← Back

What is the real number of the Disciples sent forth by Jesus Christ- 70 or 72?


Luke 10:1- [ Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two ] After this the Lord chose another seventy-two men and sent them out two by two, to go ahead of him to every town and place where he himself was about to go.
Luke 10:17- [ The Return of the Seventy-Two ] The seventy-two men came back in great joy. “Lord,” they said, “even the demons obeyed us when we gave them a command in your name!”

- Good News Translation (a Catholic Bible)


Bible Gateway Reference List for Luke 10:1 (70 or 72 Disciples)
21st Century King James Version (KJ21) 70
American Standard Version (ASV) 70
Amplified Bible (AMP) 70
Common English Bible (CEB)  72
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) 70
Contemporary English Version (CEV) 72
Darby Translation (DARBY) 70
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) 72
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) 72
English Standard Version (ESV) 72
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK) 72
Expanded Bible (EXB) 72
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV) 70
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) 70
Good News Translation (GNT) 72
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) 70
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS) 70
 Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB) 70
King James Version (KJV) 70
Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV) 70
Lexham English Bible (LEB) 72
Living Bible (TLB) 70
The Message (MSG) 70
Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament (MOUNCE) 72
Names of God Bible (NOG) 70
New American Standard Bible (NASB) 72
New Century Version (NCV) 72
New English Translation (NET) 72
New International Reader's Version (NIRV) 72
New International Version (NIV) 72
New International Version - UK (NIVUK) 72
New King James Version (NKJV) 70
New Life Version (NLV) 70
New Living Translation (NLT) 72
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 70
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA) 70
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE) 70
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) 70
Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB) 70
Revised Standard Version (RSV) 70
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE) 70
The Voice (VOICE) 70
World English Bible (WEB) 70
Worldwide English (New Testament) (WE) 70
Wycliffe Bible (WYC) 72
Young's Literal Translation (YLT) 70

* 28 Gateway Bibles use 70 Disciples in Luke 10:1 including all King James Versions (KJV), all New Revised Standard Versions (NRS), and all Jewish Bibles
* 18 Gateway Bibles use 72 Disciples in Luke 10:1 including all New International Versions (NIV), the New American Standard (NASB) and all Catholic Bibles published by Catholics


In general, it appears that the following forms of Christianity differ in their belief that either 70 or 72 Disciples were given a commission by Jesus Christ:

Roman Catholic = 72
Eastern Orthodox = 70
Protestant = 70 and/or 72


70 or 72 disciples sent out by Jesus

Were there 70 or 72 disciples sent out by Jesus ?

We find the information about the sending out of messengers in Luke's gospel under Luke 10:1.

The Wycliffe Bible states - Forsooth after these things, the Lord Jesus ordained also other seventy and two, and sent them by two and two before his face into every city and place
The New International Version states - After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
New King James version - After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
We are told that they are sent out in pairs but are there 35 pairs or 36 ?

Who are the seventy and who are the two ? 

Luke 10:1

NASB - 1 Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 16 2013 Pgb45ekes28fvmzjn0344mhy83sbgu1d Jason Corning

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Stringio Annelle Brown
I copied the following answer after I googled the question and found it very enlightening as to 70 or 72, 

After sending out the twelve to proclaim the kingdom of God and heal (Lk 9), Jesus sent out 70 or 72 “others” ahead of where he was going to be (Lk 10:1). (Note: older Bibles say 70 and newer ones favor the manuscript reading 72, as do I.) The missions of the two groups are clearly similar (Lk 10:4=22:35 ESV; Cf. Matt 10:13 with Luke 10:6; Matt 10:15 with Luke 10:12; Matt 10:16 with Luke 10:3). But their numbers are very similar, too. Both are multiples of twelve; 72 being six times twelve. The twelve, of course, is based off the 12 tribes of Israel which the 12 apostles will sit on 12 thrones over in the Millennium (Mt 19:28). But why six times twelve for the second group?

The answer may be found in a third group to be sent out on the very same gospel preaching mission in the end times, the 144,000 (Rev 7:1). Unlike previous groups, they will proclaim the gospel to every nation and language in the world (Mt 24:14=Rev 14:1,6-7). Also unlike other groups they will receive special protection (Rev 7:1=9:4) from the Antichrist who is martyring believers during their mission (Rev 13:7,15,16). Their number is also a multiple of 12 and also 72.

So we have three groups of one times twelve, then six times twelve, and then twelve times twelve (times 1000) respectively. I believe the significance of the number 72 is to link that second group with the twelve and the 144,000 and also to indicate how their mission is only partial. The 72 are just an intermediate fulfillment of the greater final end time mission of the 144,000 who will preach the “everlasting gospel” in the entire world, not just Israel’s land. Being half of twelve times twelve is fitting in this role. Unlike the 72 who covered Canaan, the 144,000 will have to cover the entire world or all 72 of the biblical 72 nations of Genesis 10 (Septuagint text. Masoretic text lists 70). If the 144,000 go out in pairs like the 72 did, then the 144,000 can marshal 1000 pairs of gospel witnesses per biblical nation on earth.

September 17 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Doktor D W Supporter
Be glad that He sent them out. When you want to type that, just type "70 or so." No biggee.

September 16 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini David Pike
More than 72 when you read in context with Luke 9:52 where Jesus sent at least two messengers to Samaria. I'm glad you ask questions like this. You are following Apostle Paul's mandate to Christians to read and challenge. Challenge, not blind acceptance, makes us strong in our faith. God bless

September 17 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining