popefrancisThis version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 28 February 2014 to 20 April 2014.


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Papal Tweets

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PopeFrancis-fingerThis version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 3 March 2014 to 12 April 2014.


General Audiences



Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

Papal Tweets

+ “How good it is for us when the Lord unsettles our lukewarm and superficial lives.” @pontifex, 7 April 2014

+ “We need to rediscover a contemplative spirit, so that the love of God may warm our hearts.” @pontifex, 8 April 2014

+ “Jesus teaches us to not be ashamed of touching human misery, of touching his flesh in our brothers and sisters who suffer. (EG 270)” @pontifex, 10 April 2014

+ “Only trust in God can transform doubts into certainty, evil into good, night into radiant dawn.” @pontifex, 11 April 2014

+ “How beautiful it is to stand before the Crucifix, simply to be under the Lord’s gaze, so full of love. (EG 264)” @pontifex, 12 April 2014

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emptytombThe four Gospels all mention the empty tomb of Christ, which has become a mainstay of modern apologetics.

But some argue that the idea of the empty tomb was a late development in early Christianity—that it only arose decades after the Crucifixion, and that early Christians thought Jesus had been “spiritually” raised from the dead, not literally.

It was only with the passage of time that this spiritual resurrection was interpreted as a literal one, leading to the idea of the empty tomb.

In arguing for this view, advocates of this view might ask why earlier documents of the New Testament don’t mention the empty tomb.

This is, in fact, something that Philip Jenkins is wondering about . . .


Jenkins on the Empty Tomb

Over at his blog, Dr. Jenkins writes:

Let me pose the problem. From the time of Mark’s gospel, around 70, the empty tomb became central to the Resurrection narrative, so central in fact that Jews evolve rival stories to account for the absence of Jesus’s body (Matt. 28. 11-15). The story evidently mattered in religious polemic. Over the next thirty years or so, the story is repeated in various forms in three other gospels. Yet even Luke, who knows the story, makes no use of it in Acts. Before the 90s, moreover, (the time of Matthew and Luke), the one account that we do have of the empty tomb does not refer to visions of a bodily risen Jesus at or near the site.

Where is the empty tomb story before 70?

Suppose I face an atheist critic, who makes the following argument. Yes, he says, early Christians believed that they encountered the risen Jesus, that they had visions, but these visions had no objective reality. They just arose from the hopes and expectations of superstitious disciples. Even then, Christians saw that Resurrection in spiritual, pneumatic, terms. Only after a lengthy period, some forty years in fact, did the church invent stories to give a material, bodily basis to that phenomenon, and the empty tomb was the best known example.

How can I respond? Help me.

Some have already responded in his combox, but I’d like to provide a fuller response, so let’s go.


Challenging a Premise

My first response to an atheist critic would be that I don’t accept one of the premises—that the Gospels were written at such late dates.

The book of Acts suddenly stops, without resolving the story of Paul’s trial and imprisonment, in A.D. 60. Whether Paul was exonerated or executed, either would have been a fitting ending to Acts, and the best explanation for why Luke stopped writing without finishing the story is that those events simply had not happened yet. In other words, Acts was written in A.D. 60.

Since Acts is the sequel to the Gospel of Luke, that means Luke was written no later than A.D. 60 and possibly quite a bit earlier.

Depending on your theory of the order in which the Gospels were composed, either Matthew or Mark (or both) were written before Luke, and that would push them into at least the A.D. 50s, which is the same period that most of Paul’s epistles were being written.

Indeed, in 2 Corinthians 8:18, written in the mid A.D. 50s, Paul tells the readers that he is sending them “the brother whose praise is in the Gospel.” This may be a reference to either Mark or Luke, both sometime travelling companions of Paul and both authors of Gospels.

Even John shows signs of being written in the A.D. 60s. He refers to things in Jerusalem as still standing that would have been devastated in A.D. 70 (cf. John 5:2), and in the literal Greek of John 21:19 he speaks of Peter’s death—which took place in A.D. 67—as still in the future (“This he said to show by what death he [Peter] will glorify God”—future tense in the Greek). (There’s also the fact that John expressly claims to be written by an eyewitness of the empty tomb itself.)

