What Are the Names of Jesus’ 12 Followers?

Jesus had 12 men who were his closest followers while he was on Earth. Jesus’ followers, who were sometimes called apostles, came from many different places. Three of the gospels in the New Testament of the Bible tell how each disciple came to know Jesus.

These are the 12 people who followed Jesus:


Simon the Righteous

Simon Peter



Alpheus’s son James

James, Son of Zebedee





Judas Iscariot

Who Did Jesus Choose to Follow Him?

During the time of Jesus, students often went to teachers and rabbis to ask them to teach them something. Students would ask a rabbi if they could follow them to learn more about the religion. Jesus went against the norm. He didn’t wait for his followers to come to him. Instead, he went to his followers and asked them to follow him.

The 12 men who ended up following Jesus had nothing to do with the Jewish establishment or the religion. Instead, they worked as farmers, fisherman, and tax collectors.

What Did the Followers of Jesus Do?

While Jesus was still alive, his disciples followed him and saw many of the miracles he did. After Jesus died, it was up to his followers to start the Christian Church and keep doing what he had been doing. Some of the disciples wrote the books of the New Testament. They told the story of Jesus and wrote down the early Church’s history.

Many of Jesus’ followers went to other places to spread the word about Jesus and build churches. Several people were killed for what they thought.

The traitor Judas Iscariot and the Man Who Replaced Him

Since he was the one who betrayed Jesus, Judas Iscariot might be one of the most well-known of the 12 disciples. Aside from the fact that he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, not much else is known about Judas Iscariot. After being betrayed, it is also known that he killed himself by hanging himself.

Matthias took the place of Judas after he had betrayed Jesus and died. Matthias was a follower, but he didn’t follow Jesus while he was alive. He was chosen by the other 11 disciples by drawing lots.


Peter was one of the first people to follow Jesus. His brother Andrew was also one of the first. Peter and Andrew were trying to catch fish when Jesus found them. Peter is also called Simon, and sometimes people call him Simon Peter.

Peter was one of the first people to follow Jesus and was known for how much he cared about him. He is also known for denying Jesus three times right before he died.


Most of what we know about Thomas comes from the gospel of John. Thomas was the most sceptical of the 12 disciples, so he got the nickname “Doubting Thomas.” When the others told Thomas that Jesus had come back to life, Thomas is thought to have said he wouldn’t believe it until he saw Jesus for himself and saw the spear wound in his side.


Matthew is also known as Levi, and the gospel of Matthew in the New Testament is thought to have been written by him. The most important thing to know about Matthew is that he was a tax collector, a job that Jewish people did not respect. Matthew is also thought to have been one of the first people to write about Jesus.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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