The seventy disciples or seventy-two disciples (known in the Eastern Christian traditions as the Seventy[-two] Apostles) were early emissaries of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. According to Luke, the only gospel in which they appear, Jesus appointed them and sent them out in pairs on a specific mission which is detailed in the text.
In Western Christianity, they are usually referred to as disciples, whereas in Eastern Christianity they are usually referred to as Apostles. Using the original Greek words, both titles are descriptive, as an apostle is one sent on a mission (the Greek uses the verb form: apesteilen) whereas a disciple is a student, but the two traditions differ on the scope of the words apostle and disciple.
And after these things, the Lord did appoint also other seventy, and sent them by twos before his face, to every city and place whither he himself was about to come, then said he unto them, 'The harvest indeed [is] abundant, but the workmen few; beseech ye then the Lord of the harvest, that He may put forth workmen to His harvest.
'Go away; lo, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves; carry no bag, no scrip, nor sandals; and salute no one on the way; and into whatever house ye do enter, first say, Peace to this house; and if indeed there may be there the son of peace, rest on it shall your peace; and if not so, upon you it shall turn back. 'And in that house remain, eating and drinking the things they have, for worthy [is] the workman of his hire; go not from house to house, and into whatever city ye enter, and they may receive you, eat the things set before you, and heal the ailing in it, and say to them, The reign of God hath come nigh to you.
'And into whatever city ye do enter, and they may not receive you, having gone forth to its broad places, say, And the dust that hath cleaved to us, from your city, we do wipe off against you, but this know ye, that the reign of God hath come nigh to you; and I say to you, that for Sodom in that day it shall be more tolerable than for that city. 'Wo to thee, Chorazin; wo to thee, Bethsaida; for if in Tyre and Sidon had been done the mighty works that were done in you, long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes, they had reformed; but for Tyre and Sidon it shall be more tolerable in the judgment than for you. 'And thou, Capernaum, which unto the heaven wast exalted, unto hades thou shalt be brought down. 'He who is hearing you, doth hear me; and he who is putting you away, doth put me away; and he who is putting me away, doth put away Him who sent me.'
And the seventy turned back with joy, saying, 'Sir, and the demons are being subjected to us in thy name;' and he said to them, 'I was beholding the Adversary, as lightning from the heaven having fallen; lo, I give to you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and on all the power of the enemy, and nothing by any means shall hurt you; but, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subjected to you, but rejoice rather that your names were written in the heavens.'
This is the only mention of the group in the Bible. The number is seventy in some manuscripts of the Alexandrian (such as Codex Sinaiticus) and Caesarean text traditions but seventy-two in most other Alexandrian and Western texts. It may derive from the seventy nations of Genesis 10 or the many other occurrences of the number seventy in the Bible, or the seventy-two translators of the Septuagint from the Letter of Aristeas. In translating the Vulgate, Jerome selected the reading of seventy-two.
The Gospel of Luke is not alone among the synoptic gospels in containing multiple episodes in which Jesus sends out his followers on missions. The first occasion (Luke 9:1–6) is closely based on the "limited commission" mission in Mark Mark 6:6–13, which however recounts the sending out of the twelve apostles, rather than seventy, though with similar details. The parallels (also Matthew Matthew 9:35, Matthew 10:1, Matthew 10:5–42) suggest a common origin in the hypothesized Q document. Luke also mentions the Great Commission to "all nations" (Luke 24:44–49) but in less detail than Matthew's account and Mark 16:19–20 mentions the Dispersion of the Apostles.
The feast day commemorating the seventy is known as the "Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles" in Eastern Orthodoxy, and is celebrated on January 4. Each of the seventy apostles also has individual commemorations scattered throughout the liturgical year (see Eastern Orthodox Church calendar).
