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Appointing the Twelve Apostles

13 Now[a] Jesus went up the mountain[b] and called for those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He[c] appointed twelve[d] so that they would be with him and he could send them to preach 15 and to have authority to cast out demons. 16 [e] To Simon[f] he gave the name Peter; 17 to James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee,[g] he gave the name Boanerges (that is, “sons of thunder”); 18 and Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,[h] Matthew, Thomas,[i] James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus,[j] Simon the Zealot,[k] 19 and Judas Iscariot,[l] who betrayed him.[m]

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  1. Mark 3:13 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  2. Mark 3:13 tn Or “up a mountain” (εἰς τὸ ὅρος, eis to horos).sn The expression up 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.
  3. Mark 3:14 tn Grk “And he.”
  4. Mark 3:14 tc The phrase “whom he named apostles” is lacking in the majority of mss (A C2 D L ƒ1 33 565 579 1241 1424 M latt sy; SBL). Several primary Alexandrian and other key witnesses (א B C* W Δ Θ ƒ13 28 co) include the phrase, rendering the external evidence strongly in favor of this reading. It is possible that the Alexandrian witnesses have inserted these words to bring the text in line with Luke 6:13 (TCGNT 69), but against this is the internal evidence of Mark’s style: Mark tends toward gratuitous redundancy. However, significant Western and Byzantine mss along with other authorities lack the clause, which is against the Byzantine tendencies. The key issue, however, is that both the wording of the clause and its location in the verse varies significantly among the witnesses, which suggests that it was indeed borrowed from the Lukan parallel. The NA28 puts the words in brackets indicating doubts about their authenticity.
  5. Mark 3:16 tc The phrase “he appointed twelve” at the beginning of v. 16 is lacking in the majority of mss (A C2 D L Θ ƒ1 33 700 1241 1424 M lat sy bo), including several key witnesses. Some significant authorities include the phrase (א B C* Δ 565 579 pc). The omission may have been caused by haplography in combination with homoioarcton: The first word of the clause in question is καί (kai), and the first word after the clause in question is also καί. And the first two letters of the second word, in each instance, are επ (ep). Early scribes may have jumped accidentally from the first καί to the second, omitting the intervening material. Metzger suggests that “the clause seems to be needed in order to pick up the thread of ver. 14 after the parenthesis ἵναδαιμόνια” (TCGNT 69). This seems to be a stretch. Further, the external evidence in favor of the words is not as compelling as it could be (the addition of “whom he named apostles” in 3:14 actually has stronger evidence, yet we considered it spurious). A decision is difficult but the shorter reading is preferred. NA28 puts the words in brackets.
  6. Mark 3:16 sn In the various lists of the twelve, Simon (that is, Peter) is always mentioned first (see also Matt 10:1-4; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:13) and the first four are always the same, though not in the same order after Peter.
  7. Mark 3:17 tn Grk “to James, the son of Zebedee, and John, the brother of James.”
  8. Mark 3:18 sn Bartholomew (meaning “son of Tolmai” in Aramaic) could be another name for Nathanael mentioned in John 1:45.
  9. Mark 3:18 sn This is the “doubting Thomas” of John 20:24-29.
  10. Mark 3:18 tc This disciple is called Λεββαῖον (Lebbaion, “Lebbaeus”) in D it; see the discussion of the parallel text in Matt 10:3 where conflation occurs among other witnesses as well.
  11. Mark 3:18 tn Grk “the Cananean,” but according to both BDAG 507 s.v. Καναναῖος and L&N 11.88, this term has no relation at all to the geographical terms for Cana or Canaan, but is derived from the Aramaic term for “enthusiast, zealot” (see Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), possibly because of an earlier affiliation with the party of the Zealots. 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 term would refer to his temperament.
  12. Mark 3:19 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.
  13. Mark 3:19 tn Grk “who even betrayed him.”