THE SEVENTY DISCIPLES OF CHRIST

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For the sola-Scriptura adherents, the sacred Scripture is complete and lacks nothing. According to them, there should be no any other sources in which the truth can be gotten — but in the Bible alone. However, it seems to be that the holy Bible is silent on the identity of the seventy other disciples commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ. But the first question would be, did Christ really send disciples other than the twelve? Let the sacred Scripture answer it:

“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.'” (Luke 10:1-4)

Alright then, it has been settled that the Lord sent seventy disciples other than His twelve apostles. But the next question would be, who are they? Here the Protestants got their dilemna. The New Testament gave no names of the seventy. Yet the holy Catholic Church is not silent of their identities. The church knew them from the very start. Because the holy Catholic Church is the true church founded by Christ — the pillar and bulwark of truth.

In his On the Seventy Apostles of Christ, St. Hippolytus of Rome (170–235 AD) gave the complete list of seventy-two disciples. St. Hippolytus was a disciple of Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of Apostle John. Also, it is almost the same list, Acts of the Seventy Apostles) traditonally credited to St. Dorotheus, bishop of Tyre (ca. 255 – 362 AD).

JAMES THE JUST, the Lord’s brother, first bishop of Jerusalem

St. Paul refers to James in the Epistle to the Galatians (1:19), saying: “But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.” St. James was appointed Bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord Himself. The Jews hurled him from the pinnacle of the Temple for preaching Christ. He was injured, but not killed, when he struck the pavement below, so one of the Pharisees shattered his skull with a club, finishing him.

SYMEON BAR CLEOPAS, the younger brother of St. Joseph the Betrothed

He was a kinsman of the Lord and was selected as bishop of Jerusalem after the conquest of holy city which took place immediately after the martyrdom of James the Just (i.e. no earlier then 70 CE) which puts the account in conflict with that of Flavius Josephus who puts James death in 63 CE. According to Hegesippus, Symeon prevailed against Thebutis, whom the church fathers deemed a Judaizing heresiarch, and led most of the Christians to Pella before the outbreak of the Jewish War in 66 and the destruction of Herod’s Temple in 70. About the year 107 or 117, he was crucified under Emperor Trajan by the proconsul Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes in Jerusalem or the vicinity. He is mentioned in Acts 13:1: “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Symeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”

MATTHIAS, who supplied the vacant place in the number of the twelve apostles.

According to Nicephorus (Historia eccl., 2, 40), Matthias first preached the Gospel in Judaea, then in Aethiopia (the region of Colchis, now in modern-day Georgia) and was there stoned to death. An extant Coptic Acts of Andrew and Matthias, places his activity similarly in “the city of the cannibals” in Aethiopia. A marker placed in the ruins of the Roman fortress at Gonio (Apsaros) in the modern Georgian region of Adjara claims that Matthias is buried at that site. He was stoned at Jerusalem by the Jews, and then beheaded (cf. Tillemont, Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire ecclesiastique des six premiers siècles, I, 406–7).

THADDEUS OF EDESSA, a former disciple of John the Baptist, then of Christ.

He is not to be confused with St. Jude (Judas Thaddaeus, also known as Lebbaeus). Thaddaeus baptized Abgar, Prince of Edessa, and cleansed him of leprosy. After laboring much in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, he reposed in the Lord in the Phoenician city of Beirut.

ANANIAS, bishop of Damascus

He was the one who baptized Saint Paul. Lucian, Governor of Eleutheropolis, had him put to death by stoning outside that city.

STEPHEN THE PROTOMARTYR, one of the seven deacons

He was an early Christian convert from among the Hellenistic Jews, one of the original seven deacons ordained by the Apostles, and the first martyr of the Church. He was stoned by the Jews for preaching the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom he beheld standing in the heavens.

PHILIP THE EVANGELIST, one of the seven deacons

He was the one who baptized Simon Magus (in Samaria) and Candace’s eunuch. He became Bishop of Tralles in Asia Minor, enlightened many in the faith, and departed unto eternal life in great old age.

PROCHORUS, one of the seven deacons

He was St. John the Theologian’s companion and fellow-laborer. He became the first Bishop of Nicomedia in Bithynia and suffered martyrdom while preaching Christ in Antioch.

