Luke 6:14
Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
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(14-16) Simon, (whom he also named Peter).—For the list of the Twelve Apostles see Notes on Matthew 10:2.

The only special points in St. Luke’s list are (1) that he gives Simon Zelotes, obviously as a translation, for Simon the Cananite, or Cananæan, of the other two lists, and gives James’s Judas, leaving it uncertain whether he means that the latter was son or brother of the former. His use of the same formula in the genealogy of Luke 3 is in favour of the former relationship.

Luke 6:14-16. Simon, whom he also named Peter — Matthew, Mark, and Luke have all given us a catalogue of the names of the apostles; and their exactness in this particular is greatly to be praised. For as the apostleship clothed the person on whom it was conferred with the high authority of directing the religious faith of mankind, it was of no small importance to the world to know who they were to whom that dignity belonged. In these catalogues, Simon is first named, not because he was of greater dignity than the rest, but because he was one of the most early followers of Christ, and the first that was called to a stated attendance upon him, and a person whose remarkable zeal and piety rendered him a kind of leader among the others. These reasons are so evidently sufficient for his being named first, that it is strange any should have attempted to prove from that circumstance, that Christ invested him with authority over his brethren; when we never find any such thing declared by Christ, or claimed by Peter, or owned by any of the other apostles, but rather find many scriptures which appear to look a contrary way; Matthew and Luke mention Andrew next to Peter, as being his brother, and one of Christ’s first disciples. The names of James and John follow, as having been called next, (see Matthew 4:21,) and being persons of great eminence for piety and usefulness, and James is placed before John, as being the elder brother. The names of the others seem to be placed nearly, at least, in the order in which they became disciples. Judas Iscariot, however, though, perhaps, not last called, is named last, because he was the traitor. But whatever might be the reason of ranking the apostles in the catalogue in the order in which we find them, we are certain they are not ranged according to their dignity; for, had that been the case, the order of the names would have been exactly the same in all the evangelists, which it is not, Andrew being placed the second in order, as we have observed, by Matthew and Luke, and the fourth by Mark; and Thomas being placed before Matthew by that apostle, and after him by Mark and Luke. To this may be added, on supposition that the apostles are ranked in the catalogues according to their dignity, it would follow, that John and Matthew, whose praise is in all the churches, on account of their writings, were inferior to apostles who are scarce once named, except in the catalogues. With regard to the epithet, or surname, (Zelotes, the Zealous,) added by Luke here to the name of Simon; because there was a particular sect or faction, among the Jews, termed the Zealots, who, in later times, under colour of zeal for God, committed all imaginable disorders, some are of opinion, that Simon the apostle had formerly been one of this faction. But as there is no mention made of that sect till a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, (Josephus, Bell., Luke 4:3,) we may rather suppose that this epithet was added to his name on account of his uncommon zeal in matters of true piety and religion.6:12-19 We often think one half hour a great deal to spend in meditation and secret prayer, but Christ was whole nights engaged in these duties. In serving God, our great care should be not to lose time, but to make the end of one good duty the beginning of another. The twelve apostles are here named; never were men so privileged, yet one of them had a devil, and proved a traitor. Those who have not faithful preaching near them, had better travel far than be without it. It is indeed worth while to go a great way to hear the word of Christ, and to go out of the way of other business for it. They came to be cured by him, and he healed them. There is a fulness of grace in Christ, and healing virtue in him, ready to go out from him, that is enough for all, enough for each. Men regard the diseases of the body as greater evils than those of their souls; but the Scripture teaches us differently.See the notes at Matthew 10:1-4. 13-16. (See on [1583]Mt 10:2-4.) See Poole on "Luke 6:13" Simon, whom he also named Peter,.... Which signifies a rock, or stone, as Cephas also does, see John 1:42 from his constancy, steadfastness, and solidity:

and Andrew his brother; who was called at the same time with him, and were brethren, both in nature and grace:

James and John: the two sons of Zebedee, who were called next:

Philip and Bartholomew; the latter of these is by some thought to be Nathanael.

Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
Luke 6:14-16. Comp. on Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19.

ζηλωτήν] Comp. Acts 1:13. See on Matthew 10:4.

