The following are examples of (possible) essential features and functions of an Apostle I've heard from different sources.
An authentic Apostle ...
- Had to be called supernaturally by God Himself in an unmistakable way (canonical example: Paul in Acts 9).
- Had to have eyewitnessed Jesus Christ in physical form after His resurrection (aka a Christophany).
- Must have a ministry accompanied by signs, wonders and mighty deeds.
- Must be a church planter (see Church planting).
- Must be an effective preacher of the gospel and soul winner in unreached areas.
- Must have a position of leadership in the church.
- Must be author of (or should be able to produce at least) inspired and canonizable writings (i.e. we should be able append their writings to the Bible).
Note: These are just examples off the top of my head, feel free to consider other requirements people have historically proposed if I forgot any.
- What is an overview of how different Christian denominations define the essential features and functions of an authentic Apostle?
- Would these different definitions of Apostle allow for the existence of authentic Apostles in modern times?
Related and thought-provoking question (and answers): How do believers in the modern continuation of the office of apostle rebut Don Stewart's article "Are There Still Apostles Today?"?