The Greek word ap stolos is derived from the verb apostélla, which means “send away” or “send” (Mat 10:5; Mar 11:3).His basic meaning is clear from the saying of Jesus: “A slave is not greater than his master, nor is an emissary [ap’stolos greater than the one who sent him” (Jn 13:16). In this sense, the word is also applied to Christ Jesus as the “apostle and high priest whom we confess” (Heb 3:1; cf. Mat 10:40; 15:24; 18, 43; 9:48; 10:16; Jn 3:17; 5:36, 38; 6:29, 57; 7:29; 8:42; 10:36; 11:42; 17:3, 8, 18, 21-25; 20:21). God sent Jesus as His appointed and appointed representative.
However, the term is mainly applied to those disciples, who Jesus personally chose as a group of 12 authorized representatives.The names of the original 12 selected are listed in Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, and Luke 6:13-16. One of the original 12, Judas Iscariot, turned out to be a traitor, and thus earlier prophecies were fulfilled in him (Ps 41:9; 109:8). The remaining 11 faithful Apostles are re-listed by name in Acts 1:13.
Some of the apostles had been disciples of John the Baptist before they became disciples of Jesus (Jn 1:35-42).Eleven of them were apparently Galileans (Acts 2:7), while Judas Iscariot was probably the only Jew. They all came from the working class; four of them were professional fishermen; one had been a tax collector (Mat 4:18-21; 9:9-13). At least two of them were apparently cousins of Jesus (James and John, the sons of Zebedee). Religious leaders regarded the Apostles as “uneducated and ordinary people,” indicating that they had only a basic education and had not attended high schools. Some of them, including Peter (Kephas), were married (Acts 4:13; 1Ko 9:5).
Of the 12, Peter, James, and John apparently had the closest relationship with Jesus.They alone witnessed the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus (Mar 5:35-43) and of the transformation of Jesus (Matthew 17:1, 2), and they accompanied him on the night of his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane further than the other Apostles (Mar 14:32, 33). There seems to have been a special affection between Jesus and John, and John is generally believed to be the disciple “whom Jesus loved” (Jn 21:20-24; 13:23).
Selection and early service.The 12 were chosen by Jesus from a larger group of disciples and called “apostles” “so that they could stay with him and send them out [apostéll’i (pronounced apostéll’), to preach and to have violence, the demons, “Mar 3:13-15).After that, they “remained” indeed “with him”, for they were closely connected with him during the rest of his earthly service, and were thoroughly instructed and trained by him for service (Mat 10:1-42; Luk 8:1). Because they remained Students of Jesus, they were still called “disciples,” especially in accounts of events that took place before Pentecost (Matthew 11:1; 14:26; 20:17; Jn 20:2). After that, they are consistently referred to as “apostles”. When Jesus used them, He gave them miracle powers to heal the sick and cast out demons, and they made some use of them during the service of Jesus (Mar 3:14, 15; 6:13; Mat 10:1-8; Luk 9:6; See. Mat 17:16). However, this activity is always presented as subordinate to its main task of preaching. The Apostles formed a close circle of followers, but their teaching and training did not include mysterious rites or ceremonies.
Human weaknesses.’u2003As apostles of the Son of God, they were very favored, but they still had normal human weaknesses.Peter was slightly hasty and impetuous (Matthew 16:22, 23; Jn 21:7, 8); Thomas was hard to convince (Jn 20:24, 25); James and John expressed youthful impatience (Luk 9:49, 54). They were arguing about who would be the greatest in the earthly kingdom that they expected to be set up by Jesus (Matthew 20:20-28; Mar 10:35-45; See. Acts 1:6; Luk 24:21). They admitted that they needed a greater faith (Luk 17:5; cf. Mat 17:20). Although they were closely associated with Jesus for a number of years and knew that he was the Messiah, they all left him at his arrest (Mat 26:56); his burial was initiated and carried out by others. At first, the Apostles reluctantly believed in the testimony of the women who first saw Jesus after his resurrection (Luk 24:10, 11). Fearful, they gathered behind closed doors (Jn 20:19, 26). The resurrected Jesus, however, gave them further understanding, and after his ascension on the 40th day after His Resurrection, they expressed great joy, and they “were continually in the temple, and blessed God” (Luk 24:44-53).
Activity in the Christian Assembly.”U2003Through the outpouring of the Spirit of God at Pentecost, the Apostles were greatly strengthened.The first five chapters of the Acts of the Apostles testify to how fearless they were and how frankly they proclaimed the good news and resurrection of Jesus, even though they were imprisoned, beaten, and threatened with death by the Jewish authorities. In those early days after Pentecost, the dynamic action of the Apostles under the power of the Holy Spirit contributed to an astonishing expansion of the Christian assembly (Acts 2:41; 4:4). They initially limited their ministry to Jerusalem, but then extended it to Samaria and finally to the whole world known at that time (Acts 5:42; 6:7; 8:5-17, 25; 1:8).
