Lives of the Apostles

Kurt Dahlin June 10, 2004   

LET'S QUICKLY READ THROUGH MATTHEW 10:2-4 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. The following list agrees with Acts 1:13.

PETER, ANDREW, JAMES AND JOHN, PHILIP, BARTHOLOMEW, THOMAS AND MATTHEW, JAMES SON OF ALPHAEUS, THADDAEUS (JUDE & JUDAS) SIMON THE ZEALOT AND JUDAS ISCARIOT. JUDAS WAS REPLACED BY MATTHIAS IN ACTS 1:26.

PETER

Peter was the early leader of the Christian community. His name was originally Simon.  Jesus gave him a nickname: Cephas which means Rock.

 

Matt 16:17‑18 (NIV)

17        Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

18        And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

 

Peter is the English transliteration of the Greek word petros (NT:4074 Petros pet'-ros) which means a piece of rock or a  stone, a ledge, cliff; used metaphorically of a soul hard and unyielding, and so resembling a rock (Strong's Concordance; Thayer's Greek Lexicon). At this time in Peter’s life I’m not sure he was a rock. The name could be prophetic of what Jesus foresaw in him. Peter would become a courageous, firm, reliable and unmovable leader in the future establishment of the Church. The name in Aramaic is Cephas. Really the correct translation should be Rock and not Peter (Acts 10:32).

ROCK is normally characterized by his early mistakes and impulsiveness. Yet he became the solid rock, courageous, generous, humble and caring. He and his brother Andrew were from Bethsaida on the north shore of Galilee. He later moved to Capernaum on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. He was married and may have had children. In Matthew 8:14 we read that Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law (cf. Eusebius 3.30.1,2).

Peter went on a number of missionary journeys recorded in scripture in Jerusalem, Samaria, Lydda, Joppa, Caesarea, Antioch of Syria (about 300 miles north of Jerusalem). Yet his ministry was much more than we find in the NT. Historical records show extensive travels to Corinth, Asia Minor: Bithynia, Cappadocia and Galatia and perhaps in Babylon/Iraq (south of Baghdad) and to Rome, approximately 1800 miles from Jerusalem. According to McBirnie, Peter was in Antioch (7 yrs.) 33-40 A.D., Babylon (5 yrs.) 44-49 A.D. (McBirnie, W.S. The Search For The Twelve Apostles. Wheaton. IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1987 62).

Babylon was located on the great Roman highway as the next great city to the east of Antioch (McBirnie 63).

Christian tradition has been in agreement from the earliest times that it was actually in Rome that Peter died (McBirnie 63; cf. 1 Clement 5:24).

 
PETER’S FINAL DAYS

Perhaps we can get a realistic impression about St. Peter's final days in Rome as McBirnie quotes from The Drama of the Lost Disciples, by George F. Jowett, 176.

Maliciously condemned, Peter was cast into the horrible, fetid prison of the Mamertine. There, for nine months, in absolute darkness, he endured monstrous torture manacled to a post. Never before or since has there been a dungeon of equal horror. Historians write of it as being the most fearsome on the brutal agenda of mankind. Over three thousand years old, it is probably the oldest torture chamber extant, the oldest remaining monument of bestiality of ancient Rome, a bleak testimony to its barbaric inhumanity, steeped in Christian tragedy and the agony of thousands of its murdered victims. It can be seen to this day, with the dungeon and the pillar to which Peter was found in chains (McBirnie 65).


This dreaded place is known by two names. In classical history it is referred to as Gemonium or the Tullian Keep. In later secular history it is best known as the Mamertine (McBirnie 65).

 

The Mamertine is described as a deep cell cut out of solid rock at the foot of the capitol, consisting of two chambers, one over the other. The only entrance is through an aperture (hole) in the ceiling. The lower chamber was the death cell. Light never entered and it was never cleaned.  The awful stench and filth generated a poison fatal to the inmates of the dungeon the most awful ever known. Even as early as 50 B.C. the historian Celeste describes it in the following words:

 

In the prison called the Tullian, there is a place about ten feet deep.  It is surrounded on the sides by walls and is closed above by a vaulted roof of stone. The appearance of it from the filth, the darkness and the smell is terrible (Celeste; McBirnie 65-66).

 

No one can realize what its horrors must have been a hundred years later when Peter was imprisoned in its noisome depths. It is said that the number of Christians that perished within this diabolic cell is beyond computation -- such is the glory of Rome (McBirnie 66).

 

How Peter managed to survive those nine long, dreadful months is beyond human imagination. During his entire incarceration he was manacled in an upright position, chained to the column, unable to lay down to rest. Yet, his magnificent spirit remained undaunted. It flamed with the immortal fervour of his noble soul proclaiming the Glory of God, through his Son, Jesus Christ. History tells us the amazing fact that in spite of all the suffering Peter was subjected to, he converted his gaolers, Processus, Martinianus, and forty-seven others (McBirnie 66).

 

Peter, the Rock, as he predicted, met his death at Rome by the hands of the murderous Romans, who crucified him, according to their fiendish manner. He refused to die in the same position as our Lord, declaring he was unworthy. Peter demanded to be crucified in the reverse position, with his head hanging downward. Ironically enough, this wish was gratified by the taunting Romans in Nero's circus, 67 A.D. (McBirnie 66).

Peter could have been released from the wretched Mamertine simply by denying Christ. If Peter were an integral part of creating the Jesus myth—what sense would it make to suffer and die needlessly? Instead, we must remember the message that Peter died for. He believed that the resurrected Jesus was the only way to salvation.

Acts 4:12

12        Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. NIV

 

Peter was a witness of the resurrected Jesus as he preached everywhere.

Acts 2:32

32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. NKJV

ANDREW

Andrew was one of the first disciples of Jesus. Originally he was a follower of John the Baptist. No one questions the historicity of John the Baptist. He introduced his brother Simon Peter to Jesus. Both brothers were fisherman from Bethsaida in Galilee (Jn. 1:44; Mt. 4:18). He is the Patron Saint of Greece, Russia and Scotland.

Andrew went to work with John the Apostle in Ephesus then went on to establish churches in Byzantium and Scythia. There is an ancient Greek book which reads that Andrew went to the Foothills of Caucasus Mountains (present day Georgia in Russia) even as far as the Caspian Sea. (McBirnie doesn't say which way Andrew went after first working in Asia). He returned to Asia Minor to work around Ephesus. He finally traveled to Greece where he was crucified on a X-shaped cross in Patra (Patrae) about 69 A.D. (McBirnie 83).

After patiently bearing scourging, Andrew was tied, not nailed, to a cross that his sufferings might be prolonged. He exhorted the Christians and prayed, saluted the cross which he had long desired as the opportunity to show an honorable testimony to his master. Andrew hung upon the cross two days, exhorting all who witnessed. Some people importuned the Proconsul but Andrew besought the Lord that he might seal the truth with his blood. He died upon the last day of November though in what year no certain account may be recovered (The Lives and the Deaths of the Holy Apostles, Dorman Newman, 43-45) (McBirnie 83). 

It must be added, despite Newman, that the date of 69 A.D. is generally accepted as the year of the martyrdom of St. Andrew in Patras (McBirnie 83).

The apostles did not serve Jesus for fame and fortune. The opposite is true. They lost everything in order to gain Christ. They served Jesus by their lives and by their deaths. They did not hope to gain earthly, material prosperity from following Jesus.


JAMES, SON OF ZEBEDEE

James Zebedee:  Brother of John was also among the first disciples (Mt. 4:21,22). He was a close friend of Jesus.  He witnessed the transfiguration. Tradition says James preached in Spain before his death (cf., McBirnie "unlikely"). The Bible contains the record of James’ death in A.D. 44 by King Herod Agrippa I in Jerusalem. The following is an account of James' death from Acts
 

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the feast of unleavened bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover (Acts 12:1-4).

 
JOHN, SON OF ZEBEDE

John was a close companion and friend of Jesus. He was present at the transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ daughter and during the Gethsemane agony. John was among the first to investigate the tomb on Easter morning. 

John lived and worked in Ephesus until his death in about A.D.100.  He died of old age.  John was the last of the 12 Apostles to die. He was exiled to the island of Patmos off the coast of Ephesus during the reign of Domitian (A.D.90-96).  It was here he wrote the Book of Revelation. Nerva (A.D. 96-98) who succeeded Domitian to the throne released those unjustly expelled from their homes. So John returned and lived until the time of the Roman Emperor Trajan (98-117 A.D.)  - some 68 years after the resurrection. John was about 96 years old when he died. He passed the faith on to his disciples many of whom were later martyred during the various periods of Roman persecution. It is important to note that Ignatius, bishop of the church at Antioch and a disciple of John, was also brutally tortured and martyred.  Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, another disciple of John was burned at the stake (A.D.162).  I could imagine the apostles dying for Christ but not 2nd generation disciples without any physical attachment to Jesus. The truth of the resurrection is made known by the Holy Spirit not by physically touching Jesus. Their disciples shared their commitment.


