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Discipleship Survivor – Season Two

After a successful first season (2016), students in Prof. Richard Ascough's RELS 214 The New Testament will once again spend the semester playing Survivor – Discipleship Edition. Jesus is with his 12 disciples in a boat, but can give only one of them the keys to the Kingdom. Students decide whether or not Peter should really get the keys to the Kingdom, like the Gospel of Matthew records (Matt 16:15-19).

Students research information about the Jesus’ disciples – Who are they? What did they do? Why are they worthy of the keys? Why are they not worthy? Each week students will come to class prepared to nominate a disciple to be removed from the boat, along with their arguments – why should this guy go and others remain? With the nominees in place, one disciple will be voted "out" of the boat.

Here is a list of the disciples:

  • Andrew
  • Bartholomew/Nathaniel
  • James "the Younger/Lesser", son of Alphaeus
  • James, son of Zebedee
  • John, son of Zebedee
  • Judas
  • Judas / Thaddeus
  • Matthew / Levi
  • Philip
  • Peter “the Rock”
  • Simon the Zealot
  • Thomas

Who will survive? Students get to decide! 

Round 1 of Discipleship Survivor:

After the first week and six nominees, Simon the Zealot has been voted out of the boat (for being a political radical).  

Round 2 of Discipleship Survivor:

Students voted out “James the Lesser” because, well, with a moniker like that, expectations for a great future are low!!

Round 3 of Discipleship Survivor:

In a stunning upset this week previous winner of discipleship survivor and ecclesiastical favorite Peter “the Rock” has been voted out of the boat. Meanwhile, the much maligned Judas Iscariot survived his third nomination for being cast overboard. With eight weeks and nine disciples still left, we are entering unprecedented territory. New choices and a different outcome are in the hands of students (Bandersnach anyone?). Keep watching for the next update of what is sure to be an exciting fight for keys to the kingdom

Round 4 of Discipleship Survivor:

Alas, because of the class cancellation all remaining disciples survived for another week. Two will have to go next week to keep us on track.

Round 5 of Discipleship Survivor:

In another stunning episode of Discipleship Survivor, two more key leaders of the early church have been removed from the running to be soul survivor (pun intended!) and inheritor of the “keys to the Kingdom.” The first to go was John, son of Zebedee, who was deemed a little too arrogant for the tastes of some students. With five nominees left a second round of voting saw the elimination of his brother James, who was to Jerusalem what Peter was to Rome. The elimination of both John and James, together with Peter two weeks ago, wipes out the fishing cartel from among Jesus’s disciples. At the mid-point of the season and with another six weeks to go, stay tuned to find out who will prevail!