Were all 12 Apostles Jewish?


Something makes me think not, but I don’t want to open my mouth and put my foot in it.


Of course they all were.


That is a great question. I’m not certain, but I want to say Philip and Bartholomew were not.


Yes, the Twelve were all Jewish.

You may be confusing that with the facts surrounding the writers of the New Testament. Most of them were Jewish, except for Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles, and who was probably a Syrian Gentile.

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:


I’m fairly sure they were not all Jewish in the strict sense of the word since Jews are decedents of Judea, only one of the twelve tribes.

JEWS, HEBREWS, and ISRAELITES are not all the same.

Jews = decendents of Judea (the southern kingdom)
Hebrews = decendents of Heber
Isrealites = decendents of Isreal

Its fair to say they were all Israelites since they were all most likely from one of the twelve tribes.


I also want to say Phillip wasn’t - it’s an entirely Greek name for starters. Of course he could’ve been a Hellenicised Jew.

Bartholomew/Nathanael is a good Jewish name (Bartholomew meaning ‘son of Talmai’), so I suspect he was.


Not true. The terms Jew and Israelite became synonymous terms from about the time of the Captivity in Babylon (586 B.C.).

Lets see what Paul calls himself in Romans 11:1
I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.

Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”

Acts 22:3
Then Paul said: "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.

From the time of the return of the first remnant after the Babylonian exile, sacred historians, prophets, apostles, and the Lord Himself, regarded the “Jews” whether in the land or in “Dispersion” as representatives of “all Israel,” and the only people in line of the covenants and the promises which God made with the fathers (see the following passages where the use of Judah and Israel are found interchangeably: Zechariah 1:19; 8:13 10:6 Ezra 6:17; 8:35, etc.).


I would argue Luke was probably a Jew. Luke had an intimate knowledge of the Temple. He was the only gospel writer to write of such things when he describes when the angel appeared to Zacharias about the birth of John the Babtist. He wrote about the rotation selection of Levitical Priests for service according to their familes and the position of the priest before the altar of incense. How could a gentile, who could not go into such places in the Temple, have such knowledge of these things and places?


In that time period, it was common for a Jew to have a Greek name in society and a Jewish name in the Synagogue. Just look at “Paul” and “Saul”.

Also, look at Colossians 4, those names of the circumsized, or Jews mentioned are all Greek names.


I’m rather curious to knowing as well. Jews are from the Kingdom of Judah. The reason Paul, a Benjamite, calls himself a Jew is because the half-tribe of Benjamin belonged to the Kingdom of Judah…not the Kingdom of Israel which comprised of the 10 Northern Tribes. These 10 tribes never returned from exile.

And so since Jesus, a Jew, A Nazarene, lived in the Kingdom of Israel but born in Bethlehem (Kingdom of Judah) it would seem to me that the Apostles were most likely from the tribe of Judah as well with the exception of Luke who was a gentile. If they went to the Temple at Passover, then it would seem likely they would be Jews?

It’s seems logical to assume who the 10 tribes would be in Christianity and who the other 2 tribes (KIngdom of Judah) are.

I was wondering if there were any early Church records on this?


Had any of the Apostles not been Jews, there would not have been the argument about the conditions for converting Gentiles or, ultimately, the Council of Jerusalem - Jesus would have already established the requirement, or lack thereof, for a Gentile convert to be circumcised.

Luke was probably a Greek-educated Jew, but his intended audience was broader than just Jews, hence the genealogy that goes back to Adam and the addressing of his books to “Theophilus.” Naturally as a result of his long association with Paul he would have been focused on that outreach beyond the confines of Judaism.


Well, they were probably all Jewish to begin with but after their baptism, they were Catholic. :)


[quote="Holly3278, post:12, topic:84061"]
Well, they were probably all Jewish to begin with but after their baptism, they were Catholic. :)


Becoming Christian does not mean they were no longer Jews. Christianity is a religion. Jews are a people.


Paul sounds a little over zealous in buffering his resume.


At the time I was making a point by those verses.

Your more than welcome to go read the context of those verses from the New Testament.


Everyone knows they were Baptists. How else do you think we got the bible?:D


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