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Featured LDS If a universal apostasy really happened?

Discussion in 'Debate Other Religions & Faiths' started by Daniel Marsh, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. Ironhold

    Ironhold Member

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    In Dante's "Inferno", he posits an angel coming down from Heaven to literally rip the gates of Hell off of their hinges. With this, the wicked and the dead are no longer held captive by sin or death; anyone who wishes to do so can freely appeal to God for relief.

    Thus, the gates can no longer prevail over these people.

    Our theology is quite similar to this: sin and death will no longer be able to hold anyone who sincerely believes in God and is either living the life so required or is truly willing to mend their ways.
     
  2. drstevej

    drstevej Light Attracts Bugs Staff Member Chaplain Supporter

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    If you committed suicide in the world of Dante’s Inferno, your troubles were actually just beginning. In the middle ring of the Seventh Circle, people who committed the sin of killing themselves aren’t just turned into living thorn bushes that can feel pain and are also constantly eaten by harpies.
     
  3. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    There is one major difference in your line of authority.

    Your line is like this:
    1) the original apostles were ordained by Jesus Christ, and were special witnesses of him because they saw him and talked with him.
    2) the apostles ordained your bishop (an apostolic father).
    3) when your bishop (apostolic father) died, he was replaced by either the people or a council of
    1-3 bishops of nearby cities. These bishops then ordained the new bishop to his calling.


    Our line is like this:
    1) JS was ordained by the original apostle Peter. JS too, was a special witness of Jesus because he saw him and talked with him.
    2)Then Jesus Christ showed himself to the men that JS would call to be the new quorum of 12 apostles in this dispensation of the fullness of times. These men were special eye witnesses of Jesus because they saw him too. Similar to how Paul was a special eye witness of Jesus after his experience on the road to Damascus.
    3) These apostles went out and ordained bishops.
    4) When a bishop died, he was replaced by an apostle, who came to the area and chose a new bishop and ordained him to his office.

    The main difference is that your bishops today get their authority from another bishop.

    Our bishops get their authority through living apostles.
     
  4. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    I actually appreciate your candor. This is almost exactly what we believe, except that this priesthood authority can be found in the Bible. That priesthood authority was fought for for centuries, and to a certain extent is still being fought for today.

    What do you think the fight over Peter's "keys" is all about, that you read in the history of Christianity? Another word for "the keys of the kingdom of heaven" is "priesthood authority". Peter was given these "keys of the kingdom of heaven" as recorded in Matthew 16:19, and the question is: did he pass his "keys" on to another apostle that succeeded him?

    The Catholic church at Rome has maintained since the beginning that Peter passed his 'keys"/"apostolic authority"/"priesthood authority" on to the bishop of Rome that succeeded him. The fight between the East and the West ever since Rome made that pronouncement has never ceased. That fight came to a head when the bishop of Rome excommunicated the bishop of Constantinople, and the bishop of Constantinople in turn excommunicated the bishop of Rome.

    Which one held the "loosing power" that whatsoever they loosed on earth (such as loosing or excommunicating someone from the church) would be loosed in heaven (heaven would recognize the excommunication and wipe that name out of the "book of life".)

    So the struggle for supremacy has existed from the beginning. At one time the main 5 competing sees came to the conclusion that they were all equal, with Rome being the first of equals. Why did they make that concession to Rome? It is because Rome still maintained that they held the "keys of the kingdom of God through Peter. They had Peters authority to bind and loose. Future bishops came to be known as popes in relation to these keys, taking on the title of "the vicar of Christ.)

    So I am not making this authority thing up, you just choose to ignore it beause you are a protestant and by the 16th century everyone was sick of Rome dictating church policies and blasphemies. Like I say, Luther thought by that time that the vicar of Christ was truly the vicar of satan.

    Any "keys of the kingdom of heaven" that Peter held were by that time gone far away from Rome or any other see in Christendom. Martin Luther started his church by stating that we need no priests or priesthood to access God. So he threw any priesthood authority out and now it was by grace that you are saved that took its place, and by the time of JS, priesthood authority was never spoken of except in the Catholic church. The Melchizedec priesthood was never taught or was little known by 1820.

    So the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually sits in a very good position in regards to the "keys" or "priesthood authority" or the "binding/loosing authority".

    There can only be 1 of 2 positions with regard to "the keys":

    1) that those keys have been passed down through the centuries through the Catholic Church OR
    2) that those keys have been restored to the true church of Jesus Christ by Peter, who held them anciently.