Hippolytus of Rome was a disciple of Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of Apostle John. Hippolytus's works were considered lost prior to their discovery at a monastery on Mount Athos in 1854. While his major work The Refutation of All Heresies was readily accepted (once the false attribution to Origen was resolved), his two small works, On the Twelve Apostles of Christ and On the Seventy Apostles of Christ, are still regarded as dubious, put in the appendix of his works in the voluminous collection of the writings of early church fathers. Here is the complete text of Pseudo-Hippolytus's On the Seventy Apostles of Christ:
- James the Lord's brother, bishop of Jerusalem.
- Cleopas, bishop of Jerusalem.
- Matthias, who supplied the vacant place in the number of the twelve apostles.
- Thaddeus, who conveyed the epistle to Augarus (Abgar V).
- Ananias, who baptized Paul, and was bishop of Damascus.
- Stephen, the first martyr.
- Philip, who baptized the eunuch.
- Prochorus, bishop of Nicomedia, who also was the first that departed, 11 believing together with his daughters.
- Nicanor died when Stephen was martyred.
- Timon, bishop of Bostra.
- Parmenas, bishop of Soli.[a]
- Nicolaus, bishop of Samaria.
- Barnabas, bishop of Milan.
- Mark the Evangelist, bishop of Alexandria.
- Luke the Evangelist.
These two belonged to the seventy disciples who were scattered by the offence of the word which Christ spoke, “Except a man eat my flesh, and drink my blood, he is not worthy of me.” But the one being induced to return to the Lord by Peter’s instrumentality, and the other by Paul’s, they were honored to preach that Gospel on account of which they also suffered martyrdom, the one being burned, and the other being crucified on an olive tree.
- Silas, bishop of Corinth.
- Silvanus, bishop of Thessalonica.
- Crisces (Crescens), bishop of Carchedon in Gaul.
- Epænetus, bishop of Carthage.
- Andronicus, bishop of Pannonia.
- Amplias, bishop of Odyssus.
- Urban, bishop of Macedonia.
- Stachys, bishop of Byzantium.
- Barnabas, bishop of Heraclea
- Phygellus, bishop of Ephesus. He was of the party also of Simon.
- Hermogenes. He, too, was of the same mind with the former.
- Demas, who also became a priest of idols.
- Apelles, bishop of Smyrna.
- Aristobulus, bishop of Britain.
- Narcissus, bishop of Athens.
- Herodion, bishop of Tarsus.
- Agabus the prophet.
- Rufus, bishop of Thebes.
- Asyncritus, bishop of Hyrcania.
- Phlegon, bishop of Marathon.
- Hermes, bishop of Dalmatia.
- Patrobulus, bishop of Puteoli.
- Hermas, bishop of Philippi.
- Linus, bishop of Rome.
- Caius, bishop of Ephesus.
- Philologus, bishop of Sinope
- and 43. Olympus and Rhodion were martyred in Rome.
- Lucius, bishop of Laodicea in Syria.
- Jason, bishop of Tarsus.
- Sosipater, bishop of Iconium
- Tertius, bishop of Iconium.
- Erastus, bishop of Panellas.
- Quartus, bishop of Berytus.
- Apollos, bishop of Cæsarea.
- Sosthenes, bishop of Colophonia.
- Tychicus, bishop of Colophonia.
- Epaphroditus, bishop of Andriace.
- Cæsar, bishop of Dyrrachium.
- Mark, cousin to Barnabas, bishop of Apollonia.
- Justus, bishop of Eleutheropolis.
- Artemas, bishop of Lystra.
- Clement, bishop of Sardinia.
- Onesiphorus, bishop of Corone.
- Tychicus, bishop of Chalcedon.
- Carpus, bishop of Berytus in Thrace.
- Evodus, bishop of Antioch.
- Aristarchus, bishop of Apamea.
- Mark, who is also John, bishop of Bibloupolis.
- Zenas, bishop of Diospolis.
- Philemon, bishop of Gaza.
- Trophimus, who was martyred along with Paul.
