The four Gospels give varying names of the twelve (see also the Gospel according to the Hebrews). According to the list occurring in each of the three Synoptic Gospels (Mark 3:13-19, Matthew 10:1-4, Luke 6:12-16), the Twelve chosen by Jesus near the beginning of his ministry, those whom also He named Apostles, were, according to the Gospels of Mark and Matthew:
Peter: Renamed by Jesus, his original name was Simon (Mark 3:16); was a fisherman from the Bethsaida “of Galilee” (John 1:44, cf. John 12:21). Also known as Simon bar Jonah, Simon bar Jochanan (Aram.), Cephas (Aram.), and Simon Peter.
Andrew: The brother of Simon/Peter, a Bethsaida fisherman, and a former disciple of John the Baptist.
James, son of Zebedee: The brother of John.
John: The brother of James. Jesus named both of them Bo-aner’ges, which means “sons of thunder”.(Mark 3:17)
Philip: From the Bethsaida of Galilee (John 1:44, John 12:21)
Bartholomew, son of Talemai: It has been suggested that he is the same person as Nathanael, who is mentioned in John 1:45-51.
Matthew: The tax collector. The similarity between Matthew 9:9-10, Mark 2:14-15 and Luke 5:27-29 may indicate that Matthew was also known as Levi.
Thomas: Also known as Judas Thomas Didymus – Aramaic T’oma’ = twin, and Greek Didymus = twin.
James, son of Alphaeus: Generally identified with “James the Less”, and also identified by Roman Catholics with “James the Just”.
Thaddeus: In some manuscripts of Matthew, the name “Lebbaeus” occurs in this place. Thaddeus is traditionally identified with Jude; see below.
Simon the Zealot: Some have identified him with Simeon of Jerusalem.
Judas Iscariot: The disciple who later betrayed Jesus. (Mark 3:19) The name Iscariot may refer to the Judaean towns of Kerioth or to the sicarii (Jewish nationalist insurrectionists), or to Issachar. Also referred to as “Judas, the son of Simon” (John 6:71 and John 13:26). He was replaced by Matthias as an apostle shortly after Jesus’ resurrection.
The list in the Gospel of Luke differs from Matthew and Mark at two points:
It lists “Judas, son of James” instead of “Thaddeus.” In order to harmonize the accounts, some traditions have said that Luke’s “Judas, son of James” refers to the same person as Mark and Matthew’s “Thaddeus,” though it is not clear whether this has a good basis. (For more information see Jude the Apostle).
In King’s James Version of the Bible Luke 6:16 refers to the 1st Judas (not Judas Iscariot) as the brother of James, not the son of James.
The wording in Luke may be translated “Simon the Cananean” instead of “Simon the Zealot”. These are generally thought to be the same person. (See Simon the Zealot).