    We say they were certainly lost - see the cruel and abominable actions of the Catholic church and you will know that Jesus would never had kept those keys with that church. Any church breaking off of the Catholic church did so knowing that they could not take those keys with them. There had to be a clean break and a restoration, to side-step all the mess that the Catholic church produced over the centuries. Martin Luther tried, but he gave up on the authority.
    JS on the other hand, knew he did not have it, but looked for it and prayed to receive it, and did, by the hand of Peter, James, and John.
     
  5. Yekcidmij

    Yekcidmij Polymath

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    Matt 18:18 "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.​

    Later in Matthew 18, when Jesus again talks about binding/loosing, why does he use a plural "you" if he's only giving Peter authority to bind/loose?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  6. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    That is a good question. Here is the answer:
    Matthew 16:19 King James Version (KJV)
    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Jesus in the scripture is giving Peter the 'keys of the kingdom of heaven.

    Later on, in Matthew 18:18 Jesus gives the other 11 the same power and authority to bind and loose as Peter had, but there is no mention of 'keys' being given, because Peter was the leader of the 12 and he held the 'keys' himself.

    This is the practical application of the 'keys',
    Peter wants Thomas to go to India to start the church. He calls him and lays his hands on his head and gives him the proper 'keys' to start the church in India. When Thomas gets to India, he converts enough people to establish a bishopric. Thomas lays his hands on the new bishop and gives him the proper 'keys' to do the work of the Lord in India only. When that bishop dies, it is necessary for an apostle to go back to India to choose another bishop and ordain him to his office and give him the 'keys' necessary to do the work of the Lord in India only. In this way, the church maintains order and the right bishop is put in charge in the local areas.

    In our day, it has been revealed to us that when the man holding all of the 'keys' dies, those keys fall upon the quorum of the 12 apostles, who meet and in one voice recognize the new president/prophet of the church, and then they all lay their hands on his head and give him back their keys, so that one man, like Peter, holds all the 'keys of the kingdom of heaven'.

    In our church the new prophet is the most senior member of the quorum of the 12 apostles. In this way, there is no voting, or smoke up the chimney, or trying to convince the other 12 that you are the one for the job, etc., etc., etc. It is clean and causes no infighting, and the Lord can bring the right man to the head position as is needed. It is the most clean and ingenious way to replace the president/prophet that exists in any organization in the world.

    Long story, but I hope that answers your question.
     
  7. Yekcidmij

    Yekcidmij Polymath

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    I don't buy it. It seems like the keys are directly connected to the binding and loosing and he gives all of the apostles the power to bind and loose. It reads as if the keys are what's used for binding and loosing - like they're locking or unlocking a chain. I don't see the warrant in dividing keys from the action of binding and loosing, and the power of binding and loosing is given to all of the apostles in Matt 18. I think you're reading too much into it, and certainly more than is warranted by the text.
     
  8. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    It is exactly the text that warrants my interpretation. In Matthew 16, the Lord Jesus Christ gives Peter the "keys". No other apostle is present in this presentation.

    Then in Matthew 18 he gives the apostles the power to bind and loose, but no keys are mentioned.

    Here is why: only 1 man holds all the keys of the kingdom of heaven at a time on earth. Peter was that man in the first century. Peter then gave his apostles assignments to go out to certain areas and gives them the keys to that area only, and to use the power of binding and loosing to preach the gospel and baptize and organize a church. This way, order can be assured in the church.

    IOW if Peter just said go, and preach the gospel and baptize, the apostles would go hilly nilly over hills and vale and city and country, passing each other in the night, setting up organizations in the same areas, and would have created a mess of confusion. The keys are given to reduce this confusion and bring order, which it did for Peter and the other apostles.
     
  9. Yekcidmij

    Yekcidmij Polymath

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    I don't think it does, regardless of the protests otherwise.

    And I stated a different position that better takes into account the context.

    We're only going to go in circles at this point. It's obvious to me that keys are used for binding and loosing, just as I would use a lock and key on a chain to bind or unbind something. In Matt 18, this authority was passed to his disciples, not just Peter. There is no need or warrant in the text from separating the keys from the activity of binding and loosing. Maybe you have warrant from some other source, but it's not in Matthew.

    That's also not in Matthew 16 or 18. If you have an additional source you're using to interpret Matt 16/18, that's fine, but it's not in the text of Matthew on it's own accord.


    Also not in Matt 16/18.

    Also not in Matt 16/18.
     
  10. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    According to be book of Revelation only Jesus hold the key.

    "In this sense Jesus, when appointing his disciples to be his successors, used the familiar formula (Matt. xvi. 19, xviii. 18). By these words he virtually invested them with the same authority as that which he found belonging to the scribes and Pharisees who "bind heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but will not move them with one of their fingers"; that is, "loose them," as they have the power to do (Matt. xxiii. 2-4). In the same sense, in the second epistle of Clement to James II. ("Clementine Homilies," Introduction), Peter is represented as having appointed Clement as his successor, saying: "I communicate to him the power of binding and loosing so that, with respect to everything which he shall ordain in the earth, it shall be decreed in the heavens; for he shall bind what ought to be bound and loose what ought to be loosed as knowing the rule of the church." Quite different from this Judaic and ancient view of the apostolic power of binding and loosing is the one expressed in John xx. 23, where Jesus is represented as having said to his disciples after they had received the Holy Spirit: "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." It is this view which, adopted by Tertullian and all the church fathers, invested the head of the Christian Church with the power to forgive sins, the "clavis ordinis," "the key-power of the Church.""BINDING AND LOOSING - JewishEncyclopedia.com

    How does one lock or unlock without a key?

    Matthew 16:19 -

    Luke 11:52 “How terrible for you teachers of the Law! You have kept the key that opens the door to the house of knowledge; you yourselves will not go in, and you stop those who are trying to go in!”

    Colossians 2:3 He is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God's wisdom and knowledge.

    Revelation 3:7 [ The Message to Philadelphia ] “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: “This is the message from the one who is holy and true. He has the key that belonged to David, and when he opens a door, no one can close it, and when he closes it, no one can open it.

    Curiously, the following extract from the Talmud provides a Jewish setting for both my understanding and the traditional Christian one. “How do you know that if ten people pray together the Sh˒khinah [“manifested divine presence”] is there with them? Because it is said, ‘God stands in the congregation of God’ (Psalm 82:1a) [and a “congregation” must have a minyan of at least ten]. And how do you know that if three are sitting as a court of judges the Sh˒khinah is there with them? Because it is said, ‘In the midst of judges he renders judgment’ (Psalm 82:1b [taking elohim to mean “judges”; compare Yn 10:34–36&N]).” (B’rakhot 6a)https://cldibillings.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Binding-and-Loosing.pdf
     
  11. Yekcidmij

    Yekcidmij Polymath

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    There's also another interesting note on Matthew 16 in that Peter's confession has parallel passages in Luke 9 and Mark 8. These parallel passages are obviously describing the same event as much of the passage is quoted verbatim across the 3 synoptics. But in these parallel passages, the giving of keys and binding and loosing are not mentioned. For a doctrine that ought to be so central, as LDS doctrine may say, why is it missing from the other gospels?

    The obvious conclusion seems to go along with what I've already posted. First, the notion of the LDS concept of Peterine authority with keys/binding/loosing is not really central to the gospels, or else it would have been in the parallel passages. Second, Matthew 16 cannot be read/understood without Matthew 18, as these are the only passages where such a thing is mentioned, nor can the "keys" be separated from the activity of binding and loosing in Matthew 16 and 18.
     
  12. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    Do you replace the Cornerstone, too? Why replace the foundation if the walls are already there? When did the foundation crumble?
     