Ἰούδαν Ἰακώβου] Usually (including even Ebrard and Lange): Judas the brother of James, and therefore the son of Alphaeus; but without any foundation in exegesis. At least Judges 1:1 might be appealed to, where both Jude and James are natural brothers of the Lord. In opposition to supplying ἀδελφός, however, we have to point out in general, that to justify the supplying of the word a special reference must have preceded (as Alciphr. Ep. ii. 2), otherwise we must abide by the usual υἱός, as at Luke 6:15; further, that Matthew 10:2 mentions the pairs of brothers among the apostles most precisely as such, but not among them James and Lebbaeus (who is to be regarded as identical with our Judas; see on Matthew 10:2[102]). Hence (so also Ewald), here and at Acts 1:13, we must read Judas Song of Solomon of James, of which James nothing further is known.[103]

ΠΡΟΔΌΤΗς] Traitor (2Ma 5:15; 2Ma 10:13; 2Ma 10:22; 2 Timothy 3:4); only here in the New Testament is Judas thus designated. Matthew has παραδούς, comp. Mark. Yet comp. Acts 7:52.

Observe, moreover, that Luke here enumerates the four first-named apostles in pairs, as does Matthew; whereas in Acts 1:13 he places first the three most confidential ones, as does Mark. We see from this simply that in Acts 1:13 he followed a source containing the latter order, by which he held impartially and without any mechanical reconciliation with the order of the passage before us. The conclusion is much too hasty, which argues that Mark was not before him till Acts 1:13, and that when he wrote the Gospel he had not yet become acquainted with Mark’s work (Weizsäcker).

[102] Ewald takes a different view, that even during the lifetime of Jesus Ἰούδας Ἰακώβου had taken the place of the Thaddaeus (Lebbaeus), who had probably been cut off by death. See his Gesch. Chr. p. 323. In this way, indeed, the narrative of Luke in the passage before us, where the choice of the Twelve is related, would be incorrect. That hypothesis would only be capable of reconciliation with Acts 1:13. According to Schleiermacher also, L. J. p. 369, the persons of the apostolic band were not always the same, and the different catalogues belong to different periods. But when the evangelists wrote, the Twelve were too well known in Christendom, nay, too world-historical, to have allowed the enumeration of different individual members.

[103] Comp. Nonnus, Paraphrase of John 14:22 : Ἰσύδας υἱὸς Ἰακώβοιο.Luke 6:14. Σίμωνα: here follows the list much the same as in Mt. and Mk. Lk., though he has already called Simon, Peter (Luke 5:8), here mentions that Jesus gave him the name. In the third group of four Judas Jacobi takes the place of Thaddaeus in Mk. and Lebbaeus in Mt. and Simon the Kananite is called Simon the Zealot. Of Judas Iscariot it is noted that he became a traitor, “turned traitor” (Field, Ot. Nor.).—προδότης has no article, and therefore should not be rendered the traitor as in A. V[62] and R. V[63] When the verb is used it is always παραδιδόναι.

[62] Authorised Version.

[63] Revised Version.14. Simon] Lists of the twelve Apostles are given in four passages of Scripture in the following order:

Matthew 10:2-4  Mark 3:16-19  Luke 6:14-16  Acts 1:13Simon  Simon  Simon  Peter

Andrew  James  Andrew  James

James  John  James  John

John  Andrew  John  Andrew

Philip  Philip  Philip  Philip

Bartholomew  Bartholomew  Bartholomew  Thomas

Thomas  Matthew  Matthew  Bartholomew

Matthew  Thomas  Thomas  Matthew

James of Alphaeus  James of Alphaeus  James of Alphaeus  James of Alphaeus


Lebbaeus  Thaddaeus  Simon Zelotes  Simon Zelotes

Simon the Ka-  Simon the Ka-  Jude of James  Jude of James

nanite  nanite    

Judas Iscariot  Judas Iscariot  Judas Iscariot  Judas Iscariot

In reading these four independent lists several facts are remarkable.

i. Each list falls into three tetrads, and the last two tetrads are arranged in slightly varying pairs. “The Apostolic College was formed of three concentric circles—each less closely intimate with Jesus than the last.” Godet.

ii. In each tetrad the names refer to the same persons though the order is different.

iii. In each list the first of each tetrad is the same—viz. Simon, Philip, and James son of Alphaeus; not as ‘supreme among inferior, but as first among equals.’

iv. In each list Simon stands first; and Judas Iscariot last, as the ‘son of perdition.’

