INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE

The apostles and early followers of Jesus

Jesus had many disciples, both men and women. Many were people he had helped—like Mary Magdalene, out of whom he cast seven devils. But, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the book of Acts say that there were twelve special disciples, also known as apostles, appointed to help spread God's Word. Have you ever thought about what it would have been like to be one of these disciples? To travel with Jesus and see his works? We can learn from the apostles a lot of what it must have been like to know Jesus.

The Gospels and the book of Acts don't all agree on who the twelve apostles were, however. One reason might be that there were three main languages spoken in New Testament times: Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew. So a disciple might have had as many as three different names. All the accounts suggest, though, that the apostles who were probably closest to Jesus were Peter, John, and James.

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August 25, 1997
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