So, despite the dates you commonly hear assigned to the Gospels, the evidence is that they were actually written quite a bit earlier, and their composition overlapped the period in which the epistles were written (see John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament for more).


Challenging a Second Premise


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pope-francis2This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 23 October 2013 to 5 April 2014.


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francis_baptismThis version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 27 February to 29 March 2014.


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stpeterstpaul-builtchurch-640In Galatians, St. Paul says at one point:

But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

For before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.

And with him the rest of the Jews acted insincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity.

But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” [Gal. 2:11-14].

What are we to make of this?

Some among the Church Fathers thought that this was a fake disagreement that Paul and Peter engaged in for teaching purposes.

For example, in his Commentary on Galatians, St. Jerome states:

Now, if anyone thinks that Paul really opposed Peter and fearlessly insulted his predecessor in defense of evangelical truth, he will not be moved by the fact that Paul acted as a Jew among fellow Jews in order to win them for Christ. What is more, Paul would have been guilty of the same kind of dissimulation on other occasions, such as when he shared his head in Cenchrea, when he made an offering in Jerusalem after doing this, when he circumcised Timothy and went barefoot-all of which are clearly aspects of Jewish religious ritual.

Later, he writes:

Just as people who walk normally but pretend to limp do not have a problem with their feet, though there is a reason why they [pretend to] limp, so also Peter, aware that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters but only keeping the commandments of God, ate beforehand with Gentiles but for a time withdrew from them to avoid alienating the Jews from their faith in Christ. Paul likewise employed the same pretense as Peter and confronted him and spoke in front of everyone, not so much to rebuke Peter as to correct those for whose sake Peter had engaged in simulation. Now, if anyone is not convinced by this interpretation, that Peter was not in error and Paul did not rashly rebuke his elder, he must account for why Paul criticized another for doing the same thing he had done.

St. John Chrysostom has the same interpretation here, and Jerome reports that Origen held it as well, though it does not appear in his surviving writings.

The Church Fathers were far from unanimous in this opinion, however, and it seems that Jerome and the others were in the minority.

The majority view, represented by St. Augustine, was that the two apostles had a real difference of opinion about the appropriateness of Peter’s actions. St. Augustine, in particular, points out that Jerome’s theory would involve the two apostles in lying.

A while back, I was reading one of Pope Benedict XVI’s audiences, where he weighed in on the subject:

Here the other epicenter of Mosaic observance emerges: the distinction between clean and unclean foods which deeply separated practicing Jews from Gentiles. At the outset Cephas, Peter, shared meals with both; but with the arrival of certain Christians associated with James, “the Lord’s brother” (Gal 1: 19), Peter began to avoid contact with Gentiles at table in order not to shock those who were continuing to observe the laws governing the cleanliness of food and his decision was shared by Barnabas.

This decision profoundly divided the Christians who had come from circumcision and the Christians who came from paganism.

This behavior, that was a real threat to the unity and freedom of the Church, provoked a passionate reaction in Paul who even accused Peter and the others of hypocrisy: “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (Gal 2: 14).

In fact, the thought of Paul on the one hand, and of Peter and Barnabas on the other, were different: for the latter the separation from the Gentiles was a way to safeguard and not to shock believers who came from Judaism; on the contrary, for Paul it constituted the danger of a misunderstanding of the universal salvation in Christ, offered both to Gentiles and Jews.

If justification is only achieved by virtue of faith in Christ, of conformity with him, regardless of any effect of the Law, what is the point of continuing to observe the cleanliness of foods at shared meals? In all likelihood the approaches of Peter and Paul were different: the former did not want to lose the Jews who had adhered to the Gospel, and the latter did not want to diminish the saving value of Christ’s death for all believers.

