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Who Were The 12 Disciples

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Bishop Spong's most recent essays have made reference to Judas Iscariot as a possible eighth decade creation of the gospel writers, i.e., someone who did not exist prior to that time.. If this is so, who were the original twelve--or were there only 11?


(I recognize that there was another disciple called "Jude", or Judas, but he was also known as "Thaddeus", so he can't be counted twice)


Charles Day, Philadelphia

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In my opinion I don't think anybody can say with certainly just how many disciples there were and exactly who they were. I think Spong makes some very logical points about 'the 12' more about linking Jesus to the Twelve Tribes of Israel rather than a numercial fact. And with the Gospels not being written until decades and decades after Jesus' death, I don't think we can take them as gospel concerning facts like the numbers and names of disciples. The contracdictory accounts of Jusdas' death introduce doubt about accuracy also.




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