PHILIP

Philip is a Greek name which means lover of horses. He may have been of Greek descent. He lived in the Greek speaking cities of Galilee. He was probably named after the former Greek, King Philip, who had done much to improve the city of Bethsaida. He seems to be a practical and matter of fact kind of person. At the feeding of the 5,000 he calculated how much food for the crowd would cost (Jn. 6:5-7). He questioned Jesus to show them the way to the Father and Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6). Philip traveled into southern Russia (Scythia) preaching for 20 years. He returned to Asia approximately 100 miles east of Ephesus to Hierapolis in Phrygia which is close to Laodicea and Colosse. He was put to death in Hierapolis about A.D. 60 at 87 years of age (McBirnie 127,133). According to Mrs. Anna Jamison: Sacred and Legendary Art, 249:

After the ascension, he traveled into Scythia, and remained there preaching the Gospel for twenty years; he then preached at Hierapolis in Phrygia, where he found the people addicted to the worship of a monstrous serpent or dragon, or of the god Mars under that form. Taking compassion on their blindness, the Apostle commanded the serpent, in the name of the cross he held in his hand, to disappear, and immediately the reptile glided out from beneath the altar, at the same time emitting such a hideous stench that many people died, and among them the king's son fell dead in the arms of his attendants:  but the Apostle, by the Divine power, restored him to life. Then the priests of the dragon were incensed against him, and they took him, and crucified him, and being bound on the cross they stoned him; thus he yielded up his spirit to God, praying, like his Divine Master, for his enemies and tormentors. (McBirnie 123).

McBirnie adds:

On five occasions this writer has visited the amazing remains of the Turkish city of Hierapolis, the former health resort where Philip's tomb is still to be found. A great chemically impregnated spring of lukewarm water still sparkles out of the rocks and forms an enormous crystallized falls over the side of a mountain, almost as large as Niagara. In Biblical days this was a spa, visited by sick people from all over the world of that time.  It no doubt served as a strategic mission spot from which to spread the gospel to many visitors, and thence many lands (McBirnie 124).

Eusebius records,

an epistle of Polycrates (who was bishop of the parish of Ephesus),

addressed to Victor, bishop of Rome. In this epistle he mentions him

together with the apostle Philip and his daughters in the following words:

“For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on

the last day, at the coming of the Lord, when he shall come with glory

from heaven and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one

of the twelve apostles, who sleeps in Hierapolis, and his two aged virgin

daughters, and another daughter who lived in the Holy Spirit and now

rests at Ephesus; (Eusebius 3.31.3,4).

 
BARTHOLOMEW

Bartholomew appears in the apostolic lists of Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; and Acts 1:13. In the Gospel of John we learn that Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus (John 1:45).  Most scholars believe that Bartholomew and Nathanael are the same person. Nathanael said about Jesus in Jn. 1:46, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Bartholomew’s chronology is difficult to reconstruct but the best efforts have yielded the following.

 He traveled through northern Arabia to south Armenia (Iraq and Iran) and went as far as India. Alexander the Great opened up a route to India centuries earlier having established 70 cities along the way (McBirnie 134). So travel to India was possible and this contributed to the spread of the gospel. There were many Jewish centers established throughout the world: Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Malaya, India, China, Mesopotamia, etc. (McBirnie 55).  The apostles went “to the great cities located on the trade routes. From these centers their disciples and converts then traveled out to the towns beyond to establish churches which in turn established still others” (McBirnie 22).

