Twelve Ordinary Men by John F. MacArthur Jr.

Twelve Ordinary Men

Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to be perfect to do God's work. Look no further than the twelve disciples whose many weaknesses are forever preserved throughout the pages of the New Testament. Jesus chose ordinary men - fisherman, tax collectors, political zealots - and turned their weakness into strength, producing greatness from utter uselessness. MacArthur draws principles from Christ's careful, hands-on training of the original twe...

Details Twelve Ordinary Men

TitleTwelve Ordinary Men
Release DateNov 18th, 2002
PublisherThomas Nelson
GenreChristian, Nonfiction, Christian Living, Religion, Christianity, Theology, Faith, History, Discipleship, Christian Non Fiction

Reviews Twelve Ordinary Men

  • Lou
    Jesus didn't choose the wealthiest, noblest, smartest, most religious, nicest, prettiest, or most athletic to be his disciples. He chose from the bottom of the barrel. The ordinary people like you and me. We can relate to all of the disciples in some way.
  • Jennifer Wilson
    There seemed to be too much speculation and too little known facts about the majority of the disciples, but that didn't stop the author from going on and on -- I believe this book would have been better leaving out the speculation and sticking to facts. This would have meant the book would have been half it's length. Also, I noticed he used a verse to "prove" the death penalty was okay. I had to read this book for church, otherwise I wouldn't hav...
  • Christopher Dale
    First, I was shocked to discover that Mark and Luke, writers of two of the Gospels were not disciples of Jesus'. Second, this book really brings home the fact that God can and will use an imperfect man such as I. In fact, it seems to be a prerequisite of His that I be as far from perfection as possible, before I can be used of Him. I got a lot of encouragement from this book and highly recommend it for everyone.
  • Paul
    This book highlights each of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus to follow him and how each one of them was "ordinary." Yet in their ordinariness, Jesus changed them and formed them into the church leaders that they eventually became. It also served as a warning of how hard-heartedness and pride, as in the case of Judas Iscariot, can cause our downfall. As far as the content of the book goes, I found it interesting how John MacArthur could create...
  • Edwin
    It was based on past sermons, It is really an insight to the personalities of the Apostles. Although much speculation, it is all Scripture based and very believable
  • Carolyn
    Once you get past the rather dry introduction chapter, things got pretty interesting. Must admit to have a marked lack of knowledge on the disciples and was always embarrassed by my lack of being able to name them. Now realize I couldn't name them b/c several of them are hardly mentioned. In any case, I learned alot - mainly his point was that the disciples were a group of really common men (thus the title) with strengths and flaws just like the ...
  • Rachel
    A great work by John MacArthur! Dig deep into studying the lives of these men - how God/Jesus took 12 ordinary men and how God used them for the glory of His kingdom and for His purpose. :) I learned a lot of things that aren't as easily "spelled out" about the disciples in the Bible as well as a lot of lessons about what God desires of us, His children and how my life can be used for His glory! :D
  • Mike
    The best book I've read about the 12 disciples. This very biblically based book does an excellent job of showing the character and character flaws on the 12 disciples. I'd highly recommend it.
  • Francine Maximiliano
    Livro extraordinário. É uma leitura de fácil compreensão e a tradução é ótima. O autor explana bem sobre a vida daqueles que estiveram lado a lado com Jesus. Ele relata as características das vidas e as personalidade dos discípulos encontradas nas Escrituras - além de inferir informações extras (provindas de tradições e historiadores). Através disso, somos levados a entender que mesmo sendo comuns, rudes, ignorantes, pecadores, eg...
  • Ryan Reed
    This wasn’t a bad book, but only John MacArthur could write 200 pages so confidently on men that the Bible doesn’t speak much about.
  • Stacy
    This was my first book by John MacArthur, but it won't be my last. Normally, non-fiction is a very difficult genre for me, and thus I rarely read it. I'm trying to make a concerted effort to change that, at least in some areas (such as this, Christian non-fiction, that interests me!). I've finally found what works for me - reading a non-fiction in conjunction with a fiction book (before I tried to read one or the other, never both concurrently), ...
  • Tom Leary
    This was a great book describing the lives of each disciple based on scripture. Dr. John F. MacArthur stuck almost exclusively with scripture and mostly relied on the gospel accounts to describe the disciples. This does provide a firm foundation, but in many cases gives very little understanding into the disciples.In some cases there are disciples who are only known because of their name being mentioned in a list. At this point some loose connec...
  • Philip
    This is MacArthur at his best. While he often struggles in some of his purely exegetical works, MacArthur hits his stride in a more topical work such as this. The book traces the lives of each of the apostles and presents vignettes from various passages of the Gospels, pointing out their unique foibles and passions. The writer also helpfully concludes each apostle with a summary of early church tradition on the remainder of the apostle’s life.
  • Chrissy
    This book gave such amazing insight on each disciple by piecing together all the verses that talk about each person. It gives great encouragement to all of us in our faith since it is absolutely amazing that Christianity spread at all with such disciples as these. I loved this look at the character and personality of the disciples.
  • Katie
