72 apostles vs 12 apostles


In these passages its the exact same context but in one case it says 12 apostles and in the other case it says 72 apostles

Luke 10:1-24


Mark 6:6-13


What could be the possible reason?


Two different callings. And actually, I don’t see where either passage calls them “apostles.” I’ve always heard the 72 referred to as “disciples.”


Some Bibles have Luke saying 70 and other have him saying 72. Luke is making reference to the seventy elders of Moses.

And the LORD said to Moses, "Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take some of the spirit which is upon you and put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone. (Numbers 11:16-17)

Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abi’hu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank. (Exodus 24:9-11)

The passage about the seventy elders beholding God and eating and drinking in His presence is one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

Luke calls them “others” while Mark indicates that they are the Apostles by calling them “the twelve.”



agnes therese

I do not see a problem with these people being called apostles. They may not have been given all the gifts that the 12 are given, but it to call them just disciples within this context is wrong. They were sent out by the Lord with a mission so they were apostles they were disciples. At least specifically in this instance they have the honor of being called Apostle. I am not saying that you have a problem with calling them such. Tim cool point foreshadowing in the bible is so awesome correlating passages that is.


the 72 are talking about the people who are going out before the Lord to prepare the way. These are not the 12 of his closet apostles who would be the leaders of the Church.


You mean they weren’t open about it?:eek:


haha I mean closest


The word Apostle is used only eight times in the Gospels.

Apostle: quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/r/rsv/rsv-idx?type=simple&format=Long&q1=apostle&restrict=All&size=First+100

Most people don’t realize that John never uses the word Apostle but only uses the word disciple. Matthew and Mark use the word Apostle only once each, when they list out their names. Luke uses the word Apostle six times in his Gospel. Luke also wrote Acts of the Apostles where he uses the word another 29 times.

We have to remember that they became Apostles after the ascension of Christ. That is when they received their commission. Prior to the ascension they are referred to as simply disciples or “the twelve.” The word disciple is used almost 300 times in the Gospels.

**Disciple: **quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/r/rsv/rsv-idx?type=simple&format=Long&q1=disciple&restrict=New+Testament&size=All

The phrase “the twelve” is used 26 times.

Twelve: quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/r/rsv/rsv-idx?type=simple&format=Long&q1=the+twelve&restrict=New+Testament&size=All



explain this “they became Apostles after the ascension of Christ” why is this distinction important and since I am pretty sure this is not biblical where is this in tradition a list of quotes with references that links are preferable


Wikapedia actually has an interesting article on it. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventy_disciples


Disciple is mathaytes in Greek. It means learner, or student.

Apostle is apóstólos in Greek. It means one who is sent as a messenger or envoy. The Apostles were messengers.

And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom he surnamed Peter; James the son of Zeb’edee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Bo-aner’ges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Mark 3:13-19)

And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles; Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:13-16)

Jesus commissioned these to perform that mission, go preach and teach and baptize just prior to his ascension to Heaven.

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)

They received power to do this at Pentecost.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth." And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (Acts 1:8-9)

Peter stood up and spoke out boldly after Pentecost. They received power to become witnesses. The word witness in greek is martyr. The Apostles are messengers, trained by Jesus, commissioned at his ascension and given power to do so at Pentecost.



That’s interesting it actually gives the names of the disciples and the writings are from Hippolytus of Rome.


the gospels list peter first, and judas last, there were to be twelve,but many were called and sent, now jesus chose 12,but not without consent,john chapter 6 is when many walked away, and only the 12 remained, ,this was the point in time that the 12 chose Christ and the 12 were solidified and sanctified as apostles, jesus called them first, but they had to reach back to him in their free will.


Is it correct to say that the Twelve Apostles can also be called the Twelve Disciples?


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