Luke’s commission of the 70

Seventy Apostles

Seventy Apostles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The seventy disciples or seventy-two disciples (known in the Eastern Christian tradition as the Seventy Apostles) were early students of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 10:1–24. According to Luke, the only gospel in which they appear, Jesus appointed them and sent them out in pairs on a specific mission which is detailed in the text. In Western Christianity, they are usually referred to as disciples, whereas in Eastern Christianity they are usually referred to as Apostles.

Using the original Greek words, both titles are descriptive, as an apostle is one sent on a mission (the Greek uses the verb form: apesteilen) whereas a disciple is a student, but the two traditions differ on the scope of the words apostle and disciple.

The passage from Luke 10 reads:

And after these things, the Lord did appoint also other seventy, and sent them by twos before his face, to every city and place whither he himself was about to come, then said he unto them, `The harvest indeed [is] abundant, but the workmen few; beseech ye then the Lord of the harvest, that He may put forth workmen to His harvest.

`Go away; lo, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves; carry no bag, no scrip, nor sandals; and salute no one on the way; and into whatever house ye do enter, first say, Peace to this house; and if indeed there may be there the son of peace, rest on it shall your peace; and if not so, upon you it shall turn back. `And in that house remain, eating and drinking the things they have, for worthy [is] the workman of his hire; go not from house to house, and into whatever city ye enter, and they may receive you, eat the things set before you, and heal the ailing in it, and say to them, The reign of God hath come nigh to you.

`And into whatever city ye do enter, and they may not receive you, having gone forth to its broad places, say, And the dust that hath cleaved to us, from your city, we do wipe off against you, but this know ye, that the reign of God hath come nigh to you; and I say to you, that for Sodom in that day it shall be more tolerable than for that city. `Wo to thee, Chorazin; wo to thee, Bethsaida; for if in Tyre and Sidon had been done the mighty works that were done in you, long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes, they had reformed; but for Tyre and Sidon it shall be more tolerable in the judgment than for you. `And thou, Capernaum, which unto the heaven wast exalted, unto hades thou shalt be brought down. `He who is hearing you, doth hear me; and he who is putting you away, doth put me away; and he who is putting me away, doth put away Him who sent me.’

And the seventy turned back with joy, saying, `Sir, and the demons are being subjected to us in thy name;’ and he said to them, `I was beholding the Adversary, as lightning from the heaven having fallen; lo, I give to you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and on all the power of the enemy, and nothing by any means shall hurt you; but, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subjected to you, but rejoice rather that your names were written in the heavens

This is the only mention of the group in the Bible. The number is seventy in manuscripts in the Alexandrian (such as Codex Sinaiticus) and Caesarean text traditions but seventy-two in most other Alexandrian and Western texts. It may derive from the 70 nations of Genesis or the many other 70 in the Bible, or the 72 translators of the Septuagint from the Letter of Aristeas. In translating the Vulgate, Jerome selected the reading of seventy-two.

The Gospel of Luke is not alone among the synoptic gospels in containing multiple episodes in which Jesus sends out his followers on missions. The first occasion (Luke 9:1–6) is closely based on the “limited commission” mission in Mark 6:6–13, which however recounts the sending out of the twelve apostles, rather than seventy, though with similar details. The parallels (also Matthew 9:35, 10:1, 10:5–42) suggest a common origin in the posited Q document. Luke also mentions the Great Commission to “all nations” (24:44–49) but in less detail than Matthew’s account.

What has been said to the seventy (two) in Luke 10:4 is referred in passing to the Twelve in Luke 22:35:

He said to them, “When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?” “No, nothing,” they replied.
The feast day commemorating the seventy is known as the “Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles” in Eastern Orthodoxy, and is celebrated on January 4. Each of the seventy apostles also has individual commemorations scattered throughout the liturgical year (see Eastern Orthodox Church calendar).
Hippolytus of Rome was a disciple of Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John. Hippolytus’s works were lost for a time until their discovery at a monastery on Mt. Athos in 1854. While his major work The Refutation of All Heresies was readily accepted (once the false attribution to Origen was resolved), his two small works, On the Twelve Apostles of Christ, and On the Seventy Apostles of Christ, are still regarded as dubious, put in the appendix of his works in the voluminous collection of early church fathers. Here is the complete text of Hippolytus’ On the Seventy Apostles of Christ:
  1. James the Lord’s brother, bishop of Jerusalem.
  2. Cleopas, bishop of Jerusalem.
  3. Matthias, who supplied the vacant place in the number of the twelve apostles.
  4. Thaddeus, who conveyed the epistle to Augarus.
  5. Ananias, who baptized Paul, and was bishop of Damascus.
  6. Stephen, the first martyr.
  7. Philip, who baptized the eunuch.
  8. Prochorus, bishop of Nicomedia, who also was the first that departed, 11 believing together with his daughters.
  9. Nicanor died when Stephen was martyred.
  10. Timon, bishop of Bostra.
  11. Parmenas, bishop of Soli.
  12. Nicolaus, bishop of Samaria.
  13. Barnabas, bishop of Milan.
  14. Mark the Evangelist, bishop of Alexandria.
  15. Luke the Evangelist.

