always mentioned along with Matthew, who was the son of Alphaeus (Mark 3:18), and that these two are always followed by James, who was also the son of Alphaeus, it has been supposed that these three, Matthew, Thomas, and James, were brothers.

(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)

Saint Thomas

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(Gr. twin = Heb. Thomas, q.v.), John 11:16; 20:24; 21:2.

(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint Thomas

Saint James (James the Lesser)

Saint James the Lesser was the Apostle James, son of Alphaeus and disciple of Jesus (Mark 3:18). His mother, Mary, was one of the women at the crucifixion and at the tomb (Matt. 10:3; 27:56, Mark 15:40; 16:1; Acts 1:13). This James is sometimes identified with James the "brother of Jesus," although this and other identifications are unproven. Feast day: Oct. 9 (Eastern); May 3 (Western, since 1969).

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint James (the Less)

Saint Simon

Saint Simon the Less, one of the 12 apostles, appears only in the biblical lists of Jesus' disciples. Called the Zealot by Luke and called the Cananaean (Aramaic for "zealot") by Matthew and Mark, he may have originally belonged to the Zealots, an extremist group (possibly called the Sicarri) opposed to Roman rule in Palestine. Feast day: May 10 (Eastern); Oct. 28 (Western; with Saint Jude).

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint Simon

Saint Thaddaeus


Thaddaeus is mentioned in Mark 3:18 and Matt. 10:3 as one of Jesus Christ's original 12 apostles. He is often identified with the Jude, or Judas, son of James, in Luke 6:16. Although this identification helps reconcile the biblical lists of apostles, little is known of this minor figure. Feast day: October 28 (Western); June 19 (Eastern).

Saint Thaddaeus

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Thaddeus, breast, the name of one of the apostles (Mark 3:18), called "Lebbaeus" in Matt. 10:3, and in Luke 6: 16, "Judas the brother of James;" while John (14:22), probably referring to the same person, speaks of "Judas, not Iscariot." These different names all designate the same person, viz., Jude or Judas, the author of the epistle. (Easton Illustrated Dictionary)

Saint Jude

Jude, sometimes called Judas, or Jude Thaddaeus, is mentioned in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13 as one of the apostles of Jesus. He was traditionally believed to have been the author of the Epistle of Jude and is often identified with Thaddaeus, the apostle mentioned in Mark 3:18 and Matt. 10:3. Among Roman Catholics he is known as the patron saint of desperate cases. Feast day: June 19 (Eastern), Oct. 28 (Western; with Saint Simon).

He may have been the same person as Saint Thaddeus.

An advanced and comprehensive article is at: Saint Jude

According to Hippolytus (170 AD- 236 AD)

Where Each OF The Twelve Apostles Preached, And Where He Met His End.

1. Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia, and was afterwards crucified by Nero in Rome with his head downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that manner.

2. Andrew preached to the Scythians and Thracians, and was crucified, suspended on an olive tree, at Patrae, a town of Achaia; and there too he was buried.

3. John, again, in Asia, was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he wrote his Gospel and saw the apocalyptic vision; and in Trajan s time he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found.

4. James, his brother, when preaching in Judea, was cut off with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and was buried there.

5. Philip preached in Phrygia, and was crucified in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of Domitian, and was buried there.

6. Bartholomew, again, preached to the Indians, to whom he also gave the Gospel according to Matthew, and was crucified with his head downward, and was buried in Allanum, [1976] a town of the great Armenia. [1977]

7. And Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, [1978] and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia.

8. And Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians, [1979] and was thrust through in the four members of his body with a pine spears [1980] at Calamene, [1981] the city of India, anti was buried there.

9. And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem. was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there beside the temple.

10. Jude, who is also called Lebbaeus, preached. to the people of Edessa, [1982] and to all Mesopotamia, and fell asleep at Berytus, and was buried there.

11. Simon the Zealot, [1983] the son of Clopas, who is also called Jude, became bishop of Jerusalem after James the Just, and fell asleep and was buried there at the age of 120 years.

12. And Matthias, who was one of the seventy, was numbered along with the eleven apostles, and preached in Jerusalem, and fell asleep and was buried there.