    I really enjoyed this book. I read it as my daily Bible study and so I made time to look up all the references. The author was so thorough in his information about each disciple- giving us examples of the same story in different books of the Bible. It was so interesting to see how the stories all correlated but each had slightly different details that related back to each other.
  • Sean
    I loved this book. I love the stories of the disciples, and MacArthur brings a lot of helpful insight into the lives of these men. There are a few personal caveats here and there, but the meat of this book provides valuable information about the men who followed Jesus. It's a great resource for teaching or personal study.
  • James Tamara
    This book did a great job taking a deeper look into the life of the Twelve Disciples. It showed, with excellent detail, how Christ transforms ordinary people and equips them for His service. I would recommend this book to anyone that seeks to have a deeper, more complete understanding of the Gospels and the people who were involved.
  • Lu
    Interesting how we all have personalities that Jesus can deal with, with His unconditional love. He created us and still loves us so much that He would do anything for us, obviously since He gave His life, but He even has our picture on his frig and brags about us still!!
  • Luis
    Great book to read. Gives insightful information in the characteristics of the disciples of Jesus Christ. learned that God doesn't want to make you exactly the same as any other individual, but is in the business of making the christian more like the image if his son Jesus Christ in the heart.
  • Larry
    Great book emphasizing that God chooses the foolish to lead the wise. God's kingdom is an upside down kingdom where the last is first; the servant is the greatest; and you die to live.
  • Kevin Bessey
    I thoroughly enjoyed John MacArthur's "Twelve Ordinary Men" ("TOM"). My expectations were that TOM would be a mixture of scriptural, historical, and narrative references made for each apostle; however to my surprise each apostle's chapter was well balanced between scriptural and historical references. I'm not always a fan of narratives due to the subjective nature and had genuine concerns that MacArthur would stretch each chapter using narrative ...
  • Jason Marianna
    I'm almost hesitant to admit it, but it's true. While I regard John MacArthur as the greatest Christian leader since Charles Spurgeon and I'm deeply grateful for his immeasurable contributions to the church, I am not a big fan of his books. That is not to say they are not worth reading. A few have deeply impacted me, but more often than not I find his writing to be "not my taste". However, Twelve Ordinary Men kept me turning pages and taking note...
  • Chad Warner
    An enlightening look at Jesus’ twelve disciples, drawing out lessons that can be applied to any ordinary Christian. It starts by looking at the disciples as a group, then delves into each disciple individually, discussing their personalities and actions.The book drives home how ordinary the disciples were, yet how God used them for such great good. It shows how God can use our imperfect efforts too. The book mentions several times Jesus’ fore...
  • Cigno
    Overall this book was a great read. John MacArthur’s knowledge, wisdom, and practical application of Scripture and stories are relevant and thought provoking. MacArthur does a good job unpacking as much as possible about each disciple from Scripture as well as some extrabiblical sources. He gives descriptive contextual details which add to the story but which are not known from simply reading the Bible. These extra details provide extra insight...
  • Cale Manley
    John MacArthur gives an in-depth look at each of the 12 men Jesus spent most of His time with. Some of the disciples do not have much information recorded about them in the Bible, so some information is speculated by MacArthur. However, he looks at them with what I think is a realistic and accurate view. 3 main things this book achieves:1. Reminds the reader that God can and does use anyone. He uses rich people and poor people. Loud people and qu...
  • Zane Feemster
    In Twelve Ordinary Men, John Macarthur does a great job of detailing each of the twelve apostles called by Jesus. Each is unique in their own way (personality, abilities, background), yet all are shaped and used by Jesus for His church. Macarthur lays out each chapter by explaining who they are, how they were shaped by Jesus, and how that led to the rest of their lives spent living for His mission. The stories of the twelve apostles make it clear...
  • Mathew Nix
    A very good overview of the disciples one-by-one. As others have commented, it gets rather speculative at times, but considering how little is said of these men in the Bible, it's amazing how much the author can make out of those small details and skillfully craft applicable lessons out of each disciple's portraits. This book also helps you understand the disciples better whenever you encounter them in the gospels or Acts as you study the Scriptu...
  • Elizabeth
    This book is an outstanding study of each of the 12 apostles. They were indeed all ordinary men made extraordinary through Christ. We can all learn from each of the 12 men as we read the gospels and watch how Christ turns each man's weaknesses into strengths and strengthens their strengths. This book is so thorough and well done that I recommend it to anyone who wants a greater study and understanding of the apostles.
  • Martha
    Not as strong as Twelve Extraordinary Women, because he found 12 women to highlight based on a significant amount of scripture or description of that woman. I felt he drew debate-able conclusions-thinking especially of Thomas, or filled a chapter where virtually nothing was known about the disciple.
  • Jeff
    I think the author jumps to a lot of conclusions based on very small amounts of information. He also tended to describe that character traits of the apostles in terms of extremes. But overall, I think it was a good book. It was helpful looking at many different sections of scripture to build a better picture of who these men were.