The Twelve Apostles

IT IS an eloquent testimony to the charm and righteousness of Jesus’ earth life that, although he repeatedly dashed to pieces the hopes of his apostles and tore to shreds their every ambition for personal exaltation, only one deserted him.

The apostles learned from Jesus about the kingdom of heaven, and Jesus learned much from them about the kingdom of men, human nature as it lives on Urantia and on the other evolutionary worlds of time and space. These twelve men represented many different types of human temperament, and they had not been made alike by schooling. Many of these Galilean fishermen carried heavy strains of gentile blood as a result of the forcible conversion of the gentile population of Galilee one hundred years previously.

Do not make the mistake of regarding the apostles as being altogether ignorant and unlearned. All of them, except the Alpheus twins, were graduates of the synagogue schools, having been thoroughly trained in the Hebrew scriptures and in much of the current knowledge of that day. Seven were graduates of the Capernaum synagogue schools, and there were no better Jewish schools in all Galilee.

When your records refer to these messengers of the kingdom as being “ignorant and unlearned,” it was intended to convey the idea that they were laymen, unlearned in the lore of the rabbis and untrained in the methods of rabbinical interpretation of the Scriptures. They were lacking in so-called higher education. In modern times they would certainly be considered uneducated, and in some circles of society even uncultured. One thing is certain: They had not all been put through the same rigid and stereotyped educational curriculum. From adolescence on they had enjoyed separate experiences of learning how to live.

--Presented by the Midwayer Commission, from the Urantia Papers.

Andrew, the First Chosen
Andrew, chairman of the apostolic corps of the kingdom, was born in Capernaum.

Simon Peter
When Jesus gave Simon the name Peter, he did it with a smile; it was to be a sort of nickname.

James Zebedee
James, the older of the two apostle sons of Zebedee, whom Jesus nicknamed “sons of thunder,” was thirty years old when he became an apostle.

John Zebedee
When he became an apostle, John was twenty-four years old and was the youngest of the twelve.

Philip the Curious
Philip was twenty-seven years of age when he joined the apostles; he had recently been married, but he had no children at this time.

Honest Nathaniel
Nathaniel, the sixth and last of the apostles to be chosen by the Master himself, was brought to Jesus by his friend Philip.

Matthew Levi
Matthew, the seventh apostle, was chosen by Andrew.

Thomas Didymus
Thomas was the eighth apostle, and he was chosen by Philip.

James and Judas Alpheus
These two men were almost identical in personal appearance, mental characteristics, and extent of spiritual perception.

Simon the Zealot
Simon Zelotes, the eleventh apostle, was chosen by Simon Peter.

Judas Iscariot
Judas Iscariot, the twelfth apostle, was chosen by Nathaniel.

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