Eusebius, a church historian, writing about A.D. 320 reported that Bartholomew had gone as far as India and left a copy of Matthew's gospel in Aramaic with them. In the 2nd century about A.D. 180, Pantaenus, a missionary to India discovered a group of Christians who still possessed the very gospel of Matthew in Aramaic that Bartholomew carried (McBirnie 130, 134, 140). Pantaenus (c. A.D. 180) headed the school for believers in Alexandria, Egypt. Pantaenus was regarded as one of the most eminent teachers of his day. He showed warmhearted enthusiasm for the divine word and was appointed to preach the gospel of Christ to the people of the East. He traveled as far as India (Eusebius 5.10.1-2). Pantaenus discovered some valuable information about the early origin of Matthew's Gospel. Eusebius recorded that Pantaenus discovered the Gospel of Matthew while in India:

he appears to have found that Matthew's gospel had arrived before him and was in the hands of some there who had come to know Christ. Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached to them and left behind Matthew's account in the actual Aramaic characters, and it was preserved till the time of Pantaenus' mission (Eusebius 5.10.3).

In Eusebius’ account we discover that Bartholomew took a copy of Matthew's Aramaic gospel with him on his early missionary journey to India. It is safe to assume that Bartholomew did not take the only edition of Matthew’s gospel with him. Bartholomew had a copy of Matthew's gospel in Aramaic the language of Jesus and the Palestinian Jews. He left a copy in India. Was this the only copy Matthew made? However, most scholars today believe that no gospels had been written for 30 or 40 years after the resurrection of Jesus.  Yet we learn from history that Bartholomew took the complete gospel of Matthew in Aramaic with him to India about A.D. 35. We have a choice to make: we can adopt the modern view promoted by naturalists or the ancient view objectively recorded in history? I choose history, fact and common sense.

Later, Bartholomew returned to Asia Minor (Turkey) and joined Philip the Apostle in Hierapolis and worked with him there (McBirnie 131). After Philip was pierced and crucified upside down, Bartholomew fled east to Armenia, escaping death (ca. A.D. 60).  Bartholomew was believed to have ministered in Armenia between A.D. 60-68. (McBirnie 133, 199). Ancient documents report that Bartholomew was skinned alive with sharp knives and finally beheaded after winning many converts from idolatry near the west coast of the Caspian Sea in what today is called the Azerbaijan district (A.D. 68).

THOMAS

We know more about the travels of Thomas than any other apostle with the exception of John and Peter. Christians spread north, south, east and west. The apostles scattered to the ends of the earth. Land routes to India had been opened by Alexander the Great 300 years earlier. Sea routes to south India were well used in Roman times for pepper trade. Gold and silver Roman coins from the early centuries have been discovered in south India (McBirnie 149).  In 1971 Jews celebrated the anniversary of a synagogue begun in A.D. 72 along the Malabar Coast of south India. Jews fled Jerusalem during the Roman invasion of A.D.68-70. History shows that Jerusalem Jews knew of South India in the 1st century and that large group travel was safe and possible (McBirnie 150). Thomas went overland through Iran/Iraq to northern India establishing churches. Supposedly Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, Babylonians and Margians. Driven out of the north by war, he caught a ship which eventually came to southeast India in about A.D. 50.  One historical tradition states that he sold himself as a slave to the embassy of the King of India so he could preach to him. There is a church to this day in India called the Mar Thomas church which was founded by Thomas.

So many people were being converted that the Hindu priests believed this would spoil their trade and would turn the people from the religion of their country. So while Thomas was praying, they stoned him and pierced him with a lance. He died in Mylapore a suburb of Madras India (A.D. 72). There is a church commemorating his martyrdom built by the Portuguese in 1523 on a hill called Mount Saint Thomas. We visited that church in February, 1990 and again in February 2, 1999 while in India. Supposedly, the bone fragment on display at the church is Thomas’ finger and there is a portrait of Mary and baby Jesus by Luke.

MATTHEW

Matthew worked the trade route into Capernaum as a tax collector for the Romans. He was despised as a traitor by his fellow Jews for associating, even working for the pagan, idol worshiping Roman dogs. There was no legal limit on taxes imposed by the Romans -- so tax collectors would overcharge the people which only made tax collectors even more despicable. Tax collectors were considered unclean people. Matthew was a native of Capernaum, a city on the northwest shores of Galilee. Capernaum was the early headquarters of Jesus’ ministry. Matthew probably heard Jesus speaking on many occasions. He was wealthy. He owned property and threw a party for Jesus. He had rejected religion because it was not economically profitable. He turned his back on his heritage willing to become "unclean" and despised for the money he could earn. But one day the message of Jesus caught hold of his heart and he gave up everything to become a follower, then an apostle and eventually a martyr for Jesus!

