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Allow Me to Explain (32 of 439) – Say Their Names

August 18, 2011

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32. What were the names of the apostles? Mat 10:2-4 vs. Mk 3:16-19 vs. Lk 6:14-16 vs. Acts 1:13

It would present a difficulty if the men closest to Jesus couldn’t remember the names of the 11 others who travelled with them for three years.

Matthew 10:2-4
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: 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 tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

Mark 3:16-19
Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite;19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.

Luke 6:14-16
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 the Zealot; 16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.

Acts 1:13
And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.

That’s a lot of cross-checking, so I did it for you:

It appears the only difficulty is Thaddaeus, whom Matthew also refers to as “Lebbaeus,” and the extra Judas in Luke and Acts. We remember, of course, that Luke also wrote Acts, so it would appear that the man whom Matthew and Mark refer to as “Thaddaeus,” Luke refers to as “Judas.”

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, in reference to Matthew’s passage, mentions Judas:

Luke calls him “Judas,” by a slight change from the name “Thaddeus.” Such changes are common in all writings.

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible comments:

The latter of this pair of apostles is the same person with Jude, the writer of the epistle, which bears that name, and was the brother of James, with whom he is coupled.

I know it probably seems too convenient an explanation to the skeptic, but Church history constantly affirms that this “Thaddaeus” is also called “Judas.” He is known to be the one who wrote the New Testament book of Jude.

Further, we know there was another disciple named Judas, from John’s gospel:

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” (John 14:22)

The list from Acts is only 11 names, short one Judas, because, of course, Judas Iscariot had by the time of that record betrayed Jesus to death, and killed himself in despair. (Matthew 27:5)

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