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Author Topic: Age of the 12 Apostles  (Read 7803 times)

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Offline Jaime

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Age of the 12 Apostles
« on: March 23, 2011, 07:53:07 PM »
Ignoring the paintings of the Last Supper of course.

Please share scriptures that backup your opinion.

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Age of the 12 Apostles
« on: March 23, 2011, 07:53:07 PM »

Offline Apothecary 4 Christ

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 03:30:31 PM »
Ignoring the paintings of the Last Supper of course.

Please share scriptures that backup your opinion.



Not sure I have ever given it much thought.  Some guesswork must be involved, unless I just happened to sneeze and miss that verse every time I've read it over the past 20 years....

I'm guessing most were in their teens?

Some look at Matthew 17:24ff to conclude that only Peter was over age 20.  Jewish law required men over 20 to pay the Temple Tax (Exodus 30:14).  If so, then the others were in their teens.  That seems reasonable to me, unless there is some other evidence I'm unaware of.  I'm no expert on the Temple Tax and its application at the time Christ lived.

Life expectancy was pretty short back then too.  I would tend to think Jesus would pick young men who, naturally/humanly speaking, would have the longest time to live. 

Plus...it is a further argument for Christ's divinity.  No one else could possibly have survived 3 years with 12 teenage boys!

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 03:30:31 PM »

Offline Jaime

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 07:22:11 PM »
I agree with your assessment. With the exception of Peter that you pointed out, I would tend to think most were between 15 and 18.

http://www.jewishrootsofchristianity.org/jewishroots/discipleship-in-jesus-day.pdf

Jesus was a rabbi with smikeh or authority to interpret scriptures whose talmid or disciples would have been around 15 to 18 following the traditional passing from beit talmud and going into beit midrash.

Jesus' smikeh or authority was challenged because they thought he was simply a Torah teacher that only parroted the interpretation of the few smikeh'd rabbis of the day. They asked him Where did you get your authority or smikeh? We thought you were a Torah teacher, but you speak as one with authority (smikeh).

Smikeh'd rabbis would typically teach by answering a question with a question, exposing the answer within the question they asked. Also since they were allowed to interpret Torah, they would say things such as, "You have heard it said......................., but I say to you..................."  Thus giving their interpretation of Torah.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 09:49:45 PM by Jaime »
So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system. - Milton Friedman

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 07:22:11 PM »

Offline HRoberson

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 09:30:43 PM »
25-30, if not somewhat older.

If He can say "...in whom is no guile," I suspect the object of the statement was old enough to have guile, and that having it would have been a problem.

They were old enough to carry out their mission of traveling two-by-two across the countryside and being taken seriously.

There is a distinct lack of references to their being young men to whom no one should listen. There is no reference to anyone being amazed that these boys were healing people.

Paul does not refer to being older than those others, just of having been selected late. And he was old enough to have been considerably educated and taken seriously by the elders of Israel.

Peter was old enough to be taken seriously by Cornelius, and to be accosted at the courtyard fire.

They were old enough to be taken seriously by those who came to arrest Jesus, and Judas was old enough to make a deal about 30 pieces of silver - and then hang himself.

John was old enough to be entrusted with Mary.

Matthew was a tax collector.

All these tend away from mid to late teens, and push the estimate more into real adulthood.
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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 09:30:43 PM »
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Offline Jaime

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 09:43:49 PM »
What about the temple tax incident with Jesus telling Peter to take the Shekel out of the fishes mouth and pay the temple tax for him and Jesus. Peter obviously being 20 or older. Were the others on their own? It seems unlikely the Talmidim would have been as old or older than their 30 year old Rabbi with "authority".

This is, of course not a make or break issue with salvation, but it kind of changes my view of these guys being bearded 45 year old men.


So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system. - Milton Friedman

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem. - Milton Friedman

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 09:43:49 PM »



Offline HRoberson

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 09:48:27 PM »
What about the temple tax incident with Jesus telling Peter to take the Shekel out of the fishes mouth and pay the temple tax for him and Jesus. Peter obviously being 20 or older. Were the others on their own? It seems unlikely the Talmidim would have been as old or older than their 30 year old Rabbi with "authority".

This is, of course not a make or break issue with salvation, but it kind of changes my warped view of these guys being bearded 45 year old men.



The conversation was between Jesus and Peter, and recorded to make a point.

They may not have been 45, but there is no reason to believe they weren't 30-ish, and plenty of reason to believe they weren't 15.
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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 09:48:27 PM »

Offline Jaime

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 09:51:12 PM »
What about the temple tax incident with Jesus telling Peter to take the Shekel out of the fishes mouth and pay the temple tax for him and Jesus. Peter obviously being 20 or older. Were the others on their own? It seems unlikely the Talmidim would have been as old or older than their 30 year old Rabbi with "authority".

This is, of course not a make or break issue with salvation, but it kind of changes my warped view of these guys being bearded 45 year old men.



The conversation was between Jesus and Peter, and recorded to make a point.

They may not have been 45, but there is no reason to believe they weren't 30-ish, and plenty of reason to believe they weren't 15.

Not considering the Jewish culture surrounding rabbinic teachers of the day.

