SPECIAL TOPIC: SEND (apostellō), FROM WHICH COMES "APOSTLE"

 This is a common Greek word for "send" (i.e., apostellō).  This term has several theological usages:

1. the rabbis used it as one called and sent as an official representative of another, something like our English "ambassador" (cf. 2 Cor. 5:20)

2. the Gospels often use this term of Jesus being sent by the Father.  In John the term takes on Messianic overtones (cf. Matt. 10:40; 15:24; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48 and especially John 4:34; 5:24,30,36,37,38; 6:29,38,39,40,57; 7:29; 8:42; 10:36; 11:42; 17:3,8,18,21,23,25; 20:21 [both "apostle" and its synonym pempō used in v. 21]).  It is used of Jesus sending believers (cf. John 17:18; 20:21).

3. the NT used it for disciples

a. the original twelve inner circle of disciples (e.g., Mark 6:30; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:2,26)

b. a special group of Apostolic helpers and co-workers

(1) Barnabas (cf. Acts 14:4,14)

(2) Andronicus and Junias (KJV, Junia, cf. Rom. 16:7)

(3) Apollos (cf. 1 Cor. 4:6-9)

(4) James the Lord's brother (cf. Gal. 1:19)

(5) Silvanus and Timothy (cf. 1 Thess. 2:6)

(6) possibly Titus (cf. 2 Cor. 8:23)

(7) possibly Epaphroditus (cf. Phil. 2:25)

c. an ongoing gift in the church (cf. 1 Cor. 12:28-29; Eph. 4:11)

4. Paul uses this title for himself in most of his letters as a way of asserting his God-given authority as Christ's representative (cf. Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:1; 1 Tim. 1:1; 2 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:1).

 

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