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The word “disciple” comes from Lat. discipulus. Both terms are used for the Gk. mathētēs (pupil), which refers especially to the disciples of Jesus and then, in a way that transcends the mere teacher-student relation, to the followers and admirers of a religious leader or to the younger members of a religious group. The NT itself speaks not only of the disciples of Jesus but also of the disciples of Moses (John 9:28; cf. 1 Cor. 10:2), of the Pharisees (Matt. 22:15–16; Mark 2:18 and par.), of John the Baptist (Matt. 11:2; Mark 6:29 and par.), and of Paul (Acts 9:25).

1. In the OT we might …

Cite this page
Böcher, Otto, “Disciple”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 15 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_D330>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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