ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Greek: “apostolos” / a person sent by another; a messenger; envoy
This word is once used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the Sent of the Father (Hebrews 3:1; John 20:21). It is, however, generally used as designating the body of disciples to whom he 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 “preach the gospel to every creature” (Matthew 28:18-20). After his ascension, he gave them supernatural gifts, as he promised, enabling them to perform their duties (Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:16; 2:7, 10, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 Corinthians 11:2).
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: