How Many Apostles in the New Testament–12 or 25?

How Many Apostles?

How Many Apostles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How many apostles are explicitly mentioned in the pages of the New Testament?

A common misconception pervades many minds these days:  “There were 12 apostles—the twelve who followed Jesus.  Judas dropped out and was replaced by Paul.”  However, as strange as it may seem to some, there are as many as 25 apostles explicitly mentioned in the pages of the New Testament.

How Many Apostles?

Let’s start counting. Yes, there were the twelve chosen by Jesus.  Eleven are named in Acts 1:13, “Peter and John, and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. “  Judas Iscariot, one of the original twelve, the one who betrayed Jesus, is not named in that list. That’s the original twelve.  Then add Matthias who replaced Judas Iscariot to become one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Acts 1:26).    “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14).  When we include both Judas and Matthias the total is now thirteen.

We know additional apostles besides these men exist because Christ, after His ascension, appointed “some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers .  .  .  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).  Are we there yet?  Have we all attained to the unity of the faith?  Or mature manhood?  Or the fullness of Christ?  Clearly, the apostolic ministry will continue until Christ returns!

An investigation of the Scripture reveals several individuals in addition to the original twelve who are explicitly referred to as apostles.  We might call them “apostles of the throne“, “apostles of the Lamb” or “ascension-gift apostles.”  A complete listing of New Testament apostles follows.

James, the half brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church—Galatians 1:19

Barnabas–Acts 14:14

Paul–Acts 14:14 and many other references

Apollos– Corinthians 4:6-9

Timothy and Silvanus– I Thessalonians 1:1 and 2:6

Epaphroditus–Philippians 2:25.  While the King James Version translates the word as “messenger”, the Greek word (apostolon) is actually “apostle”.

Two unnamed apostles–Second Corinthians 8:23. A brother of fame among the churches, and a brother tested–“As for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.” Again, the Greek word is “apostoloi” but is translated here as “messengers”.

These nine now make  a total of 22 (13 + 9 = 22).

Andronicus and Junia–Romans 16:7   “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”  Were these genuine apostles or were they, as some (Charles Ryrie and others) translate, “well-known to the apostles”? If we count Andronicus and Junia, the total jumps to 24.

How Many Apostles?

Finally, Hebrews 3:1 designates Jesus Christ the “Apostle and High Priest of our profession.” That makes 25 apostles in the New Testament!

For more intriguing insights about apostles, come to Churches and Apostles. This info could make a whale of a difference in the Kingdom of God today.

Comments

  1. kraig desmedt says

    In my King James Version Bible says in second Corinthians 8:23 that Titus is the apostle, and his name is not unknown, and apostle Paul is the writer on second Corinthians. So I’m assuming your going by a different translation that’s not the KJV, all the more why I will go by the KJV no matter what cause seems to me every other translations have words added or taken away from the Word of God, and if you are going by the KJV then forgive me but you might want to re-look over a few things

    • Dear Brother Kraig,

      Thanks you so much for your words. You have caused me to search deeper and for a moment I wondered if I had missed something. Let’s check it out again. Paul is mentioning 3 fellows–Titus (his partner and fellow worker) and 2 other brothers. Both of the other brethren are messengers (Gr: apostoloi) of the churches. This passage does not say yea or nay about Titus being an apostle.

      Both the KJV and the NASB agree on this.

      23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. KJV

      23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ. NASB

      Please write again. Your comments will be helpful.
      Thank you, Mark

      • Just came across this>
        while I appreciate the distinction made with Titus, “…..Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: ….” as NOT being an apostle ; base on this logic, then Andronicus and Junias are also NOT apostles. That makes the count 23 rather than 25 and since Jesus is above all and in whom we all exist and have our being, no need to put Jesus as an apostle with the others; it makes the count 22 instead.
        Can you elaborate further.

        • Hey wit,
          Thanks for your comments.
          I simply included the people expressly termed apostles in the pages of the NT. At least we both see there were more than 12 apostles!

          • If ‘Paul, Barnabus & Silas (Silvanus)’ made the list of apostles; can we also include ‘Judas surnamed Barsabus’ to the list according to Acts 15:22? Keep up the great work! 🙂

          • Judas called Barsabbas is one of the leading men among the brethren according to Acts 15:22, but he is nowhere called an apostle. In fact, in Acts 15:32 this same Judas is referred to as a prophet. Thanks for our thoughts.

