Jesus chose a group of twelve (usually called ‘*apostles’ by Luke, e.g. 6: 13) ‘to be with him’ (on his travels). The Twelve symbolized the new Israel since the old Israel was regarded as made up of twelve tribes (Matt. 19: 28). The Twelve bore witness to Jesus' ministry and to his resurrection. The defection of Judas Iscariot necessitated that the number twelve be made good by the election of Matthias (Acts 1: 15–26). Subsequent deaths did not create vacancies that needed to be filled.
Subjects: Biblical Studies.