These two belonged to the seventy disciples who were scattered by the offence of the word which Christ spoke, “Except a man eat my flesh, and drink my blood, he is not worthy of me.” But the one being induced to return to the Lord by Peter’s instrumentality, and the other by Paul’s, they were honored to preach that Gospel on account of which they also suffered martyrdom, the one being burned, and the other being crucified on an olive tree.

  1. Silas, bishop of Corinth.
  2. Silvanus, bishop of Thessalonica.
  3. Crisces (Crescens), bishop of Carchedon in Gaul.
  4. Epænetus, bishop of Carthage.
  5. Andronicus, bishop of Pannonia.
  6. Amplias, bishop of Odyssus.
  7. Urban, bishop of Macedonia.
  8. Stachys, bishop of Byzantium.
  9. Barnabas, bishop of Heraclea
  10. Phygellus, bishop of Ephesus. He was of the party also of Simon.
  11. Hermogenes. He, too, was of the same mind with the former.
  12. Demas, who also became a priest of idols.
  13. Apelles, bishop of Smyrna.
  14. Aristobulus, bishop of Britain.
  15. Narcissus, bishop of Athens.
  16. Herodion, bishop of Tarsus.
  17. Agabus the prophet.
  18. Rufus, bishop of Thebes.
  19. Asyncritus, bishop of Hyrcania.
  20. Phlegon, bishop of Marathon.
  21. Hermes, bishop of Dalmatia.
  22. Patrobulus,1 bishop of Puteoli.
  23. Hermas, bishop of Philippi.
  24. Linus, bishop of Rome.
  25. Caius, bishop of Ephesus.
  26. Philologus, bishop of Sinope
  27. Olympus
  28. Rhodion were martyred in Rome.
  1. Lucius, bishop of Laodicea in Syria.
  2. Jason, bishop of Tarsus.
  3. Sosipater, bishop of Iconium
  4. Tertius, bishop of Iconium.
  5. Erastus, bishop of Panellas.
  6. Quartus, bishop of Berytus.
  7. Apollo, bishop of Cæsarea.
  8. Cephas.
  9. Sosthenes, bishop of Colophonia.
  10. Tychicus, bishop of Colophonia.
  11. Epaphroditus, bishop of Andriace.
  12. Cæsar, bishop of Dyrrachium.
  13. Mark, cousin to Barnabas, bishop of Apollonia.
  14. Justus, bishop of Eleutheropolis.
  15. Artemas, bishop of Lystra.
  16. Clement, bishop of Sardinia.
  17. Onesiphorus, bishop of Corone.
  18. Tychicus, bishop of Chalcedon.
  19. Carpus, bishop of Berytus in Thrace.
  20. Evodus, bishop of Antioch.
  21. Aristarchus, bishop of Apamea.
  22. Mark, who is also John, bishop of Bibloupolis.
  23. Zenas, bishop of Diospolis.
  24. Philemon, bishop of Gaza.
  25. Aristarchus
  26. Pudes.
  1. Trophimus, who was martyred along with Paul.

Many of the names included among the seventy are recognizable for their other achievements. The names included in various lists differ slightly. In the lists, Luke is also one of these seventy himself. The following list gives a widely accepted canon. Their names are listed below:

  1. James “the Lord’s brother” (James the Just), author of the Epistle of James, and first Bishop of Jerusalem. Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3, Acts 12:17, 15:13; Epistle of James.
  2. Agabus. Reference to in Acts 11:28; 21:10.
  3. Amplias. Reference to in Romans 16:8
  4. Mark the Evangelist, author of the Gospel of Mark and Bishop of Alexandria
  5. Luke the Evangelist, author of the Gospel of Luke
  6. Cleopas
  7. Simeon, son of Cleopas, 2nd Bishop of Jerusalem
  8. Barnabas, companion of Paul
  9. Justus, Bishop of Eleutheropolis
  10. Thaddeus of Edessa (not the Apostle called Thaddeus), also known as Saint Addai
  11. Ananias, Bishop of Damascus
  12. Stephen, one of the Seven Deacons, the first martyr
  13. Philip the Evangelist, one of the Seven Deacons, Bishop of Tralles in Asia Minor
  14. Prochorus, one of the Seven Deacons, Bishop of Nicomedia in Bithynia
  15. Nicanor the Deacon, one of the Seven Deacons
  16. Timon, one of the Seven Deacons
  17. Parmenas the Deacon, one of the Seven Deacons
  18. Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus
  19. Titus, Bishop of Crete
  20. Philemon, Bishop of Gaza
  21. Onesimus (Not the Onesimus mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon)
  22. Epaphras, Bishop of Andriaca
  23. Archippus
  24. Silas, Bishop of Corinth
  25. Silvanus
  26. Crescens
  27. Crispus, Bishop of Chalcedon in Galilee
  28. Epenetus, Bishop of Carthage
  29. Andronicus, Bishop of Pannonia
  30. Stachys, Bishop of Byzantium
  31. Amplias, Bishop of Odissa (Odessus)
  32. Urban, Bishop of Macedonia
  33. Narcissus, Bishop of Athens
  34. Apelles, Bishop of Heraklion
  35. Aristobulus, Bishop of Britain
  36. Herodion, Bishop of Patras
  37. Agabus the Prophet
  38. Rufus, Bishop of Thebes
  39. Asyncritus, Bishop of Hyrcania
  40. Phlegon, Bishop of Marathon
  41. Hermes, Bishop of Philippopolis
  42. Parrobus, Bishop of Pottole
  43. Hermas, Bishop of Dalmatia
  44. Pope Linus, Bishop of Rome
  45. Gaius, Bishop of Ephesus
  46. Philologus, Bishop of Sinope
  47. Lucius of Cyrene, Bishop of Laodicea in Syria
  48. Jason, Bishop of Tarsus
  49. Sosipater, Bishop of Iconium
  50. Olympas
  51. Tertius, transcriber of the Epistle to the Romans and Bishop of Iconium
  52. Erastus, Bishop of Paneas
  53. Quartus, Bishop of Berytus
  54. Euodias, Bishop of Antioch
  55. Onesiphorus, Bishop of Cyrene
  56. Clement, Bishop of Sardis
  57. Sosthenes, Bishop of Colophon
  58. Apollos, Bishop of Caesarea
  59. Tychicus, Bishop of Colophon
  60. Epaphroditus
  61. Carpus, Bishop of Beroea in Thrace
  62. Quadratus
  63. John Mark (commonly considered identical to Mark the Evangelist: see 4 above), bishop of Byblos
  64. Zenas the Lawyer, Bishop of Diospolis
  65. Aristarchus, Bishop of Apamea in Syria
  66. Pudens
  67. Trophimus
  68. Mark, Bishop of Apollonia
  69. Artemas, Bishop of Lystra
  70. Aquila
  71. Fortunatus
  72. Achaicus 1 Corinthians 16:17
  73. Tabitha, a woman disciple, whom Peter raised from the dead