      • I just heard that Andronicus and Junia were Apostles. In the kjv as well as the niv it’s questionable, how is it written in Greek? Is it clear that they were Apostles? Also if it is, then there was a female Apostle , how then can we continue to hold the belief that women shouldn’t teach?

        • Matthew Bigelow says

          Hi Rachel,

          Andonicus and Junia (or Junias) are not called Apostles in context.

          Here are a few translations of Romans 16:7.

          Romans 16:7 (AV): Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

          Romans 16:7 (NASB95): Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

          Romans 16:7 (ESV): Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

          Romans 16:7 (HCSB): Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow countrymen and fellow prisoners. They are noteworthy in the eyes of the apostles, and they were also in Christ before me.

          Romans 16:7 (NA26): ἀσπάσασθε Ἀνδρόνικον καὶ Ἰουνιᾶν τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου καὶ συναιχμαλώτους μου, οἵτινες εἰσιν ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις, οἳ καὶ πρὸ ἐμοῦ γέγοναν ἐν Χριστῷ.

          The verb in this verse that is in question is Romans ἐπίσημοι (episēmos). The word means bearing a mark stamped, coined, (quite literally having an outward sign), and is variously translate as well known, notable, outstanding, remarkable, famous and infamous.

          A second word in the verse that is debated is the preposition ἐν (en). It is variously translated in, with, by, among, at, on, to, while and when. Context is the key as to how we would translate the word in English. As can be seen above, the AV/KJV translators chose the word “among” to translate the Greek preposition. While the word “among” is used well over 100 times, it is translated as “by” even more, and the vast majority of the time as “in”. Since most of the words that translate the Greek proposition do not make sense, the words “by” or “among” are the best from which to choose.

          How then to choose between the two. Even if we go with “among” to translate the Greek, there are various ways to interpret that use. The word “among” itself can be used synonymously with the word “by”. However, the context matters here, and specifically the translations or interpretation of the Greek ἐπίσημοι (episēmos) on how we translate ἐν (en), as you can see from the various translations above.

          Those who argue that only the KVJ is the inspired (translated) Word of God would and do argue that it is the correct and only way to translate the verse. But does that translation actually indicate that the two are “apostles”.

          Well, the answer depends on the interpretation of the verse and not the translation. The phrase “of note among” itself does not confirm that Andronicus and Junia are apostles. The phrase “of note” simply means they are not simply known, but well known. As such, one can interpret the verse as “whom are well known among the apostles.”

          Next we have to decide what is meant by “among” in context. If we go with interpretation that “among” here means “as part of the group of apostles”, the verse could be saying that, “among the group that is the apostles, they are well known.” This would indeed mean that the two are in fact apostles. However, “among” can as “by”, and are not included in the group of apostles. As such, the two are simply “well known by those who are apostles.” This means that Andronicus and Junia are not, in fact, included in the group of people known as apostles.

          As you can see, how one interprets the verse determines what one believes the verse is saying. More importantly, this means that the verse itself tells us nothing of whether Andronicus and Junia are apostles or not. The verse simply does not provide enough information of itself for the purpose of self-interpretation. We would have to look outside the verse into other passages of scripture in order to properly interpret the meaning of the verse. Some would argue that the verse is quite plain in its meaning, but the truth of the matter is that it is not. Even among KJV only advocates, there are differences in how they interpret this verse. Some insist that Andronicus and Junia are part of the groups of apostles, while other believe they are well known to the apostles, but are not apostles themselves.

          As to your question if women teaching and leading the church, I hope I have shed doubtto the claim that Junia was an apostle, if I haven’t outright refutes the claim Since she wasn’t an apostle, there’s no contradiction in Paul’s teaching on teaching and leadership of the church.

        • Vern Wall says

          A passage in the bible is to be interpreted depending on to whom it is addressed.

          1 Corinthians 14:34 King James Version (KJV)
          34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

          This verse is addressed to people prophesying in church. The prophets are instructed to tell their women not to interrupt.

