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Apostle (Christian)

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Apostle (Christian)

Post by lunamoonfang on Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:15 pm

The term Apostle is derived from the New Testament Greek word ἀπόστολος or apostolos, meaning one who is sent forth as a messenger [1][2] and should not be confused with a disciple (who is a follower or a student who learns from a "teacher").[2] [3] Traditionally, Jesus is said to have had Twelve Apostles who spread the Gospel after his Crucifixion.

Paul of Tarsus also claimed the title of Apostle to the Gentiles, even though other apostles actively recruited Gentiles and Peter's role was never restricted to just Apostle to the Jews (see also Circumcision controversy in early Christianity, Incident at Antioch, and Primacy of Simon Peter), indeed traditionally the first gentile convert is considered to be Cornelius the Centurion, who was recruited by Peter. Paul claimed a special commission from the risen Jesus, separate from the Great Commission given to the Twelve. Paul's mentor Barnabas is also termed an apostle. Paul did not restrict the term apostle to the Twelve, either because he didn't know it or resisted it.[3] This restricted usage appears in Revelation.[3][4] In modern usage, major missionaries are sometimes termed apostles, as in Saint Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
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