IBR Jesus Project Paper 2. That Jesus associated himself especially with twelve of his followers is a datum firmly established by good arguments across a broad spectrum of modern Jesus studies. But why Jesus chose the Twelve is in need of serious reconsideration because the standard, eschatological explanation has rarely been examined. A careful examination of the evidence pertaining to the number "twelve" in the Hebrew Bible and in ancient Jewish sources suggests that Jesus chose the Twelve to evoke the twin themes of covenant renewal (a Joshua theme) and eschatological restoration (with the reunification of the twelve tribes implied).

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