Thursday, 29 May 2014

What Are You Getting Out of Worship?

     When you assemble with the saints for corporate worship, what are you getting out of it? Do you find the atmosphere less than inspiring? Is the preaching dull and boring? Is the song service lacking in enthusiasm? Are the prayers dry? Has communion become predictable and routine? Does the weekly collection make you feel like the church is trying to get something out of you? Is observable spirituality deficient in the people around you?
     Perhaps you’d get more out of worship if the atmosphere was different. What if the surroundings were more appealing, the preaching was more dynamic and interesting, the music was livelier, the prayers were more stirring, communion was spruced up, and there was less pressure to contribute? Maybe you’d receive greater satisfaction if the scheduling of services was more convenient, the seating was more comfortable, and your felt needs were being met. Have you considered looking for another church where you might enjoy a better worship experience? 
A Worthy Example
     “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God …” (Acts 16:25a). Who helped set the mood for these guys? Who was responsible for getting them in a worshipful frame of mind? Who provided an atmosphere conducive to an uplifting experience? Who made their comfort and convenience top priority? Who directed their attention to spiritual things, ensuring they got the most out of worship?
     These servants of Christ had been unfairly treated, falsely accused and arrested, severely beaten, locked in a dungeon and fastened in stocks amongst a bunch of criminals (Act 16:20-25). Yet somehow they managed to offer praise to the heavenly Father. How is this possible? There were no worship leaders, praise teams, choirs, or orchestras. There were no special lighting effects, motivational videos, air-conditioning, padded seating, or free coffee. Neither convenience nor comfort was afforded them. How on earth were they able to engage in meaningful worship under such unfavorable conditions?!
     Apparently Paul and Silas had something deep within themselves that was not dependent on (neither bolstered nor hampered by) externals. Irrespective of their dismal circumstances and gloomy surroundings, they demonstrated an inner conviction with an unyielding commitment to and focus on God. Worship was not done for them. Worship was not done to them. They assumed personal responsibility. They took initiative. Their experience was void of complaints or excuses. They set their minds on things above and dutifully expressed their heartfelt devotion.
Worship Done Right
     None of this suggests that there is no place for capable leaders in our collective worship assemblies. If the concept of “decently and in order” means anything (1 Cor. 14:40),1 leadership is necessary. However, those who guide the congregation in worship are not performing to a human audience. It is not their duty to cater to a room full of needy beneficiaries. Their role is simply to direct fellow-participants in an orderly fashion in a mutual offering of praise and adoration to the One occupying the heavenly throne. If worship leaders have adequately prepared and are doing their sincere best, who among us has a legitimate right to complain? We ought to appreciate and support the humble efforts of those who are willing to serve.
     When the preacher faithfully communicates the truth of God’s word, whether his delivery is deemed appealing or appalling, should not the biblical message itself be eagerly ingested? (Rom. 10:8). If the song leader directs the singing with hymns that praise the Lord and teach and admonish worshipers, who among us is exempt from contributing joyful hearts and voices? (Col. 3:16). When prayers are led and communion is observed, doesn’t every member have a spirit that ought to reverently be added to the collective whole? (1 Cor. 11:28; 14:15). How can giving be acceptable unless each one contributes with a purposeful and cheerful attitude? (2 Cor. 9:7).
     No one should be satisfied if truth is not taught and practiced, or if so-called “worship” is merely performed by a select few, or if the stimulation of emotions or the entertainment of human spectators is the principal objective. What appeals to the earthly senses often detracts from our heavenly focus and then defeats the purpose of assembling as a church. At the same time, if would-be worshipers (including leaders) are not prepared for worship, or if any spiritual activity is regarded as a tedious chore, it becomes nothing more than an empty ritual and a pointless act of irreverence. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
 A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
     What I get out of anything is directly related to what I put into it. When my primary concern is me and my ultimate goal is to (selfishly) gain something for myself, not only am I missing the point, but I almost always end up unfulfilled and disappointed. But worship is not about me. Worship is about giving. A truly worshipful perspective looks far beyond self. When offering my heart completely to God and demonstrating my allegiance to him is my first consideration, and my secondary aim is to encourage and strengthen my brethren, it is nearly impossible not to be uplifted and spiritually refreshed in the process!
Suggested Improvements
     As we seek to please and honor God while preserving the scriptural integrity of worship, what improvements can and should be made? Here are some suggestions:
1. Bring a worshipful disposition with you (Psalm 63:1-3). No one else can step in and do this on your behalf.
2. Prepare for worship (Psalm 122:1). Be rested, and allow enough time to avoid the frantic rush; read scripture, meditate, and/or pray beforehand.
3. Keep your focus (Colossians 3:2). There will always be potential distractions, both internal and external. Worship is not designed to be easy. It requires personal effort.
4. Don’t depend on someone else to worship for you (Psalm 19:14). Take responsibility; intentionally give of yourself.
5. Avoid unnecessary complaining, excuse-making, and blame (Philippians 2:14-15). If your worship is unacceptable, it is generally your own fault.
6. Be accountable to God (Jeremiah 17:10). You cannot judge the hearts of your fellow-worshipers, but the Lord certainly can while he judges yours.
7. Be an encourager (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Express your appreciation to those who lead the services. Generously offer smiles, love, and positive words to those with whom you assemble.
8. Conserve the balance of spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). True worship consists of both the right attitude and the right doctrine, neither to the exclusion of the other.
9. Don’t allow unbiblical teachings and practices to infiltrate the worship assembly (Matthew 15:8-9). Know the Bible and stand for what is right.
10. Maintain a spirit of humility, reverence and awe (Revelation 4:9-11). This is entirely up to you.
     “Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).
--Kevin L. Moore

