There are many in the religious world today that claim to be an apostle. More than simply “a messenger” (Greek meaning of the word “apostle”), a title of “Apostle” is given or assumed by individuals wishing to mimick the authority and power given to the original twelve. For example, the Mormon Church “Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is made up of twelve righteous men, who are high priests of the Mormon Church. They perform their duties full-time with basic support from the Church. They hold all the keys of the priesthood, along with the prophet and the First Presidency.” Is this scriptural?

how Scripture answers "Do Apostles exist today?"

Since the role of Apostle required having witnessed Jesus resurrected1,2,3, no Apostles exist today.  Along with prophets, they laid the foundation of the gospel4 which is recorded for us in the Bible.

the answer above is based on and footnoted with the following Scripture Blocks

So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.

A man that was with us throughout the time of Jesus’ public ministry, from His baptism by John to His ascension in order that he might testify with us about His resurrection.

Jesus has just ascended and the disciples are gathered to replace the apostle Judas.

How does it inform?

Their selection for the twelfth apostle was limited to those men who were with them during Jesus’ public ministry and witnessed Him alive after His crucifixion.

Does it apply? Yes

Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
Lastly, since I [Paul] came later, he appeared to me as well, even though I was undeserving since I persecuted the church.  But, God’s grace allowed me to be who I am today and it wasn’t wasted, since through Him I word harder than any of the other apostles.

While making the point of the importance of Jesus’ resurrection to the Christian’s faith, he is recounting the appearances that Jesus made after His resurrection.

How does it inform?

Paul confirms his apostleship with the appearance of Jesus to him (even though he didn’t experience Jesus’ resurrection appearances as the others had).

Does it apply? Yes

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

I am free and an apostle that saw Jesus. You are my work in Him.

Paul is in the midst of a brief defense of his apostleship, one he apparently needs to continue in a subsequent letter to them (2 Corinthians 11-12).

How does it inform?

Paul states his status as a legitimate apostle since he saw the Lord (presumably risen and referring to his encounter on the road to Damascus).

Does it apply? Yes

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

You are no longer set apart, but now are fellow citizens with the saints of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Himself is the chief cornerstone, in whom the entire building joins together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In Christ, you also are adding together to form a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Paul is pointing out to the Ephesians and Gentile Christians, that though they were at one time “called the uncircumcision by the circumcised” (vs 11), they are now part of the inheritance in Christ as a result of the “peace” that has been preached (vs 18).

How does it inform?

Apostles laid or built (past tense) the foundation of the gospel.

Does it apply? Yes

Do you agree? If so, share this question and the Bible Study Framework with others.

If you know of some other verses or you have something to add to the verses already listed for this question please leave a comment below! We welcome the public discussion and will incorporate your input into the Framework above. We have nothing to hide and invite your help in considering all that God’s word has to say.

what do you think?

Send Us Your Question