Click to donate today!
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
DISCIPLES . In the ancient world every teacher had his company of disciples or learners. The Greek philosophers and the Jewish Rabbis had theirs, and John the Baptist had his ( Mark 2:18 ‘the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees’; cf. John 1:35 , Matthew 14:12 ). In like manner Jesus had His disciples. The term had two applications, a wider and a narrower. It denoted (1) all who believed in Him, though they remained where He had found them, pursuing their former avocations, yet rendering no small service to His cause by confessing their allegiance and testifying to His grace (cf. Luke 6:13; Luke 19:37 , John 4:1; John 6:60; John 6:66-67 ). (2) The inner circle of the Twelve, whom He called ‘Apostles,’ and whom He required to forsake their old lives and follow Him whithersoever He went, not merely that they might strengthen Him by their sympathy (cf. Luke 22:28 ), but that they might aid Him in His ministry ( Matthew 9:37; Matthew 10:1; Matthew 10:5 ), and, above all, that they might be trained by dally intercourse and discipline to carry forward the work after He was gone. These were ‘the disciples’ par excellence ( Matthew 10:1; Matthew 12:1; Matthew 12:49; Matthew 15:23; Matthew 15:32 , Mark 8:27 , Luke 8:9 , John 11:7; John 12:4; John 16:17; John 16:29 ). See also Apostles.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Disciples'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/d/disciples.html. 1909.