v. Not only do the Apostles seem to be named in the order of their eminence and nearness to Christ, but the first four seem to stand alone (in the Acts the first four are separated by “and;” the rest are ranged in pairs). The first four were the eklekton eklektoteroi—the chosen of the chosen; the ecclesiola in ecclesia. Andrew, who is named last in St Mark and the Acts, though belonging to the inmost band of Apostles (Mark 13:3) and though the earliest of them all (John 1:40), was yet less highly honoured than the other three (who are the θεολογικώτατοι at the healing of Jairus’s daughter, Mark 5:37; at the Transfiguration, Matthew 17:1; and in Gethsemane, Matthew 26:37). He seems to have been a link of communication between the first and second tetrads (John 12:22; John 6:8).

vi. The first five Apostles were of Bethsaida; and all the others seem to have been Galilaeans with the single exception of Judas Iscariot, who belonged to a Jewish town (see Luke 6:16). The only Greek names are those of Philip and Andrew (see John 12:21-22). At this time however many Jews bore Greek names.

vii. In the second tetrad it may be regarded as certain that Bartholomew (the son of Tolmai) is the disciple whom St John calls Nathanael. He may possibly have been Philip’s brother. St Matthew puts his own name last, and adds the title of reproach the tax-gatherer. In the two other Evangelists he precedes St Thomas. The name Thomas merely means ‘a twin’ (Didymus), and one tradition says that he was a twin-brother of Matthew, and that his name too was Jude (Euseb. H. E. i. 13).

viii. In the third tetrad we find one Apostle with three names. His real name was Jude, but as there was already one Jude among the Apostles, and as it was the commonest of Jewish names, and as there was also a Jude who was one of the ‘brethren of the Lord,’ he seems to have two surnames—Lebbaeus, from lebh, ‘heart,’ and Thaddaeus (another form of Theudas, Acts 5:36), from Thad, ‘bosom’—possibly, as some have conjectured, from the warmth and tenderness of his disposition. (Very few follow Clemens of Alexandria and Ewald in trying to identify Lebbaeus and Levi.) This disciple is called by St Luke (viz. here and in Acts i 13) “Jude of James,” or “James’s Jude,” and the English Version supplies the word “brother” (see Winer, p. 238). There is however no more decisive reason to supply “brother” (which is at any rate a very unusual ellipse) than in the former verse, where James is called “James of Alphaeus” (Chalpai, Klôpa, John 19:25, perhaps also Kleopas (Luke 24:18), since Jews often Graecised the form of their names). The word ‘brother,’ where needed, is expressed, as in Luke 6:14. This three-named disciple was probably a son of James (compare Nonnus John 14:22 Ἰουδὰς υἱὸς Ἰακώβοιο), and therefore a grandson of Alphaeus, and a nephew of Matthew and Thomas. James the son of Alphaeus is sometimes called “the Less;” but this seems to be a mistaken rendering of ὁ μικρὸς (Mark 15:40), which means ‘the short of stature.’ The other James is never called ‘the Great.’

ix. Simon Zelotes is called by St Matthew ‘the Kananite’ (ὁ Κανανίτης), or according to the better readings ‘the Kananean.’ The word does not mean “Canaanite,” as our Version incorrectly gives it, nor yet ‘inhabitant of Kana in Galilee,’ but means the same thing as ‘the Zealot,’ from Kineáh, ‘zeal.’ He had therefore once belonged to the sect of terrible fanatics—the Carbonari of Palestine—who thought any deed of violence justifiable for the recovery of national freedom. He may have been one of the wild followers of Judas the Gaulonite. (Jos. B. J. IV. 3, § 9, and passim.) The name ‘Zealot’ was derived from 1Ma 2:50, where the dying Mattathias, father of Judas Maccabaeus, says to the Assidaeans (Chasidim, i.e. ‘all such as were voluntarily devoted to the law’) “Be ye zealous for the Law, and give your lives for the covenant of your fathers” (comp. 2Ma 4:2). It shews our Lord’s divine wisdom and fearless universality of love that He should choose for Apostles two persons who had once been at such deadly opposition as a tax-gatherer and a zealot.

