Document Type



Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Erik Larson

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ana Maria Bidegain

Third Advisor's Name

Christine Gudorf


Jesus' Disciples, The Twelve, Jesus' Messiahship, messianic, Disciples' beliefs

Date of Defense



The question of whether Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, and if so in what sense, is one of the most important in historical Jesus research. Although many factors play a role in answering this question, one has been neglected for far too long: the Christology of Jesus’ disciples. This thesis provides a much needed analysis of the disciples’ view of Jesus. Numerous Gospel passages are evaluated using criteria, such as the criterion of multiple independent attestation and the criterion of embarrassment, to determine their historicity. These passages are then studied against the background of Second Temple Judaism to determine how the disciples viewed Jesus. The analysis demonstrates that from the time Jesus’ disciples first began following him they believed he was the Messiah. Ultimately, this conclusion strongly reinforces the view that Jesus made a messianic claim for himself.





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