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The Twelve

A group chosen by Jesus to accompany him and share his ministry (Matt 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13-16; John 6:70; Acts 1:13). The number apparently refers to the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt 19:28) and symbolizes the restoration of Israel. As witnesses to his ministry and resurrection, the Twelve authenticate the church’s post-resurrection proclamation of the traditions about Jesus (1Cor 15:5; cf. the selection of Matthias to replace Judas, Acts 1:15-26).

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.