A Study of the Formation and Growth of the Twelve Apostles as a Group

John Richard Maloney, Fordham University


The selection of a dissertation subject that is timely, original, thought provoking and accessible to research, can often be a very tiring and frustrating task. Mentally fatigued and with a mind almost barren of ideas for development, the author’s thoughts were far from a dissertation topic as he sat in Corpus Christi Church one Sunday morning. The April sun was reaching slender lingers through the stained glass windows as the priest mounted the pulpit to give his discourse on the day’s gospel, the ’’Transfiguration”. In clear resonant tones the priest began: ”On this particular day, Christ took Peter, James and John, three chosen men from the group, and led them up to the top of a high mountain.”..... The author will never know what the priest said next because suddenly, as if ty a blinding flash of inspiration, groups of words and ideas were scrambling to get into the inner workings of his mind. Incessantly the words kept repeating themselves, Peter....James....John....chosen ones....from the group... The group I It was moments before this writer realized that he was referring to the Apostles as a group. Indeed they were a group, a remarkable and exciting group to study! This one incident of the Transfiguration suggested a number of conjectures and questions about the group. "Were there cliques among the Twelve?! What were the other nine doing? How did they feel about this show of favoritism? what were the individuals like? Before many moments had passed the author realized that he had the germ of a dissertation topic. But how to focus it, where to begin, what limits to set, these were some major considerations. What was behind the formation of this group of Twelve known as the Apostles? Research has shown that it is a historical fact that about two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, the God-Man, became a citizen of earth in order to establish His Kingdom and thereby bring salvation to the children of Adam. To bring to the far corners of the earth, the glad tidings of His redemption, Christ had to recruit, educate and train the men who would be the first teachers of His doctrine. Almost immediately after His first public appearance, Christ, the Divine Group Leader, began to recruit and form this unique group that was to be so instrumental in developing a new era of civilization.

Subject Area

Philosophy of religion|Theology|Religion|Social work

Recommended Citation

Maloney, John Richard, "A Study of the Formation and Growth of the Twelve Apostles as a Group" (1952). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30509558.