It has been noted that the fact that, after describing his rebuke of Peter, Paul does not immediately say, “And I won, and Peter agreed with me!” is a sign that he actually lost the argument.

If so, it may have given him cause for further reflection, which may have led him to consider situations in which some accommodation to Jewish practices was warranted–even if the situation in Antioch was not one of them. Pope Benedict noted:

It is strange to say but in writing to the Christians of Rome a few years later (in about the middle of the 50s A.D.), Paul was to find himself facing a similar situation and asked the strong not to eat unclean foods in order not to lose or scandalize the weak: “it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble” (Rm 14: 21).

The incident at Antioch thus proved to be as much of a lesson for Peter as it was for Paul.

Only sincere dialogue, open to the truth of the Gospel, could guide the Church on her journey: “For the kingdom of God does not mean food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rm 14: 17).

It is a lesson that we too must learn: with the different charisms entrusted to Peter and to Paul, let us all allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit, seeking to live in the freedom that is guided by faith in Christ and expressed in service to the brethren [General Audience, Oct. 1, 2008].

Thus Paul might have regarded Peter as wrong in the Antioch incident but have been led to more closely consider situations in which accommodating Jewish practices was permissible and even needed.

That could explain Jerome’s question about Paul later did similar things himself.

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The Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Christ. Here are 9 things you need to know about the event and how we celebrate it. The Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Christ. Here are 9 things you need to know about the event and how we celebrate it.

This Monday we’re going to be celebrating the solemnity of the Annunciation.

This day celebrates the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce of the birth of Christ.

What’s going on and why is this day important?

Here are 8 things you need to know.


1. What does the word “Annunciation” mean?

It’s derived from the same root as the word “announce.” Gabriel is announcing the birth of Christ in advance.

“Annunciation” is simply an old-fashioned way of saying “announcement.”

Although we are most familiar with this term being applied to the announcement of Christ’s birth, it can be applied in other ways also.

For example, in his book Jesus of Nazareth 3: The Infancy Narratives, Benedict XVI has sections on both “The annunciation of the birth of John” and “The annunciation to Mary,” because John the Baptist’s birth was also announced in advance.


2. When is the Annunciation normally celebrated and why does it sometimes move?

Normally the Solemnity of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25th.

This date is used because it is nine months before Christmas (December 25th), and it is assumed that Jesus spent the normal nine months in the womb.

However, March 25th sometimes falls during Holy Week, and the days of Holy Week have a higher liturgical rank than this solemnity (weekdays of Holy Week have rank I:2, while this solemnity has a rank of I:3; see here for the Table of Liturgical Days by their ranks).

Still, the Annunciation is an important solemnity, and so it doesn’t just vanish from the calendar. Instead, as the rubrics in the Roman Missal note:

Whenever this Solemnity occurs during Holy Week, it is transferred to the Monday after the Second Sunday of Easter.

It is thus celebrated on the first available day after Holy Week and the Octave of Easter (which ends on the Second Sunday of Easter).


3. How does this story parallel the birth of John the Baptist?


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bishops1It is well known that the Church regards the bishops as the successors of the apostles.

For example, the Second Vatican Council taught:

This Sacred Council, following closely in the footsteps of the First Vatican Council, with that Council teaches and declares that Jesus Christ, the eternal Shepherd, established His holy Church, having sent forth the apostles as He Himself had been sent by the Father; and He willed that their successors, namely the bishops, should be shepherds in His Church even to the consummation of the world [Lumen Gentium 18]. 

Does this mean that the bishops are all really apostles, with a different name? Are they successors in that sense?

No. They are the successors of the apostles in the sense that the apostles were originally the highest office in the Church and, when they passed from the scene, they left the bishops in charge.

The bishops thus succeeded the apostles by becoming the highest leaders in the Church, but not by becoming apostles.

Can we document that?

