Bible Wiki

The Apostles, frequently known as the twelve (disciples) were a group of men selected by Jesus Christ responsible for the initial dissemination of the Gospel of Jesus' life and work into the world and the governance of the early church[1]. The Apostles originally did not have a distinct commision from other followers of Jesus other than the Gospels emphasis on Jesus personal call. However, when Jesus specifically commissioned and "sent out" the twelve, they became known as the Apostles ("sent out ones" apo & stellos απο+στελλος).

Originally beginning with twelve disciples that followed Jesus, Judas Iscariot betrayed the rest and was subsequently replaced by Matthias. Later, Paul considered himself an Apostle after being an appointed in a vision experience by Jesus Christ to preach to the Gentiles- his membership either being de faco honorary or possibly de jure to replace other deceased Apostles. Apparently by design, the group was to be sustained at twelve in number[2].

Acting under the authority of their Master, these disciples were instructed to do any miracle that Jesus had been doing[3]. However, in his absence they were ineffective due to a lack of faith[4]. After Judas Iscariot defected and betrayed Jesus, subsequently killing himself, the Apostles were briefly known as "the eleven."[5]

After Jesus had ascended into heaven, but prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit, Simon Peter called for an election to fill the vacant spot in the Apostolate. There were two men deemed eligible, so lots were cast (ballots thrown into a box) and the name of Matthias was drawn.[6]

Later, a Pharisee named Saul, who had been persecuting believers, was struck blind by the risen Jesus from His throne in heaven. This encounter was used to convert the zealous operative to the cause of the new religion (known first as 'the Way").[7]

A believer in Antioch by the name of Luke would become Paul's associate, and write an account of both the life of Christ and the Acts of the Apostles. In the Acts Luke would record the rise of the Christian "movement" in Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the Roman Empire. Concentration of the "inner circle" apostles -- James, John and Peter -- would dominate until Paul had been trained by Jesus. After the death of James, Peter would meet with supporters in Jerusalem and then disappear from the record as Paul emerged as the chief missionary for Christianity.

This article is a stub. You can help Bible Wiki by expanding it.


The Gathering of the Apostles







  1. Matt 28:18-20, Acts 1:8 (Link)
  2. Matt 19:28; Rev. 21:14 (Link)
  3. Matt 10:7-8 (Link)
  4. Mark 9:17-19 (Link)
  5. Matt 28:16; Mark 16:14; Luke 24:9 (Link)
  6. Acts 1:26 (Link)
  7. Acts 9:3-20 (Link)
  8. Mark 3:16; Luke 6:13 (Link)
  9. Mark 3:18; Matt 10:2 (Link)
  10. Matt 10:3; Luke 6:14 (Link)
  11. Luke 6:16 (Link)
  12. Luke 6:15 (Link)