As apostles, they were primarily to testify to the realization of divine intentions and prophecies by Jesus, especially the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus; they should also make disciples among all nations.Jesus emphasized this mission in particular just before His Ascension (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8, 22; 2:32-36; 3:15-26). Their testimony of the Resurrection was the testimony of eyewitnesses (Acts 13:30-34).
In addition, to confirm their testimony, the Apostles continued to make use of the miracle powers that Jesus had previously bestowed upon them, as well as the gifts of the Spirit that they received from Pentecost (Acts 5:12; 9:36-40; see GABEN GOD [gifts OF GOD] of the Spirit).While others received such miracles of the Spirit, as the account shows, this was only the case in the presence of one or more apostles, or when the apostles laid hands on someone. Paul, who was not one of the 12 but had been personally appointed by Jesus Christ, also served as an apostle in this way (Acts 2:1, 4, 14; 8:14-18; 10:44; 19:6). Thus, only these apostles could transmit such gifts to others. The miracle son therefore ceased with the death of these apostles and those who had received them through the Apostles (1Ko 13:2, 8-11). That is why we read: “They are missing in the 2nd century, whose ecclesiastical writers speak of them as if they were past things” (The Great Biblical Dictionary, R. Brockhaus/Brunnen, Vol. 1, 1987, p. 83).
In the foundation, organization, and later in the leadership of the Christian Assembly, the Apostles held an important position (1Ko 12:28; Eph 4:11).Although they were in charge with the support of other “older men”, they formed the main body of the governing body of the expanding Christian Assembly, and this body was recognized by the first Christians everywhere as a channel of communication, by whom God made decisions and regulated the affairs of assembly throughout the earth (Acts 2:42; 8:14-17; 11:22; 15:1, 2, 6-31; 16:4, 5). This was only possible for these men because the promises of guidance had been fulfilled by God’s Holy Spirit (Jn 15:26, 27). As a result, they could remember the instructions and teachings of Jesus to clarify teachings and thus gradually be guided “into the whole truth” that was revealed through them at that time (Jn 14:26; 16:13-15; cf. Jn 2:22; 12:16). They made appointments to service in the Assembly and also determined in which areas missionaries should be deployed (Acts 6:2, 3; Gal 2:8, 9).
The apostles thus served as a foundation resting on Jesus Christ, the cornerstone, on which a holy temple for Jehovah was to be built (Eph 2:20-22; 1Pe 2:4-6).There is nothing to suggest that one of the Apostles would have been the priority in the Then-existing Christian Assembly. (See PETRUS.) At Pentecost and immediately afterwards, Peter and John seem to have played a particularly important role, with Peter appearing as the main spokesman at Pentecost (Acts 2:14, 37, 38; 3:1, 4, 11; 4:1, 13, 19; 5:3, 8, 15, 29). In the decisions taken at that time, however, none of them seems to have taken precedence over the other members of the governing body, and when the apostles in Jerusalem heard of the baptisms carried out in Samaria, “they sent Peter and John to them” who then served, so to speak, as apostles of the Apostles (Acts 6:2-6; 8:14, 15). After the death of the Apostle James, the disciple of the same name— James, the half-brother of Jesus — appears to have been the chairman of the governing body. Paul spoke of this James, and also of Peter (Cephas) and John, as those who “appeared to be pillars” (Acts 12:1, 2, 16, 17; Gal 1:18, 19; 2:9, 11-14). On the occasion of the meeting, which was about the dispute over the circumcision of the non-Jewish believers and at which both Peter and Paul testified, James announced the final decision (Acts 15:1, 2, 6-21).
Who replaced Judas Iscariot as the twelfth Apostle?
Because of the apostasy of Judas Iscariot, who died in infidelity, only 11 apostles remained, and Jesus did not provide a substitute in the 40 days between his resurrection and his ascension.At some point during the ten days between the Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost, it was considered necessary to reoccupy the place that had been vacated by Judas, not so much because Judas was dead, but rather because of his apostasy, as it was from the Scriptures quoted (Acts 1:15-22; Ps 69:25; 109:8; See. Rev 3:11). By contrast, when the faithful Apostle James was killed, no effort appeared to be made to find a successor to his Apostle ministry (Acts 12:2).
As is clear from the words of the Apostle Peter, it was agreed that only those persons who had known Jesus personally and who had witnessed his works, his miracles, and especially his works, and especially his had been resurrection.This clearly shows that in the course of time an apostolic succession became impossible, unless God had created the conditions in each individual case. At that time, before Pentecost, however, there were men who met the requirements, and two of them were considered suitable to replace the unfaithful Judas. Undoubtedly with sayings 16:33 in mind, lots were thrown. As a result, Matthias was chosen and “counted among the eleven Apostles” (Acts 1:23-26). He was thus one of the “twelves” who settled the problem of the Greek-speaking disciples (Acts 6:1, 2), and Paul obviously counted him as he spoke of “the Twelve” in connection with the apparitions of Jesus after his resurrection (1Ko 15:4-8). At Pentecost, there were thus 12 apostolic foundations on which the spiritual Israel, founded at that time, could rest.
