What Is a Brief History of the 12 Disciples of Christ?

The 12 disciples probably first came into contact with Jesus at some point between 25 and 27, the estimated period when Jesus began his ministry. Following Jesus' death, occurring between 28 and 30, the 12 disciples preached the Gospel in various lands until the last disciple died in around 100.

The two disciples appear to have been Peter and Andrew. Shortly thereafter, Jesus invited John and his brother James to join the disciples. Matthew, Philip and Nathanael, also known as Bartholomew, also joined the group. Jesus completed the group by adding Thomas, James the Lesser, Simon, Thaddeus and Judas Iscariot.

Shortly after Judas Iscariot's betrayal and Jesus' death, the disciples decided to allow Matthias to join the group. Then, the apostles began to scatter to various areas to preach the Gospel. James, brother of John, preached in Jerusalem and Judea before his martyrdom in 44. After initially working in Judea, Peter spread the Gospel in Babylon and Rome before his crucifixion at the hands of Roman emperor Nero in around 67.

At least two apostles wrote books that would later be compiled into the New Testament. Matthew composed an account of Jesus' life at some point between 50 and 70. John wrote his Gospel, as well as letters to Christian congregations and an account of his divine revelation, in the last decade of the first century. John was the last apostle to die and was probably the only one to die of old age rather than martyrdom.