Matthias, who would later replace Judas Iscariot as one of the twelve apostles, is also often numbered among the seventy, since John Mark is typically viewed as Mark the Evangelist.

Also, some lists name a few different disciples than the ones listed above. Other names commonly included are:

  • Another Stephen
  • Rodion
  • Cephas, Bishop of Iconium
  • Caesar, Bishop of Dyrrhachium
  • Another Mark, Bishop of Apollonias
  • Another Tychicus, Bishop of Chalcedon in Bithynia

These are usually included at the expense of the aforementioned Timothy, Titus, Archippus, Crescens, Olympas, Epaphroditus, Quadratus, Aquila, Fortunatus, and/or Achaicus.

Solomon, Nestorian bishop of Basra in the 13th century offers the following list:

The names of the seventy.
  1. James, the son of Joseph;
  2. Simon the son of Cleopas;
  3. Cleopas his father;
  4. Joses;
  5. Simon;
  6. Judah;
  7. Barnabas;
  8. Manaeus (?);
  9. Ananias, who baptised Paul;
  10. Cephas, who preached at Antioch;
  11. Joseph the senator;
  12. Nicodemus the archon;
  13. Nathaniel the chief scribe;
  14. Justus, that is Joseph, who is called Barshabbâ;
  15. Silas;
  16. Judah;
  17. John, surnamed Mark (John Mark);
  18. Mnason, who received Paul;
  19. Manaël, the foster-brother of Herod;
  20. Simon called Niger;
  21. Jason, who is (mentioned) in the Acts (of the apostles);
  22. Rufus;
  23. Alexander;
  24. Simon the Cyrenian, their father;
  25. Lucius the Cyrenian;
  26. Another Judah, who is mentioned in the Acts (of the apostles);
  27. Judah, who is called Simon;
  28. Eurion (Orion) the splay-footed;
  29. Thôrus (?);
  30. Thorîsus (?);
  31. Zabdon;
  32. Zakron.

A more concise and acknowledged list is below:

  1. Archaicus. Reference to in 1 Corinthians 16:17
  2. Agabus. Reference to in Acts 11:28; 21:10
  3. Amplias, appointed by St. Andrew as bishop of Lydda of Odyssopolis (Diospolis) in Judea. He died a martyr. Reference to in Romans 16:8.
  4. Ananias, who baptized St. Paul. He was the bishop of Damascus. He became a martyr by being stoned in Eleutheropolis. Reference to in Acts 9:10-17; 22:12
  5. Andronicus, bishop of Pannonia. Reference to in Romans 16:17
  6. Apelles, bishop of Heraclea (in Trachis). Reference to in Romans 16:10
  7. Apollos. He was a bishop of several places over time: Crete (though this is questioned), Corinth, Smyrna, and Caesarea. Reference to in Acts 18:24; 19:1; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:4-22; 4:6; 16:12, Titus 3:13
  8. Aquila. He was martyred. Reference to in Acts 18:2, 18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19
  9. Archippus. Reference to in Colossians 4:17; Philemon 2
  10. Aristarchus, bishop of Apamea in Syria. He was martyred under Nero. “Aristarchus, whom Paul mentions several times, calling him a ‘fellow laborer,’ became bishop of Apamea in Syria.” Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2; Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24
  11. Aristobulus, bishop of Britain. “… the brother of the apostle Barnabas, preached the gospel in Great Britain and died peacefully there.” Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in Romans 16:14
  12. Artemas, bishop of Lystra in Lycia. Reference to in Titus 3:12
  13. Aristarchus, bishop of Hyracania in Asia. Reference to in Romans 16:14
  14. Barnabas. “A Jew of the Tribe of Levi, was born in Cyprus of wealthy parents. He is said to have studied under Gamaliel with Saul of Tarsus, who was to become Paul the apostle. Originally named Joseph, he was called Barnabas (Son of Consolation) by the apostles because he had a rare gift of comforting people’s hearts. He sought out Paul when everyone else was afraid of him, bringing him to the apostles. It was Barnabas whom the apostles first sent to Antioch with Paul. Their long association was broken only when Barnabas was determined to take his cousin Mark, whom Paul did not trust just then, on a missionary journey. The three were later reconciled. Many ancient accounts say Barnabas was the first to preach in Rome and in Milan, but he was martyred in Cyprus, then buried by Mark at the western gate of the city of Salamis.” Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in Acts 4:36; 9:27; 11-15; 1 Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 2:1,9,13; Colossians 4:10
  15. Caesar, bishop of Dyrrhachium (in the Peloponnese of Greece)
  16. Carpus, bishop of Berroia (Verria, in Macedonia. Reference to in 2 Timothy 4:13
  17. Clement, bishop in Sardis. Reference to in Philippians 4:3
  18. Cephas, bishop of Iconium, Pamphyllia.
  19. Cleopas, was with the Lord on the road to Emmaus. Reference to in Luke 24:18; John 19:25
  20. Crescens, later bishop of Galatia. He was martyred under the Emperor Trajan. Reference to in 2 Timothy 4:10
  21. Crispus, bishop of Aegina, Greece. Reference to in Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 1:14
  22. Epaphras. Reference to in Colossians 1:7; 4:12; Philemon 23
  23. Epaphroditus, bishop of the Thracian city of Adriaca. Reference to in Philippians 2:25; 4:18
  24. Epaenetus, bishop of Carthage. Reference to in Romans 16:5
  25. Erastus. He served as a deacon and steward to the Church of Jerusalem. Later he served in Palestine. Reference to in Acts 19:22; Romans 16:23; 2 Timothy 4:20
  26. Euodias(Evodius), first bishop of Antioch after St.Peter. He wrote several compositions. At the age of sixty-six, under the Emperor Nero, he was martyred. Reference to in Philippians 4:2
  27. Fortunatus. Reference to in 1 Corinthians 16:17
  28. Gaius, bishop of Ephesus. Reference to in Acts 19:29; 20:4; Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:14; 3 John 1
  29. Hermas, bishop in Philipopoulis. He wrote The Shepherd of Hermas. He died a martyr. Reference to in Romans 16:14
  30. Hermes, bishop of Dalmatia. Reference to in Romans 16:14
  31. Herodion, a relative of the Apostle Paul, bishop of Neoparthia. He was beheaded in Rome. Reference to in Romans 16:11
  32. James, brother of the Lord (also called “the Less” or “the Just”). He was a (step-)brother to Jesus, by Jesus’ father Joseph, through a previous marriage. James was the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Reference to in Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Acts 12:17; 15:13; Epistle of James
  33. Jason, bishop of Tarsus. Traveling with Sosipater to Corfu, the two were able, after an attempt made at their lives by the king of Corfu, to convert his majesty. Reference to in Acts 17:5-9
  34. Justus, brother to the Lord and bishop of Eleutheropolis. He was the half-brother of Christ (as was Sts. James, Jude, and Simon) through Joseph’s previous marriage to Salome. He died a martyr. Reference to in Acts 1:23; 18:7; Colossians 4:11
  35. Linus, bishop of Rome. Reference to in 2 Timothy 4:21
  36. Lucius, bishop of Laodicea. Reference to in Acts 13:1; Romans 16:21
  37. Luke the Evangelist. He is the author of the Gospel of Luke, and the founder of Iconography (Orthodox Icon-writing). Reference to in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24
  38. Mark the Evangelist (called John). He wrote the Gospel of Mark. He also founded the Church of Alexandria, serving as its first bishop. Reference to in Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37-39; Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24; 1 Peter 5:13
  39. Mark
  40. Narcissus, ordained by the Apostle Philip as bishop of Athens, Greece. Reference to in Romans 16:11
