AskDefine | Define apostles

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Noun

apostles
  1. Plural of apostle

Extensive Definition

The Twelve Apostles (Greek:, apostolos, "someone sent out", e.g. with a message or as a delegate) were, according to the Synoptic Gospels (i.e., the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke) and Christian tradition, disciples (followers) whom Jesus of Nazareth had chosen, named, and trained in order to send them on a specific mission. After the Apostle Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus, the remaining Apostles under the leadership of Simon Peter filled the vacancy by electing by lot Matthias, a companion of theirs ever since they themselves had followed Jesus, so that by the time of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost they actually numbered twelve again. The word apostle comes from the Greek word (apostolos). According to the Bauer lexicon, Walter Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon of the NT: "…Judaism had an office known as apostle (שליח)". In Islam, the Qur'an called The Twelve Apostles "الحواريون" which derives from the Hebrew word for a pharisaical college "friends". The Friberg Greek Lexicon gives a broad definition as one who is sent on a mission, a commissioned representative of a congregation, a messenger for God, a person who has the special task of founding and establishing churches. The UBS Greek Dictionary also describes an apostle broadly as a messenger. The Louw-Nida Lexicon gives a very narrow definition of a special messenger, generally restricted to the immediate followers of Jesus, or extended to some others like Paul or other Early Christians active in proclaiming the Gospel.
In summary then, the word apostle has two meanings, the broader meaning of a messenger and the narrow meaning of an early apostle, which is restricted to those directly linked to Jesus Christ. The more general meaning of the word is translated into Latin as 'missio', and from this word we get the English word 'missionary'.
In more recent times however, the word apostle has mostly fallen out of use in the general sense. In some parts of the church the world and among certain groups, it is urged that the word apostle should only be used to refer to The Twelve Apostles and Paul, or only those and certain other historic figures. In these settings it can cause great offence to refer to oneself or another modern figure as an apostle; terms which avoid controversy include 'missionary', 'envoy', 'delegate', 'messenger' and 'church planter'.
Some churches which use the word apostle for modern men recognize this dilemma and so call contemporary church leaders apostles with a small "a" reserving the capital "A" for the 12 Apostles.

Portrayal

The Apostles are portrayed in the New Testament as having been Galilean Jews. The names of the majority of them are Aramaic, although some had Greek names. That the Twelve Apostles were all Jews is supported in several ways. Jesus’ statements that his mission is directed only to those of the house of Israel (Bible verse |Matthew|10:1-6, Bible verse |Matthew|15:22-24, Bible verse |Luke|22:30) imply that the Twelve Apostles and others closest to Jesus were all Jews, as does the fact that only after the death of Jesus did the apostles agree with Paul that the teaching of the gospel could be extended to uncircumcised Gentiles (Bible verse |Acts|15:1-31, Bible verse |Galatians|2:7-9, Bible verse |Acts|10:1-11:18). For Christians who view the Hebrew prophets as speaking of Jesus and Christianity, support for the Jewishness of the Apostles is found, on the one hand, in the prophetic assertions that it was the Jews whom God had chosen to bring all the nations (the "Gentiles") to faith in him, and that, on the other hand, Jesus appointed the Twelve Apostles kingship and told them that they will sit on thrones administering the affairs of the twelve tribes of Israel. Even the "supernumerary Apostle", the "Apostle to the Gentiles", Saul of Tarsus, who said that Jesus revealed himself to him only after his ascension and appointed him to his mission (Bible verse |Acts|9:1-19, Bible verse |Galatians|1:11-12), was a Jew by birth, and always proud of it, (Bible verse |Galatians|1:14) although since his conversion to Jesus he became known by the Greek name Paul (Bible verse |Acts|13:9).
The Gospel of Mark states that Jesus initially sent out these twelve in pairs (Bible verse |Mark|6:7-13, cf. Bible verse |Matthew|10:5-42, Bible verse |Luke|9:1-6), to towns in Galilee. Literal readings of the text state that their initial instructions were to heal the sick and drive out demons, and in the Gospel of Matthew to raise the dead, but some scholars read this more metaphorically as instructions to heal the spiritually sick and thus to drive away wicked behaviour. They are also instructed to: "take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff — no bread, no bag, no money in their belt — but to wear sandals; and He added, "Do not put on two tunics". (NASB), and that if any town rejects them they ought to shake the dust off their feet as they leave, a gesture which some scholars think was meant as a contemptuous threat (Miller 26). Their carrying of just a staff (Matthew and Luke say not even a staff) is sometimes given as the reason for the use by Christian Bishops of a staff of office, in those denominations that believe they maintain an apostolic succession.
There is also evidence that follows those marked Apostle. Paul made his case to the corinthian church that he was an apostle by the evidence of God's power working through him. Paul states clearly that, "The things that mark an apostle—signs, wonders and miracles—were done among you with great perseverance."http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=54&chapter=12&verse=12&version=31&context=verse
Later in the Gospel narratives the Twelve Apostles are described as having been commissioned to preach the Gospel to "all the nations" (Bible verse |Matthew|28:19, Bible verse |Mark|13:10, Bible verse |Mark|16:15), regardless of whether Jew or Gentile.