     1 All scripture quotations are from the NKJV.

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Letters of Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Thessalonians

     Who wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians? While the apostle Paul was a capable evangelist and prolific letter writer, he rarely worked alone.1 To focus exclusively on his personal involvement in his ministry and writing projects is to discount the invaluable contributions of his colleagues.
     The naming of three senders in 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:1 is a unique feature, unlike any other opening address in the Pauline corpus.2 Moreover, of all the first person verbs, pronouns, participles, adjectives and articles in the extant writings of Paul, the highest concentration of plurals (‘we,’ ‘us,’ ‘our’) is found in the Thessalonian letters. Over 96% of the first person terminology in 1 Thessalonians is plural, with 92% plural in 2 Thessalonians. No compelling reason can be given for not taking these “we” references at face value and as indicative of a cooperative endeavor.
     The fact that first person singulars appear in both 1 Thessalonians (2:18; 3:5; 5:27) and 2 Thessalonians (2:5; 3:17), twice with Paul’s name emphatically appended (‘I, Paul’), shows that he was the leading correspondent, although he kept his personal comments to a minimum. And the implication of 2 Thess. 3:17 is that the actual writing of the material preceding the postscript was done by someone other than Paul himself.3
     A distinct feature of both 1 and 2 Thessalonians is the wording of the introductory thanksgiving. Elsewhere in Paul the introductory thanksgiving is typically in the first person singular (eucharistō = ‘I thank’), even when co-senders have been named.4 Yet in 1 Thess. 1:2 (eucharistoumen = ‘we give thanks’) and 2 Thess. 1:3 (eucharistein opheilomen = ‘we ought to give thanks’) the plural form appears – clearly suggestive of multiple persons – while a distinction is made with the second-person readership (‘you’). Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy are most naturally understood as the thanks-giving communicants, as no doubt the initial recipients would have inferred.5
     Also unique to the Thessalonian correspondence is how the Pauline parakaleō formula is worded. The apostle’s frequent use of this clause, while customarily in the first person singular (parakaleō humas = ‘I appeal to you’),6 is consistently plural in the Thessalonian letters (1 Thess. 2:12; 4:1, 10; 5:14; 2 Thess. 3:12). Outside of these letters, only in 2 Cor. 6:1 (where ‘we’ naturally includes Timothy [1:1, 13] and is contrasted with ‘you’) and in 1 Cor. 4:13 (where parakaloumen applies to ‘us the apostles,’ v. 9) is the first person plural used.
     With Paul as the prominent figure, 1 and 2 Thessalonians were co-authored by him, Silvanus (a.k.a. Silas), and Timothy from Corinth in late 50 and/or early 51. The two letters appear to have been composed within close proximity of one another, and 1 Thess. 2:17 indicates that this was a relatively short time after the three-man mission team had left the Thessalonian brethren. Having planted churches in Macedonia and then separating for a time, Paul and his companions rejoined one another in Corinth in late 50 (Acts 16–18).7 At the time of writing the three missionaries were together, and Timothy had had time to revisit Thessalonica and rejoin his colleagues (1 Thess. 3:1-6; cf. Acts 18:5). Corinth (as opposed to Athens) is the most likely place where these documents were penned, since enough time needed to elapse for the situation addressed in the letters to develop.
     The Thessalonian epistles seem to be the earliest extant writings in which Paul was involved.8 The question of what happens to Christians who die before the Lord’s return (1 Thess. 4:13 ff.) must have arisen fairly early in the history of the church. In the openings of 1 and 2 Thessalonians Paul is mentioned by name only, with no reference to his apostleship or any other appendage, while in every subsequent letter a descriptive designation is added. Moreover, a number of manuscripts of 1 Thess. 1:1 have the abbreviated greeting, “grace to you and peace” (cf. N/ASV, ESV),9 while the other Pauline documents include the added phrase, “from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.” This could suggest that the stereotypical Pauline greeting developed after the earliest letter (1 Thessalonians) had been composed.
     Because of discernable differences between the two documents, a number of critics have rejected 2 Thessalonians as a genuine Pauline writing. The sentences are longer and more complex in 2 Thessalonians, and 2 Thessalonians is more formal in tone than 1 Thessalonians. It has also been alleged that the eschatology of 1 Thessalonians (with a sense of the imminent return of Christ) is different from 2 Thessalonians (warning against thinking the Lord’s return is imminent).
     While the extent of the differences has been exaggerated in some scholarly circles, one must appreciate the collaborative effort of Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy in producing these letters. If Silvanus did the actual transcribing of one and Timothy the other, both the similarities and the differences are not only explicable but are perfectly understandable. Further, the respective issues and emphases would readily account for the seemingly different tones.
     The two epistles are responding to two different ideas about the Lord’s second coming. The first letter responds to the fear that those who had died will miss out on the return of Christ, and emphasis is placed on the suddenness and unexpectedness of the return (whenever that might be). The second letter addresses the false idea that Christ has already come back, therefore emphasis is on certain events that must take place first. The theology is not different between the two letters, but the emphasis is because of different circumstances.
     Under the guidance of God's Spirit, who wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians? Do we believe in giving credit to whom credit is due? When reading, for example, “you received the word of God which you heard from us …” (1 Thess. 2:13) and “we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ …” (2 Thess. 3:6), why do so many emphasize Paul alone and dismiss the contributions of Silvanus and Timothy? All of these men were spiritually gifted (cf. Acts 15:32; 2 Tim. 1:6) and equally involved in the Lord’s work. Rather than speaking of “Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians,” would it not be more accurate to make reference to “the letters of Paul, Silvanus and Timothy to the Thessalonians”? Not only does the New Testament teach the importance of unity and cooperation among brethren, the Thessalonian correspondence is a product, example and demonstration of it.
 --Kevin L. Moore  