  41. Nicanor, one of the original seven deacons. He was martyred on the same day as the Promartyr Stephen. Reference to in Acts 6:5
  42. Olympas, beheaded with St. Peter under Nero. Reference to in Romans 16:15
  43. Onesimus. Onesimus preached the Gospel in many cities. He was made bishop of Ephesus, and later bishop of Byzantium (Constantinople). He was martyred under the Emperor Trajan. Reference to in Colossians 4:9; Philemon 10
  44. Onesiphorus, bishop of Colophon (Asia Minor), and later of Corinth. He died a martyr in Parium. Reference to in 2 Timothy 1:16; 4:19
  45. Parmenas, one of the original seven deacons. He preached throughout Asia Minor, and later settled in Macedonia. He was a bishop of Soli. He died a martyr in Macedonia. Reference to in Acts 6:5
  46. Patrobus, bishop of Neapolis (Naples). Reference to in Romans 16:14
  47. Philemon. He, with his wife Apphia, and the apostle Archippus, were martyred by pagans during a pagan feast. Reference to in Philemon 1
  48. Philip the Deacon (one of the original seven). He was born in Palestine, and later preached throughout its adjoining lands. In Acts, he converts a eunuch (an official) of Candace, queen of Ethiopia, to Christ. He was later made bishop by the apostles at Jerusalem, who also sent him to Asia Minor. Reference to in Acts 6; 8; 21:8
  49. Philologus, ordained bishop of Sinope (near the Black sea) by the Apostle Andrew. Reference to in Romans 16:15
  50. Phlegon, bishop of Marathon, in Thrace. Reference to in Romans 16:14
  51. Prochorus, one of the original seven deacons. He was made bishop of Nicomedia by St. Peter. He was later banished with the Apostle John (John the Theologian) to the Island of Patmos. In Antioch, he died a martyr. Reference to in Acts 6:5
  52. Pudens (Pastorum). He was an esteemed member of the Roman Senate, then received Sts. Peter and Paul into his home, and was converted to Christ by them. He was martyred under Nero. Reference to in Acts 6:5
  53. Quadratus, bishop of Athens. He was author of the Apologia. He was stoned, but survived. Soon-after, he died of starvation in prison.
  54. Quartus, bishop of Beirut. Reference to in Romans 16:23
  55. Rufus, bishop of Thebes, Greece. Reference to in Mark 15:21; Romans 16:13
  56. Silas (Silvanus), bishop of Corinth. Reference to in Acts 15:22-40; 16:19-40; 17:4-15; 18:5; 2 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Peter 5:12
  57. Simeon, son of Cleopas. “Simeon, son of Cleopas (who was the brother of Joseph, the betrothed of the Virgin Mary), succeeded James as bishop of Jerusalem.” Orthodox Study Bible. He was martyred through torture and crucifixion, at the age of one-hundred. Reference to in Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3
  58. Sosipater, ordained bishop of Iconium by the Apostle Paul, his relative. With St. Jason, he converted the king of Corfu. Reference to in Romans 16:21
  59. Sosthenes. “… became bishop of Caesarea.” Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in 1 Corinthians 1:1
  60. Stachys, ordained by St. Andrew to be bishop of Byzantium. Reference to in Romans 16:9
  61. Stephen the Promartyr and Archdeacon (one of the original seven deacons). Reference to in Acts 6:5-7:60; 8:2 (Acts 6:5-8:2); 11:19; 22:20
  62. Tertius, bishop of Iconium (after Sosipater). He wrote down St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. He died a martyr. Reference to in Romans 16:22
  63. Thaddaeus. He was baptized by John the Baptist (John the Forerunner). He later preached, and founded a Church in Beirut. Reference to in Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18
  64. Timon, one of the original seven deacons, and later bishop of Bostra (in Arabia). He was thrown into a furnace, but emerged unharmed. Reference to in Acts 6:5
  65. Timothy. He accompanied St. Paul often, and both 1 and 2 Timothy are addressed to him. He was ordained bishop of Ephesus by St. Paul. He died a martyr. Reference to in Acts 16:1; 17:14, 15; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Romans 16:21; 1 and 2 Timothy
  66. Titus. “Among the more prominent of the seventy was the apostle Titus, whom Paul called his brother and his son. Born in Crete, Titus was educated in Greek philosophy, but after reading the prophet Isaiah he began to doubt the value of all he had been taught. Hearing the news of the coming of Jesus Christ, he joined some others from Crete who were going to Jerusalem to see for themselves. After hearing Jesus speak and seeing His works, the young Titus joined those who followed Him. Baptized by the apostle Paul, he worked with and served the great apostle of the gentiles, traveling with him until Paul sent him to Crete, making him bishop of that city. It is said that Titus was in Rome at the time of the beheading of St. Paul and that he buried the body of his spiritual father before returning home. Back in Crete, he converted and baptized many people, governing the Church on that island until he entered into rest at the age of ninety-four.” Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in 2 Corinthians 2:13; 7:6-14; 8:6-23; 12:18; Galatians 2:1-3; Epistle to Titus
  67. Trophimus, disciple of St. Paul, and martyred under Nero. Reference to in Acts 20:4; 21:29; 2 Timothy 4:20
  68. Tychicus. “… succeeded him (Sosthenes, as bishop) in that city (of Caesarea).” Orthodox Study Bible. He delivered St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and Colossians. Reference to in Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12
  69. Urbanus, ordained by the Apostle Andrew as bishop of Macedonia. He died a martyr. Reference to in Romans 16:9
  70. Zenas (called ‘the lawyer’), bishop of Diospolis (Lydda), in Palestine. Reference to in Titus 3:13