Yes. There is an appendix to Lumen Gentium that clarifies the matter (printed after the main body of the document at the link). It says:

The parallel between Peter and the rest of the Apostles on the one hand, and between the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops on the other hand, does not imply the transmission of the Apostles’ extraordinary power to their successors; nor does it imply, as is obvious, equality between the head of the College and its members, but only a proportionality between the first relationship (Peter-Apostles) and the second (Pope-bishops) [Preliminary Note of Explanation 1].

So, stating that the bishops are the successors of the apostles “does not imply the transmission of the apostles’ extraordinary power to their successors,” the bishops. They are their successors in a different sense.

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pope_francis_mass_20130314124558_640_480This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 16 March to 22 March 2014.


General Audiences



Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

Papal Tweets

  • “Thank you for all your warm wishes on my anniversary. Please continue praying for me.” @pontifex, 17 March 2013
  • “Christian love is loving without counting the cost. This is the lesson of the Good Samaritan; this is the lesson of Jesus.” @pontifex, 18 March 2013
  • “I greet the World School Network for Encounter.

    Today we plant the first virtual olive tree for peace. @infoscholas” @pontifex, 19 March 2013

  • “May we learn to say “thank you” to God and to one another. We teach children to do it, and then we forget to do it ourselves!” @pontifex, 20 March 2013
  • “Sickness and death are not taboo subjects. They are realities that we must face in Jesus’ presence.” @pontifex, 21 March 2013
  • “Jesus is our hope. Nothing – not even evil or death – is able to separate us from the saving power of his love.” @pontifex, 22 March 2013

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holyapostles_iconThere were twelve apostles, right?

Actually, it’s more complicated than that.

An initial complication is the fact that Judas Iscariot died and was replaced by Matthias (Acts 1:12-26).

You could look at that and say, “Okay, there were thirteen apostles, total, but only twelve at one time.”

What about Paul?

Some (at least some in the Protestant community) have suggested that, since the New Testament doesn’t record Matthias as having done anything, his election wasn’t valid, and Paul was Judas’s real replacement—again allowing for the total to be only twelve at one time.

This is a bad argument, though.


Why It’s Bad

First, the New Testament does not present Matthias’s election as invalid. It presents it in a straight-forward way with the ultimate conclusion that Matthias “was enrolled with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:26).

Second, the New Testament does not have to record an apostle as having “done something” for him to be an apostle. The New Testament records next to nothing—or, depending on how you identify different biblical figures—it event records nothing at all about what some of the apostles did. Yet it explicitly names them as apostles.

Third, if the New Testament does not record Matthias as having done anything, the Church Fathers do. For example, Eusebius records that Matthias was noted for preaching self-control to avoid sexual immorality. According to Eusebius:

But they say that Matthias also taught in the same manner that we ought to fight against and abuse the flesh, and not give way to it for the sake of pleasure, but strengthen the soul by faith and knowledge [Ecclesiastical History III:29].

Fourth, if the claim were to be made on Protestant premises then it would have to be defensible by sola scriptura—the claim that we should be able to prove theological points “by Scripture alone.” Yet there seems to be no place in Scripture requiring there to be only twelve living apostles.

Instead, the New Testament treats both Matthias and Paul as valid apostles.


Not of the Twelve

The logical way to look at Paul, therefore, is that he was a valid apostle but not one of “the Twelve.”

The New Testament never refers to him as one of the Twelve apostles.

He was ordained to ministry, in Acts 13, in Antioch, not by the apostles in Jerusalem, as Matthias was.

And he was not a witness of the ministry of Jesus in the way that Matthias was. Peter made it clear that this was a requirement for being one of the Twelve:

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 [Acts 1:21-22].

We thus see that the Twelve were a distinct group that accompanied Jesus during his earthly ministry and who served as witnesses of this and his resurrection.

Paul did not become a follower of Jesus until after the Ascension, so he could not belong to the Twelve.

He did, however, have an apparition of Jesus (he calls it a vision in Acts 26:19), in which he was called to be an apostle, and thus he asks the rhetorical questions: “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?” (1 Cor. 9:1).

He thus appears to base his call to apostleship on his apparition of Jesus rather than of having been a follower of his during his earthly ministry.

