Sunday, February 15, 2009

One degree of separation

I have been curious how many people are recorded in the New Testament as having known Jesus directly. Many of the people who are mentioned meeting him are not named. Even a number of the people healed by him are not named.

Below is a list of people named in the New Testament who had known Jesus directly either as friends, family, or disciples who had direct knowledge of his life or teachings; who were healed by Jesus or had family healed by Jesus and so had direct knowledge of his power; or who had him in their home at some point and so had direct knowledge of him. Not included are people who met him but had no significant interaction as far as we can tell (e.g. Simon the Cyrene), or those who met him only at his trial and did not hear him teach or see him perform miracles (e.g. Pontius Pilate).

The much-disputed letters (Hebrews, 2 & 3 John, 2 Peter) are not included. They also, possibly not coincidentally, have little information to add.

IDPersonRelationship to JesusReferenceHometown or region

Other points of interest: had formerly been a disciple of John the Baptist
Matthew 4:13, 18
John 1:40, 1:44
(Many references in the texts; the ones listed help locate his home)
On the sea of Galilee, from Bethsaida near Capernaum
1-02Bar TimaeusHealed by JesusMark 10:46 and parallelsJericho
1-03BartholomewDiscipleMatthew 10:3 among others 
1-04CleopasFollower; probably also friend of disciples in that he knew where to find them when they were in hiding. Saw Jesus and spoke with him after his resurrection at least twice, once on the road to Emmaus and again later the same evening back in Jerusalem. Luke 24:13-33 
1-05JairusFather of a girl that Jesus raised from the dead

Other point of interest: synagogue ruler
Mark 5:22 and parallels 
1-06James, son of AlphaeusDiscipleMatthew 10:3 among others 
1-07James, brother of JesusJesus’ brotherMark 6:3-4 and othersNazareth
1-08James, son of ZebedeeDiscipleMatthew 4:13, 21Originally from Capernaum or its vicinity.
1-09JoannaFollower and financial supporterLuke 8:1-3Wife of Chuza who was Herod’s steward, so may have been in Herod's household
1-10John, son of ZebedeeDiscipleMatthew 4:13, 21 among many othersOriginally from Capernaum or its vicinity.
1-11John the BaptistCousin / forerunnerSee Luke 1:39-40, John 1:28Hill country of Judah, later on banks of the river Jordan.
1-12Joseph (aka Barsabbas and Justus)DiscipleActs 1:21-23 
1-13JosephJesus’ father / step-fatherMatthew and Luke birth narrativesNazareth
1-14Joseph, son of JosephJesus’ brother (or step-brother / half-brother)Mark 6:3-4 and othersNazareth
1-15Joseph of ArimatheaDiscipleMatthew 27:57Arimathea
1-16Judas, son of JamesDiscipleLuke 6:16 and Acts 1:13 
1-17Judas, son of JosephJesus’ brotherMark 6:3-4 and othersNazareth
1-18Judas IscariotDiscipleMatthew 10:3 among others 
1-19LazarusRaised from the dead by Jesus; referred to by Jesus as a friend; known to the disciples. John 11:1-44 and John 12:1-10.Bethany
1-20MalchusHealed by Jesus.

Other point of interest: Servant of the high priest, wounded during Jesus' arrest.
John 18:10-11 
1-21Martha of BethanyHosted Jesus; was also sister to Lazarus who was raised from the dead. Luke 10; John 11-12Bethany
1-22MaryJesus’ motherNumerousNazareth, at least for a time.
1-23Mary MagdaleneFollower
Beneficiary of a healing and financial supporter.
Mark 15:40-41
Luke 8:1-3
Probably originally from Magdala
1-24Mary of BethanyHosted Jesus; was also sister to Lazarus who was raised from the dead.Luke 10; John 11-12Bethany
1-25Mary the mother of James and JosesFollowerMark 15:40-41 
1-26Matthew / LeviDiscipleMatthew 9:9 among othersVicinity of Capernaum
1-27MatthiasDiscipleActs 1:21-23 
1-28NathanaelDiscipleJohn 1:45-51, John 21:2Cana
1-29NicodemusMet with Jesus.

Other point of interest: member of Sanhedrin.
John 3:1-21May have lived in Jerusalem
1-30Peter (also known as Simon and Cephas)DiscipleMatthew 4:13, 18John 1:40, 1:44On the sea of Galilee, from Bethsaida near Capernaum
1-31PhilipDiscipleJohn 1:43-44Bethsaida in Galilee
1-32SalomeFollowerMark 15:40-41 
1-33Simon, son of JosephJesus’ brotherMark 6:3-4 and othersNazareth
1-34Simon the LeperHosted Jesus at dinner in his homeMatthew 26:6 and parallelsBethany
1-35Simon the ZealotDiscipleMatthew 10:4, Acts 1:13 
1-36SusannaFollower and financial supporter. Luke 8:1-3 
1-37ThaddaeusDiscipleMatthew 10:3, Mark 3:18 
1-38ThomasDiscipleMatthew 10:3 among others 
1-39Zacchaeus the tax collectorHosted Jesus in his homeLuke 19:1-9Jericho

There are times when I leave the location blank even though an inference seems fairly obvious. I would generally prefer that my ideas of what is 'obvious' should be double-checked by someone with more historical background in that era and culture. A 'location' listed in this table has some direct evidence behind it.


Tony-Allen said...

Thanks for posting this!

BruceA said...

Interesting. This could be used to assign early Christians a "Jesus number", sort of the way mathematicians have an Erdos number. Or maybe I'm just a nerd.

Weekend Fisher said...

Hi Tony-Allen: Thank you for the encouragement.

Hi Bruce: Well, y'know, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool nerd myself. The next post in this series has the "two degree" people known from Scripture. I've got the research done, just finishing the write-up at the moment ...

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF