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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.'
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 is closely based on the "limited commission" mission in Mark , which however recounts the sending out of the twelve apostles, rather than seventy, though with similar details. The parallels (also Matthew , , ) suggest a common origin in the hypothesized Q document. Luke also mentions the Great Commission to "all nations" but in less detail than Matthew's account and Mark 16:19-20 mentions the Dispersion of the Apostles.
What has been said to the seventy (two) in is referred in passing to the Twelve in :
He said to them, "When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?" "No, nothing," they replied.
Erastus, Olympus, Rhodion, Sosipater, Quartus and Tertius
Stachys, Amplias, Urban
Patrobulus, Hermas, Linus, Caius, Philologus
Sosthenes, Apollo, Cephas, Tychicus, Epaphroditus, Cæsar and Onesiphorus
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:
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.
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[who?]canon. Their names are listed below:
Another Judah, who is mentioned in the Acts (of the apostles);
Judah, who is called Simon;
Eurion (Orion) the splay-footed;
A more concise and acknowledged[who?] list is below:
Archaicus. Reference to in
Agabus. Reference to in ;
Amplias, appointed by St. Andrew as bishop of Lydda of Odyssopolis (Diospolis) in Judea. He died a martyr. Reference to in .
Ananias, who baptized St. Paul. He was the bishop of Damascus. He became a martyr by being stoned in Eleutheropolis. Reference to in ;
Andronicus, bishop of Pannonia. Reference to in
Apelles, bishop of Heraclea (in Trachis). Reference to in
Apollos. He was a bishop of several places over time: Crete (though this is questioned), Corinth, Smyrna, and Caesarea. Reference to in ; ; ; ; ; ,
Aquila. He was martyred. Reference to in , , ; ; ;
Archippus. Reference to in ;
Aristarchus, bishop of Apamea in Syria. He was martyred under Nero. "Aristarchus, whom Paul mentions several times, calling him a 'fellow laborer,' became bishop of Apamea in Syria." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in ; ; ; ;
Aristobulus, bishop of Britain. "... the brother of the apostle Barnabas, preached the gospel in Great Britain and died peacefully there." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in
Artemas, bishop of Lystra in Lycia. Reference to in Titus 3:12
Barnabas. "A Jew of the Tribe of Levi, was born in Cyprus of wealthy parents. He is said to have studied under Gamaliel with Saul of Tarsus, who was to become Paul the apostle. Originally named Joseph, he was called Barnabas (Son of Consolation) by the apostles because he had a rare gift of comforting people's hearts. He sought out Paul when everyone else was afraid of him, bringing him to the apostles. It was Barnabas whom the apostles first sent to Antioch with Paul. Their long association was broken only when Barnabas was determined to take his cousin Mark, whom Paul did not trust just then, on a missionary journey. The three were later reconciled. Many ancient accounts say Barnabas was the first to preach in Rome and in Milan, but he was martyred in Cyprus, then buried by Mark at the western gate of the city of Salamis." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in ; ; ; ; ;
Jason, bishop of Tarsus. Traveling with Sosipater to Corfu, the two were able, after an attempt made at their lives by the king of Corfu, to convert his majesty. Reference to in
Justus, brother to the Lord and bishop of Eleutheropolis. He was the half-brother of Christ (as was Sts. James, Jude, and Simon) through Joseph's previous marriage to Salome. He died a martyr. Reference to in ; ;
Linus, bishop of Rome. Reference to in 2 Timothy 4:21
Mark the Evangelist (called John). He wrote the Gospel of Mark. He also founded the Church of Alexandria, serving as its first bishop. Reference to in , ; ; ; ; ;
Narcissus, ordained by the Apostle Philip as bishop of Athens, Greece. Reference to in
Nicanor, one of the original seven deacons. He was martyred on the same day as the Promartyr Stephen. Reference to in
Olympas, beheaded with St. Peter under Nero. Reference to in
Onesimus. Onesimus preached the Gospel in many cities. He was made bishop of Ephesus, and later bishop of Byzantium (Constantinople). He was martyred under the Emperor Trajan. Reference to in ;
Onesiphorus, bishop of Colophon (Asia Minor), and later of Corinth. He died a martyr in Parium. Reference to in 2 Timothy 1:16; 4:19
Parmenas, one of the original seven deacons. He preached throughout Asia Minor, and later settled in Macedonia. He was a bishop of Soli. He died a martyr in Macedonia. Reference to in
Patrobus, bishop of Neapolis (Naples). Reference to in
Philemon. He, with his wife Apphia, and the apostle Archippus, were martyred by pagans during a pagan feast. Reference to in Philemon 1
Philip the Deacon (one of the original seven). He was born in Palestine, and later preached throughout its adjoining lands. In Acts, he converts a eunuch (an official) of Candace, queen of Ethiopia, to Christ. He was later made bishop by the apostles at Jerusalem, who also sent him to Asia Minor. Reference to in ; ;
Philologus, ordained bishop of Sinope (near the Black sea) by the Apostle Andrew. Reference to in
Phlegon, bishop of Marathon, in Thrace. Reference to in
Prochorus, one of the original seven deacons. He was made bishop of Nicomedia by St. Peter. He was later banished with the Apostle John (John the Theologian) to the Island of Patmos. In Antioch, he died a martyr. Reference to in
Pudens (Pastorum). He was an esteemed member of the Roman Senate, then received Sts. Peter and Paul into his home, and was converted to Christ by them. He was martyred under Nero. Reference to in
Quadratus, bishop of Athens. He was author of the Apologia. He was stoned, but survived. Soon-after, he died of starvation in prison.