It would have been pretty much equally hard to believe Jesus at 30 would have been a smikeh'd rabbi, but he was.
So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system. - Milton Friedman

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem. - Milton Friedman

Offline canuck

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 01:42:02 PM »
25-30, if not somewhat older.

If He can say "...in whom is no guile," I suspect the object of the statement was old enough to have guile, and that having it would have been a problem.

They were old enough to carry out their mission of traveling two-by-two across the countryside and being taken seriously.

There is a distinct lack of references to their being young men to whom no one should listen. There is no reference to anyone being amazed that these boys were healing people.

Paul does not refer to being older than those others, just of having been selected late. And he was old enough to have been considerably educated and taken seriously by the elders of Israel.

Peter was old enough to be taken seriously by Cornelius, and to be accosted at the courtyard fire.

They were old enough to be taken seriously by those who came to arrest Jesus, and Judas was old enough to make a deal about 30 pieces of silver - and then hang himself.

John was old enough to be entrusted with Mary.

Matthew was a tax collector.

All these tend away from mid to late teens, and push the estimate more into real adulthood.

Well thought out.
The fact the Peter and Andrew are mentioned as being with their father in the fishing boat (cf. Matt. 4:21 ; Mark 1:20) suggests that the elder Zebedee was also a labourer involved in mending the nets and not merely getting ready to take a cruise.
If the elder Zebedee was in fact, an active fisherman, that means 40 year old Apostles seems unlikely since that would make Zebedee at least 60 -- an age where most of that day would be into old age.
If Zebedee was in his late 40's or 50's, we might guesstimate the Apostles to be somewhere between 25 and 35.

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Offline Jaime

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 01:55:42 PM »
Talmidim or disciples of Rabbis were at the most in their early 20's usually 15 to 18. Especially for a 30 yr old Rabbi.
So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system. - Milton Friedman

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 01:55:42 PM »

Offline Jaime

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 07:28:18 PM »
The disciples were Jewish Talmidim, followers of Rabbi Yeshua, as young as 15 to 18. Plus, Jesus would have found sheckels for all of heir temple tax in addition to his own and Peter's from the mouth of the fish had they all been at least 20. The disciples were not Levitical priests.
So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system. - Milton Friedman

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 07:28:18 PM »

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 07:48:11 PM »
Talmidim or disciples of Rabbis were at the most in their early 20's usually 15 to 18. Especially for a 30 yr old Rabbi.
Yes, and rabbinic disciples were also the most promising students from the lower classes.  The less-promising students went on to start their working lives in professions, such as fishing.

Since Jesus found his guys out fishing, we can safely assume that they were NOT part of the promising class.  And we have absolutely no idea how long they had been out there fishing.

The best conclusion is that Jesus' disciples were not typical, just as Jesus was not typical, so we can't just apply Jewish customs and expect them to fall into line with them.

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 07:52:13 PM »
I used to believe that, but I learned it from Rob Bell, and now people tell me he's Satan.
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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2011, 08:37:32 PM »
Talmidim or disciples of Rabbis were at the most in their early 20's usually 15 to 18. Especially for a 30 yr old Rabbi.
Yes, and rabbinic disciples were also the most promising students from the lower classes.  The less-promising students went on to start their working lives in professions, such as fishing.

Since Jesus found his guys out fishing, we can safely assume that they were NOT part of the promising class.  And we have absolutely no idea how long they had been out there fishing.

The best conclusion is that Jesus' disciples were not typical, just as Jesus was not typical, so we can't just apply Jewish customs and expect them to fall into line with them.

Jarrod

Can we expect that Jesus and Peter were the only 20 plus yr olds because of the sheckel temple tax story from the mouth of the fish? Or would we assume that Jesus dissed the other 11?

Jesus, the rabbi PICKED his Talmidim. Usually they court the rabbis. The young fishermen would have been those that had not moved on to Beit Midrash. They had flunked out, so to speak and were back being mentored in a trade. Jesus chose them. The fact that they were fishing did not argue against them being young.
So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system. - Milton Friedman

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem. - Milton Friedman

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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2011, 08:54:14 PM »
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now
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Re: Age of the 12 Apostles
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2011, 03:02:28 PM »
Talmidim or disciples of Rabbis were at the most in their early 20's usually 15 to 18. Especially for a 30 yr old Rabbi.
Yes, and rabbinic disciples were also the most promising students from the lower classes.  The less-promising students went on to start their working lives in professions, such as fishing.

Since Jesus found his guys out fishing, we can safely assume that they were NOT part of the promising class.  And we have absolutely no idea how long they had been out there fishing.

The best conclusion is that Jesus' disciples were not typical, just as Jesus was not typical, so we can't just apply Jewish customs and expect them to fall into line with them.

Jarrod

Very good analysis!
The Son of Man's mission was to fulfil the law -- not primarily to teach the law; though He challenged people with respect to the eternal principles of Divine love. The morphing of Israel into a people of tradition/custom that was advanced by rabbinic scholars, directed the nation into a religion that was significantly incongruent with Scripture. Our Lord's "rabbinic" teaching was on a very different plane from the rank-and-file teachers in Israel.

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