Thursday, May 17, 2012


It amazes me that those who question the validity of the Bible do not seem to challenge the various listings of the twelve disciples.  It is strange that the writers varied the order of them, and even more strange that Luke, who wrote both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, did not list them in the same order.  And yet, in all four lists, Simon Peter is always listed first, Philip is always listed fifth, and James, the son of Alphaeus is always listed ninth.  In addition, the three names following the first, the fifth, and the ninth name are always the same three, although they do not appear in the same order.  Peter is always followed by Andrew, James, and John.  Philip is always followed by Bartholomew, Matthew, and Thomas.  James, (the son of Alphaeus), is always followed by Simon (the zealot, or the Canaanite), Lebbaeus, (whose surname was Thaddaeus, a.k.a. Judas, the brother of James), and Judas Iscariot (not mentioned in the Acts 1:13).

Matthew 10:2-4
[2] Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon (who is called Peter), and Andrew (his brother); James (the son of Zebedee), and John (his brother); [3] Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew (the publican); James (the son of Alphaeus), and Lebbaeus (whose surname was Thaddaeus); [4] Simon (the Canaanite), and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

Mark 3:16-19
[16] And Simon (he surnamed Peter); [17] And James (the son of Zebedee), and John (the brother of James; and He surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder):  [18] And Andrew, and    Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James (the son of Alphaeus), and Thaddaeus, and Simon (the Canaanite), [19] And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed Him: and they went into an house.

Luke 6:14-16
[14] Simon, (whom he also named Peter), and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, [15] Matthew and Thomas, James (the son of Alphaeus), and Simon (called Zelotes), [16] And Judas (the brother of James), and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

Acts 1:13
[13] And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), and Simon Zelotes, and Judas (the brother of James).

Many have called Peter, Andrew, James, and John the “inner circle” for obvious reasons.  However, Andrew’s name does not appear in regard to the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-9), or as one of those with Jesus as He prayed in the Garden (Matt. 26:37-46).  The significance of Philip’s and James’ (the son of Alphaeus) foursomes is not clear to me.  The only thing that stands out to me is that the last foursome consisted of men whose names were the same as other members of the twelve.  There were two named James, two named Simon, and two named Judas. 

I don’t know about you, but the Bible is hard enough without aliases.
Maybe the reason skeptics don’t question these lists is that it takes too much work!

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