The word Apostle comes from the Greek Apostolos, meaning an ambassador of the Gospel, a commissioner of Christ, or an official a messenger. The word is used to designate all those who were sent out to be missionaries and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile world. Even Christ, Himself, was described as being an apostle.
From Hebrews 3:1: "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus."
The four main requirements for an apostle were:
1. That they had personal knowledge of the Lord and could testify to his resurrection. (John 15:27; Acts 1:21)
2. That Christ called them to their office. (Luke 6:13)
3. That they were inspired by the Holy Spirit; free from error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing. (John 14:26)
4. That they be able to work miracles. (Mark 16:20)
Paul was not one of the original 12 disciples, but he was considered qualified to hold the office of apostle for the following reasons:
1. Seen Jesus Christ. (Acts 9:17; 1 Cor. 9:1)
2. Christ chose Him. (Acts 9:15)
3. Received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 9:17)
4. Worked miracles. (Acts 20:9-10, Acts 19:11)
Because the way in which scripture is worded, it is possible, that in a vague sense, several other men were also designated as apostles or messengers
1. Titus (2 Corinthians 8:23);
2. Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25);
3. Barnabus and Saul (called by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-5).
After the conclusion of their ministry and their death, there were no more apostles after these men.
Copyright by Ancient Bible History - Eden Games Inc.