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In the history of Christianity, the disciples were the students of Jesus during his ministry. While Jesus attracted a large following, the Book of Acts refer to varying numbers of disciples that range between 70 and 120 to a "growing multitude". Jesus controversially accepted women and sinners (those who violated purity laws) among his followers. In the book of Acts, the Apostles themselves have disciples. The word disciple is used today as a way of self-identification for those who seek to learn from the teachings of Jesus, such as the Sermon on the Mount.

The term disciple is derived from the New Testament Greek word "μαθἡτἡς"., coming to English by way of the Latin discipulus meaning "a learner". Disciple should not be confused with apostle, meaning ""messenger, he that is sent"". [3]While a disciple is one who learns from a teacher, an apostle is sent to deliver those teachings to others. The word disciple appears two hundred and thirty two times in the four gospels and the Book of Acts.

Many of Jesus' first followers had been disciples of John the Baptist.[1]

See Also