Young People's Bible Dictionary

by Barbara Smith (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965)

disciple. In the N.T., a learner or a follower of a teacher. There were disciples of a teacher. There were disciples of a Pharisee, Matt. 22:15-16, and John the Baptist had disciples, John 1:35. The disciples of Jesus were numerous. Luke 6:13. From them he chose twelve to work with him. The lists of Jesus' twelve disciples* are in Matt. 10:1-4; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:12-13. These lists do not agree with one another. The differences are accounted for by the use of diferrent names for the same person (for example, Bartholomew and Nathanael; Thaddaeus and Judas the son of James).

In the book of The Acts, "disciple" also means a member of the church. Acts 20:1; 21:16.

Harper’s Bible Dictionary

edited by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)

disciple (translates the Gk. for ‘learner’), an apprentice or pupil attached to a teacher or movement; one whose allegiance is to the instruction and commitments of the teacher or movement. Closely paralleling rabbinic custom, most nt references to ‘disciple’ designate ‘followers’ of Jesus, often a large group including both his closest associates (the Twelve*) and a larger number who followed with varying positive response (Luke 6:17). For disciples of other persons, see Luke 11:1 and John 1:35 (John the Baptist), Matt. 22:16 and Mark 2:18 (Pharisees), John 9:28 (Moses), and Acts 6:1-7 (Christians); cf. also Isa. 8:16 (Isaiah).

For links to some other Bible-related webpages, browse

To contact the website administrator, email or click on