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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Do we have apostles today?

Who were the apostles? Were there only twelve? Is there more to the apostles than just the first century? Was there a secondary group of apostles in New Testament times? If so, do modern traveling preachers/church planters correspond to these secondary apostles? Are there "technical" and "non-technical" uses of the word "apostle"? What about references to James the Lord's brother and Barnabas as apostles? How many apostles are named in the Bible? I would like to get your comments.

A list of all who either were or could be construed to be apostles.

The Twelve [Matthew 10:2ff; Mark 3:14ff; Luke 12ff.]
1. Simon, who is called Peter
2. Andrew, Simon’s brother
3. James, the son of Zebedee
4. John, James’ brother
5. Philip
6. Bartholomew (perhaps the same as Nathanael)
7. Thomas
8. Matthew the publican (Levi)
9. James the son of Alphaeus
10. Lebbaeus Thaddaeus (Judas the brother of James)
11. Simon (Zelotes) the Canaanite
12. Judas Iscariot

Other Apostles
13. Matthias [Acts 1:23,26; 6:2]
14. Paul [Acts 14:4,14; Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:1]
15. Barnabas [Acts 14:4,14; I Cor. 9:1-6]
16. James, the Lord’s brother [Gal. 1:19; I Cor. 9:5]
17. Silas (Silvanus) [I Thess. 1:1; 2:6; II Thess. 1:1]
18. Timothy (Timotheus) [I Thess. 1:1; 2:6; II Thess. 1:1]
19. Apollos [I Corinthians 4:6,9]

Other Possiblities
20. Andronicus [Romans 16:7]
21. Junia [Romans 16:7]
22. Epaphroditus [Philip. 2:25-30; messenger, apostolos]
23. Two Unnamed Brethren [II Cor. 8:18,22,23; messenger, apostolos]

There are three lists of the Twelve apostles in the Gospels. There is also a list of the eleven (the 12 less Judas) in Acts 1:13. In every list Peter is always first and Judas is always last (except Acts, because Judas isn't listed). The order of listing the other apostles is not the same in each list. Though the order is not the same, each list breaks down into three groups that include the same four individuals in each group every time. The first name in the grouping is the same in all cases.
1. Peter, Andrew, James, John
2. Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas
3. James the less, Judas Lebbaeus, Simon Zelotes, Judas Iscariot

Verses outside the four gospels that refer to apostle(s): Acts 1:2,26; 2:37,42,43; 4:33,35-37; 5:2,12,18,29,34,40; 6:6; 8:1,14,18; 9:27; 11:1; 14:4,14; 15:2,4,6,22,23,33; 16:4; Romans 1:1; 11:13; 16:7; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 4:9; 9:1,2,5; 12:28,29; 15:7,9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 11:5; 11:13; 12:11,12; Galatians 1:1,17,19; Ephesians 1:1; 2:20; 3:5; 4:11 Colossians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:6; 1 Timothy 1:1; 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:1,11; Titus 1:1; Hebrews 3:1; 1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; 3:2; Jude 1:17; Revelation 2:2; 18:20; 21:14.

1 comment:

Jim said...

In my humble opinion, if we have apostles to-day, they are quite old, if we consider 1 Cor 9:1, as being true: "Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?...."

This verse seems to separate the special deacons of the New Testament and the apostles.

Cheers,

Jim