          1 Timothy 2:12 King James Version (KJV)
          12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

          This entire book is addressed to a bishop, telling him how to lead a congregation.

          We surmise that there might have been a few women causing distractions during services. In modern times I have witnessed the same situation among tv preachers who allow their wives to participate in the presentations. The wives interrupt constantly.

          Galatians 3:28 King James Version (KJV)
          28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

          The bible is specific: no distinction based on sex. Let all things be done decently and in order.

    • Apostles had to be eyewitnesses to the resurrection? As shown when they replaced Judas. 15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples…21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”

      • Hi Darryl, I know many teach the “must be eyewitnesses of the resurrection” idea. But think again. Was Apollos an eyewitness? Was young Timothy?

        • Hi Darryl,
          I appreciate you for the noble work of searching Scriptures. And you are absolutely right that Judas was not replaced by Paul. You ask, “Was Timothy an apostle?” When we read 1 Thessalonians 1:1 together with 1 Thessalonians 2:6 we find both Timothy and Silvanus are included as apostles.

          God bless you as we all continue seeking truth in love,
          Mark

        • Both Peter and Paul identified the requirements for being a “true Apostle” (2 Cor. 12:12) of which swing the Risen Christ was required (Acts 1:21-22, 1 Cor. 9:1).

          Now, the question is this: does the word apostle (ἀπόστολος) always refer to those specifically specifically to lead the new church, as Apostles, or does it also refer to men in the general idea of an envoy/delegate, as we are all apostles of Christ in that sense?

          The 13 true Apostles authority directly from Christ, while the other variously named apostles had their authority from the Apostles.

          • Perhaps we have all missed an important point.

            2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

            The concept of “apostles” is not fully explained in the bible, and we really have no business guessing and arguing. If it pertained unto life and godliness, it would have been explained more fully.

            The most important application of this study is to correct bumbling people who think there is something spiritual about twelve leaders of this or that group.

          • Your call for humility is well taken. God bless you.

          • Hi Matthew,
            Thanks for your comment. We need to remember Christ arose. As the ascended Christ and Head of the Church, He appointed some as apostles . . . . (Ephesians 4:11ff). These are generally called the ascension gift apostles and of course, receive their authority directly from Him.

          • Hi Mark,

            You kind of ran around the point I was making in your reply.

            Yes, the men Gifted as Apostles to the church are part of the ascension gifts, which was Dr.instated early in the infancy of the church, namely Acts 2. Those 12, plus Paul, were the foundational gifting to the church as Apostles, taking their authority directly from the Risen Christ (in person , as it were. He called the original 12 such, then Judas was replaced by Matthias according to prophecy to fill his spot among the 11. Paul was later added to that group. Outside of those 13 Apostles, we have no other accounting of being directly ordained by Christ, in person, and meeting the requirements of a true Apostle. This is the difference between Apostle and apostle.

            If we assume that everyone who is called an apostle is one gifted to the church and equal with and counted among the aforementioned 13, then we have women (at least two depending on how one translates the Greek) who have authority over men in the church. This would vitae Paul’s basic prohibition of women’s role in the church, namely they are not to have (usurp) the role of authority (primarily in teaching) over men. As an Apostle has the Authority if Christ backing him, this would mean they are the authority in all church areas (teaching, correction, discipline, etc.) directly Under Christ, our Head.

            Was Barnabas and Apostle, or an apostle who was sent out from Antioch to be a missionary evangelist (another of the “Ascension Gifts”)? If he was merely commissioned to represent the church as an ambassador (or sent out one) then he is actually at the third rung of authority in the church, under Apostle first, then Prophet, and a step above the pastor-teacher (the fourth and lowest rung of authority).

            A careful study of Paul’s letters will show that when he identifies himself, he mentions that he is a called Apostle. Yethe does not use the word Apostle to identify his co-laborers as such. He uses many others, but never Apostle, or even apostle, to identify them. One might ask if this was to keep anyone from misidentifying them as part of that upper tier authority of men gifted to the church.

            Note that I am not saying there are not men who are called “apostle”, only that I do not believe that there are more then 13 men called as Apostle, the gifting to the church of men with the most authority within the church who were the foundation upon which we have our doctrines, who themselves are built upon our chief cornerstone, Christ.

            Matthew

      • Not to mention, the Apostle Paul!

    • Mary Magdalena gets some attention in the pages of the New Testament. However, she is never considered to be an apostle. I list only those explicitly mentioned as apostles.

      Thanks for your question.

  2. Simple and clear. At this point in my walk with Christ, I believe the surest sign of a humble and useful intellect in Christ is the living communication of truth, as opposed to an autopsy of Scripture. Refreshing article. Glad to have found this. – Jp

  3. Hi, I desire to subscribe for this blog to take latest updates, thus
    where can i do it please assist.

    • Hi Mona,
      Thanks for your inquiry. At the top of the blog there is a sign up form. It’s right under “Receive Goodies in your inbox. . . ” Just enter your first name and then your email, then click on the red GO button.

      Do it soon because the article will be changed shortly.
      Mark

  4. I came across your article as I have been studying what is an Apostle lately. Two thoughts I have. Is being an apostle “fathering” according to scripture? I’ve often heard that being an apostle and fathering are inter-changeable. I am not sure that being an apostle according to definition is fathering but what about in the way apostles are presented? Is the nature of an apostle what we refer to as fathering? Then the 2nd thought is if an apostle is about fathering then can woman be apostles also? I am Interested to hear your thoughts. I would guess woman not being apostles is the ideal because a of what Paul said “A woman should not have authority over a man” and being a father expresses authority. Anyhow I do not want to look too deep or come to such an early conclusion just trying to sort out my thoughts! Thanks for your reply.

    • Hi Erik,
      Yes, the idea of “fathering” can help us understand the nature of apostolic calling, but an apostle is more than that. Some veteran apostle’s comments that are published on this site will offer further insight.

      It looks like you have a keen mind and searching heart. God bless you, Erik.

    • Vern Wall says

      1 Timothy 2:12 King James Version (KJV)
      12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

      Please remember this is explicitly addressed to a bishop, not to the entire church. The other verse that is often quoted (or misquoted) is 1 Corinthians 14:34 and that is explicitly addressed to prophets. Women are not commanded to keep silence, husbands are told to tell their wives not to interrupt services.

      • I’ve been wrestling with this Scripture recently. No one has yet been able to answer me about why God would inspire enduring, eternal Holy Scripture that was applicable to a single and specific community/church/individual that has long-since gone. That doesn’t seem logically coherent or consistent with the everlasting relevance and truth of His Word. Are there other instances in the New Testament where directions are given to one specific church/group of individuals that does not apply to the entire church of Jesus Christ, or is it just supposedly this one? I fear that the feminist movement/modern society has successfully managed to influence our interpretation of this Scripture to twist it to have some kind of sexist intention, rather than as a direction of God’s design for His church under the authority of Christ.

        Can anyone please answer me on this? I’m not trying to be disrespectful toward women as I believe they’re vital to the body of Christ, but I am merely questioning the man-made argument that this isn’t applicable in this day and age in order to be truthful and honest to the Word of God.

        Is this issue of women being allowed or denied to positions of leadership a salvation issue? Or is it more of a secondary kind of issue that has classically been cause for division in the body of Christ? I’m personally unsure, which is why I’m here writing.

        Thank you.

  5. goodday.I’m just curious in the teaching of my ptr that says we are an apostolic believer.founded in apostles teaching .therefore we should follow them because the Lord Jesus appointed peter in matt. 16:15-19.also when it comes to baptism.(acts 2:38) and not matt.28:18..I just want to be guided and know the truth. Thank you.

    • Hello lolit,

      Sorry for the late reply. I’m still learning how to use WordPress. I admit I’m unclear about your question. Please write again and let me know what you’re asking. God Bless you, Mark.

  6. when were the first people baptized in the name of the Father, Son and holy ghost?

  7. Hi B Mark Anderson. I find your article to be intriguing. However, I have one question for you. Are there any apostles living among us today?

    • Hi Corey,

      I’m sorry that I failed to answer your question “Are there any apostles alive today?” Yes, some have even endorsed my book Local Churches Global Apostles: How Churches Related to Apostles in the NT Era and Why It Matters Now. I recently returned from Mexico where a noted apostle named Jairo Carbojal works.

