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Choosing the Twelve Apostles

12 Now[a] it was during this time that Jesus[b] went out to the mountain[c] to pray, and he spent all night[d] in prayer to God.[e] 13 When[f] morning came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles:[g] 14 Simon[h] (whom he named Peter), and his brother Andrew; and James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,[i] 15 Matthew, Thomas,[j] James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot,[k] 16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot,[l] who became a traitor.

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  1. Luke 6:12 tn Grk “Now it happened that in.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  2. Luke 6:12 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  3. Luke 6:12 tn Or “to a mountain” (εἰς τὸ ὅρος, eis to horos).sn The expression to the mountain here may be idiomatic or generic, much like the English “he went to the hospital” (cf. 15:29), or even intentionally reminiscent of Exod 24:12 (LXX), since the genre of the Sermon on the Mount seems to be that of a new Moses giving a new law.
  4. Luke 6:12 sn This is the only time all night prayer is mentioned in the NT.
  5. Luke 6:12 tn This is an objective genitive, so prayer “to God.”
  6. Luke 6:13 tn Grk “And when.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
  7. Luke 6:13 sn The term apostles is rare in the gospels, found only in Matt 10:2, possibly in Mark 3:14, and six more times in Luke (here plus 9:10; 11:49; 17:5; 22:14; 24:10).
  8. Luke 6:14 sn In the various lists of the twelve, Simon (that is, Peter) is always mentioned first (Matt 10:1-4; Mark 3:16-19; Acts 1:13) and the first four are always the same, though not in the same order after Peter.
  9. Luke 6:14 sn Bartholomew (meaning “son of Tolmai” in Aramaic) could be another name for Nathanael mentioned in John 1:45.
  10. Luke 6:15 sn This is the “doubting Thomas” of John 20:24-29.
  11. Luke 6:15 sn The designation Zealot means that Simon was a political nationalist before coming to follow Jesus. He may not have been technically a member of the particular Jewish nationalistic party known as “Zealots” (since according to some scholars this party had not been organized at that time), but simply someone who was zealous for Jewish independence from Rome, in which case the descriptive term applied to Simon means something like “Simon the patriot” (see L&N 25.77 and especially 11.88).
  12. Luke 6:16 sn There is some debate about what the name Iscariot means. It probably alludes to a region in Judea and thus might make Judas the only non-Galilean in the group. Several explanations for the name Iscariot have been proposed, but it is probably transliterated Hebrew with the meaning “man of Kerioth” (there are at least two villages that had that name). For further discussion see D. L. Bock, Luke (BECNT), 1:546; also D. A. Carson, John, 304.