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Where Traditions about Jesus’s Apostles Came From

A Bible and Beyond Discussion

Monday, July 24, 2023
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Presenter: Dr. Shirley Paulson
with guest scholar Dr. Tony Burke

Where Traditions about Jesus’s Apostles Came From

Monday, July 24, 2023
Presenter: Dr. Tony Burke
with host Dr. Shirley Paulson

Dr. Tony Burke explains in his recent blog post, “Apostolic Lists as Sources for, and Transmitters of, Apocryphal Traditions about the Apostles” that “the urge to list apostles has its origins in the New Testament, with the call of the Twelve in the Synoptic Gospels.” But there are discrepancies between the lists. Burke claims that little scholarship attention has been given to the the multitude and variety of lists of apostles and disciples that are available. But these ancient lists are valuable because they are intertwined with the exploits of the apostles documented in a wide assortment of apostolic acts from the second to sixth centuries. The lists themselves offer a rich counterpart to the better-known acts and give more details that will help fill in many gaps in our understanding of the lives of the followers of Jesus. In this Bible and Beyond Discussion, Dr. Burke discusses his own research and what he has learned from the lists he studied. He shows us not only some of the more surprising lists but also the nature of the relationships between the variety of lists and the activities reported of the apostles in the apocryphal acts.

Texts used in this discussion:

Mark 3:13–19
Acts 1:13