  8. Hi B Mark Anderson. It’s me again. I apologize for the question. I’ll just read your article on Modern Day Apostles, Do They Exist Today…
    Thanks

  9. How about the 72? Just a thought?

    Luke 9:1-2,6,10, 10:1,17,10, NIV – (1) When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them POWER AND AUTHORITY to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, (2) and he sent them out [Greek = “apostled them”] to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. … (6) So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere. … (10) When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. … (10:1) After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others [72 OTHER “WHATS”?] and sent them [Greek = “apostled them”] two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. … (17) The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” … (19) I have given you AUTHORITY to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power [thus they were given power] of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

    The 72 were “apostled” just like the 12, and they were given power and authority just like the twelve.

    • HI David,
      Thanks for the note. You seem to be a really good Bible student.
      The word “apostle” is used in the NT in a couple of different ways. It’s true the root of the word means to be “sent out.” In that sense we are all apostles.

      Then there is the use of the word to mean a specific calling in ministry. Check 1 Cor 12:27,28, 29 and Ephesians 4:11 and 12. I am using the term “apostle” not in the general sense, but in the restricted sense that refers to the ministry office of apostle.

      God bless you,
      Mark

  10. An apostle is one who is sent out. It is also the term used if ambassadors, as they are sent out from and by the king (president, etc.). As such, all who are in Christ are, in fact, apostles, because we are all sent out by Christvto be his witnesses.

    Paul, however, distinguishes between those gited to the church with apostleship, those who are called aposltes because they are sent out by the church, and a true Apostle. The listing of Apostles in Acts 1 are this if the true Apostle classification. Mathias was added to that list as a mandate/fulfilment of prophecy. Paul was also added to that list by Christ himself, yet is normally keot separate from the remaining 12 post-Judas. Thus, there were 12 Apostles, as Christ identified them before his death, burial and resurrection, and there are 13 that are considered “true Apostles” after Christ Ascension.

    The gift if apostleship given to the church in Eph. 4 may simply mean the 12 from Acts and Paul. Their authority was pivitol in the founding of the early church. As to the other apostles (with a lower case a) were those that were commissioned and sent out as representatives of the church. As to James the Son of Joseph and half-brither of Jesus, while he was counted as part of the post-Ascension 12, there is debate as to whether he is rightly part of the “true Apostle” crowd.

    • You seem to be suggesting that there is some distinction between “true” apostles and some other variety. God can not lie, so it is likely that all apostles named as such are true, and I suggest that if God had meant to have more than one context for the word He would have established it, as He did for faith. Faith is a natural ability, but there is a second context: Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

      Then we have Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

      If we still have teachers, we must still have some apostles. If we still have pastors, we must still have some prophets. If we still evangelists, we must still have some apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers.

    • Hello!

      Please note the timing in which Jesus named Apostles according to Ephesians 4… although Jesus had already named the 12, please note that AFTER He ascended, He named (more) Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists. Christ had already named Apostles, so if He had not indeed named more than the 12/13, then when He ascended He would have had no need to name “Apostles” amongst the other gifts He mentioned that He gave to the church (because He would have already named only the 12/13).

      “(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”
      ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:9-13‬ ‭KJV

      Why did Jesus give us Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists?

      Answer: (according to Ephesians 4) “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”

      How long will these 5 gifts to the Body of Christ be needed in order to fulfill what Jesus sent them to do?

      Answer: (according to Ephesians 4) “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”

      Has the Church yet come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ?

      Answer: No, not yet.

      Therefore, we still need every gift that Jesus still gives to us.

      Also, a great question:
      If at the same time Jesus named Apostles, He also named Pastors, Prophets, Teachers and Evangelist, yet He “stopped” naming Apostles—why wouldn’t He stop naming Pastors, Prophets, Teachers, and Evangelists as well?

      Who named our Pastors? Didn’t Jesus also say in Ephesians that HE gave us Pastors? Why don’t we see the masses disputing over how many Pastors there are in the church? Isn’t it Jesus that named them? And if Jesus is still naming Pastors—why not Apostles (& Prophets, Teachers, & Evangelists)?

      The role of the Apostle is come in the image of their Sender (Jesus); to deliver sound doctrine to the church; to deliver the true meaning and understanding of what God is saying in the Bible.

      I tell you the truth—if our enemy, Satan, can get us believing that Jesus is not still naming Apostles, then Satan can also have the church coming up with all sorts of denominations, accepting all types of strange doctrines. Pastors are to shepherd the flock, and that is their gifting of Christ to the Body—but Apostles gifted to know the heart of the Father concerning doctrine (teaching and understanding of the Scriptures), and are to edify the Church in unity therein.

      If Jesus is no longer naming Apostles, according to Ephesians 4, then He’s no longer naming Pastors, Evangelists, Teachers, & Prophets either.

      We must receive the unique love of God, and embrace the truth in the gifts that He is still providing for His church until we see Him face to face.

      With much love & passion for you, in the name of Jesus Christ,
      Kordell

  11. Acts 1:24-26 The apostle cast lots to pick Matthias. Surely this is not the way things are to be done in the Church, but this was before they were baptized with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Paul saw Jesus, but in a different way than the others. That’s why he compares it to a child born out of due time. In Revelation it describes city. It had the names written of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel. We know that there are only 12 tribes and there will never be anymore tribes. The city has a talk wall and the 12 foundations are the name of the 12 apostles. When Judas lost his office, it was given to Paul by the same person that chose the other 12, the Lord Jesus himself.

    • Hi Bro John. Thanks for writing. Please keep searching the Scriptures.

    • Hey John,

      I’m sure you are aware that Matthias was chosen as a replacement for Judas according to Scripture. Peter, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, quotes Ps. 109:8, in Acts 1:20 (NASB95): “Let another man take his office.” Peter then gives the specific requirements for one to be put forward, ” Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 22 beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection” (Acts 1:21–22 (NASB95).

      So, in answer to your question, casting lots was exactly how it was done.

  12. The word messenger doesn’t qualify a person as apostle. Evangelist can be considered a messanger, but we know that is another ministry. We are all called to be messengers of God and witness to people, that doesn’t make one an apostle. If they were apostles in the same sense as Paul and the others, they would have used the word apostle and not messenger. The book of Revelation says that the eternal city has a wall with 12 foundations and each one has the name of the 12 apostles. I find it hard to believe that a person chosen by casting lots, like Matthias, has their name on one of the foundations and not Paul. Whom was chosen by The Lord Jesus himself and wrote most of the epistles.

  13. Luke 7:27 calls John the Baptist a messenger, but that doesn’t make him an apostle. 2 Corinthians 12:7 it is talking about the messenger of satan sent to buffet Paul. Obviously in this text the word messenger doesn’t mean apostle. To say that there were at least 25 apostle because one thinks that the word apostle and messenger are interchangeable is incorrect. It also makes the ministry of apostle seem like it was not unique, something that isn’t true.

  14. Hmm. No mention of the fact that Junia is a woman’s name, therefore we had at least one female apostle? Tsk, tsk. Good job otherwise though.

  15. I have a question. So there were 12 Apostles plus Paul as I would define capital A apostles. In Revelation 21 it speaks of the 12 foundations and on them were the 12 names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. So … who is it excluding? Being Paul came later would he not be included in this?
    Thank you so much.

    • Hi Donna, thanks for your question. Generally, we distinguish between the 12 apostles of the Lamb and the Ascension-gift apostles. Ascension apostles are those Jesus chooses as ascended Head and Lord over the church. These include Paul, Timothy, Barnabas and all apostles throughout the history of the church. Please refer to Ephesians 4:7 and following.
      Is this helpful?

  16. Andrew Hash says

    I agree with Matthew. Keep in mind that the disciples of Christ were His appointed apostles. While Judas was a disciple, I do not believe he was an apostle. Matthias took Judas’ place as apostle since he committed suicide after selling Jesus out.

  17. We personally know over 90 people who confess to an apostolic call from the Lord Jesus. Many of these people were rejected by the denominational church, because the denominational church system doesn’t often believe in modern-day Apostles. The usual Sunday morning service is so organized, there is no room for the Holy Spirit to speak spontaneously, resulting in unheard utterance from someone who may in fact be an ordained-by-Jesus Apostle. But, that said, we believe in Eph 4:11-16—-that Jesus truly will build His church and probably use this 5-fold ministry along the way, which includes Apostles. He will accomplish His plan—not self-styled false Apostles, of which there are many, but Jesus Himself, speaking through humble people.

  18. We’d like to go on record for saying when we studied the scriptures to uncover Apostles, our list numbered 28. We included 3 (that weren’t on Brother Mark’s list) because they were sent —Strong’s #649 Apostello): Tychicus (II Tim 4:12); Erastus (Acts 19:22) and one Judas Barsabas (Acts 15:22 and 27, who appears to be a different person from the Judas of the original 12). We believe in Eph 4:11-16 and look to the fulfillment of this prophecy.

  19. Hey Brother, you are missing 70 Apostels.
    The one sent out along with the original 12 in Luke chapter 1. There’s 83 right there, the 70 plus the original 12 plus Jesus.
    Then we get to start adding the others listed in Acts and the epistles.
    Thanks for doing such Great work.
    Check out lk10.com as well.

    Your Brother,

    Phil Snow

  20. Mr. Anderson!
    I have a couple questions for this topics on Apostle!
    The word Apostle can be in general concept and also in a specific way.
    Bible believing Christians are called to go into the world to preach the gospel. From a general concept, the child of is called.
    I believe that the Bible is very specific with the gifts of the Apostle office.
    There can only be twelve Apostles. There is no validity in the scriptures for 13 nor 25 Apostle. The Apostolic office begins after the ascension of Christ. There were 11 Apostles and Paul is the twelve Apostles.
    Although Peter cast lot and it fell on Mathias. But the Scriptures never mentioned anything about him. And if you read the conversion of Paul. The Bible is cleared that Paul was in the household of Judas. A key to understand that Christ intentionally chose Paul to replace Judas.

    • I want to point a few things out for you to understand.
      1. Not everyone who called himself or herself an Apostle is an Apostle of Christ.
      Rev. 2:2 “…. and thou hast tried them to which say they are Apostles, and they are not, and found them liars.” Wow, I wonder how many these days are found liars.
      2. An Apostle is chosen by Christ and not by prayer nor casting lot
      John 15:16 “ Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ……”
      Acts 9:15 “ But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he (Paul) a chosen vessel unto
      me (Christ), to bear my name before the Gentiles…..”
      The casting of lot was an Old Testament practice, even the soldiers casting lot for Christ garment . However this can be debated (Mathias or Paul).
      Acts 9:11: “And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for behold, the prayers,.

      Mr. Anderson, here is the 911. How can a blind Saul from the road of Damascus end up praying in the house of Judas. Have you ever thought about that?
      This is how God straight things out. God is always in control. If it was for man, Paul would have never been an Apostle. Paul said to the Corinthians, “by the Grace of God I am that I am (1 Cor. 15:10) . The Apostles were chosen by Christ not by request nor casting of lot.

      3. I have one more thing to say but I leave it for later on. Remember what I said, “there is only twelve Apostles”.
      PS. I love the Bible, the Bible is the best self-commentary. The Word of God cures all confusions.

    • Hi Jean J, thanks for weighing in. How do you know there can only be twelve apostles? Any Scriptural basis for that limitation?

Trackbacks

  1. […] How do we find a definition of what is an apostle? The Scriptures are the only way. With the emergence of modern day apostles there’s a lot of confusion in some peoples minds. Some well-meaning Christians don’t recognize any apostles except the twelve originals in the Bible. However, there may be as many as 25 apostles mentioned in the Bible. […]

  2. […] are specifically designated as apostles in the New Testament? To many it comes as a surprise that 25 individuals are mentioned as apostles in the pages of the New Testament! Imagine—twenty five apostles! This eye-opener paves the way […]

  3. […] How do we find a definition of what is an apostle? The Scriptures are the only way. With the emergence of modern day apostles there’s a lot of confusion in some peoples minds. Some well-meaning Christians don’t recognize any apostles except the twelve originals in the Bible. However, there may be as many as 25 apostles mentioned in the Bible. […]

  4. […] in 1 Cor. 4:6-9; Timothy and Silvanus in 1 Thess. 1:1 and 2:6; etc.—thanks to B. Mark Anderson for organizing their appearances for me), the “title” of apostle does not necessarily belong only in the hands of the Twelve (or […]

Speak Your Mind

*