Matthew was also known as Levi, son of Alphaeus. He could be a brother of James the less. He preached in Syria, Ethiopia and Persia. Perhaps the best educated of the 12, he traveled east to Persia then to Egypt where he possibly was beheaded! He wrote the gospel in Aramaic and it was translated into Greek, I would think at the same time (McBirnie 175,181). Some early writers say he died of natural causes. However, later writers state he died a martyr.

Papias (A.D. 70-155) was one of the early Christian writers known as the APOSTOLIC FATHERS. He wrote five volumes entitled Expositions of Oracles of the Lord or the Sayings of the Lord Explained. Papias was bishop of Hierapolis in Anatolia and he learned the essentials of the faith from the apostles. He is said to have been a disciple of John the Apostle and a companion of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. He was a contemporary of Philip the Apostle and his four daughters. It was an advantage to Papias that he lived so close to the time of Jesus. He had access to very early apostolic information and tradition. The following is Papias' account of the origin of Matthew's gospel:

Matthew compiled the oracles in the Aramaic language, and everyone translated them as well as he could (Eusebius 3.39.1).

Immediately upon publication Matthew’s Gospel was reproduced in Aramaic and Greek. There was no hesitation to copy Matthew’s Gospel. It did not take 30 or 40 years to write the gospel and it did not take 30 years to translate it into Greek. The multiplicity of text types are the result of the stylistic preferences of the various translators. The same is true today. We have a wide variety of versions. The gospels at this time were not treated like OT scriptures with strict rules of transmission.

Eusebius, (ca. A.D. 260-340) an early church historian, tells us that it was an established custom for academies of sacred learning to exist among believers. Pantaenus (ca. A.D. 180) headed the school for believers in Alexandria, Egypt. Pantaenus was regarded as one of the most eminent teachers of his day. He showed warmhearted enthusiasm for the divine word and was appointed to preach the gospel of Christ to the people of the East. He traveled as far as India (Eusebius 5.10.1-2). Pantaenus discovered some valuable information about the early origin of Matthew's Gospel. Eusebius recorded that Pantaenus discovered the Gospel of Matthew while in India:

he appears to have found that Matthew's gospel had arrived before him and was in the hands of some there who had come to know Christ.  Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached to them and left behind Matthew's account in the actual Aramaic characters, and it was preserved till the time of Pantaenus's mission (Eusebius 5.10.3).

Jerome (ca. A.D. 347-420), a native of Venetia, was baptized in A.D. 360. During the next decade he visited Antioch and followed a monastic lifestyle while he learned Hebrew. He became a secretary to Damasus, bishop of Rome, in A.D. 382. He went to Bethlehem and led a monastic retreat for thirty-five years. His greatest work was the Latin translation of the Bible known as the Vulgate (Cairns 144). 

In one of Jerome's many writings he says this about Pantaenus' mission to India:

he was sent to India by Demetrius bishop of Alexandria, where he found that Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, had preached the advent of the Lord Jesus according to the gospel of Matthew, and on his return to Alexandria he brought this with him written in Hebrew characters (Jerome and Gennadius, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2 370).

Jerome in his commentaries also states:

The first evangelist is Matthew, the publican, who was surnamed Levi.  He published his gospel in Judea in the Hebrew language, chiefly for the sake of Jewish believes in Christ, who adhered in vain to the shadows of the law, although the substance of the gospel had come. The second Mark, the amanuensis of the Apostle Peter, and first bishop of the Church of Alexandria. He did not see our Lord and Savior, but he related the matter of his Masters preaching with more regard to minute detail than to historical sequence (Commentaries, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2, 495)

Jerome again wrote about the authenticity of Matthew's Gospel, describing an ancient Aramaic copy still in use in a Caesarean library about A.D. 400.

Matthew, also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek though by what author is uncertain. The Hebrew itself has been preserved until the present day in the library at Caesarea which Pamphilus so diligently gathered. I have also had the opportunity of having the volume described to me by the Nazarenes of Berea, a city of Syria, who use it (Jerome and Gennadius, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 2, 362).

It is well attested from every reliable source that Matthew had written his Aramaic gospel very early. Historically, Matthew had written his gospel early enough for Bartholomew to have it when he went to Persia, Arabia and India about A.D. 35.  Matthew’s gospel was soon translated into Greek and other languages which is how we find it in surviving manuscripts. Every ancient writer specifically called the Oracles of Matthew the Aramaic gospel. No Church Father records any indication that Matthew compiled a loose collection of OT messianic sayings.