Meeting Apostle.”u2003Matthias was not only an apostle of the meeting of Jerusalem, just like the other 11 Apostles.His case is different from that of the Levite Joseph Barnabas, who became an apostle of the antioch (Syria) assembly (Acts 13:1-4; 14:4, 14; 1Ko 9:4-6). Other men are also called “apostles of assemblies,” in the sense that they were sent by these meetings to represent them (2Ko 8:23). And in the Letter to the Philippians, Paul refers to Epaphroditus as “your emissary [apstolon and personal servant for my needs’ (Php 2:25). These men obviously did not hold the Apostle ministry because of any apostolic succession, nor did they belong to the “twelves”, like Matthias.
Proper understanding of the expanded use of the term “apostle” can help resolve an apparent contradiction between the accounts in Acts 9:26, 27, and Galatians 1:17-19, both of which relate to the same event.The first account states that Barnabas led Paul “to the Apostles” after his arrival in Jerusalem. In Galatians, however, Paul writes that he visited Peter, adding, “But I saw none of the apostles, only James, the brother of the Lord.” James (not the original apostle James, the son of Zebedee, nor James, the son of Alphaeus, but the half-brother of Jesus) was apparently regarded as an “apostle” in an extended sense, namely as an “envoy” of the meeting of Jerusalem. This would explain why, in Acts, the title could be used in the plural when it was said that Paul had been led “to the apostles” (i.e. Peter and James). (Cf. 1Ko 15:5-7; Gal 2:9.)
The election of Paul.”u2003Probably around the year 34 o.c. Saul was converted by Tarsus, who was later called Paul.He became a true apostle of Jesus Christ and was directly chosen by the resurrected Jesus Christ who rose to heaven (Acts 9:1-22; 22:6-21; 26:12-23; 13:9). He defended his apostleship, justifying his suitability by seeing the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and working miracles, and that the Holy Spirit had been bestowed upon by him baptized believers (1Ko 9:1, 2; 15:9, 10; 2Ko 12:12; 2Ti 1:1, 11; Rö 1:1; 11:13; Acts 19:5, 6). Since the Apostle James (the brother of John) was not killed until around the year 44 o.c., “the twelve” were still alive when Paul became an apostle. He never counted himself among these “twelves”, but at the same time emphasized that his apostleship was in no way subordinate to theirs (Gal 2:6-9).
Both Matthias and Paul were rightly considered apostles when considering the purpose for which they were sent.But when the Apostle John, in connection with the revelation given to him around the year 96 o.c., had the vision of the heavenly New Jerusalem, he saw only 12 foundation stones and on it “the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” written (Rev 21:14). The testimony of the Scriptures clearly shows that the Apostle Paul was never called one of the “twelves”. Thus, logically, one of the “twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” must be the name of Matthias, not that of Paul. This means that the vision of the Apostle John reflected the situation that existed at the beginning of the Christian Assembly, on Pentecost of 33 O.c. (See PAULUS No. 1.)
At the end of the apostolic period, the Bible does not report on the death of the 12 Apostles, with the exception of James, but it seems that they kept their faithfulness to death and therefore did not need to be replaced.On the historical development in the following centuries it is said: “Whenever it [the term “apostle” is applied to individuals in later Christian literature, it is used in a figurative sense. Since the first century, the Church has never again had apostles in the sense of the N[euen T[estaments” (The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, edited by G. A. Buttrick, 1962, Vol. 1, p. 172).
In their lifetime, the Apostles, through their presence, served as an obstacle to apostasy; they protected the Christian Assembly from the influences of false worship.The Apostle Paul obviously referred to this “barrier” when he was killed in 2. Thessalonian 2:7 wrote, “However, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who is inhibiting right now is cleared out of the way.” (Cf. Mat 13:24, 25; Acts 20:29, 30.) This apostolic influence, together with the unique authority and powers of the apostles, remained until the death of John at 100 o.c. (1Jo 2:26; 3Jo 9:10). The rapid spread of apostasy and the rapid intrusion of false doctrines and customs after the death of the Apostles shows that the alleged apostolic successors did not exert an inhibiting influence like the apostles.
When Romans 16:7 of Andronikus and Junias say that they are “men respected among the apostles,” that does not mean that they were apostles, but that they enjoyed a good reputation among the apostles.That some falsely claimed to be “apostles of Christ” goes from 2 Corinthians 11:5, 13; 12:11, 12, and Revelation 2:2.