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Bible Studies

The twelve disciples


Andrew was born in Bethsaida, Israel. He was a disciple of John the Baptist, a fisherman like his brother Peter and later a disciple of Jesus. He died on the St. Andrew's Cross on November 30, 60 AD, in Patras Greece. Seven soldiers had scourged him before his crucifixion. He continued to preach the two days before his crucifixion against those who scourged him. 

They tied Andreas' body to the cross with cords, in this way his suffering was prolonged. He was crucified on an X-shaped cross because Andrew considered himself too unclean to die in the same way as Jesus who was crucified in the normal way. The cross is therefore also called the Andreas cross.


Bartolomew is one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Bartolomew (Bartolmai, in Aramaic) means son of Tolmai.


Philip was born on 3 AD in Bethsaïda in Galilee.

When Jesus was at the sea of Galilee, a large crowd followed Him. Jesus went up the mountain and sat there with His disciples. Jesus then asked Philip "Where shall we buy loaves of bread, that these people may eat?" He asked this to put Philip to the test. Philip answered that if they bought bread even for 200 pennies (silver pieces) there would not be enough for the crowd, even if the crowd was given a small piece of bread. Philip, in answering the question, was only thinking about the price of the loaves.

Philip had four daughters who possessed the gift of prophecy (Acts 21:9).

James the son of Zebedee

James was born on 5 B.C. and died on 44 A.D. in Jerusalem. He was the brother of John who was also a disciple of Jesus. James and John were both part of the fishery they had with Peter. James, John and Peter were most closely associated with Jesus. James was beheaded by King Herod.

James the son of Alphaeus

James was born in Galilee. James is also called James the lesser or James the younger. After the resurrection, Jesus personally appeared to James.

Judas - Taddeus

Judas was born in Galilee and died on 62 A.D. He is also called Judas, not the Iscariot in the book of John. Also in the book of John, Taddeus, Judas is mentioned. Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus, Taddeus had not.


John was born around 6 AD in Bethsaida, Galilee. He too was a fisherman by profession. When Jesus hung on the cross, Jesus transferred the care of His mother, Mary, to John and John took Mary into his home.

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot was born in the 1st century in Judea and is the only one of the twelve disciples who was not born in Galilee. Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus for a reward of thirty shekels (pieces of silver) to the chief priests and head men of the temple which was in Jerusalem. He gave Jesus a kiss on the cheek and that is how the Roman soldiers knew that this was Jesus. After Jesus was condemned, Judas repented for what he had done and returned the coins. He eventually hanged himself.


Matthew was born in the first century AD in Capernaum. Matthew was a tax collector but left his toll house when Jesus told him to follow Him. Thus he became a disciple of Jesus.

Simon - Peter

Peter was the brother of Andrew and Philip. Peter was also a fisherman and born in Galilee. Around 38 AD, Peter (who was then called Simon) had met Jesus at the Sea of Galilee. Jesus gave him the nickname Peter (Kefa, in Aramaic). Kefa means "rock, stone and boulder." Peter baptized the first Gentile.

Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times before the cock crowed in the morning. Peter, as Jesus predicted, denied Jesus three times.

King Herod had imprisoned Peter because he saw that he was doing the Jews a favor by beheading James, the son of Zebedee (also called the brother of John). The day before Herod was to lead Peter before the people, Peter was freed by an angel.

Simon the Zealot

Simon the Zealot was born in the first century. He came from Cana, Galilee. His nickname Zealot speaks for itself. Simon refused to pay taxes to the Romans who ruled there.


Thomas was born in Galilee. He became a disciple of Jesus when Jesus was on his way to raise Lazarus. Thomas did not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead when the other disciples told him this. He did not believe this until he saw and felt the wounds on Jesus' hands and side.