13. And Paul entered into the apostleship a year after the assumption of Christ; and beginning at Jerusalem, he advanced as far as Illyricum, and Italy, and Spain, preaching the Gospel for five-and-thirty years. And in the time of Nero he was beheaded at Rome, and was buried there.


Jewish Viewpoint Information

Apostle (Greek ἀπόστολοσ, from ἀποστήλλειν, "to send"), a person delegated for a certain purpose; the same as sheliaḦ or sheluaḦ in Hebrew, one invested with representative power. "Apostoloi" was the official name given to the men sent by the rulers of Jerusalem to collect the half-shekel tax for the Temple, the tax itself being called "apostolé." See Theod. Reinach, "Textes Grecs et Romains, etc.," 1895, p. 208, and also Grätz, "Gesch. der Juden," iv. 476, note 21, where Eusebius is quoted as saying: "It is even yet a custom among the Jews to call those who carry about circular letters from their rulers by the name of apostles"; Epiphanius, "Hæreses," i. 128: "The so-called apostoloi are next in rank to the patriarchs, with whom they sit in the Sanhedrin, deciding questions of the Law with them." The emperor Honorius, in his edict of 399, mentions "the archisynagogues, the elders and those whom the Jews call apostoloi, who are sent forth by the patriarch at a certain season of the year to collect silver and gold from the various synagogues" ("Cod. Theodos." xvi. 8, 14, 29. Compare Mommsen, "Corpus Inscr. Lat." ix. 648. See Apostolé).

Grätz, looking for parallels in Talmudical literature, refers to Tosef., Sanh. ii. 6; Bab. 11b, wherein it is stated that the regulation of the calendar or the intercalation of the month, the exclusive privilege of the patriarch, was delegated by him only to representative men such as R. Akiba and R. Meïr, to act for him in various Jewish districts. (Compare also R. H. 25a and elsewhere.) Such delegates in ancient times were also appointed by the communal authority, sheluḦe bet din (delegates of the court of justice), to superintend the produce of the seventh year of release, so that no owner of fruit, fig, and olive trees, or of vineyards, should keep more than was needful for his immediate use-for three meals; the rest was to be brought to the city storehouse for common distribution every Friday (Tosef., Sheb. viii.). The name "delegate of the community" ("sheliaḦ ẓibbur"), given to him who offers the prayers on behalf of the congregation (Ber. v. 5), rests on the principle of representation as it is expressed in the Mekilta on Exodus, xii. 6: "The whole assembly of Israel shall slaughter it." How can a whole congregation do the slaughtering? "Through the delegate who represents it." Accordingly, the elders of the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem addressed the high priest "sheluḦenu usheluaḦ bet din" (our delegate and the delegate of the tribunal) (Yoma 18b). (The "angels of the churches," Rev. ii. 1, 12, 18; iii. 1, 7, 14, are probably also the "delegates of the churches," not angels, as is the general opinion.) Other delegates-"sheluḦim"-are mentioned in the Talmud: "Those sent forth to accomplish philanthropic tasks ["sheluḦe miẓwah"] need fear no disaster on the road" (Pes. 8b). "Those delegated to collect charity ["gabbae ẓedakah"] were always appointed in pairs, and not allowed to separate in order to avoid suspicion" (B. B. 8b). As a rule two prominent men are spoken of as being engaged together in such benevolences as ransoming captives, and similar acts of charity (Abot R. Nathan [A], viii.; Lev. R. v. Compare the "Ḥaburot" of Jerusalem, Tosef., Megillah, iv. 15). Ḥama bar Adda was called "sheliaḦ Zion" (delegate of Zion), as being regularly sent by the authorities of Babylonia to Palestine charged with official matters (Beẓah 25b; Rashi and 'Aruk).

