Why are the lists of disciples different?
There are four lists of the disciples found in Scripture. They sometimes differ in order, but this is not a problem since listing people in a different order still demonstrates that the people were the same. Matthew, Mark, and Luke each contain a list of 12 disciples. However, Acts contains only 11. This is because Judas Iscariot, who had betrayed Christ, had died and was not listed. Acts 1:21-26 tells how they replaced Judas with Matthias thus retaining 12 disciples.
As you can see from the chart below, the disciples are listed according to each section of Scripture. The difference in content occurs with Thaddaeus and Judas the son of James. The most logical explanation is that both names describe the same person. After all, Judas the son of James would have been sharing the name of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ. It's highly probable that he preferred to be called Thaddeus.
It is common in Scripture to demonstrate people's alternate names. Take for example Acts 1:23 where we see that someone named Joseph is also called Barsabbas and Justus.
|Matthew 10:2-4||Mark 3:13-19||Luke 6:12-16||Acts 1:13-14|
|Simon (Peter)||Simon (Peter)||Simon (Peter)||Peter|
|James, son of Zebedee||James, son of Zebedee||James||James|
|John, the brother of James||John, the brother of James||John||John|
|James, son of Alphaeus||James, son of Alphaeus||James, son of Alphaeus||James, son of Alphaeus|
|Simon the Zealot||Simon the Zealot||Simon the Zealot||Simon the Zealot|
|Judas Iscariot||Judas Iscariot||Judas Iscariot||-----|
|-----||-----||Judas the son of James||Judas the son of James|
|(Matthias who was later chosen in Acts 1:21-26)|
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- Matt. 1:16, Why are there different genealogies for Jesus in Matt. & Luke?
- Matt. 5:16, Should or should we not let our good works be seen?
- Matt. 10:2-4, Why are the lists of disciples different?
- Matt. 19:16-21, Are we saved by grace or works?
- Matt. 20:20-21, Who made the request to sit beside Jesus in His kingdom?
- Matt. 23:17, Can we call someone a fool or not?
- Matt. 28:8, Did or did not the women tell what happened about the tomb?
- Mark 1:7-13, What did Jesus do after being baptized by John the Baptist?
- Mark 3:29, Can you be forgiven of all sins or not?
- Mark 10:35-37, Who made the request to sit beside Jesus in His kingdom?
- Mark 16:2, How long was Jesus dead in the tomb?
- Mark 16:9-20, Is the ending of Mark scripture or not?
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