ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
also known as: apostolos (Greek)
Meaning: a person sent by another; a messenger; envoy
It is, however, generally used as designating the body of disciples to whom Christ entrusted the organization of His Church and the dissemination of His Gospel, “the twelve” as they are called (Matthew 10:1-5; Mark 3:14; 6:7; Luke 6:13; 9:1).
Our Lord gave them the “keys of the kingdom,” and by the gift of His Spirit equipped them to be the founders and governors of His Church (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15). As representatives of His Church, He commissioned them to…
Judas Iscariot, one of “the twelve,” fell by betraying Jesus, and Matthias was his replacement (Acts 1:21). Saul of Tarsus was afterwards added to their number (Acts 9:3-20; 20:4; 26:15-18; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11).
Luke recorded what happened to Peter, John, and the two Jameses (Acts 12:2, 17; 15:13; 21:18), but, beyond this, we know nothing definite about the rest of the original twelve. After the martyrdom of James the Greater (Acts 12:2), James the Less usually resided at Jerusalem, while Paul, “the apostle of the uncircumcision,” usually travelled as a missionary among the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8).
Qualifications for Apostleship
The apostles therefore could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders. There is, therefore, no one alive today that is an “Apostle,” in the truest biblical sense.
12 Apostles Honored in New Jerusalem
Tweleve apostles will be honored in the New Jerusalem, which will come down…
Who are these 12? Although not specified, they are most likely these men (in alphabetical order):
The reasoning is that all of these men were called “apostles” by Jesus Christ, himself, and surely Judas Iscariot eliminated himself. Matthias was a replacement for Judas, chosen by man and casting of lots, but not specifically by Christ. Therefore, Paul, first called by the ascended Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), is the more likely substitute for Judas. Paul was inspired by God to write much of the New Testament, providing vital doctrine, whereas Matthias is only very briefly mentioned in Acts, and Scripture tells us almost nothing about him, including whether he met the qualification of being given the power of working miracles. Paul’s apostleship was also confirmed through noted signs and wonders and miracles, and his apostleship was recognized by Peter and the others.
List of Original Apostles
We have four lists of the original apostles/disciples—one by each of the synoptic evangelists (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14), and one in Acts 1:13. All the original apostles, with the exception of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:11), were Galileans.