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13

Traditionally Roman Catholics have identified St. Mary Magdalen with the "woman in the town who was a sinner" of Luke 7:36ff -- that's the Gospel reading for her feast day in the older form of the Roman liturgy. It's true that at face value the Gospel does not identify the nature of her sin but it seems clear that her sin is well-known, at least locally: ...


12

There is one problem with the argument - "Matthias was never sent by Christ to do anything, therefore he cannot be an apostle". The problem is that Barnabus (of whom we have no evidence that he was sent by Christ) is also called an "apostle" in Acts 14:14. We know that Judas was an apostle and his "office" (Acts 1:20) was taken over by Matthias. And it is ...


10

Historically, Mark is seen as one of Peter's disciples. The historian Papias in the 2nd Century refers to him as such. Likewise, the evidence in the narrative, for example, indicates that Peter was a significant source for most of the material, and most theologians accept Mark as "Peter's" Gospel. Also, its seeming indication that the Temple is still ...


9

In broad terms there are two schools of thought on this. One concerns apostolic succession - the idea that the authority of the original 12 apostles has been passed down through the generations, relay-race style. For those who follow the doctrine of apostolic succession, apostolic authority belongs only to those who have inherited it from a predecessor, ...


9

Acts is quite clear on the matter. Matthias was called to fill the vacancy left by Judas, whereas Paul didn't even appear on the scene for quite some time afterwards. And even after he showed up, we have several epistles where he refers to himself as an apostle, but unlike Matthias, the actual process of him being called as an apostle has not been preserved ...


8

The Bible says a great deal about testing prophets and spirits. A spirit will confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that ...


8

This answer brings up an interesting verse in 1 Corinthians 7, when Paul distinguishes between his words and the Lord's. Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. But to ...


7

One of the closest examples would be Paul's Letter to the Laodiceans. Scholarship is divided about the authorship, whether it is Paul or a Marcionite forgery - but the point is that at the time, when canonization was occurring, it was not accepted as such. Most everything else (Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Thomas, etc...) was pretty much rejected even at the ...


6

Here are some suggestions, none of which I am claiming as necessarily the answer: Naming people draws attention to them. The writers probably didn't want their readers going to find out what these people were writing Naming people makes them exclusive. If the writer says "don't listen to Marcus and Suetonius" that leaves Octavius free to spread his ...


6

I think the answer can be summed up in what John the Baptist says regarding Jesus in John 3:30: "He must increase, but I must decrease." That is to say, the Gospels were not primarily about bolstering confidence in the disciples, but rather about telling the truth about and bolstering confidence in Jesus. In other words, I think you partially ...


6

Bishops (from the Greek, epi-scopus = overseers) are the successors of the Apostles. Their primary responsibility is shepherding the faith of the people in their diocese. They ordain priests, perform the sacrament of confirmation on the faithful, and serve to teach, provide guidance and support for the faithful. So in that sense, they indeed have the ...


6

Different books of the Bible use the terms apostle and disciple in differing ways. The word disciple means a follower or student of a teacher, while the word apostle means a messenger or ambassador who champions a particular cause. Initially, the term "apostle" was used to describe the early followers of Jesus. There were specific requirements to be called ...


6

Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew, as stated in Acts 18:24 (with following verses indicating that he knew the [Jewish] Scriptures and preached the gospel--"the way of the Lord"--but only knew "the baptism of John" before being further instructed by Priscilla and Aquila). It is possible that, like Timothy, he had a Jewish mother but a Gentile father; this ...


6

Judas, of course, hung himself after betraying Jesus James is the only other Apostle whose death is recorded in Scripture, in Acts 12:1-2 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. The rest of the Apostles deaths are ...


5

Matthias was appointed for a very specific purpose: to fill the void in the Twelve once Judas had died. We have no record of when or under what circumstances Paul was called as an apostle, but we do know that his ministry coincided with a period of very heavy persecution for the church. So it's not at all unreasonable to assume, in the absence of any ...