 History unanimously contradicts all modern theories about the supposed, 40 year time period between the life of Jesus and the formation of the gospels. Liberal scholars need the so-called 40 year period of oral transmission in order to propagate their stories that the apostles created/changed/imagined and mythologized the New Testament. The newest revision of history states that Matthew wrote late about A.D. 80 and used Mark’s gospel as an exemplar. However, the Mark First theory doesn't work in the face of common sense and the ordinary facts of history accessible to any inquisitive reader.

JAMES, SON OF ALPHAEUS

James the Less, son of Alphaeus was the younger brother of Matthew. This James has been confused with James the brother of Jesus in later tradition (Gal 1:19). He was stoned to death in Jerusalem by an angry mob for preaching Christ to the Jews in A.D. 62. He may also have been the first bishop of the church in Syria (McBirnie 193).

THADDAEUS\Jude\Judas

Luke listed him as Judas son of James in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13. Mark identified him as Thaddaeus (Mk 3:18). McBirnie argued that there is evidence that Thaddaeus was the son of James the Great (196). In Matt 10:3 he is called Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus
 

Thaddaeus worked in Edessa of Armenia (A.D. 43-66).  The Armenian Church claims he and Bartholomew as the founding apostles who established Christianity in that part of the world. Bartholomew joined Thaddaeus in Armenia in A.D. 60. Thaddaeus labored 23 years in Armenia and northern Persia. He may have worked with Thomas also. Thaddaeus became the first bishop of the Armenian Church. He was killed by spears and arrows in what today is Iran in a small village about 40 miles from the Soviet border near the Caspian Sea (A.D. 66). He has often been confused with Jude the brother of Jesus (McBirnie 133, 200, 206). 

SIMON THE ZEALOT

Simon the Zealot, the Canaanean was a member of the militant Nationalistic Party. Simon was called to the apostleship along with Andrew, Peter, the sons of Zebedee, Thaddaeus and Judas Iscariot at the Sea of Galilee (Mt 4:18-22). After Pentecost he left Jerusalem, traveled to Egypt, through north Africa, to Spain and north to Britain to the new Roman capital of London. He probably preached in Latin and Greek. Perhaps he spoke to Jews and Roman soldiers. McBirnie writes:

In our search for the Apostles again and again we are impressed with the relative ease of travel in the first century which was made possible by the vast network of Roman roads all over the empire from Persia to Britain (222).

 With the threat of the war, Simon fled by ship back to Palestine, then on to Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia where he was sawn in half (McBirnie 230, 231, 207). He was variously associated with Egypt, Carthage, Britain and Persia. 

JUDAS ISCARIOT

Judas Iscariot hanged himself after betraying Jesus and was replaced by Matthias. 

Matt 10:1‑4 (NIV)

1          He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

2          These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;

3          Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;

4          Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

John 6:70‑71

70        Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!"

71        (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

John 13:1‑2

1          It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

2          The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.

John 17:12

12        While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

Matt 26:23‑25

23        Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.

24        The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."
 

25        Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you."

Mark 14:10

10        Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.

Matt 26:46‑50

46        Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

47        While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.

48        Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him."

49        Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him.

50                Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for." Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

51                 

Matt 27:3‑10

3          When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.

4          "I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." "What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."

5          So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

6          The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money."

7          So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners.

8          That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

9          Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: "They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel,

10        and they used them to buy the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."
 

MATTHIAS

Perhaps one of the original 72 disciples of Jesus, since the time of John the Baptist. He was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot recorded in Acts 1:15-26.

Acts 1:15‑26 (NIV)

15        In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)

16        and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus‑‑

17        he was one of our number and shared in this ministry."

18        (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.

19        Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

20        "For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms, "'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, "'May another take his place of leadership.'

21        Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

22        beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."

23        So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.

24        Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen

25        to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs."

26        Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

Matthias also went east into Armenia with several other apostles probably working with Andrew. There were colonies of Jews in every major population center in the Middle East.  When he returned to Jerusalem the antagonism against Christianity was overwhelming. He left and continued to preach Christ until he was stoned to death in Armenia.  Nothing more is known about him from the New Testament.