  13. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    The significance of these things lies in their interpretation. The Angel of Repentance informs Hermas
    that the Rock and the Gate represent the Son of God. The rock is ancient but the gate is new corresponding to how the Son of God was born before all creation and thus the Father’s councillor regarding creation but was only manifest in the latter days. All stones must proceed through the Gate since nobody
    enters The Kingdom of God except through the Name of His Son. The Master is also the Son of God The Tower is the Church and the Twelve Virgins are twelve spiritual graces: Faith, Continence, Fortitude, Long-suffering, Simplicity, Innocence, Purity, Cheerfulness, Truth, Understanding, Concord, and
    Love. As the stones are whitened only by the hands of the Twelve Virgins, so too must one bear these
    names, i.e., possess these qualities, together with the name of the Son of God, if one would enter the
    Kingdom of God. Without these qualities the name of the Son of God is borne in vain. Those who reject
    these qualities are removed by the black-clad women called: Unbelief, Incontinence, Disobedience, Deceit, Grief, Wickedness, Licentiousness, Irascibility, Lying, Foolishness, Slander, and Hatred. The
    twice-rejected stones may yet repent and for that reason the Tower’s construction was interrupted. Yet
    they must hasten lest others take their place, leaving no room for them.109
    The ten foundational blocks represent the first generation of saints (prediluvian saints?), the twenty-five
    are the second generation of just men (post-diluvian saints?), the thirty-five are God’s prophets and ministers, and the forty are the Apostles and teachers who proclaimed the Son of God.110 The Twelve
    Mountains from which the other stones are drawn are the nations of the earth to whom the Apostles proclaimed the Son of God and their colors correspond to varying mentalities and understandings. From
    each mountain come believers of differing attitudes and moral qualities. All these multi-colored stones
    become one color, white, since all nations, receiving the Son of God and adopting the characteristics of
    the Virgins, are called by one name, that of the Son of God. Upon receiving the seal they have one understanding and one mind, their faith and love making them one.111 The square white stones from the
    field lay at the foot of Mountain Twelve which represents the innocent. These found use since the Master felt sure they would not change their character. The brilliant round stones represent rich believers
    who must be trimmed of much stone, i.e., of much of their wealth, in order to fit into the Tower. Some
    of their wealth would be left them facilitating the exercise of charity. The filled-in plain represents the forgetfulness of the Lord regarding the sins of those who repent thoroughly and continue in a pure disposition. Their sins no longer show at all.112
    This vision clearly demonstrates an evolution in Hermas’ thought. The Tower is still the Church. The
    stones represent differing types of believers. But whereas in the first vision of the Tower the Lord did
    not come since the Tower was not completed, in the second vision of the Tower a deliberate pause is introduced which explains explicitly why the Lord had not yet come, providing theological groundwork
    for his final call of repentance after baptism, i.e., in the refitting of the rejected stones. In both visions
    the rejected stones could repent. In Vision Three they would dwell in a less honorable place than the
    Tower, and only after purgation. But in the Similitude Nine they could be fully restored to the Tower.
    Over time his confidence in the efficacy of repentance increased.

    https://www.st-philip.net/files/Fitzgerald Patristic series/shepherd_of_hermas.pdf
     
  14. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    upload_2019-7-12_20-39-17.png

    Opening and closing is the Binding and Loosing, The Gate is the connection with Heaven. Moving the gate or door is the key. One can not remove one element and not have it work.
     
  15. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    Revelaltions is right, Jesus does hold the keys.

    But according to Matthew 16, he would give those same keys to Peter.

    Peter called Clement to be the bishop of Rome. Peter gave Clement the keys to lead and guide the church in Rome, but he did not make Clement an apostle. Clement was always a bishop, but never an apostle, so when Clement died, another apostle would need to visit Rome and find a successor for Clement, and give that successor the keys to lead and guide the church of Rome.

    Remember the keys unlock the authority you have to bind and loose. If you are not given the right to use your power, you cannot use it. That keeps order in the church and God's house is a house of order.

    If your father gives you a car (the power to get from a to b), but tells you that you must come to him for the keys to unlock that power for the first 6 months, so he can control how you use your power, and make sure you use it wisely, you get a glimpse of Peters roll.

    How does this key thing work in a practical application:

    Peter, who holds all the keys, calls Clement to be the bishop of Rome. He then gives Clement the keys that unlock his power to bind and loose, but just for Rome. Clement now can use his power to bind and loose, call other officers to assist him, such as elders and deacons, and priests, and pastors, and evangelists, and teachers, etc. Clement then gives these officers certain keys that unlock the power and authority of their particular offices and what they are instructed to do.

    None of these assistants, have the power to call a new bishop, or go to an adjacent city and set up the church there. That is the duty and power and authority of an apostle. Thus maintaining order in the church.

    The power of the keys is more than just binding and loosing. It gives the holder the power of presidency and control. If everyone was going around doing what the apostle was supposed to do, you can see that things could get out of control fast.

    So the keys give the holder, not only the power to bind and loose, but to control who receives this power and when it can be used. Peter was the head of the church, and had this presidency and control by virtue of holding all the keys that Jesus gave to him. He was the one who told the other apostles where they would serve and gave them partial keys for that area only. Then that apostle could go there and call people to bind and loose, but to also control that power by giving the keys to a bishop, and the bishop then had the presidency and control of the keys in his area only.

    That is the practical application of the keys.

    Because those keys were taken from men, we have today 3500 different churches all teaching doctrines that do not agree with each other. We have thousands of "so-called" Peters, going around setting up churches and organizing advertising campaigns to secure members, setting up fund raising organizations that will pay their ministers. It is kind of a mess. This is not how the church should operate.
     
  16. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Where is this written in period-appropriate sources?
     