     2 Two senders are designated in 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, and only one in Romans, Ephesians, and the Pastorals. While at least three (possibly more?) co-senders are mentioned in Galatians, only Paul is actually named.
     3 Cf. Rom. 16:22; 1 Cor. 16:21; Gal. 6:11; Col. 4:18; Philm. 19. Since Timothy is mentioned in the third person in 1 Thess. 3:2-6 and the adept writing ability of Silvanus (a.k.a. Silas) is elsewhere suggested (Acts 15:22-23; 1 Pet. 5:12), Paul’s authorial partner in 1 Thessalonians was probably Silvanus. Timothy’s name in the opening address on the same level as Paul and Silvanus suggests his collaborative role, and the verbal and stylistic differences between 1 and 2 Thessalonians may be due to a greater involvement of Timothy in the drafting of the second letter.
     4 Rom. 1:8; 1 Cor. 1:4; Phil. 1:3; 2 Tim. 1:3; Philm. 4. In 2 Cor. 1:3 and Eph. 1:3 the introductory blessing or eulogy is worded generically with no reference to person. Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are the author's own translation.
     5 The first person plural is also used in the introductory thanksgiving of Colossians, naturally inclusive of Timothy (1:1-3). The main difference between Colossians and the Thessalonian letters is that the “we-you” contrast does not extend beyond 1:12 in Colossians (except for sporadic instances in 4:3, 8), whereas it is maintained throughout the Thessalonian correspondence.
     6 Thirteen times this formula is used in Paul’s writings in the first person singular: Rom. 12:1; 15:30; 16:17; 1 Cor. 1:10; 4:16; 16:15; 2 Cor. 2:8; 10:1; Eph. 4:1; Phil. 4:2; 1 Tim. 2:1; Philm. 9, 10.
     7 Silas and Timothy met up with Paul in Athens (Acts 17:15; 1 Thess. 3:1), apparently returned to Macedonia, and then joined Paul again in the city of Corinth (1 Thess. 3:2-6; Acts 18:5). Claudius had dispelled Jews (including Aquila and Priscilla) from Rome in 49, and Gallio began as proconsul of Achaia in June 51 (cf. Acts 18:2, 12).
     8 The letter embedded in Acts 15:23-29 would be an exception, but this is best left for another discussion.
     9 Both the Alexandrian and Western text types are in agreement on the abbreviated clause. It seems more reasonable to conclude that later copyists sought to harmonize the shorter reading of 1 Thessalonians with the conventional longer version than having omitted the rest of the phrase (see B. M. Metzger, Textual Commentary [2nd ed.] 561).

Related Posts: Biblical Authorship: Challenging Anti-Conservative Presuppositions Part 3 and Part 4

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Saturday, 17 May 2014

The Twelve Apostles (Part 13): Judas Iscariot

     Judas Iscariot was the son of a man called Simon (John 6:71; 12:4; 13:2, 26). Judas is always listed last among the twelve apostles (Matt. 10:4; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:16), and his name is naturally omitted from the final listing in Acts 1:13. The Anglicized “Judas” is the Greek Ioudas from the Hebrew Yehûdâh (Judah), meaning “God is praised” (see Gen. 29:35).1 There are at least nine persons recorded in the New Testament known by this name.2 It was very popular among first-century AD Palestinian Jews presumably because of the lingering influence of Judas Maccabaeus, the leader of the second-century BC Maccabean revolution.3
