As was brought up in another question; in so using Matthew 10:1-4, which lists the names of the 12. A response from a contributor stated the unavailability of proof in the Scripture to show that any or all(my own addition to shorten) were truely Jewish or Israelites. The belief I have found, which comes from Jesus's mouth in Matthew 28:19, "make disciples of all nations", leads me to my point. The missing facts that could tell us if the 12 disciples were Jews is irrelevant. It does not matter, that is why it is not found in the Scriptures. We do not need to know, and Jesus already said that He wanted disciples of all nations. Had the information been available stating all to be Jews, then we may find ourselves arguing, as I know I do about things anyway, except this time with Jesus's command, on whether or not a disciple should or should not be either Jewish or of Israelite lineage, or of all nations.
Tradition holds that all 12 were Jewish, but the Bible affirms the Jewish heritage of many of them. Their names are:
Thomas, Simon the Zealot, Philip, Simon Peter, Matthias, Matthew (aka Levi), Jude, Judas Iscariot, John, James (Son of Alpheus), James (Son of Zebedee), Bartholomew (aka Nathaniel), and Andrew.
- Nathaniel. Jesus labeled Nathaniel (also called Bartholomew) as Jewish. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” (John 1:47)
- Simon the Zealot. The Zealots were a fanatical Jewish sect, so his title confirms that he was Jewish.
- Matthew. Since Matthew was also called Levi, one of the tribes of Israel, this is evidence that he was Jewish.
- Jude and James, son of Alphaeus. The name Jude comes from Judah, the same tribe that King David came from. James was Jude's brother.
- Judas Iscariot. Judas also comes from Judah.
- Philip, Andrew, Peter. John 1:44 says, "Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida." Bethsaida was on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. In those days, its residents would have mostly been Jewish. Also, when Peter went to the Temple in Jerusalem, the authorities never punished him for desecrating the Temple for being a non-Jew, but for other reasons.
John and James. They were brothers: Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. (Matthew 4:21) Since John had the same name as Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist, we know that it was a common Jewish name. Also, In Mark 1, they accompany Jesus into a synagogue. They would not likely have been welcome there if they were not Jewish.
As a group. In Acts 1:6, the disciples asked this:
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
That proves that they still had a Jewish mindset, and were focused on their nation, the nation of Israel, not the world. Jesus responds with this:
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”