  17. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    No, the chief cornerstone is always Jesus. The current/living apostles and prophets are the other part of the foundation. If they die, and are not replaced then Ephesians 4:12-13 are not able to be done properly, and Ephesians 4:14 is the way the churches stumble forward. Read the history and you find that this is exactly what happened to the churches after the apostles were murdered.
     
  18. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    Since we know Peter died in Rome, why didn't he, when he had the chance, hand the keys to Clement while he was alive? He had every opportunity and it would have made sense given that Peter1000 already accepts that Clement was appointed a Bishop and thus was being set up for future service as an Apostle.

    Even then, there's still no excuse in that John was alive and was more than able to go to Rome and appoint Clement or any number of the faithful Apostles.

    Yet the Mormons continue with this narrative despite the fact it makes no sense given what we know historically. The Mormon God obviously wanted the Church to become corrupt and fragment.

    There is an alternative explanation. The rank of Apostle was never intended to be inherited and you cannot give one clear example from scripture or the ante-nicene fathers of this being a belief. You can interpret any number of texts into a Mormon fashion, but what is the one clear text that establishes Apostle was a rank that was supposed to remain forever in the Church? How do you explain Ignatius of Antioch Prophesying about the importance of the Bishop? How do Mormons account for the faithful beyond that generation of men who knew the Apostles? They can't. They pity them because they were subject to worldly powers that overcame God.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  19. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Thank You Is there a list of Bishop by date? to the present day?
     
  20. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > A > Apostles


    Under this title it may be sufficient to supply brief and essential information,

    I. on the name "Apostle";
    II. on its various meanings;
    III. on the origin of the Apostolate;
    IV. on the office of the Apostles and the conditions required in them;
    V. on the authority and the prerogatives of the Apostles;
    VI. on the relation of the Apostolate to the office of bishop;
    VII. on the origin of the feasts of the Apostles.

    The reader will find at the end of this article various titles of other articles which contain supplementary information on subjects connected with the Apostles.

    The name
    The word "Apostle", from the Greek apostello "to send forth", "to dispatch", has etymologically a very general sense. Apostolos (Apostle) means one who is sent forth, dispatched--in other words, who is entrusted with a mission, rather, a foreign mission. It has, however, a stronger sense than the word messenger, and means as much as a delegate. In the classical writers the word is not frequent. In the Greek version of the Old Testament it occurs once, in 1 Kings 14:6 (cf. 1 Kings 12:24). In the New Testament, on the contrary, it occurs, according to Bruder's Concordance, about eighty times, and denotes often not all the disciples of the Lord, but some of them specially called. It is obvious that our Lord, who spoke an Aramaic dialect, gave to some of his disciples an Aramaic title, the Greek equivalent of which was "Apostle". It seems to us that there is no reasonable doubt about the Aramaic word being seliah, by which also the later Jews, and probably already the Jews before Christ, denoted "those who were despatched from the mother city by the rulers of the race on any foreign mission, especially such as were charged with collecting the tribute paid to the temple service" (Lightfoot, "Galatians", London, 1896, p. 93). The word apostle would be an exact rendering of the root of the word seliah,= apostello.

    Various meanings
    It is at once evident that in a Christian sense, everyone who had received a mission from God, or Christ, to man could be called "Apostle". In fact, however, it was reserved to those of the disciples who received this title from Christ. At the same time, like other honourable titles, it was occasionally applied to those who in some way realized the fundamental idea of the name. The word also has various meanings.

    The name Apostle denotes principally one of the twelve disciples who, on a solemn occasion, were called by Christ to a special mission. In the Gospels, however, those disciples are often designated by the expressions of mathetai (the disciples) or dodeka (the Twelve) and, after the treason and death of Judas, even of hendeka (the Eleven). In the Synoptics the name Apostle occurs but seldom with this meaning; only once in Matthew and Mark. But in other books of the New Testament, chiefly in the Epistles of St. Paul and in the Acts, this use of the word is current. Saul of Tarsus, being miraculously converted, and called to preach the Gospel to the heathens, claimed with much insistency this title and its rights.
    In the Epistle to the Hebrews (iii, 1) the name is applied even to Christ, in the original meaning of a delegate sent from God to preach revealed truth to the world.
    The word Apostle has also in the New Testament a larger meaning, and denotes some inferior disciples who, under the direction of the Apostles, preached the Gospel, or contributed to its diffusion; thus Barnabas (Acts 14:4, 14), probably Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25), two unknown Christians who were delegated for the collection in Corinth (2 Corinthians 8:23). We know not why the honourable name of Apostle is not given to such illustrious missionaries as Timothy, Titus, and others who would equally merit it.
    There are some passages in which the extension of the word Apostle is doubtful, as Luke 11:49; John 13:16; 2 Corinthians 13; 1 Thessalonians 2:7; Ephesians 3:5; Jude 17, and perhaps the well-known expression "Apostles and Prophets". Even in an ironical meaning the word occurs (2 Corinthians 11:5; 12:11) to denote pseudo-apostles. There is but little to add on the use of the word in the old Christian literature. The first and third meanings are the only ones which occur frequently, and even in the oldest literature the larger meaning is seldom found.
    Origin of the apostolate
    The Gospels point out how, from the beginning of his ministry, Jesus called to him some Jews, and by a very diligent instruction and formation made them his disciples. After some time, in the Galilean ministry, he selected twelve whom, as Mark (3:14) and Luke (vi, 13) say, "he also named Apostles." The origin of the Apostolate lies therefore in a special vocation, a formal appointment of the Lord to a determined office, with connected authority and duties. The appointment of the twelve Apostles is given by the three Synoptic Gospels (Mark 3:13-19; Matthew 10:1-4; Luke 6:12-16) nearly in the same words, so that the three narratives are literally dependent. Only on the immediately connected events is there some difference between them. It seems almost needless to outline and disprove rationalistic views on this topic. The holders of these views, at least some of them, contend that our Lord never appointed twelve Apostles, never thought of establishing disciples to help him in his ministry, and eventually to carry on his work. These opinions are only deductions from the rationalistic principles on the credibility of the Gospels, Christ's doctrine on the Kingdom of Heaven, and the eschatology of the Gospels. Here it may be sufficient to observe

    that the very clear testimony of the three synoptic Gospels constitutes a strong historical argument, representing, as it does, a very old and widely spread tradition that cannot be erroneous;
    that the universally acknowledged authority of the Apostles, even in the most heated controversies, and from the first years after Christ's death (for instance in the Jewish controversies), as we read in the oldest Epistles of St. Paul and in the Acts, cannot be explained, or even be understood, unless we recognize some appointment of the Twelve by Jesus.
    Office and conditions of the apostolate
    Two of the synoptic Gospels add to their account of the appointment of the Twelve brief statements on their office: Mark 3:14-15, "He appointed twelve to be with him and to send them to herald, and to have power to heal the illnesses and to cast out demons"; Matthew 10:1, "He gave them power over unclean spirits so as to expel them, and to heal every disease and every illness". Luke where he relates the appointment of the Twelve, adds nothing on their office. Afterwards (Mark 6:7-13; Matthew 10:5-15; Luke 9:1-5). Jesus sends the Twelve to preach the kingdom and to heal, and gives them very definite instructions. From all this it results that the Apostles are to be with Jesus and to aid Him by proclaiming the kingdom and by healing. However, this was not the whole extent of their office, and it is not difficult to understand that Jesus did not indicate to His Apostles the whole extent of their mission, while as yet they had such imperfect ideas of His own person and mission, and of the Messianic kingdom. The nature of the Apostolic mission is made still clearer by the sayings of Christ after His Resurrection. Here such passages as Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8, 21-22 are fundamental. In the first of these texts we read, "Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you". The texts of Luke point to the same office of preaching and testifying (cf. Mark 16:16). The Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles written by the Apostles exhibit them in the constant exercise of this office. Everywhere the Apostle governs the disciples, preaches the doctrines of Jesus as an authentic witness, and administers the sacred rites. In order to fill such an office, it seems necessary to have been instructed by Jesus, to have seen the risen Lord. And these are, clearly, the conditions required by the Apostles in the candidate for the place of Judas Iscariot. "Of the men, therefore, who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John unto the day He was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of His Resurrection" (Acts 1:21-22). This narrative, which seems to come from an Aramaic Palestinian source like many other details given in the earlier chapter of Acts, was ancient and cannot be set aside. It is further strengthened by an objection made to St. Paul: because he was called in an extraordinary way to the Apostolate, he was obliged often to vindicate his Apostolic authority and proclaim that he had seen the Lord (1 Corinthians 9:1). Instruction and appointment by Jesus were, therefore, the regular conditions for the Apostolate. By way of exception. an extraordinary vocation, as in the case of Paul, or a choice by the Apostolic College, as in the case of Matthias, could suffice. Such an extraordinarily called or elected Apostle could preach Christ's doctrine and the Resurrection of the Lord as an authoritative witness.
     
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