Matt 10 2-4 The Disciples CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
A question concerning the names of the disciples was asked recently. He asked, “Is there a discrepancy in the King James Bible?” The author of the question was not doubting scripture but wanted to know how to reconcile the lists of names. He also wanted to know the correct relationship of two men named in the list, whether they were brothers or father and son. As usual, the confusion over their relationship was caused by the newer versions of the Bible.
The discrepancy he found concerns a man named Lebaeus Thaddaeus in Matt 10:2-4. So, we are going to study him. The other problem with this same man is whether he is the brother or the son of James. Following along as we study.
Concerning the lists of disciples in Matt 10:2-4, Mk 3:16-19, Lk 6:14-16 and Acts 1:13, there is no discrepancy in the following: Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Canaanite, also called Zelotes), and Judas Iscariot. They are all the same.
The only name that’s in question is Lebaeus Thaddaeus (Matt 10:2-4, Mk 3:16-19) or Judas the brother of James (Lk 6:14-16, Acts 1:13). He is the Judas of John 14:22.
The answer is simple. Judas the ‘brother of’ James goes by three names… Lebaeus, Thaddaeus, Judas. He’s just like Peter who goes by three names… Simon (Jn 1:40, 41), Peter (Matt 4:18), Cephas (John 1:42, 1 Cor 9:5). He’s just like Joseph, Barsabbas, Justus, who goes by three names (Acts 1:23).
So, there is no discrepancy in the lists of disciples. One disciple, Judas, goes by three names.
But what about Judas’ relationship to James (Lk 6:16, Acts 1:13)? Is he the brother of James, as in the KJV, or is he the son of James as in the NIV, NKJV, NASB, ESV and so forth?
As to Judas, the brother of James, see Jude 1. The epistles James, 1 & 2 Peter, and 1, 2 & 3 John are all written by the apostles whose names they bear. Jude, I believe, is likewise written by the apostle, Judas. You have the answer to this question in his own writing. He was the brother of James, like you see in the KJV.
Conclusion: We concluded our answer to our listener with these recommendations. Don’t be too quick to question the KJV. Be quick to question your own understanding. And be careful with the other versions of the Bible. They often add more confusion than they do clarity.