This indicates that there could be apostles beyond the Twelve, who were witnesses of Christ’s ministry.

Are there any other apostles who weren’t members of the Twelve?

Yes. There is at least one who is easy to name . . .


Paul and Barnabas are both set apart ministry together, on the instructions of the Holy Spirit, in Acts 13. The paralleling of the two suggests the two have the same office, and this is confirmed in the next chapter, as the men of Lystra attempt to worship them as gods. Luke reports:

But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out among the multitude, crying, “Men, why are you doing this? [Acts 14:14-15].

Here Barnabas is called an apostle. He is even mentioned before Paul (which is not unexpected; Barnabas was the more prominent figure early on).

So we have at least one more apostle—besides Paul—who was not one of the Twelve.

Are there others?


Maybe Apostles: Silas and Timothy

It is argued that the New Testament refers to several additional individuals as apostles.

Two of these are Silas and Timothy. They are listed, along with Paul, as joint-senders of 1 Thessalonians (see 1 Thess. 1:1). That doesn’t make them apostles, but later in the letter Paul is speaking of a time when he visited the church in Thessalonica, and he says:

For we never used either words of flattery, as you know, or a cloak for greed, as God is witness; nor did we seek glory from men, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ [1 Thess. 2:5-6].

Since he uses the plural here—“we”—he may be including Silas and Timothy as fellow apostles.

On the other hand, he may have slipped into a rhetorical “we” that does not mean to include Silas and Timothy.


A Maybe Apostle: Apollos

The same thing is true of Apollos. In 1 Corinthians Paul speaks of himself and two other ministers of Christ—Peter and Apollos—and subsequently says:

For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men [1 Cor. 4:9].

Here he could be including Apollos among the apostles, but he may not be. He may be thinking of “us apostles” in a more general sense that refers to all the apostles and may not include Apollos.


The Thorny Case of James

In Galatians, Paul describes an occasion when he visited Jerusalem, and he writes:

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother [Gal. 1:18-19].

This can naturally be read as placing James the Lord’s brother (also known as James the Just) among the apostles. Indeed, this would fit with the common to identification of this James with “James the son of Alphaeus” or “James the Less,” who was one of the Twelve apostles.

But there is reason to question that identification, as Pope Benedict XVI noted:

Among experts, the question of the identity of these two figures with the same name, James son of Alphaeus and James “the brother of the Lord,” is disputed. With reference to the period of Jesus’ earthly life, the Gospel traditions have not kept for us any account of either one of them [General Audience, June 28, 2006].

One reason for thinking that the two are different figures is that John directly states that Jesus “brothers” were not believers during his earthly ministry (John 7:5), though they came to be later, and they assumed prominent positions in the Church.

Various passages in the New Testament distinguish the “brethren” of the Lord from the apostles and disciples, and so many have proposed that James the Just is a relative of Jesus (likely a step-brother or cousin) who was not one of the original Twelve.

Thus, St. Paul may regard him as a fellow apostle who was not one of the Twelve. The same may have been true of other brethren of the Lord.


The Probably-Not Apostles: Andronicus and Junia/Junias

There are also figures in the New Testament that were probably not apostles, though a case has been made for the claim that they were.

Two of them are Andronicus and Junia, who Paul mentions in Romans 16:7 as being “of note among the apostles.”

This has been taken to mean that Andronicus and Junia were not only apostles but that they were famous ones.


If they were so noteworthy as apostles, why don’t we know anything else about them?

The passage is a favorite among those who would like to have women’s ordination, because “Junia” is a female name, and that would point to a female apostle, seemingly opening the way for a female priesthood.

However, there are other ways of reading the text. The name may be “Junias” (a male name) rather than “Junia.” The Greek can be read either way, though Junia was a more common name than Junias.

Even so, Andronicus and “Junias” were unlikely to be apostles of note since we know nothing else but what Paul says about them (that they were his kinsmen and that they were Christians before he was).