     The significance of the attribution Iskariōth (Iscariot) is not certain. It could be based on the Hebrew Κ-Qrîyôth, meaning “man of Kerioth,” thus identifying where Judas or his family was from.4 Kerioth was a town in southern Judea (Josh. 15:25), about ten miles (16 km) south of Hebron. If the proposal is valid, then he was the only one of Christ’s original apostles who was not a native Galilean (cf. Acts 2:7). Another possibility is that the term is derived from the Latin sicarios (pl. sicarii) in reference to the radical band of Jewish assassins akin to the Zealots. The background of Judas would then be comparable to that of Simon the Zealot and perhaps also Thaddaeus Judas (a.k.a. Judas the Zealot).5 Other theories suggest a derivation of the name from various Hebrew or Aramaic root words, describing something about his character (‘liar’), his appearance (‘ruddy’), or his infamous deeds (‘deliverer’).6
     Judas served as the group’s treasurer (John 12:6; 13:29), responsible for the funds probably donated by those supportive of Jesus’ work (cf. Luke 8:3). Unfortunately Judas’ lack of integrity led him to embezzle money for his own selfish gain (John 12:6b). He was the textbook hypocrite. He preached repentance (Mark 6:12) while he himself was unrepentant (John 12:4-6). He administered baptism (John 4:2) but neglected the cleansing of his own soul (John 13:11). He healed the physically sick (Luke 9:7) as his own spiritual health declined (Matt. 26:14-16). He cast out demons (Mark 6:13) yet allowed Satan into his own heart (Luke 22:3).
     Judas was afforded privileges and opportunities available only to a select few. He was welcomed into the Lord’s immediate circle of companions. He received special training and instruction. He traveled with Jesus and ate with Jesus, and they worshiped and prayed together. Jesus was humble enough to wash Judas’ dirty feet (John 13:5) and gracious enough to call him “friend” (Matt. 26:50). At the final meal they ate together, in an environment of intimacy and trust (cf. Psa. 41:9), Judas was close enough to the Lord to share the same dipping bowl (Mark 14:17-20).
     When Judas slipped away from his brethren that fateful night (John 13:30), he missed out on all the promises and exhortations and prayers of John 13:31–17:26. He sold out his Master for the price of a lowly slave (Matt. 26:14-15; cf. Ex. 21:32). He was remorseful but not penitent, and after hanging himself, his bloated corpse eventually fell and burst open as a sickening and degrading testimonial of a wasted life (Matt. 27:3-5; Acts 1:18). His treasonous wages were then used to purchase a potter’s field called Akel Dama or “field of blood” for burying strangers (Matt. 27:5-10; Acts 1:18-19). Judas traded his immortal soul for a handful of coins he could not keep. He never saw the risen Christ, he did not receive the Holy Spirit, and he missed out on experiencing the kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1, 31; John 7:39). Worst of all, he forfeited his eternal home in heaven (John 14:3; 17:12).
     Evidently the Lord considers even a dishonest hypocrite deserving of a chance, and Judas was given more chances than most. The only reason Satan was able to enter Judas’ heart is because Judas made room for him (Luke 22:3; cf. Jas. 4:7-10). Consequently, Judas Iscariot will forever be remembered as “a devil” (John 6:70) and “the son of perdition” (John 17:12). In contrast, his eleven colleagues went on to give the remainder of their lives in faithful service to Christ, securing not only an abiding legacy but ultimately an everlasting inheritance.
     What are you doing with the precious opportunities the Lord has afforded you?
--Kevin L. Moore