x. For “Judas Iscariot who also betrayed him” St Luke uses the milder description, ὃς ἐγένετο προδότης, ‘who became a traitor.’ The name Iscariot has nothing to do with askara, ‘strangulation,’ or sheker, ‘lie,’ but is in all probability Eesh Kerioth, ‘man of Kerioth,’ just as Istôbos stands in Josephus (Antt. VII. 6, § 1) for ‘man of Tôb.’ Kerioth (Joshua 15:25) is perhaps Kuryetein, ten miles from Hebron, in the southern border of Judah. If the reading “Iscariot” is right in John 6:71; John 13:26 (א, B, C, G, L), as applied also to Simon Zelotes, then, since Judas is called “son of Simon” (John 6:71), the last pair of Apostles were father and son. If Judas Iscariot had ever shared the wild Messianic patriotism of his father it would partly account for the recoil of disgust and disappointment which helped to ruin his earthly mind when he saw that he had staked all in the cause of one who was rejected and despised. Yet even Judas was a witness, and a very important one, to the perfect innocence of his Lord (Matthew 27:4).

xi. It is a deeply interesting fact, if it be a fact (and although it cannot be made out with certainty because it depends on data which are conjectural, and on tradition which is liable to error—it is still far from improbable) that so many of the Apostles were related to each other. Simon and Andrew were brothers; James and John were brothers, and, if Salome was a sister of the Virgin (comp. Mark 15:40; John 19:25), they were first cousins of our Lord; Philip and Bartholomew may have been brothers; Thomas, Matthew, and James were perhaps brothers and first cousins of our Lord; Lebbaeus, or ‘Jude of James,’ was His second cousin; Simon Zelotes and Judas Iscariot were father and son. Thus no less than half of the Apostles would have been actually related to our Lord, although His brethren did not believe on Him (John 7:5). The difficulty however of being sure of these combinations rises in part from the paucity of Jewish names, and therefore the extreme commonness of Simon, Jude, James, &c.

xii. The separate incidents in which individual Apostles are mentioned are as follows:

Peter: Prominent throughout; Luke 12:41, Luke 22:31; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 17:24; Matthew 19:27, &c.

James and John, Both prominent throughout. Boanerges; calling down fire; petition for precedence, &c.

James was the first Apostolic martyr; John the last survivor (Acts 12:2; John 21:22).

Andrew: the first disciple, John 1:40; with Jesus on Olivet, Mark 13:3.

Philip: “Follow me,” John 1:43; his frankness, John 6:7; the Greeks, John 12:22; “shew us the Father,” John 14:8.

Bartholomew: “an Israelite indeed,” John 1:47; of Cana, John 21:2.

Matthew: his call, Luke 5:27-28.

Thomas: despondent yet faithful, John 11:16; John 14:5; John 20:25; John 21:2.

James son of Alphaeus: no incident.

Jude son of James: his perplexed question, John 14:22.

Simon Zelotes: no incident.

Judas Iscariot: the betrayal and ultimate suicide.Verse 14. - Simon, (whom he also named Peter). The Master had already, reading as he did the future, bestowed upon this often erring, but noble and devoted servant. the surname, Cephas, literally, a "mass of rock." And Andrew. One of the first believers, and reckoned among the four whose office placed them in closest relation to their Master, and yet for some - to us - unexplained reason, Andrew did not occupy that position of intimacy shared by Peter, James, and John. He was apparently the intimate friend and associate of Philip, the first of the second "four." James and John. Well-known and honoured names in the records of the first days. Mark adds a vivid detail which throws much light on the character and fortunes of the brothers; he calls them Boanerges, "sons of thunder." The burning enthusiasm of James no doubt led to his receiving the first martyr-crown allotted to "the glorious company of the apostles," while the same fiery zeal in the loved apostle colours the Apocalypse. Philip. John 6:5 may be quoted to show that the Lord was on terms of peculiar friendship with this first of the second four. Bartholomew; Bar-Tolmai: son of Tolmai, He therefore must have been known also by some other name. In St. John's Gospel Bartholomew is never mentioned, but Nathanael, whose name appears in the Fourth Gospel among the apostles, and who is not alluded to in the memoirs of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, evidently represents the same person. The real name of the son of Tolmai, then, would appear to have been Nathanael. On the order of the names, see on Mark 3:17.


See on Mark 3:18.

James and John

See on Mark 3:17.

Philip and Bartholomew

See on Mark 3:18.

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