Additional Names:

  1. Alphaeus, father of the apostle James and Matthew.
  2. Apphia, wife to the Apostle Philemon. The Church had gathered in her home for liturgy, while pagans who had been celebrating a pagan feast broke in and raided her home. They took Apphia, Philemon, and Archippus to be killed. She suffered martyrdom, and is commemorated by the Church on February 19.
  3. Junia, accompanied Andronicus in preaching all over Pannonia. She was a relative to the Apostle Paul, and a martyr.
  4. Silvan, bishop of Thessaloniki, Greece. Reference to in 1 Peter 5:12; 2 Corinthians 1:19
  5. Zacchaeus, appointed by St.Peter to be bishop of Caesarea. Reference to in Luke 19:1-10

 

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The Great Commission

English: Resurrection of Christ

Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Great Commission of Christianity is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples that they spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. It has become a tenet in Christian  Theology emphasizing ministry, missionary work, evangelism, and baptism. The Apostles are said to have dispersed from Jerusalem and founded the Apostolic Sees. Among Christian eschatological views, Preterists believe that the Great Commission and other Bible prophecy was fulfilled in the first century while Futurists believe Bible prophecy will be fulfilled at the Second Coming of Christ.

The most famous version of the Great Commission is in Matthew 28:16–20, where on a mountain in Galilee Jesus calls on his followers to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Only Matthew records an earlier lesser commission, only for the Twelve Apostles, in 10:1–42, and directed only to the children of Israel, undertaken during Jesus’ mortal life, which is similar but different from the episode of the Commissioning the Twelve Apostles found in the other Synoptic Gospels. In Luke, Jesus says that all people will be called to repentance and tells his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they become invested with power, which presumably happened at Pentecost in the Book of Acts. Luke also has Jesus dispatching disciples during his ministry, sending them to all the nations and giving them power over demons, including the Seventy disciples. In John, Jesus promises to bestow the Paraclete (helper) on the disciples, which perhaps is what happens in John 20:21–23. The Great Commission in the traditional ending of Mark is thought to be a second-century summary based on Matthew and Luke.

It is unknown who coined the term “The Great Commission”. Scholars such as Eduard Riggenbach (in “Der Trinitarische Taufbefehl’) and J.H. Oldham et al (in “The Missionary Motive”) assert that even the very concept did not exist until after the year 1650, and that Matthew 28:18–20 was traditionally interpreted instead as having been addressed only to Jesus’s disciples then living (believed to be up to 500), and as having been carried out by them and fulfilled, not as a continuing obligation upon subsequent generations. The issues of Biblical law in Christianity and the Law of Christ and whether or not they include the Great Commission are still hotly debated.

The most familiar version of the Great Commission is depicted in Matthew 28:16–20:

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Other versions of the Great Commission are found in Mark 16:14–18Luke 24:44–49Acts 1:4–8, and John 20:19–23. In Luke, Jesus tells the disciples to preach repentance and forgiveness, and promises that they will have divine power. In John, Jesus says the disciples will have the Holy Spirit and the authority to forgive sins and to withhold forgiveness. In Acts, Jesus promises the disciples that the Holy Spirit will inspire them.

All these passages are composed as words of Christ spoken after his resurrection. According to some critics, in Mark Jesus never speaks with his disciples after his resurrection. They argue that the original Gospel of Mark ends at verse Mark 16:8 with the women leaving the tomb (see Mark 16).

The call to go into the world in Matthew 28 is prefaced a mere four chapters earlier when Jesus states that the Gospel message will be heard by representatives of all nations, at which time the end will come. This is accented in Revelation when the Apostle John sees members of every tongue and nation gathered around the throne of God.

The commission from Jesus has been interpreted by evangelical Christians as meaning that his followers have the duty to go, teach, and baptize. Although the command was initially given directly only to Christ’s Eleven Apostles, evangelical Christian theology has typically interpreted the commission as a directive to all Christians of every time and place, particularly because it seems to be a restatement or moving forward of the last part of God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:3.

Commentators often contrast the Great Commission with the earlier Limited Commission of Matthew 10:5–42, in which they were to restrict their mission to their fellow Jews, to whom Jesus referred to as “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).

Some (see also Preterism) believe that the Great Commission was already fulfilled based on the statements “And they went out and preached everywhere,” (Mark 16:20), “the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven,” (Colossians 1:23), and “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations,” (Romans 16:25–26).

 

The Kingdom of God

English: Jesus ascending to heaven

What is the Kingdom of God and when does it come?

Reference to “the kingdom of God” (also known as “the kingdom of heaven“) appears throughout the Synoptic Gospels — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — and carries largely the same relevance to the disciples of Jesus’ time as it does to us, as Second Millennium Christians. The kingdom of God throughout Scripture has an almost dualistic meaning, speaking to both a present reality and a future consummation.

The present reality of the kingdom is spoken of in Luke 17:20ff: “The kingdom of God is within you.” This speaks of a heavenly reality — focusing on a kingdom viewable via faith rather than sight (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:18 and Hebrews 2:8-9). Even Paul speaks of this presently come kingdom, saying that even now we are raised up and seated together with Christ Jesus in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). And the author of Hebrews claims that we, by our faith, are already come to the Holy City and the New Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22).

