2 Timothy 4:3-5 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

At least, some of Jesus’ 12 disciples by the names we know may have been made up, author Tom Bissell claims in his new book, Apostles: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve. “A couple of the names recorded in the New Testament are probably actual people,” Bissell says in an interview with National Geographic. “There was probably a Peter and a John, definitely a James (the brother of Jesus), and probably a Thomas. Beyond that, there’s nothing historical that verifies their existence other than the gospels themselves. So I think they’re a mixture of fact and fiction.”

For his book, Bissell spent years exploring the purported tombs and resting places of the Twelve, from Jerusalem to India to Kyrgyzstan to Spain and beyond, as well as the vast scholarly literature on early Christianity, according to his author page. According to The Guardian, Bissell’s book asks if the names mentioned in the gospels, like Bartholomew, is the same person as Nathanael mentioned in Luke and Acts. But the most controversial disciple might be Judas, who hanged himself, according to Matthew 27. READ MORE