Who was Andrew the Apostle?

Andrew the Apostle was the brother of Simon Peter and a disciple of Jesus Christ. He was from Bethsaida of Galilee (John 1:44). Andrew's (and Peter's) father's name was John (i.e. not John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, or John Mark; John 1:42 ; John 21:15 , John 21:16 , John 21:17).

Andrew holds a more prominent place in the Gospel of John than in the synoptical writings, and this can be understood at least in part from the fact that Andrew's work was intimately connected with the people for whom John was immediately writing.

There are three stages in the call of Andrew to the apostleship.

The first is described in John 1:35-40. Andrew had spent his earlier years as a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, but on learning of the fame of John the Baptist, he departed along with a band of his countrymen to Bethabara (the Revised Version (British and American) "Bethany") beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing (John 1:28). Possibly Jesus was of their number, or had preceded them in their pilgrimage.

There Andrew learned for the first time of the greatness of the "Lamb of God" and "followed him" (John 1:40 ). He was the means at this time of bringing his brother Simon Peter also to Jesus Christ (John 1:41 ). Andrew was probably a companion of Jesus on his return journey to Galilee, and was thus present at the marriage in Cana of Galilee (John 2:2 ), in Capernaum (John 2:12 ), at the Passover in Jerusalem (John 2:13 ), at the baptizing in Judea (John 3:22 ), where he himself may have taken part (compare John 4:2 ), and in Samaria (John 4:5 ).

Call and Ordination

On his return to Galilee, Andrew resumed for a time his old vocation as fisherman, till he received his second call. This happened after John the Baptist was cast into prison (compare Mark 1:14; Matthew 4:12) and is described in Mark 1:16-18; Matthew 4:18, Matthew 4:19.

The two accounts are practically identical, and tell how Andrew and his brother were now called on definitely to forsake their mundane occupations and become fishers of men (Mark 1:17).

The corresponding narrative of Luke varies in part; it does not mention Andrew by name, and gives the additional detail of the miraculous draught of fishes. By some it has been regarded as an amalgamation of Mark's account with John 21:1-8.

After a period of companionship with Jesus, during which, in the house of Simon and Andrew, Simon's wife's mother was healed of a fever (Mark 1:29-31 ; compare Matthew 8:14 , Matthew 8:15 ; Luke 4:38 , Luke 4:39 ); the call of Andrew was finally consecrated by his election as one of the Twelve Apostles (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14 ; Acts 1:13 ).

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 (Jn 6 History 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 (Jn 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 (Mk 13:3-23; compare also Mt 24:3-28; Lk 21:5-24).

  1. The following article is excerpted from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, which is in the public domain.