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Regarding the Exclusivity of the title - lesson

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Regarding the Exclusivity of the title “Apostle.”

From the Greek APOSTLOS which can be appropriately translated “messenger.”

From TDNT: It always denotes a man who is sent, and sent with full authority.”[1] And again: “According to Paul the ἀπόστολοι (1 C. 12:28 f.) are not officials of the congregation, let alone the chief of such officials;97 they are officers of Christ by whom the Church is built.” [2]

Of course, the question is precisely who should be called an Apostle and should the term be used exclusively?

There was a defined body or group which seemed to have been especially empowered by the Lord – Matthew 10:2; Acts 1:21-22. These were disciples but more so – Apostles. Their qualifications are given in Acts 1:21-23. It is this restricted group that possessed the power of the HS to extend miraculous gifts to others.

Must appreciate the semantic domain of the word.

            APOSTLOS

                        One of the 12(14)

                        A messenger

One sent with authority

            ELDER

                        Official of the Church

                        An older person

            SECRETARY

                        An office assistant or clerk

                        A high ranking government official

                        A Head of State

                        A piece of furniture.

Only the context can determine the precise usage.


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[1]Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964-c1976. Vols. 5-9 edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 compiled by Ronald Pitkin. (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (1:421). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

97 So Pr.-Bauer, 156.

[2]Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964-c1976. Vols. 5-9 edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 compiled by Ronald Pitkin. (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (1:423). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

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