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Call Stories of the Gospels
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Narratives that tell the stories of Jesus calling His disciples, found in Matt 4:18–22; 9:9; Mark 1:16–20; 2:14; Luke 5:1–11, 27–28; John 1:35–51.In the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), Jesus finds and calls His earliest disciples along the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Matt 4:18; Mark 1:16; called the “Lake of Gennesaret” in Luke 5:1). Since Jesus’ tiny hometown of Nazareth had a “very limited scope for the proclamation of the good news,” Jesus began preaching along the west and north sides of the nearby lake because “its prosperous fishing industry and … active trade route” potentially provided Him with a larger audience (France, Gospel of Mark, 95). Some of His disciples may plausibly have heard Him preach about the kingdom of God before He called them; this could explain their abrupt willingness to embrace the socially and economically costly call of leaving their families and the fishing industry to follow Jesus, a choice that would have resulted in “downward mobility” (Matt 4:13–17; Mark 1:14–15; Luke 4:31–44; Keener, Matthew, 151–52).The fishermen named in the Synoptic call stories include Simon (Peter), James, John (Matt 4:18–22; Mark 1:16–20; Luke 5:3–11), and Andrew (Matt 4:18–20; Mark 1:16–17). No reason is given for why Jesus chose who He did. According to Noland, “Jesus is pictured as commandeering from what lies at hand rather than making a careful selection from candidates meeting some strict sense of criteria” (Nolland, Matthew, 178). He naturally would have met fishermen in Capernaum, explaining the language He uses to persuade them (Keener, Matthew, 148); Jesus and His earliest followers did not often use fishing language to describe mission, but here by the lake it would have been “consistent with Jesus’ rhetoric elsewhere, he teaches his hearers in terms they can understand” (Keener, Matthew, 148). Jesus’ exact meaning continues to be debated; one likely possibility is that since the sea was seen as “a symbol of evil or loss, even chaos,” fishing would be a model of dragging people from the abyss (Witherington, Mark, 86).The Synoptics separately describe the call of the tax collector named Matthew/Levi (Matt 9:9; Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27–28). In their lists of the Twelve, the Synoptics include disciples whose call narratives are not given elsewhere (Matt 10:1–4; Mark 3:13–19; Luke 6:12–16). Those who were called may have recruited others, as the Fourth Gospel presents it (John 1:43–51); in this Gospel, John the Baptist—rather than Jesus—directs the first disciples to Jesus (John 1:35–42). Later, though, the Twelve are identified as those whom Jesus Himself chose (John 6:70).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Call Stories of the Gospels
Call Stories of the Gospels Narratives that tell the stories of Jesus calling His disciples, found in Matt 4:18–22; 9:9; Mark 1:16–20; 2:14; Luke 5:1–11, 27–28; John 1:35–51.In the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), Jesus finds and calls His earliest disciples along the shores of the Sea of
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Call Stories (Gospels)
CALL STORIES (GOSPELS). Stories of individuals being called to a life of discipleship are a common feature of religious and philosophical biography in antiquity (e.g., Philostr. VA 1.19; 4.1, 24; 8.21; Porph. Plot. 19–20; and, in general, Bieler 1935–36: 1.122–29). The Gospels contain similar accounts
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
STORIES
STORIES<sto’-riz>: For the King James Version “stories” (ma’aloth) in Am 9:6, the Revised Version (British and American) reads “chambers” (in heavens); in Gen 6:16 (ark); Ezek 42:3, 6 (temple), the word is supplied. the Revised Version (British and American) in the latter verse reads in
The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Volumes 1–5
Stories
STORIES, stōʹriz: For AV “stories” (ma‛ălōth) in Am 9:6, RV reads “chambers” (in heavens); in Gen 6:16 (ark); Ezk 42:3, 6 (temple), the word is supplied. RV in the latter verse reads in the text “the third story” (m as in AV). In 1 K 6:5, 10, RV has “stories” (ỵāçīa‛, yāçūa; see Temple), and