A book cover featuring a sepia tone sketch of the seated apostles being taught by Jesus

Alexander B. Bruce

The Training of the Twelve provides a classic study of Jesus’ teaching and training of his disciples. Using a loose “harmony of the Gospels” approach, Bruce pulls from all four gospel narratives to show how Jesus discipled His disciples. The book’s greatest strength is that it is not as a how-to book on discipleship or a 12-step program for leadership development. Instead, Bruce exegetes the passages showing what Jesus was doing with his disciples and leaves contemporary application to the reader. Bruce’s book, which was first published in 1871, is a valuable study for any Christian who serves in any form of leadership capacity or who seeks to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Its 31 chapters provide an absorbing commentary on selected passages of the four Gospels, following Jesus ministry and teaching among his disciples in chronological order. Although the writing style may take a bit of getting used to for modern readers, the result is well worth the effort. The table of Scripture references discussed in the book also makes it a useful reference work—after it has been read from cover to cover. Theologically sound and biblically true, this book comes highly recommended to anyone desiring to obey Jesus’s command to make disciples.


  • Discipleship & Training