By this understanding, the kingdom is already come and its ruler is Christ: the Davidic Messiah who rules over the throne of David forever (cf. Isaiah 9:6-7Matthew 28:18,Revelation 19:16, and especially Colossians 1:13). We see the fruit of the kingdom in our lives everyday. Christ’s reign in our lives, His power and grace to changes lives, and the dwelling of His people, the church of the firstborn (Hebrews 12:23), as “strangers and pilgrims” (1 Peter 2:11) in this earthly land all speak to the fact and the glory of His arrived kingdom.

The future consummation for which we hope is that promised return of our King at which point, the heavenly kingdom, once see by faith alone, will thence be seen by sight. In all promised glory, Christ will return and establish forever the visual fulfillment of His heavenly rule. The old heavens and earth shall be done away with and shall be replaced by the Kingdom Eternal, begun at Christ’s advent through faith and founded at His return in vision ever glorious!

These two understandings of the kingdom are both truly taught by the Word of God and coexist in a type of already/not yet reality. They are so interwoven that to refer to them as separately is a misstatement; rather, we ought speak of the two aspects of the kingdom as truly a future kingdom that has penetrated the present.

Study Resources :: The Kingdom of God. Retrieved from http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/kingdom.cfm

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The Synoptic Problem and Q

The first three books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are commonly called the Synoptic Gospels. They have gained this title because they are very similar to each other yet commonly different from John’s Gospel. In fact, their similarities and relation to each other have created one of the

Farrer hypothesis solution of the synoptic problem

Farrer hypothesis solution of the synoptic problem

most debated subjects in the realm of New Testament Studies. This area of scholarship has adopted the name, “The Synoptic Problem.”

Mark’s Gospel is the shortest of the three, yet large portions of it are also found in Matthew and Luke. Additionally, Matthew and Luke share a significant amount of verses (more than 200) that are not found in Mark. The similarities include subject matter, exact wording, and even order of events. When material is found in all three Synoptic Gospels, it is referred to as triple tradition. The material that is only found in Matthew and Luke is called double tradition, or Q. Also, the material that distinctively belongs to Matthew is called the M tradition, while that which belongs to Luke is called the L tradition.

Solving the Synoptic Problem

Because there is still debate regarding the Synoptic Problem, the major solution theories will be considered below.

The Traditional Augustinian Theory:
This theory suggests that Matthew was the first Gospel to be composed, followed by Mark, then Luke. The second and third Gospels relied on the previous Gospel(s) as sources. Some view a preservation of Matthean priority as essential because of certain statements by early church fathers. One of those statements came from Augustine who said that the evangelists “have written in this order: first Matthew, then Mark, third Luke, and last John.”[1] Both Irenaeus and Origen, predecessors of Augustine, also held to the same order of composition.[2] Later advocates of this theory include Hugo Grotius, H. G. Jameson, Basil Christopher Butler, and John Wenham.

The Two-Gospel Hypothesis (Griesbach Theory):
Like the Traditional Augustinian Theory, the Griesbach Theory also maintains Matthean priority. Unlike the previous theory, however, the Two-Gospel Hypothesis holds to Luke being the second Gospel, and then Mark as the third. Luke would have used Matthew as a source, and then Mark would have used both Matthew and Luke as sources. Again, Matthean priority finds support in the church fathers. It was Clement of Alexandria who wrote that the Gospels with genealogies (Matthew and Luke) were written first.[3] Some of the main contributors to this theory are Henry Owen, J. J. Griesbach, William R. Farmer, and T. R. W. Longstaff et al. (http://www.colby.edu/rel/2gh/).

On the other hand, there are problems with Matthean priority. It is evident that Mark’s Gospel is the shortest and the majority of it is also found in Matthew and Luke.[4] It is difficult to explain why the shortest Gospel is only about ten percent original, especially when there is much support of it being Peter’s interpretation through Mark.[5] If indeed Mark was an abridgment of the Matthew and Luke, it also would be hard to give account for the deletion of significant points that are found in the two Gospels (e.g. Birth of Christ and the Sermon on the Mount). Moreover, many of the earliest quotes supporting Matthean priority also state that it was written in the Hebrew dialect (or Aramaic). Consequently, these quotes do not require Matthean priority in the Greek text, which will allow possibilities for Markan or Lukan priority.

Two-Source Theory:
Undoubtedly, this theory has become the most widely accepted theory amongst New Testament scholars today. The reason for its popularity is that it settles the problems that arise with Matthean priority, while confronting the difficulty of double tradition. Under the Two-Source Theory the priority is given to Mark. Both Matthew and Luke separately used Mark as a source. Matthew reproduces the vast majority of Mark, while Luke also incorporates more than half. In addition to using Mark as a source, Matthew and Luke also used a common source called Q.

Defining Q:

The letter Q is short for the German word Quelle which means “source” or “spring.” Q can actually refer to a few different things. It could be a tangible first century document, parts of various first century documents, oral tradition(s), or just the double tradition material that is found in both Matthew and Luke. Many differing hypotheses have been made concerning Q because there is no tangible proof that such a document existed outside of the double tradition. One of the only areas of consensus regarding Q is that it antedates both Matthew and Luke. Q would also be a Sayings-Gospel. Unlike the Gospels in the New Testament, Q would not contain narrative sections because the Q material in both Matthew and Luke are sometimes placed in different contexts. Q remains a hypothesis, though, and until there is weightier evidence, it is only one of the few solutions to the Synoptic Problem.

