Ages of the Apostles?


#1

Hey everyone,

I hadn’t really thought about this before but a student told me they had seen a post on Tumblr saying that the Apostles were closer in age to young adults, than they were traditionally depicted as (40s).

I know that they were fisherman and some were old enough to be married as Scripture says, but do we have any ideas (historical or traditional) that give relative ages to them?

Thank you very much!


#2

I have read someplace that John (the Beloved Apostle) was in his middle-to-late teens(15 to 17) at the time of the Last Supper. :slight_smile: I don’t know about the ages of the others. :shrug:


#3

With Paul the Apostle, we have a clue.

He was a young hellion and a priest-in-training when the High Priest Jonathan turned him and others loose on the Christians shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion.

Let’s say he was 20 or so- as 19 is a very significant age in Judaism.

So Paul was young- being 19 if you assume Jesus was crucified in A.D. 36.

He would have been 41 when he was imprisoned by Felix in Caesarea in A,D, 58, and 47 when he was killed by the Romans in A.D. 64.

source Hagan “Fires of Rome”


#4

John lived approximately to the year 100. So he was likely a teenager when with Jesus. I can’t imagine he was 30 or 40 and lived to the year 100.

Also, he was fishing with his father which implies that his father was young and well enough to work:

Mark 1:19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets.

20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.


#5

John is believed to be the youngest of the Apostles. Some believe Peter was the only one over the age of 20. The passage about the Jewish leaders asking if Christ paid tribute, and Jesus told Peter to go fishing and it’ll have 2 coins in its mouth to pay for you and me. That tribute was believed to be levied on people over the age of 20. The context shows the other Apostles were around, but since only 2 coins we’re needed, they would have been teens.

People were expected to “grow up” much sooner back then. For most there was no college; after basic school it was time to work and start a family


#6

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