     1 The Hebrew Yehûdâh (Judah) is the name of the fourth son of Jacob and Leah (Gen. 29:35) and the designation of the tribe and land of Judah (Josh. 15:20) and the southern part of the divided kingdom (1 Kings 12:23). Variants of the term were applied to the Jews (Ezra 4:12) and to the Roman province of Judea (Matt. 2:1, 22). See also Hebrew.
     2 Beyond the patriarch Judah, the name was also worn by two other ancestors of Jesus (Luke 3:26, 30, 33), a brother of Jesus (Matt. 13:55), Judas Iscariot (Matt. 10:4), Judas not Iscariot (John 14:22), Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37), Judas of Damascus (Acts 9:11), and Judas Barsabas (Acts 15:22). This assumes that Judas son of James (Luke 6:16) and Judas not Iscariot (John 14:22) are the same person and that the Lord’s brother Judas is the author of the NT epistle of Jude.
     4 Some manuscripts of John 6:71 have interpreted Iskariōtou as apo Karuōtou (“from Kerioth”) in relation to Judas’ father Simon. See B. M. Metzger, Textual Commentary (2nd ed.) 21, 184, 204, 205; cf. 201.
     6 See BAGD 380-81; B. M. Metzger, Textual Commentary (2nd ed.) 21; L. Besserman, “Judas Iscariot,” DBTEL (1992): 418-20; “Judas Iscariot,” Wikipedia, <>.

Related PostsThe 12 Apostles (Part 1)

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Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Twelve Apostles (Part 12): Simon Zelotes

     Simōn is the Greek form of the Hebrew Sumeōn (Simeon), the name of the second-born son of Jacob and Leah, meaning “he has heard” (an implicit allusion to answered prayer; cf. Gen. 29:33).1 One of the two apostles who wore this name, to distinguish him from Simon Peter, is labeled “zealot" (Greek zēlōtēs) by Luke (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). Matthew (10:4) and Mark (3:18) employ the more obscure Aramaic qualifier Kananaios (from Kananitēs), which is rendered in many English versions as "Cananite." This could indicate that Simon was from Cana of Galilee,2 but the term is more likely derived from the Hebrew qana, meaning “zealous” or "zealot."
     Why this particular moniker is appended to Simon’s name is uncertain. Perhaps it was indicative of his great enthusiasm and intensity.3 The tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church is that Jesus’ first miracle in Cana (John 2:1-11) was at Simon’s wedding, after which Simon’s burning zeal as a follower of Christ became most evident. But it is hard to imagine that he was significantly more zealous than every one of his colleagues, especially the other apostle Simon.4 Moreover, there were numerous occasions when this description just would not have been applicable.5
     Alternatively, he may have been a member of the infamous Zealot faction – the freedom fighters engaged in the Jewish resistance against the Romans. The fact that fellow-apostle Matthew maintained a less-than-flattering title from his former life (Matt. 10:3) lends credence to this idea. Jesus drew his immediate followers from the region of Galilee, which was the birthplace of the Zealot movement (cf. Acts 2:7; 5:37; Josephus, Ant. 18.1.1, 6).6
     According to the mid-second century Gospel of the Ebionites, Simon Zelotes was called by the Lord at the Sea of Tiberias (Galilee) around the same time as James, John, Simon [Peter], Andrew, Thaddaeus, Judas Iscariot, and Matthew. Seeing that the Zealots were vehemently opposed to the Romans and their collaborators, including those who gathered government taxes, it would have been interesting to see how Simon the Zealot and Matthew the tax collector reacted toward one another when first brought together. The only thing we know for sure is that under Jesus’ influence and tutelage, they were unified co-workers, laboring side by side in the Master’s service.
     Simon sincerely believed in Jesus (John 2:11) and acknowledged him as God’s Son (Matt. 14:33). Simon left his dubious past behind to be a loyal disciple (Luke 10:28), exchanging his sword of hostility for the sword of the Spirit (cf. Eph. 6:17). He faithfully proclaimed the gospel of God’s kingdom (Luke 9:1-6) and baptized penitent believers (John 4:2). Following Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension, Simon continued faithfully proclaiming the gospel of God’s kingdom and baptizing penitent believers (Acts 2:14-41; 4:29; 6:4, 7; etc.).
     After Simon’s departure from Jerusalem, traditions about him vary. He reportedly preached in Egypt before partnering with Thaddaeus Judas (identified in several Old Latin manuscripts as “Judas Zelotes [the zealot]”).7 They are believed to have labored together in Persia, Armenia, and Beirut (Lebanon) of Syria and were both killed with an axe in the year 65 in Beirut.8 It has also been alleged that Simon journeyed to the Middle East and Africa and then died by crucifixion in Jerusalem or Samaria. Other traditions claim that he was sawn in half in Suanir, Persia, or perhaps martyred in Caucasian Iberia (Weriosphora) or Britain (Caistor). Another version is that he died peacefully in Edessa.
     If Simon had in fact been involved in the fierce Zealot movement, he went from a life of bitterness and bloodshed to a very different way of destroying his enemies …. winning them over as brothers. “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11). Consider further what happens when a first-century Jewish insurgent is joined to a collaborator with Rome. One would naturally expect hatred, resentment, hostility and strife (cf. Mark 15:7), but when the Lord Jesus Christ is involved, extraordinary things can happen.
     “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! …. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:15, 24).
--Kevin L. Moore

     2 This is how Jerome (347-420) interpreted the designation, although Kanaios would have been the more appropriate term had this been the case. The renderings “Canaanite” (KJV) and “Cananean” (RV) are also used. Some have attempted to identify the apostle Simon as Jesus’ brother Simon (cf. Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3). But this is most improbable, seeing that the Lord’s brothers did not believe in him as the Christ even after the twelve had been appointed (John 6:67; 7:5). Others have equated him with Nathanael (John 1:45) or with the son of Cleopas/Alphaeus and the brother of James son of Alpheus (Mark 3:18).
     3 Cf. Acts 21:20; 22:3; 1 Cor. 14:12; Gal. 1:14; Tit. 2:14.
     5 E.g. Matt. 14:26; 16:8; 17:19-20; Mark 4:40, 41; 6:50; 9:32; 10:32; 16:11-14; Luke 8:25; 9:45; 24:11, 37, 38; John 6:19; 20:19.
     8 This is a very late tradition, attributed to Jacobus de Voragine’s medieval Legenda aurea or Legenda sanctorum (the Golden Legend, ca. 1260).

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