Many of the names included among the seventy are recognizable for their other achievements. The names included in various lists differ slightly. In the lists, Luke is also one of these seventy himself. The following list gives a widely accepted canon. Their names are listed below:
Also, some lists name a few different disciples than the ones listed above. Other names commonly included are:
These are usually included at the expense of the aforementioned Timothy, Titus, Archippus, Crescens, Olympas, Epaphroditus, Quadratus, Aquila, Fortunatus, and/or Achaicus.
A more concise and acknowledged list is below:
Agabus (Greek: Ἄγαβος) was an early follower of Christianity mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as a prophet. He is traditionally remembered as one of the Seventy Disciples described in Luke 10:1-24.Ananias of Damascus
Ananias ( AN-ə-NY-əs; Ancient Greek: Ἀνανίας, same as Hebrew חנניה, Hananiah, "favoured of the LORD") was a disciple of Jesus at Damascus mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, which describes how he was sent by Jesus to restore the sight of "Saul, of Tarsus" (known later as Paul the Apostle) and provide him with additional instruction in the way of the Lord.Archippus
Archippus (; Ancient Greek: Ἅρχιππος, "master of the horse") was an early Christian believer mentioned briefly in the New Testament epistles of Philemon and Colossians.Carpus of Beroea
Carpus of Beroea of the Seventy Disciples is commemorated by the Church on May 26 with Alphaeus, and on January 4 with the Seventy.
In his second Epistle to Timothy, Paul requests, "The phelonion that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books." Carpus was bishop of Beroea (or Verria) in Macedonia.Herodion of Patras
Herodion of Patras (also Herodian or Rodion; Greek: Ἡρωδίων, Ἡρωδιανός, Ῥοδίων) was a relative of Saint Paul whom Paul greets in Romans 16:11. According to tradition, he was numbered among the Seventy Disciples and became bishop of Patras, where he suffered greatly. After beating, stoning, and stabbing him, they left him for dead, but St. Herodion arose and continued to serve the Apostles.
He was beheaded with Olympas in Rome while they were serving Saint Peter on the same day that St. Peter was crucified. His feast days are celebrated on January 4 among the Seventy, April 8, and November 10.Mark the cousin of Barnabas
Mark the cousin of Barnabas is a character mentioned in the New Testament, usually identified with John Mark (and thus with Mark the Evangelist). The opinion that this Mark is a different Mark is found in the writings of Hippolytus of Rome who thought them to be separate people.Nicanor the Deacon
Nicanor (; Greek: Nικάνωρ Nikā́nōr) was one of the Seven Deacons. He was martyred in 76.Olympas
Olympas (Greek: Ὀλυμπᾶς, meaning "heavenly") was a Roman Christian whom Paul of Tarsus saluted (Romans 16:15) in around 65 AD.
Olympas is regarded in the Orthodox Church as being one of the Seventy disciples. His feast day is November 10.Onesiphorus
Onesiphorus (meaning "bringing profit" or "useful") was a Christian referred to in the New Testament letter of Second Timothy (2 Tim 1:16-18 and 2 Tim 4:19). According to the letter, supposedly sent by St. Paul, Onesiphorus sought out Paul who was imprisoned at the time in Rome.Parmenas
Parmenas was one of the Seven Deacons. He is believed to have preached the gospel in Asia Minor. Parmenas suffered martyrdom in 98, under the persecution of Trajan.Christian tradition identifies him as the Bishop of Soli. Some take this to be Soli, Cyprus, while others interpret it as Soli, Cilicia.Philemon (biblical figure)
Philemon (; Greek: Φιλήμων) was an early Christian in Asia Minor who was the recipient of a private letter from Paul of Tarsus. This letter is known as Epistle to Philemon in the New Testament. He is known as a saint by several Christian churches along with his wife Apphia. Philemon was a wealthy Christian and a minister (possibly a bishop) of the house church that met in his home.The Menaia of 22 November speak of Philemon as a holy apostle who, in company with Apphia, Archippus, and Onesimus had been martyred at Colossae during the first general persecution in the reign of Nero. In the list of the Seventy Apostles, attributed to Dorotheus of Tyre, Philemon is described as bishop of Gaza.Prochorus (deacon)
Prochorus (Latin form of the Greek: Πρόχορος (Prochoros)) was one of the Seven Deacons chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem (Acts 6:5). According to later tradition he was also one of the Seventy Disciples sent out by Jesus in Luke 10.
