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The meaning of Apostle in the Bible
(From Easton's Bible Dictionary)

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 intrusted 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). We have four lists of the apostles, one by each of the synoptic evangelists (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14), and one in the (Acts 1:13). No two of these lists, however, perfectly coincide.

  • They must have been immediately called to that office by Christ (Luke 6:13; Galatians 1:1).
  • It was essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus secured against all error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing (John 14:26; 16:13; I Thessalonians 2:13).

  • Another qualification was the power of working miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; I Corinthians 12:8-11). 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.

    In II Corinthians 8:23 and Phil 2:25 the word "messenger" is the rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered "apostle."


    See more on the meaning of Apostle in the Bible:
    Apostle {International Standard Bible Encyclopedia}

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