NICANOR, one of the seven deacons

He was with two thousand other Christians, was slain for Christ on the same day as the holy protomartyr Stephen, as related in the Acts of the Apostles, which states, “At that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem. (Acts 8:1)”

TIMON, one of the seven deacons

He became bishop of Bostra in Arabia. He suffered greatly at the hands of the Jews for preaching Christ. Cast into a fiery furnace, he emerged unharmed, then departed unto the Lord.

PARMENAS, one of the seven deacons

After preaching for many years in Asia Minor, he settled down in Macedonia. Hippolytus says that Parmenas became the bishop of Soli. He is thought to have died a martyr in Philippi, Macedonia, in the year 98 AD, during the persecution of the Christians under the Roman Emperor Trajan. Parmenas was slain before the eyes of the other apostles while preaching the gospel.

NICOLAUS, one of the seven deacon

He became bishop of Samaria; but he deviated from the true faith together with Simon.

BARNABAS, bishop of Milan

According to the fourth chapter of the Book of Acts, this saint was surnamed Barnabas by the Apostles. He is also mentioned in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians, wherein Saint Paul writes, I went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas. Laboring in the ministry of the word, he was first (with Saint Paul) to preach Christ in Rome. He became Bishop of Milan and met his end on Cyprus, his homeland, being stoned by Greeks and Jews. Saint Barnabas was buried with a copy of Saint Matthew’s Gospel which he had written with his own hand.

MARK THE EVANGELIST, bishop of Alexandria

He wrote his Gospel under the direction of Saint Peter and is mentioned by that Apostle in his First General Epistle. Peter writes, The church that is at Babylon saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son. Peter ordained Mark Bishop of Alexandria. The idolaters of that city bound him, dragged him over jagged rocks, and beat him; whereupon, the Lord appeared, summoned him to heavenly glory, and received his spirit.

LUKE THE EVANGELIST

He wrote his Gospel under the guidance of the holy Apostle Paul, who mentions him in the Epistle to the Colossians, saying, Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Saint Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. After toiling greatly in Christ’s service, Luke completed his labors in Thebes, a city of Boetia, where he was martyred.

NOTE: Mark and Luke 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

He was with St. Paul, the holy Silas preached the word of God, was flogged, and imprisoned. The Acts of the Apostles relates that Paul chose Silas and departed, confirming the churches. Silas became Bishop of Corinth and greatly labored proclaiming the gospel. After working numerous miracles, he departed to the Lord.

SILVANUS, bishop of Thessalonica

He transcribed St. Peter’s First General Epistle, as the chief Apostle states: “By Silvanus, a faithful brother, I have written to you…” (1 Peter 5:12). In his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul testifies that Silvanus assisted him in teaching the word of God (2 Corinthians 1:19). As bishop of Thessalonica, Silvanus suffered much for the faith, then departed to Christ, the Ruler of the contest.

CRISCES (Crescens), bishop of Galatia

He was mentioned by St. Paul in his Second Epistle to Timothy. “‘Crescens,’ he says, ‘I sent to preach in Galatia'” (2 Timothy 4:10). After serving as bishop in Galatia, he proclaimed Christ in Gaul and appointed his disciple Zacharias Bishop of Vienne. Returning to Galatia, he was martyred during Trajan’s reign.

EPAENETUS, bishop of Carthage

He was mentioned by St. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans, in which he writes, “Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia unto Christ” (Romans 16:5).

ANDRONICUS, bishop of Pannonia

He was eminent among the Apostles, believed in Christ before Paul.

AMPLIAS, bishop of Diaspolis (Lydia in Odessopolis)

He preached Christ in Diospolis and became bishop of that city. He was put to death in Odessos by the pagans.

URBANUS, bishop of Macedonia

He was mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, in which Paul writes, “Salute Urbanus, our helper in Christ” (Romans 16:9). Urbanus died a martyr.

STACHYS, bishop of Byzantium

He was mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, in which Paul writes, “Salute Stachys my beloved” (Romans 16:9). Stachys was appointed first bishop of Byzantium by the Apostle Andrew the First-called. His church was located in Argyropolis.

BARSABAS, bishop of Eleutheropolis

He was one of the two candidates chosen as possible replacements for the fallen Judas (the other was Matthias). Saint Paul refers to him in the Epistle to the Colossians as Jesus, which is called Justus (Colossians 4:11). The teachers of the Church say that Joses was a son of Joseph the Betrothed, like James, Simon, and Judas (not Iscariot). He died a martyr.

PHYGELLUS, bishop of Ephesus

He was a fellow-laborer with Saint Paul in Asia Minor, who deserted him during his second imprisonment at Rome (2 Timothy 1:15).

HEMOGENES, bishop of Thracian Megara

He was a fellow-laborer with Saint Paul in Asia Minor, who deserted him during his second imprisonment at Rome (2 Timothy 1:15).

DEMAS

He was mentioned by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament of the Bible, appears to have been a man involved in the ministry as a companion of Paul (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 1:24) and known for the statement in Second Timothy, that says “…for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica” (2 Timothy 4:10). He became a priest of a pagan temple at Thessalonica.

APELLES, bishop of Heraclea

St. Paul remembers Apelles as well in the Epistle to the Romans, saying, “Salute Apelles approved in Christ” (Romans 16:10).

ARISTOBULUS, bishop of Britain

He was mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, where Paul writes, “Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household” (Romans 16:10). Aristobulus served as bishop in Britain where he labored greatly and suffered martyrdom.

NARCISSUS, bishop of Athens

St. Paul remembers Narcissus as well in the Epistle to the Romans. “Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord” (Romans 16:11).

HERODIAN, bishop of Neopatras

In the Epistle to the Romans, Saint Paul writes, “Salute Herodian my kinsman” (Romans 16:11).

AGABUS THE PROPHET

He possessed the gift of prophecy. In the Acts of the Apostles 31:10, it is written: “there came down from Judea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.”

RUFUS, bishop of Thebes

He was mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans by Saint Paul, who writes, “Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord” (Romans 16:13).

ASYNCRITUS, bishop of Hyrcania

He was mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans 16:14.

PHLEGON, bishop of Marathon

He was mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans 16:14.

HERMAS, bishop of Dalmatia

St. Paul mentions Hermas, who was a bishop in Dalmatia, with the four preceding saints in this passage from his letter to the Romans: “Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, and Hermes” (Romans 16:14).

PATROBAS, bishop of Naples and Puteoli

He was referred to in the Epistle to the Romans 16:14.

HERMES, bishop of Philippopolis in Thrace

The Shepherd of Hermas is also traditionally ascribed to him.

LINUS, bishop of Rome

He was a disciple of St. Paul, succeeded Peter in the Roman See. He was mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:21.

GAIUS, bishop of Ephesus

He was Timothy’s successor as bishop of Ephesus. The following passage referring to him is found in the Epistle to the Romans: “Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you” (Romans 16:23).

PHILOLOGUS, bishop of Sinope

He was mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Romans 16:15, who says, “Salute Philologus.” This saint was appointed bishop of Sinope by the Apostle Andrew.

OLYMPAS

He was present at the holy Apostle Peter’s crucifixion and was subsequently executed with the Apostle Herodion by Nero, as Symeon Metaphrastes writes in his account for June 29, the day on which Saints Peter and Paul are commemorated. He was also mentioned in Romans 16:15.

PARROBUS OF POTTOLE, bishop of Neapolis

He was mentioned by St. Paul in his epistle to the Romans (16:14). He was martyred at Rome.

LUCIUS OF CYRENE, bishop of Laodicea in Syria

He was, according to the Book of Acts 13:1, one of the founders of the Christian Church in Antioch, then part of Roman Syria.

JASON, bishop of Tarsus

He was born in Tarsus, he was appointed bishop of Tarsus by the Apostle Paul. With the Apostle Sosipater he traveled to the island of Corfu where they built a church in honor of the Apostle Stephen the Protomartyr and converted many pagans to the Christian faith.

SOSIPATER, bishop of Iconium

He was born in Achaea and became bishop in Iconium (prior to the Apostle Tertius) by his relative the Apostle Paul. With the Apostle Jason he traveled to the island of Corfu where they built a church in honor of the Apostle Stephen the Protomartyr and converted many pagans to the Christian faith.

TERTIUS, bishop of Iconium

He transcribed the Epistle to the Romans for Saint Paul, adding this note: “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord” (Romans 16:22). Tertius was Sosipater’s successor as bishop of Iconium, where he received the crown of martyrdom.

ERASTUS, bishop of Paneas

He served as a deacon and steward of the Church at Jerusalem and later of Paneas in Palestine.

