Thoughtful Boldness

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The 14 Disciples of Jesus

Alexander Master, Jesus Teaching his Disciples the Last Things, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, 1430

Alexander Master, Jesus Teaching his Disciples the Last Things, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, 1430

Above, a scripturally accurate depiction of “The Twelve” with their identity’s obscured.

Originally posted on http://christdot.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4950

Biblical Inerrancy and the 14 Disciples of Jesus
A journal entry by Amazon4God posted on Thursday, January 13 @ 01:56:12 EST

Many people believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. While this belief ranges from those who believe that this inerrancy is limited to the original autographs, others believe that the Scriptures that we have in the canon today are also inerrant and that only our interpretations can be wrong.

Since we have four gospel accounts of the life of Jesus, and Scripture is the only authority for interpreting Scripture it makes sense to look in the gospels for contradictions.

It may come as a surprise to realize that there are fourteen names listed as members of “The Twelve”. In short, the list in Mark and Matthew differs from the list of “The Twelve” in Luke/ Acts. (John has no list of names.)

Here is the list in Mark 3:14-19:
Simon Peter
James the son of Zebedee
John the Brother of James — Sons of Thunder
Andrew
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew
Thomas
James the son of Alphaeus
Judas Iscariot
THADDAEUS
SIMON THE CANANAEAN

And Matthew 10: 2-4
Simon Peter
James the son of Zebedee
John, the brother of James
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew the tax collector
Thomas
James the son of Alphaeus
Judas Iscariot
LEBBAEUS CALLED THADDAEUS
SIMON THE CANANAEAN

Here is the different list found in Luke 6:12
Simon Peter
James
John
Andrew Simon’s Brother
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew
Thomas
James the son of Alphaeus
Judas Iscariot
SIMON THE ZEALOT
JUDAS, SON OF JAMES

And Acts 1:12 agrees with Luke (it is the same author)
Peter
James
John
Andrew
Philip
Bartholomew
Matthew
Thomas
James the son of Alphaeus
SIMON THE ZEALOT
JUDAS SON OF JAMES

It is impossible to reconcile the names on these two lists to twelve men.

Thaddaeus/ Lebbaeus is not Judas son of James, since this “son” clarifier was probably added by Luke in order to distinguish Judas the Son of James from Judas Iscariot.

In the same way, a Zealot was a Jew who claimed that Israel was his rightful home. A Zealot would never go by the identifyer of “The Cananaean.” Thus Simon the Cananaean must be a different person than Simon the Zealot.

So how could this have happened? How could there be fourteen names listed as “The Twelve”?

The answer is that “The Twelve” was a rhetorical device used by Jesus to symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel. (This is why the names are all male.) “The Twelve” are typically described as misunderstanding Jesus.

So if “The Twelve” was not limited to twelve specific men, we come to the question.

Is the Bible that we have today fallible or are some of our interpretations of what we find in the Bible inaccurate?