Tradition calls Prochorus the nephew of Stephen the Protomartyr. St Prochorus accompanied the holy Apostle Peter, who ordained him to be the bishop in the city of Nicomedia. He is also thought to have been a companion of John the Apostle, who consecrated him bishop of Nicomedia in Bithynia. He was wrongly thought to have been the author of the apocryphal Acts of John, which is dated by present scholars to the end of the 2nd century. According to the late tradition he was the bishop of Antioch and ended his life as a martyr in Antioch in the 1st century.
In Orthodox iconography he is always depicted as a scribe of John the Evangelist.Quartus
Quartus (Greek: Κούαρτος, romanized: Kouartos) was an early Christian who is mentioned in the Bible.
According to church tradition, he is known as Quartus of Berytus and is numbered among the Seventy Disciples. Furthermore, he was Bishop of Beirut and suffered for the faith. He converted many to the Christian faith. His feast day is November 10.Silas
Silas or Silvanus (; Greek: Σίλας/Σιλουανός; fl. 1st century AD) was a leading member of the Early Christian community, who accompanied Paul the Apostle on parts of his first and second missionary journeys.Silvanus of the Seventy
Silvanus is mentioned in the New Testament (Acts, various letters of Paul, and 1 Peter) as a co-writer or transcriber of some of these works. He later became Bishop of Thessalonika and died a martyr.In Eastern Orthodox tradition he is assumed to be one of the Seventy Apostles, those followers of Jesus sent out by him in Luke 10.
Silvanus is probably the same person as Silas, also mentioned in various places in the New Testament.Tertius of Iconium
According to the New Testament book of Romans, Tertius of Iconium (also Tertios) acted as an amanuensis for Paul the Apostle, writing down his Epistle. He is numbered among the Seventy Disciples in a list pseudonymously attributed Hippolytus of Rome, which is found in the margin of several ancient manuscripts.According to tradition, Tertius was Bishop in Iconium after the Apostle Sosipater and died a martyr. The Catholic Church marks St. Tertius days on October 30 and November 10.Thaddeus of Edessa
According to Eastern Christian tradition, Thaddeus of Edessa (Syriac: ܡܪܝ ܐܕܝ, Mar Addai or Mor Aday, sometimes Latinized Addeus) was one of the seventy disciples of Jesus. He is possibly identical with Thaddaeus, one of the Twelve Apostles. From an early date his hagiography is filled with legends and fabrications. The saint himself may be entirely fictitious.Tychicus
Tychicus was an Asiatic Christian who, with Trophimus, accompanied the Apostle Paul on a part of his journey from Macedonia to Jerusalem. He is also alluded to have been with Paul in Rome, where the apostle sent him to Ephesus, probably for the purpose of building up and encouraging the church there. In the New Testament, he is mentioned five times (Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; Titus 3:12; 2 Timothy 4:12).Zenas the Lawyer
Zenas the Lawyer (Ancient Greek: Ζηνᾶς) was a first-century Christian mentioned in Paul the Apostle's Epistle to Titus in the New Testament. In Titus 3:13, Paul writes: "Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them" (KJV). His name is a shortened form of "Zenodoros", meaning "gift of Zeus". By tradition, he is often counted as one of the unnamed seventy disciples sent out by Jesus into the villages of Galilee, as mentioned in Luke 10:1-24.It has been suggested that Zenas was the inaugural bishop of Lydda and the author of the Acts of Titus. Some have suggested that Zenas is also mentioned in the apocryphal Acts of Paul under the name of Zenon, the son of Onesiphorus.Zenas the Lawyer is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church (April 14), Eastern Orthodox Church (September 27 (by Julian Calendar), January 4), and other Christian Churches.
New Testament people
† Recognized as a prophet. ‡Status as a prophet is not universally recognized