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Who are the 12 apostles of Jesus?

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Quick Answer

Some of the 12 apostles of Jesus are Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John and Philip. Other apostles include Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Thaddeus, in addition to Simon and Judas Iscariot.

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Full Answer

Chapter 10 of the Gospel of Matthew and chapter 6 of the Gospel of Luke both provide a list of the 12. The Bible identifies some of the apostles by more than one name. Simon was the name of the head of the 12 until Jesus renamed him Peter in Matthew 16. "Jude" and "Judas the son of James" (not to be confused with the traitor Judas Iscariot) are other names given to Thaddeus. The Bible also gives titles or descriptions alongside the names of some of the apostles, as in the case of Matthew the tax collector and Simon the Zealot. Many refer to St. Paul as an apostle, but this title is merely one of honor as he was not part of the original 12.

The apostles were the leaders of the early Christian community, with some taking over the headship of individual churches. Following Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the apostles chose Matthias to replace the traitor. This started the practice of apostolic succession, and to this day certain Christian traditions believe their bishops to be the successors of the original 12 apostles.

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