Rufus, bishop of Thebes, Greece. Reference to in ;
Silas (Silvanus), bishop of Corinth. Reference to in ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Simeon, son of Cleopas. "Simeon, son of Cleopas (who was the brother of Joseph, the betrothed of the Virgin Mary), succeeded James as bishop of Jerusalem." Orthodox Study Bible. He was martyred through torture and crucifixion, at the age of one-hundred. Reference to in ;
Sosipater, ordained bishop of Iconium by the Apostle Paul, his relative. With St. Jason, he converted the king of Corfu. Reference to in
Sosthenes. "... became bishop of Caesarea." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in
Stachys, ordained by St. Andrew to be bishop of Byzantium. Reference to in
Tertius, bishop of Iconium (after Sosipater). He wrote down St. Paul's letter to the Romans. He died a martyr. Reference to in
Thaddaeus. He was baptized by John the Baptist (John the Forerunner). He later preached, and founded a Church in Beirut. Reference to in ;
Timon, one of the original seven deacons, and later bishop of Bostra (in Arabia). He was thrown into a furnace, but emerged unharmed. Reference to in
Timothy. He accompanied St. Paul often, and both 1 and 2 Timothy are addressed to him. He was ordained bishop of Ephesus by St. Paul. He died a martyr. Reference to in ; , ; ; ; ; ; 1 and 2 Timothy
Titus. "Among the more prominent of the seventy was the apostle Titus, whom Paul called his brother and his son. Born in Crete, Titus was educated in Greek philosophy, but after reading the prophet Isaiah he began to doubt the value of all he had been taught. Hearing the news of the coming of Jesus Christ, he joined some others from Crete who were going to Jerusalem to see for themselves. After hearing Jesus speak and seeing His works, the young Titus joined those who followed Him. Baptized by the apostle Paul, he worked with and served the great apostle of the gentiles, traveling with him until Paul sent him to Crete, making him bishop of that city. It is said that Titus was in Rome at the time of the beheading of St. Paul and that he buried the body of his spiritual father before returning home. Back in Crete, he converted and baptized many people, governing the Church on that island until he entered into rest at the age of ninety-four." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in ; ; ; ; ; Epistle to Titus
Trophimus, disciple of St. Paul, and martyred under Nero. Reference to in ; ;
Tychicus. "... succeeded him (Sosthenes, as bishop) in that city (of Caesarea)." Orthodox Study Bible. He delivered St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians and Colossians. Reference to in ; ; ; ;
Zenas (called 'the lawyer'), bishop of Diospolis (Lydda), in Palestine. Reference to in Titus 3:13
Alphaeus, father of the apostles James and Matthew.
Apphia, wife of the Apostle Philemon. The Church had gathered in her home for liturgy, while pagans who had been celebrating a pagan feast broke in and raided her home. They took Apphia, Philemon, and Archippus to be killed. She suffered martyrdom, and is commemorated by the Church on February 19.
Junia, accompanied Andronicus in preaching all over Pannonia. She was a relative to the Apostle Paul, and a martyr.
^Catholic Encyclopedia: Disciple: "The disciples, in this disciples, in this context, are not the crowds of believers who flocked around Christ, but a smaller body of His followers. They are commonly identified with the seventy-two (seventy, according to the received Greek text, although several Greek manuscripts mention seventy-two, as does the Vulgate) referred to as having been chosen by Jesus. The names of these disciples are given in several lists (Chronicon Paschale, and Pseudo-Dorotheus in Migne, P.G., XCII, 521-524; 543-545; 1061-1065); but these lists are unfortunately worthless."