QUARTUS, bishop of Berytus

He was mentioned with Erastus by Saint Paul in the Epistle to the Romans: “Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother” (Romans 16:23).

APOLLO, bishop of Corinth

It is written in the Acts of the Apostles that a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord. Paul mentions Apollos in the First Epistle to the Corinthians (3:6), “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase, he says.”

CEPHAS, bishop of Iconium or Colophon, Pamphylia

He is the one who is mentioned by the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:5).

SOSTHENES, bishop of Colophonia

He was leader of the synagogue of Corinth after Saint Crispus. In the Acts of the Apostles it says that the Greeks took Sosthenes, chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. Sosthenes was converted by Saint Paul, who opens his First Epistle to the Corinthians with these words: “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:1). Later, Sosthenes became bishop of Colophonia.

TYCHICUS, bishop of Colophonia

He whose name appears in the Acts of the Apostles, and in Saint Paul’s letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians. In the Epistle to the Ephesians (6:21) the great Apostle writes: “That ye also may know mine affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.” Saint Paul also says in the Second Epistle to Timothy, Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. Tychicus was Sosthenes’ successor as bishop of Colophonia.

EPAPHRODITUS, bishop of Andriaca

He was mentioned in the Epistle to the Philippians (2:25) by Saint Paul, who writes, “I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, but your apostle, and he that ministered to my wants.”

CAESAR, bishop of Dyrrachium, a district of Peloponnese in Greece

He preached at Derrachium and was made bishop of that same city.

MARCUS, cousin to Barnabas, bishop of Apollonia

He and Aristarchus are mentioned by Saint Paul in the following passage from the Epistle to the Colossians (4:10): “Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas.”

ACHAICUS

He was a Corinthian Christian who, together with Fortunatus and Stephanas, carried a letter from Corinth to St. Paul and from St. Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:17).

ARTEMAS, bishop of Lystra

In the Epistle to Titus (3:12), Saint Paul writes, “I shall send Artemas unto thee.”

CLEMENT, bishop of Sardis

He is not to be confused with Clement of Rome.

ONESIPHORUS, bishop of Colophon and Cyrene

Saint Paul refers to Onesiphorus in his Second Epistle to Timothy (1:16): “The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chains.”

ARCHIPPUS, bishop of Laodicea in Phrygia

In St. Paul’s letter to Philemon (1:2), he was named once alongside Philemon and Apphia as a host of a church and fellow soldier. Also in Colossians 4:17, the church is instructed to “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, and that thou fulfill it.”

CARPUS, bishop of Berroia in Macedonia

In his Second Epistle to Timothy (4:13), Saint Paul requests, “The phelonion that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books.” Carpus was Bishop of Berroia in Macedonia.

EVODUS, bishop of Antioch

He was bishop of Antioch after the Apostle Peter. Saint Ignatius the God-bearer mentions him in his Epistle to the Antiochians, saying, “Remember the blessed Evodus, your father, who was confirmed as your first pastor by the apostles.”

ARISTARCHUS, bishop of Apamea in Syria

He was mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and in Saint Paul’s letters to the Colossians and to Philemon.

JOHN MARK, bishop of Bibloupolis

He, whose shadow, healed the sick. He accompanied St. Paul and Barnabas on their missionay journeys (Acts 12:25).

ZENAS, bishop of Diospolis

He was a teacher of the Law of Moses, was bishop of Diospolis. In his Epistle to Titus (3:13), Saint Paul writes, “Bring Zenas the lawyer diligently.”

PHILEMON, bishop of Gaza

He was a recipient of a private letter from Paul the Apostle known as the Epistle to Philemon in the New Testament.

FORTUNATUS

He was mentioned by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:17, which reads: “I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus arrived because they have supplied what was lacking from you.”

PRUDENS

In his Second Epistle to Timothy, Saint Paul conveys greetings from Pudens. A pious Roman senator, Pudens lodged the holy apostles Peter and Paul (with many other Christians) in his home. Puden’s house became known as “The Shepherd’s Church.” It is said that Saint Peter presided over divine services there.

TROPHIMUS

He was mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Second Epistle to Timothy, in which Saint Paul states that he left Trophimus at Miletum sick. Pudens, Aristarchus, and Trophimus followed Paul and witnessed his sufferings. Then, following the great Apostle’s execution, they too were beheaded by Nero in Rome.

“They were servants of God before us. May no one disbelieve it, for it is the truth.”

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