5

The word apostle is a straight transliteration of the Greek apostolos, literally meaning "one who is sent forth." It implies an ambassador or messenger bearing an official message by the authority of someone more powerful than himself. Jesus called twelve Apostles to be his special messengers to all the world. As we know, Judas, one of the twelve, ...


5

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zealotry I'll quote an interesting part here. The Zealots objected to Roman rule and violently sought to eradicate it by generally targeting Romans and Greeks. Zealots engaged in violence against other Jews were called the Sicarii.[9] They raided Jewish habitations and killed Jews they considered ...


5

According to Strong's Concordance, the definition of the greek used here is "one who is eagerly devoted to a person or a thing, a zealot." The Helps Word-studies says a zealot is one "who (literally) 'boils over with passion'". (Here "boils over" is the literal translation of zeó, which figuratively means "to be earnest, to set one's heart on, to be ...


5

Luke 10:1 (NIV) After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. [a] Some manuscripts seventy; also in verse 17 Jesus did not have only Twelve disciples. There were other Seventy or Seventy-two disciples that Jesus appointed to preach the Gospel. ...


5

Did some disciples get treated differently from others? You've pretty much answered your own question here. Jesus had many disciples. At least seventy, probably many more. And different groups were certainly treated differently. The best-known select group were the Twelve, called the Apostles. They were given more detailed explanations of some of Jesus' ...


4

Apostle does come from the Greek word apostolos / apostello, as noted by Mason Wheeler, and it does indicate one who is sent out. In the Gospels, the Twelve are most commonly referred to as disciples. They were following the Teacher, learning from Him as His students. In John 17:18 and Matthew 28:18-20, among other verses, Jesus specifically sends ...


4

Specifically, the word Apostle comes from the greek word 'apostolos' which literally means messenger, envoy, or one sent. Apostle essentially means "teacher" as opposed to disciple which means "student". Specifically in Christianity the Apostles were the 11 disciples who went on to spread the Gospel of Christ after His death and resurrection. Paul and some ...


4

To answer the question of "apostolic authority", you must first define "apostolic succession". From the Wikipedia article on apostolic succession: Apostolic succession (Hebrew: הירושה האפיפיורית‎, Greek: Αποστολική διαδοχή) is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, which asserts that the chosen successors (properly ordained bishops) of the ...


4

All he seems to be doing is widening the traditional understanding of the word "apostle" to it's original Greek meaning, which is "messenger". I don't see a problem with that on an academic level. That being said, I think his redefinition and reuse of the word in the modern world is unnecessary and argumentative. Why use the word "apostle" when the ...


4

It's likely that Thomas was a nickname rather than his given name. Parents of twins would not name one of them "Twin". Yet by translating "Thomas" to "Didymus" three times, the Gospel of John makes it clear that as an adult Thomas was known—even among Greek speakers—as "the twin". We don't know exactly where or why he got this nickname, or what ...


4

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1, NIV) Paul, indeed said that we should follow his example, which is to follow the example of Christ. The ultimate goal in Christian life is to become like Christ. Therefore, The Ideal Christian to be imitated is not only Paul, but all the Apostles also. The Ideal ...


3

I see several possibilities: One major characteristic of the Gnostic groups was the lack of defined leadership1, so one might imagine that the false brethren may simply have been without definite leader. Considering that the Gnostic movement would have started by the time that the Johanine literature was complete, I think this should hold particular ...


3

I am no expert in the apostles' lives, but here are some thoughts. It has been said that God provides His truth in earthenware vessels. That is, they are never of impeccable moral character. Judas is an obvious example, but Peter, too, sinned against Jesus in the course of His passion (by denying him three times). The difference between the two is that ...


3

Judas was the twelfth apostle, an by your own definition Matthias makes a more fit candidate to be reckoned as lucky #12 after Judas' death. In Luke 10, Jesus sends out 72 disciples. Among them most assuredly was St. Matthias. And the rest of the Apostles were doing quite a bit of on the job training, clearly away for Jesus as is shown in Matthew 17:21 ...


2

As ever, context is all important when trying to understand this verse. The gift in question is not the laying on of hands itself, but Timothy's ability to teach and preach: 1 Timothy 4:11-14 (New International Version): Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in ...



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