If they weren’t noteworthy apostles then they probably weren’t apostles at all, because the text can be taken in a very different sense.

“Of note among the apostles” may not mean that they had a reputation for being famous as apostles but that they were noteworthy to the apostles. In other words, the apostolic community had taken note of them for their special accomplishments in the faith.

If so, then Andronicas and his wife Junia were simply a Christian couple who, out of zeal, had done things which caught the attention of the apostles, and Paul was complimenting them on it.


An Apostle in a Different Sense: Epaphroditus

Another figure who probably was not an apostle in the familiar sense is Epaphroditus of Philippi.

Although, in Philippians 2:25, Paul refers to him using the word “apostle,” he makes it clear that Epaphroditus is “your apostle” who Paul is returning to them.

In other words, Epaphroditus was sent by the church at Philippi to Paul, and now he is sending him back.

Many translations thus render the word “messenger” in this verse, because it seems to be the ordinary Greek usage of the word apolostolos (one who is sent) rather than the technical usage the term acquired for those who had been sent on special mission by Jesus Christ himself.


Unknown Apostles?

Given the ambiguity of who counted as an apostle in some cases, and the fact that apostles were not limited to the Twelve, we can’t rule out the possibility that there were other apostles.

These may have been men who are completely unknown to us, or we might know their names but not know that they were regarded as apostles.


False Apostles

We do know that there were other men who at least claimed to be apostles. Some may have even claimed a higher title. The Greek phrase Paul uses to describe them is huperlian apostolon, and it has been translated various ways: “super apostles,” “hyper apostles,” “superlative apostles,” “great apostles,” etc. Paul clearly uses this term sarcastically, but it may actually have been one that these individuals were applying to themselves.

In any event, Paul tells us:

I think that I am not in the least inferior to these superlative apostles [2 Cor. 11:5].

One could wonder if he is thinking of the Jerusalem apostles as the highest ranking apostles, but what he goes on to say makes this interpretation impossible:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ [2 Cor. 11:13].

While there may have been tensions between Paul and some members of the Jerusalem church, he would never have described the original Twelve in this way.

That tells us that there was another, shadowy group of men who were claiming to be apostles and encroaching on Paul’s missionary work in Corinth. They also held an exalted view of themselves, and Paul tells us this about them:

Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I [2 Cor. 11:22].

They were therefore of Jewish origin, not Gentile, and they were probably associated with the Judaizing movement that claimed Gentiles needed to be circumcised and become Jews in order to be saved. We know this because Paul tells his readers at Corinth:

If you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough [2 Cor. 11:4].

In context, this is a reference to the missionary work of the “super apostles,” and since Paul elsewhere identifies Judaizers as preachers of a false gospel (Gal. 1:6-12, 2:1-10), that is likely what we are dealing with here.

In any event, since these men were false apostles, they do not add to the count of true apostles. They do, however, reveal that the title was being used quite a bit more broadly than the Twelve by some in the first century.

There is also one more apostle, one who was both true and who would have had a claim to the title “superlative apostle” . . .


The Ultimate Apostle

Many people are surprised to learn it, but the book of Hebrews refers to Jesus Christ himself as an apostle:

Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession [Heb. 3:1].

Jesus is not an apostle in the same sense as his own apostles were. They are apostles of Jesus Christ (that is, sent by Jesus Christ). Jesus is an apostle of a higher sort. Here he is called the apostle “of our confession,” of our faith itself.

And we know who it was who sent Jesus to proclaim our faith. Jesus himself told us:

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me [John 6:38].

God the Father sent him, and so Jesus can be described as the Apostle of the Father or the Apostle of God.


An Unanswerable Question

Because of all the factors we have seen that play into the question of how many apostles there were, we must ultimately leave the question unanswered.

Not only were there apostles of different kinds, even if we restrict ourselves to the kind of apostle that the Twelve, Barnabas, Paul, and others were, we know too little to establish a definitive list.

There are debatable cases, and there may be unknown ones, as well.

Trying to answer the question, though, turns up some interesting things.

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