The apostles, known as such from the New Testament, are declared to have derived name and authority from Jesus, who sent them forth as his witnesses (see Luke, vi. 13; Herzog and Hastings, s.v. "Apostles"). But they were also originally delegated by the holy spirit and by the laying on of hands (Acts xiii. 3) to do charity work for the community (see II Cor. viii. 23). "At the feet of the apostles" were laid the contributions of the early Christians to their common treasury, exactly as was done in the year of release in every city (Tos. Shebiit, viii. 1) and in every Essene community (Josephus, "B. J." ii. 8, § 3). "Two and two" the apostles were enjoined to travel (Mark vi. 7; Luke x. 2), exactly as was the rule among the charity-workers (B. B. 8b), and exactly as the Essene delegates are described as traveling, carrying neither money nor change of shoes with them (Josephus, "B. J." ii. 3, § 4; comp. Matt. x. 9, 10; Luke ix. 3, x. 4, xxii. 35; bemaḳḳel we-tarmil, Yeb. 122a). Thus Paul always traveled in the company of either Barnabas or Silas (Acts xi. 30; xii. 25; xv. 25, 30), and was entrusted with the charitable gifts collected for the brethren in Jerusalem (see also I Cor. xvi. 1; II Cor. viii. 4, ix. 5; Rom. xv. 25; Gal. ii. 10); while Barnabas traveled also with Mark (Acts xv. 39, 40). Paul even mentions as "noted apostles who joined the Church of Christ before him his kinsmen and fellow-prisoners, Andronicus and Junia" (Rom. xvi. 7), persons otherwise unknown to us, but who in all likelihood had received no other mission or Apostleship than that of working in the field of philanthropy among the Jewish community of Rome.

The meaning of the term "Apostle," still used in its old sense (Phil. ii. 25) of "Epaphroditus, your apostle [delegate] who ministers to my wants," was, however, already changed in the Christian Church during Paul's time. It became the specific term for the one sent forth "to preach the kingdom of God" either to the Jews, or, as Paul and his disciples, to the heathen world (Mark iii. 14, vi. 7; Luke vi. 13; Rom. xi. 13). "The gospel of the circumcision gave Peter the chief-apostleship of the Jews, the gospel of the uncircumcision gave Paul the apostleship of the Gentiles," according to Gal. ii. 7, 8; and so Paul calls himself an Apostle not of men but of Jesus Christ (Gal. i. 1). So the term "apostles of Christ" became a standing designation (I Thess. ii. 6), and it was confined to those who "saw Christ" (I Cor. ix. 1). Finally, the number twelve, corresponding with the twelve tribes of Israel, was fixed in the Gospel records (Matt. x. 2; Mark iii. 14; Luke ix. 1; Acts i. 25) in opposition to the apostles of the heathen, who rose in number from one, in the case of Paul, to seventy (Luke x. 1). Even the act of preaching the good tidings concerning the coming Messiah on the part of the wandering delegates of the community (Luke iv. 18; because of which Jesus himself is once called the Apostle [Heb. iii. 1]) was not without precedent in Jewish life, as may be learned from the prayer for good tidings recited every newmoon ("Seder Rab Amram," 33, Warsaw, 1865; compare R. H. 25a and Targ. Yer. to Gen. xlix. 21).

Kaufmann Kohler
Jewish Encyclopedia, published between 1901-1906.

Alleged martyrdom of the Twelve - but I cannot confirm any but the two deaths Matthew, a tax collector the sword (or unknown) Peter (brother was Andrew) (Simon Peter)fisherm crucified upside down? Nero 64-68 AD? James (the Greater) (son of Zebedee, bro of John) sword, beheaded Acts 12:2 Herod Agrippa AD 44 John (son of Zebedee, bro of James) died naturally *Judas Iscariot suicide Matt 27:5 *Matthias replaced Judas (Acts 1:16). (unknown) Andrew (brother was Peter) fisherm crucified (incorrect history of X-shaped cross) Philip crucified Bartholomew (or Nathaneal) crucified Thomas spear thrust James (the Lesser) (son of Alphaeus)(mother Mary) crucified by Jewish High Priest 62 AD (Josephus) (Jesus bro???) (might be confusion with James below) Simon crucified Thaddeus (Jude, Judas-son of James) killed by arrows --- (others) James (brother of Jesus) stoned by Ananais 62 AD (Josephus) Paul (Saul of Tarsus) Nero 67 AD (Eusebius) (2Tim 1:8,14; 4) John the Baptist beheaded 29 AD Mark 6:27 Stephen stoned Acts 7:59 (first Christian martyr) -->

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