BiblicalTraining's mission is to lead disciples toward spiritual growth through deep biblical understanding and practice. We offer a comprehensive education covering all the basic fields of biblical and theological content at different academic levels.
Read More


Apostle. The brother of Simon Peter, he was a native of Bethsaida, but carried on business as a fisherman at Capernaum. He became a disciple of John the Baptist, who directed his attention to Jesus as the Lamb of God (John 1:29). When later Jesus called several disciples to follow Him, Andrew was among the first to do so. It was he who introduced his brother Simon to Jesus and was later responsible for directing some Greek inquirers (John 12:21,22). He was of a practical turn of mind, as is seen from John 6:8,9 on the occasion of the feeding of the five thousand. His name appears in all the lists of the twelve apostles. Nothing is known of his contribution to the developing church, but the many apocryphal works which were later ascribed to him testify to the respected place he held in popular tradition even of an unorthodox kind.

ANDREW ăn’ drōō (̓Ανδρέας, G436, manly). The brother of Simon Peter and one of the first disciples of Jesus.

Although a native Palestinian Jew, Andrew bore a good Gr. name. He was the son of Jona (Matt 16:17) or John (John 1:42; 21:15-17), whose home was in Beth-saida in Galilee (John 1:44; 12:21). Doubtless Andrew, as a native of Galilee, where life was strongly influenced by Gentile culture, spoke Gr. as well as Aram.

Simon, his brother, as a married man, made his home in Capernaum (Mark 1:21) and Andrew apparently shared the house with him (1:29). By trade Andrew and Simon were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee (Matt 4:18). They worked in partnership with James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Luke 5:10).

When John the Baptist was preaching at Bethany (KJV “Beth-abara”) beyond the Jordan (John 1:28), Andrew, like many of his countrymen, laid aside his daily work to go to hear the famous preacher. What Andrew saw and heard influenced him greatly. He became a disciple of John (John 1:35, 40). Receiving John’s baptism of repentance, he committed himself to receive the Messiah when He came.

When John the Baptist pointed out Jesus as “the Lamb of God,” Andrew and another disciple (apparently John) acted upon the implied suggestion of the Baptist and sought an interview with Jesus. The interview with Him that day convinced Andrew that Jesus was indeed the expected Messiah (John 1:35-39). He was one of the first acknowledged followers of Jesus.

Andrew enthusiastically went in search of his brother Simon to share the discovery with him. He used his good influence to bring his brother into personal contact with Jesus (John 1:40-42). It proved to be the turning point in Peter’s life.

Apparently Andrew and the other followers won at Bethany remained with Jesus during the events recorded in John 1:43-4:54. If so, Andrew was an eager participant in those early events and shared in the baptizing recorded in John 3:22; 4:2.

Upon Jesus’ return to Galilee, Andrew resumed his work as a fisherman. When Jesus established His headquarters at Capernaum (Matt 4:13), He called Andrew and Peter, with James and John, into full-time training to be “fishers of men” (Matt 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11). Their ready response to the invitation of Jesus, as recorded in the synoptic gospels, presupposes their previous associations with Jesus as recorded in the fourth gospel.

Some time later Andrew was among the Twelve whom Jesus selected as His apostles (Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14). In all the lists of the Twelve (Matt 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13), Andrew was always named among the first four, although the order varies. He was associated with Peter, James, and John in their “private” inquiry of Jesus concerning His predictions of the future (Mark 13:3, 4). Andrew did not attain to the intimacy and resultant privileges of the other three as the “inner circle,” but he was on the fringe of it.

On two occasions in the fourth gospel, Andrew was closely associated with Philip, the only other apostle with a Gr. name. At the feeding of the five thousand, the anxious, calculating reaction of Philip stands in contrast to the practical action of Andrew in calling Jesus’ attention to the boy with his small store of food, even though he too failed to see its sufficiency for the purpose of Christ (John 6:4-9). When at the last Passover Philip, in perplexity, conferred with Andrew concerning the request of some Greeks for an interview with Jesus, Andrew concluded that the solution was to lay the request before Jesus Himself and let Him decide whether or not to grant the interview (12:20-22).

Andrew’s name is included among those who waited in the Upper Room after the Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:13). Following that occasion, his name disappears completely from the NT.

Tradition has been busy with the later life of Andrew. Eusebius (Hist. III, 1) records the tradition that Andrew’s area of labor was in Scythia; hence he has been adopted as the patron saint of Russia. Other traditions connect him with Lydia, Thrace, and Achaia. The apocryphal Acts of Andrew picture him as evangelizing in Achaia and being martyred at Patras by being bound to an X-shaped cross (crux decussata, subsequently called St. Andrew’s Cross). He has been made the patron saint of Greece. A later tradition claims that his body was transferred to Constantinople, and then to Italy during the Crusades. Andrew also has been made the patron saint of Scotland because of the late tradition that his arm was brought to its E coast by St. Regulus.

It is only in the fourth gospel that the character of Andrew emerges with any distinctness. He was a sincere man with earnest and devout Messianic expectations. He was not bound by traditional views, but was open to, and eager for, new truth. He was a man who had the courage of his convictions, eager and enthusiastic to have others share what he had come to know. He was always busy bringing others into touch with his Master. As a man of action, he was practical, ready and willing to do any needed task. He has been called “not only the first home missionary (John 1:41), but also the first foreign missionary (12:22)” (G. Milligan, HDCG, I, 53).

Andrew did not possess the native ability and aggressive leadership of his brother Peter, but he was content to play a lesser role. His broad sympathies, practical common sense, and steady discipleship made him a valuable member of the apostolic band.


M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament (1924), 337-363, 453-460, 472-475; G. Dalman, Sacred Sites and Ways (Eng. tr., 1935), 161-163; F. Dvornik, The Idea of Apostolicity in Byzantium and the Legend of the Apostle Andrew (1958); P. M. Peterson, Andrew, Brother of Simon Peter—His History and His Legends (1958); W. Barclay, The Master’s Men (1959), 40-46.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Andrew was the first called of the Twelve Apostles.

I. In New Testament. 1. Early History and First Call:

2. Second Call and Final Ordination:

3. Subsequent History:

Further incidents recorded of Andrew are: At the feeding of the five thousand by the Sea of Galilee, the attention of Jesus was drawn by Andrew to the lad with five sequent barley loaves and two fishes (Joh 6 History Joh 8:9). At the feast of the Passover, the Greeks who wished to "see Jesus" inquired of Philip, who turned for advice to Andrew, and the two then told Jesus (Joh 12:20-36). On the Mount of Olives, Andrew along with Peter, James and John, questioned Jesus regarding the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world (Mr 13:3-23; compare also Mt 24:3-28; Lu 21:5-24).

II. In Apocryphal Literature. The name of Andrew’s mother was traditionally Joanna, and according to the "Genealogies of the Twelve Apostles" (Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, II, 49) he belonged to the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of his father. A fragment of a Coptic gospel of the 4th or 5th century tells how not only Thomas (Joh 20:27), but also Andrew was compelled, by touching the feet of the risen Saviour, to believe in the bodily resurrection (Hennecke, Neutestamentlichen Apokryphen, etc., 38, 39). Various places were assigned as the scene of his subsequent missionary labors. The Syriac Teaching of the Apostles (ed Cureton, 34) mentions Bithynia, Eusebius gives Scythia (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, i, 1), and others Greece (Lipsius, Apokryphen Apostelgeschichten, I, 63). The Muratorian Fragment relates that John wrote his gospel in consequence of a revelation given to Andrew, and this would point to Ephesus (compare Hennecke id, 459). The Contendings of the Twelve Apostles (for historicity, authorship, etc., of this work, compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, Intro; Hennecke, Handbuch zu den neutestamentlichen Apokryphen, 351-58; RE, 664-66) contains several parts dealing with Andrew:

(1) "The Preaching of Andrew and Philemon among the Kurds" (Budge, II 163 ff) narrates the appearance of the risen Christ to His disciples, the sending of Andrew to Lydia and his conversion of the people there.

(2) The "Preaching of Matthias in the City of the Cannibals" (Budge, II, 267 ff; REH, 666) tells of how Matthias, on being imprisoned and blinded by the Cannibals, was released by Andrew, who had been brought to his assistance in a ship by Christ, but the two were afterward again imprisoned. Matthias then caused the city to be inundated, the disciples were set free, and the people converted.

(3) "The Ac of Andrew and Bartholomew" (Budge, II, 183 ff) gives an account of their mission among the Parthians.

(4) According to the "Martyrdom of Andrew" (Budge, II, 215) he was stoned and crucified in Scythia.

According to the surviving fragments of "The Ac of Andrew," a heretical work dating probably from the 2nd century, and referred to by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, ii, 5), the scene of Andrew’s death was laid in Achaia. There he was imprisoned and crucified by order of the proconsul Eges (or Aegeates), whose wife had been estranged from him by the preaching of Andrew (compare Hennecke, 459-73; Pick, Apocryphal Acts, 201-21; Lipsius, I, 543-622). A so-called "Gospel of Andrew" mentioned by Innocent I (Ep, I, iii, 7) and Augustine (Contra Advers. Leg. et Prophet., I, 20), but this is probably due to a confusion with the above-mentioned "Ac of Andrew." The relics of Andrew were discovered in Constantinople in the time of Justinian, and part of his cross is now in Peter’s, Rome. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, whither his arm is said to have been transferred by Regulus. The ascription to him of the decussate cross is of late origin.

III. Character.

There is something significant in Andrew’s being the first called of the apostles. The choice was an important one, for upon the lead given by Andrew depended the action of the others. Christ perceived that the soul’s unrest, the straining after higher things and a deeper knowledge of God, which had induced Andrew to make the pilgrimage to Bethany, gave promise of a rich spiritual growth, which no doubt influenced Him in His decision. His wisdom and insight were justified of the after event. Along with a keenness of perception regarding spiritual truths was coupled in Andrew a strong sense of personal conviction which enabled him not only to accept Jesus as the Messiah, but to win Peter also as a disciple of Christ. The incident of the Feeding of the Five Thousand displayed Andrew in a fresh aspect: there the practical part which he played formed a striking contrast to the feeble-mindedness of Philip. Both these traits--his missionary spirit, and his decision of character which made others appeal to him when in difficulties--were evinced at the time when the Greeks sought to interview Jesus. Andrew was not one of the greatest of the apostles, yet he is typical of those men of broad sympathies and sound common sense, without whom the success of any great movement cannot be assured.