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Any of the 12 disciples chosen by Jesus. They were Peter, James and John (sons of Zebedee), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus or Judas (son of James), Simon the Cananaean or Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. The 12 were privileged to attend Jesus continually and receive his teaching. Peter, James, and John formed an inner circle and were allowed to witness such events as the Transfiguration and the agony of Jesus at Gethsemane. After the defection and death of Judas Iscariot, Matthias was elected an Apostle. Paul also claimed the title on the ground that he had seen the Lord and been commissioned by him.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Apostle, visit Britannica.com.
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