Three-Source Theory:
The less popular Three-Source Theory is very similar to the Two-Source Theory except in one aspect. Markan priority and the use of Q are both retained, but the difference between the two is that the Three-Source Theory holds to a Matthean influence on Luke. Thus, Mark was written first, then Matthew, and then Luke, with Matthew and Luke using the previous Gospel(s) as a source in addition to Q. Most scholars see this as improbable because the idea of Luke using Matthew seems to contradict the reasons for the development of Q.

Four-Source Theory:
This theory is based on and has all the elements of the Two-Source Theory. In addition to Matthew and Luke independently using Mark and Q, they each used material that was distinctive to themselves. The material that is exclusive to Matthew is called M tradition, and Luke’s material is called L tradition. Since this is just a form of the Two-Source Theory, this is also heavily favored among scholars.

Farrer Theory (Mark without Q):
The last theory that will be discussed here is commonly called the Farrer Theory. Like the previous few theories, the Farrer Theory gives priority to Mark. Matthew was the second to be composed, followed by Luke. Matthew would have used Mark, while Luke would have used Mark and Matthew. This theory eliminates the need for a theoretical Q because both the triple tradition and the double tradition are explained without the need of an outside source. The leading supporters of this theory include J. H. Ropes, A. M. Farrer, M. D. Goulder, and Mark Goodacre (http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q/). The advantage of the Farrer Theory is that it seems to solve the Synoptic Problem without the use of hypothetical external documents.

Study Resources :: The Synoptic Problem and Q. Retrieved from http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/q.cfm

 

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The Authors of Scripture – New Testament

King James Bible

Who were the authors of the Bible and when did they write? The identity of a book’s author can sometimes give great insight into its meaning and intent. Some of the books of the Bible have easily identifiable authors while others remain a mystery to this very day. The list below provides a key to probable Biblical authorship.

New Testament Authors

  • Narratives:
    • The gospel according to Matthew was written by Matthew the tax collector.
    • The gospel according to Mark was written by John-Mark.
    • The gospel according to Luke was written by Luke the Physician.
    • The gospel according to John was written by John the disciple that Jesus loved.
    • The Acts of the Apostles was written by Luke the Physician.
  • Epistles (or letters):
    • The Pauline Epistles are those written by Paul (Saul) of Tarsus:
      Romans
      1 Corinthians
      2 Corinthians
      Galatians
      Ephesians
      Philippians
      Colossians
      1 Thessalonians
      2 Thessalonians
      1 Timothy
      2 Timothy
      Titus
      Philemon
    • The Peterine Epistles are those written by Peter of the Twelve:
      1 Peter
      2 Peter
    • The Johanine Epistles are those written by John, the disciple that Jesus loved:
      1 John
      2 John
      3 John
    • And though sharing in three literary traditions — apocalyptic, prophetic, and epistolary — listing John’s Apocalypse (also called Revelation) as an epistle will suit our purposes here. This was written by the same John as above.
    • The book of James was written most likely by James the brother of Jesus.
    • The book of Jude was written by Jude the brother of James.
    • The epistle of Hebrews is written anonymously. Some people ascribe it to the Apostle Paul while others prefer Apollos. Most scholars lean toward someone other than Paul (simply because the grammar and use of certain key Pauline terms is markedly different from the whole body of his identified epistolary work). In the end, God didn’t see the book’s authorship as important to us (if He had, He would have identified the man He used in writing Hebrews), so any guess as to the identity of the author is mere speculation and should have no bearing upon our interpretation of the passages found within.

Study Resources ::. Retrieved from http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/authors.cfm

 

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Who Wrote the Most in the New Testament?

English: Saint paul arrested

English: Saint paul arrested (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

The Apostle Paul wrote 2/3 of the New Testament.

 

Actually, Paul wrote more books than anyone, taking up 2/3 of the books, but as far as actual writing, literature, words, sentences, etc. Luke, who only wrote two books (Luke and Acts) “wrote” more than Paul. It’s like saying I wrote seven 100 page books, when you wrote one book that has 800 pages, same size font, same size page etc. All in all, Paul wrote 25% and Luke wrote 27% of the New Testament.

Books by Paul: Romans, 1st and 2nd CorinthiansGalations, Ephesians, Philipians, Colosians, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews (the author of Hebrews is not identified but is attributed to Paul)

Luke wrote the book of Luke and Acts.

The winner of who wrote the most volume in the New Testament is actually John who wrote 27.5% of the New Testatment:
The Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation.

 

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A Quick Survey of the Book of Luke; the Gospel of the Son of man;

English: beginning of the Gospel of Luke

English: beginning of the Gospel of Luke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luke; the Gospel of the Son of man; Luke writes for the Greek mind, the philosophical mind. Here you have our Lord’s table talk, as he sat with his disciples in intimate fellowship – the Greeks loved this. His discourses are here, his philosophical utterances, the representation of his thoughts and wisdom as a man.