What is an apostle?

question Answer

The word apostle means “one who is sent out.” In the New Testament, there are two primary usages of the word apostle. The first is in specifically referring to the

The twelve apostles held a unique position. In referring to the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:14 states, “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” The twelve apostles are also referred to in Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:14; 4:10; 6:7; 9:35; 14:10, 17, 20; Luke 6:13; 9:1; 22:14; John 6:71; Acts 6:2; and 1 Corinthians 15:5. It was these twelve apostles who were the first messengers of the gospel after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was these twelve apostles who were the foundation of the church—with Jesus being the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).

This specific type of apostle is not present in the church today. The qualifications of this type of apostle were: (1) to have been a witness of the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1), (2) to have been explicitly chosen by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:15), and (3) to have the ability to perform signs and wonders (Acts 2:43; 2 Corinthians 12:12). The responsibility of the twelve apostles, laying the foundation of the church, would also argue for their uniqueness. Two thousand years later, we are not still working on the foundation.

Beyond the unique twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, there were also apostles in a generic sense. Barnabas is referred to as an “apostle” in Acts 13:2 and 14:4. apostle being used to refer to someone besides the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Anyone who was “sent” could be called an apostle.

What exactly would be the role of an apostle outside that of the twelve apostles? That is not entirely clear. From the definition of the word, the closest thing today to an apostle, in the general sense, is a missionary. A missionary is a follower of Christ who is sent out with the specific mission of proclaiming the gospel. A missionary is an ambassador of Christ to people who have not heard the good news. However, to prevent confusion, it is likely best to not use the term apostle to refer to any position in the church today. The vast majority of occurrences of the word apostle or apostles in the New Testament refer to the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.

There are some today who are seeking to

In a sense, all followers of Jesus Christ are called to be apostles. We are all to be His ambassadors (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20). We are all to be “ones who are sent out” (Acts 1:8). We are all to be preachers of the good news (Romans 10:15).

Note – for a discussion on whether Matthias or Paul was the twelfth apostle, please read the following article:

The wordmeans “ one who is sent out. ” In the New Testament, there are two primary usages of the discussion. The first is in specifically referring to the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The second is in generically referring to other individuals who are sent out to be messengers/ambassadors of Jesus Christ.The twelve apostles held a alone position. In referring to the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:14 states, “ The rampart of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. ” The twelve apostles are besides referred to in Matthew 10:2 ; Mark 3:14 ; 4:10 ; 6:7 ; 9:35 ; 14:10, 17, 20 ; Luke 6:13 ; 9:1 ; 22:14 ; John 6:71 ; Acts 6:2 ; and 1 Corinthians 15:5. It was these twelve apostles who were the foremost messengers of the gospel after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was these twelve apostles who were the foundation of the church—with Jesus being the cornerstone ( Ephesians 2:20 ) .This specific type of apostle is not present in the church nowadays. The qualifications of this type of apostle were : ( 1 ) to have been a witness of the resurrect Christ ( 1 Corinthians 9:1 ), ( 2 ) to have been explicitly chosen by the Holy Spirit ( Acts 9:15 ), and ( 3 ) to have the ability to perform signs and wonders ( Acts 2:43 ; 2 Corinthians 12:12 ). The duty of the twelve apostles, laying the initiation of the church, would besides argue for their singularity. Two thousand years subsequently, we are not still working on the foundation.Beyond the unique twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, there were besides apostles in a generic sense. Barnabas is referred to as an “ apostle ” in Acts 13:2 and 14:4. Andronicus and Junias are possibly identified as apostles in Romans 16:7. The same Greek parole normally translated “ apostle ” is used to refer to Titus in 2 Corinthians 8:23 and Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:25. so, there decidedly seems to be room for the termbeing used to refer to person besides the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Anyone who was “ sent ” could be called an apostle.What precisely would be the role of an apostle away that of the twelve apostles ? That is not entirely open. From the definition of the password, the closest thing nowadays to an apostle, in the general sense, is a missionary. A missionary is a follower of Christ who is sent out with the specific mission of proclaiming the gospel. A missionary is an ambassador of Christ to people who have not heard the good news. however, to prevent confusion, it is likely best to not use the termto refer to any position in the church today. The huge majority of occurrences of the wordorin the New Testament refer to the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.There are some nowadays who are seeking to restore the position of apostle. This is a dangerous campaign. frequently, those claiming the position of apostle seek authority equal to, or at least rivaling, the assurance of the original twelve apostles. There is absolutely no biblical evidence to support such an sympathy of the role of apostle nowadays. This would fit with the New Testament ’ s warning against false apostles ( 2 Corinthians 11:13 ) .In a common sense, all followers of Jesus Christ are called to be apostles. We are all to be His ambassadors ( Matthew 28:18-20 ; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 ). We are all to be “ ones who are sent out ” ( Acts 1:8 ). We are all to be preachers of the good news program ( Romans 10:15 ) .Note – for a discussion on whether Matthias or Paul was the one-twelfth apostle, please read the surveil article : be Matthias or Paul God ’ mho choice to replace Judas as the 12th apostle ?