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Home >> Christian Resource Library - The Twelve Apostles

Christian Resource Library - The Twelve Apostles

Jesus' Apostle The Christian religion reinforces the belief that when Jesus Christ was on Earth, he had twelve followers called disciples or apostles. They followed Jesus, learned from him, and preached. The word Apostle means send forth a message. Jesus picked his followers very carefully. The Apostles are people that Jesus loved and trusted to spread his message and continue his teachings.

After Jesus’s resurrection, he sent his disciples out to be his witnesses. These witnesses are often referred to as the twelve Apostles. The Apostles were charged with a mission to travel far and wide to preach the gospels of Christ and the Christian religion. The Apostles explained that if people followed the teachings of Christianity, repent and were baptized they would be saved and live eternally with the Lord.


Andrew worked as a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee with his brother Simon Peter. The brothers became Apostles. Andrew is referred to as the “Protocletus”, which means the first called, because he was the first Apostle Jesus called on for service. Andrew represented the Church of the East and Peter represented the Church of the West. Andrew visited the City of Patras on a missionary and performed miracles that healed while preaching in the name of Jesus. He converted many people over to Christianity because of this. The Proconsul Aegetates were not happy about the conversions to Christianity and decided to crucify Andrew. The word of St. Andrew became well-known all over the world and is especially popular with the Greek Orthodox Christians.

Andrew the Apostle

Note on St. Andrew and the founding of Christianity in Early Rus'

Saint Andrew Biography

Simon Peter

Simon was thirty when he joined the Apostles. He lived in Bethsaida and was married with three children. Simon was known as an impulsive man of strong feelings and very optimistic. Jesus made Simon the second Apostle and gave him the name Peter. He got into a lot of trouble because he spoke without thinking a lot, which created problems and went back and forth with his thoughts on Jesus. He refused to let Jesus wash his feet at one point and then immediately changed his mind after hearing Jesus speak. Peter was the first Apostles to confess to Jesus with divinity and humanity. Peter continuously tried to explain that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. Peter's wife was thrown into an arena with wild beasts and killed. After that, Peter was captured and informed that he must die like Jesus did; he was killed on the cross in Rome.

Saint Simon the Apostle

Simon and Jude, Apostles

The Apostle Simon (Peter)


James was an Apostle of Jesus and was believed to be the son of Alphaeus. He is known by the name James the Less, which was given to him by Jesus; this name came about because there was a more powerful James within the twelve Apostles. James the Less was known as a cousin of Jesus by the Virgin Mary's sister and the brother of Jude Thaddeus. Out of all of the Apostles, James the Less was the closest to understanding the true meaning and importance of Jesus and his teachings. Following the crucifixion of Jesus, James was made the first Bishop of Jerusalem. He was abused and mistreated because of his religion and killed by Simeon the fuller.

The Apostle James the Less

St. James the Less

The Confraternity of Saint James


Before meeting Jesus, John the Apostle was thought to be a disciple of John the Baptist. He was the Lord's half-cousin. His mother's name is Salome; she was the sister of Mary. John the Apostle was with John the Baptist when he named Jesus as God's Lamb. He was true to Jesus and was a great leader in Acts. Five books have his name because of his teachings in the church and significant leadership.

John the Apostle

Who is Jesus According to John the Apostle?

St. John the Apostle


Phillip lived in Bethsaida in Galilee and worked as a fisherman when Jesus asked him disciple. He was the sixth disciple of Jesus and also brought his friend Nathanael to Jesus; Nathanael also became an Apostle and was referred to as Bartholomew. In the New Testament, there is no information about when Phillip lived or died. According to John, Phillip was hesitant to follow Jesus and only did after Nathanael told him that Jesus is the Messiah. Phillip's writings were important to the start of Christian Gnosticism. Phillip's authority was cited by Gnostoc Christians as reason for their own beliefs and thoughts.


Apostle Phillip

Apostle Phillip


Bartholomew, also known as Nathaniel of Galilee, was a doctor in the Jewish law. He was picked out of seventy-two Disciples of Christ. Bartholomew shared the word of the Gospel through most countries in the East. In Great Armenia, Bartholomew travels ended because he was preaching in a place that did not permit worship and he was arrested. There are two theories of his fate. First, Greek historians say that he was condemned, killed and beheaded by the governor of Albanopolis.

Bartholomew The Apostle

St. Bartholomew

St. Bartholomew, Apostle

The Apostle Bartholomew


Thomas was one of the most well-known Apostles. He was the most faithful of the Apostles, but was given the nickname “Doubting Thomas”, because he did not believe in Jesus' resurrection until he was able to touch the wounds of him. Thomas went to India and died a martyr. His remains were taken to Edessa and then taken to Ortona, Italy. Thomas' feast day is celebrated on July 3, which was changed from December 21. He is known as the patron saint of India, builders, and architects.

Saint Thomas

Thomas the Apostle


Matthew was also known by his original name, Levi, and the “son of Alphaeus”. It is thought that he was given the name Matthew when he started to follow Jesus. Jesus came to Matthew when he was performing his tax collection duties and told Matthew to follow him. Matthew started following him without hesitation and abandoned his previous life to become a Disciple of Christ. His deep belief in Jesus's word inspired him to write a book of gospel according to Matthew. He is honored on September 21on the Church's liturgical calendar and was made the patron saint of civil servants.

Matthew: Saint and Patron

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist


Apostle Jude was also called Thaddeus or Levi. He was the brother of St. James and his father was St. Joseph. He joined Simon and Hosea to protest when Joseph desired to leave a part of his estate to Jesus when his death occurred. During his time in Ararat, he was taken by pagans. The pagans crucified and brutally killed him by shooting him with arrows.

St. Jude's Shrine Koothattukulam

The Teaching of Thaddeus the Apostle

Church History- The End of the Apostolic Age

Simon the Zealot

Simon Zelotes was chosen by Peter when he was twenty-eight years old. He was a family man with a good ancestry. He was a good debater that liked to argue. He had a strong love for Jesus and was very loyal to him. He traveled to Alexandria preaching the gospel of Jesus and worked up the Nile into the middle of Africa baptizing people who believed. He worked until he was an old man and died in Africa.

Saint Simon and Jude, Apostles

Saint Simon the Apostle

Simon Zealot 

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot is known as the Apostle who betrayed Jesus. There is very little told in the bible about the history of Judas Iscariot and the facts about how he became an Apostle and how he died. There is nothing told about his ministry or miracles that took place of the Apostle. It is written in the Gospels of John that Judas carried the money bag of the disciples and betrayed Jesus over a bribe of thirty pieces of silver. The kiss of Judas led to the arrest of the High Priest Caiaphas. He then turned Jesus in to Pontius Pilate's soldiers. It is uncertain how he died because there are many versions in the bible.

Judas Iscariot

Judas of Galilee

Information about Judas Iscariot

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