The Twelve Apostles

See also: Deaths of the Twelve Apostles.
The four Gospels give varying names of the twelve. According to the list occurring in each of the three Synoptic Gospels (Bible verse |Mark|3:13-19, Bible verse |Matthew|10:1-4, Bible verse |Luke|6:12-16), the Twelve chosen by Jesus near the beginning of his ministry, those whom also He named Apostles, were, according to the Gospels of Mark and Matthew:
  1. Peter: Renamed by Jesus, his original name was Simon (Bible verse |Mark|3:16); was a fisherman from the Bethsaida "of Galilee" (Bible verse |John|1:44, cf. Bible verse |John|12:21). Also known as Simon bar Jonah, Simon bar Jochanan (Aram.), Cephas (Aram.), and Simon Peter.
  2. James, son of Zebedee: The brother of John.
  3. John: The brother of James. Jesus named both of them Bo-aner'ges, which means "sons of thunder".(Bible verse |Mark|3:17)
  4. Andrew: The brother of Simon/Peter, a Bethsaida fisherman, and a former disciple of John the Baptist.
  5. Philip: From the Bethsaida of Galilee (Bible verse |John|1:44, Bible verse |John|12:21)
  6. Bartholomew, son of Talemai: It has been suggested that he is the same person as Nathanael, who is mentioned in Bible verse |John|1:45-51.
  7. Matthew: The tax collector.
  8. Thomas: Also known as Judas Thomas Didymus - Aramaic T'oma' = twin, and Greek Didymous = twin.
  9. James, son of Alphaeus: Generally identified with "James the Less", and also identified by Roman Catholics with "James the Just".
  10. Thaddeus: In some manuscripts of Matthew, the name "Lebbaeus" occurs in this place. Thaddeus is traditionally identified with Jude; see below.
  11. Simon the Zealot: Some have identified him with Simeon of Jerusalem.
  12. Judas Iscariot: The disciple who later betrayed Jesus. (Bible verse |Mark|3:19) The name Iscariot may refer to the Judaean towns of Kerioth or to the sicarii (Jewish nationalist insurrectionists), or to Issachar. Also referred to as "Judas, the son of Simon" (Bible verse |John|6:71 and Bible verse |John|13:26). He was replaced as an apostle shortly after Jesus' resurrection by Matthias.
The Gospel of Luke differs slightly, listing a "Judas, son of James" and not listing a "Thaddeus." In order to harmonize the accounts, some traditions have said that Luke's "Judas, son of James" refers to the same person as Mark and Matthew's "Thaddeus," though it is not clear whether this has a good basis in the text or the use of the names historically. Luke has "Simon the Zealot" in place of "Simon the Cananean". It is unclear whether these two Simons refer to the same person.
The Gospel of John, unlike the Synoptic Gospels, does not offer a formal list of apostles, though it does refer to the Twelve in , , and . The following ten apostles are identified by name:
  • Peter
  • Andrew (identified as Peter's brother)
  • the sons of Zebedee (plural form implies at least two apostles)
  • Philip
  • Nathanael
  • Thomas (also called Didymus (, , ))
  • Judas Iscariot
  • Judas (not Iscariot) ()
The individual that the Gospel of John names as Nathanael has traditionally been identified as the same person that the other Gospels call Bartholomew. The other three Gospels, however, contain a complete list of the twelve and contain no reference to a "Nathanael." Thus, the four Gospel accounts do not agree as to the names of the twelve. The sons of Zebedee presumably refers to James and John, while Judas (not Iscariot) probably refers to the same Jude, son of James, as the Gospel of Luke's list, traditionally identified with Thaddeus. Missing from the Gospel of John are James, son of Alphaeus, Matthew, and Simon the Canaanite/Zealot. In any case, the author certainly does not bring up any explicit denial of those two apostles, and never actually lists the twelve.
By the second century, the presence of two individuals named Simon (Peter and Simon the Zealot) in the list of the Synoptic Gospels allowed a case to be made for Simon Magus being the other Simon, and hence one of the twelve apostles. The second Simon may also have been Simeon of Jerusalem, the second leader of the Jerusalem church.
The similarity between Bible verse |Matthew|9:9-10|KJV, Bible verse |Mark|2:14-15|KJV and Bible verse |Luke|5:27-29|KJV may indicate that Matthew was also known as Levi.
The three Synoptic Gospels record the circumstances in which some of the disciples were recruited, Matthew only describing the recruitment of Simon, Andrew, James, and John. All three Synoptic Gospels state that these four were recruited fairly soon after Jesus returned from being tempted by the devil.
Despite Jesus only briefly requesting that they join him, the two are described as immediately consenting, and abandoning their nets to do so. Traditionally the immediacy of their consent was viewed as an example of divine power, although this statement isn't made in the text itself. The alternative and much more ordinary solution is that Jesus was simply friends with the individuals beforehand, as implied by the Gospel of John, which states that Andrew and an unnamed other had been a disciple of John the Baptist, and started following Jesus as soon as Jesus had been baptized. As a carpenter (Bible verse |Mark|6:3|KJV), it is eminently plausible for Jesus to have been employed to build and repair fishing vessels, thus having many opportunities to interact with and befriend such fishermen.
Albright and Mann extrapolate from Simon's and Andrew's abandonment of their nets, that Matthew is emphasizing the importance of renunciation by converting to Christianity, since fishing was profitable, though required large start-up costs, and abandoning everything would have been an important sacrifice. Regardless, Simon and Andrew's abandonment of what were effectively their most important worldly possessions was taken as a model by later Christian ascetics.
Matthew describes Jesus meeting James and John, also fishermen and brothers, very shortly after recruiting Simon and Andrew. While Matthew identifies James and John as sons of Zebedee, who is also present in their ship, Mark makes no such proclamation (Mark does in Bible verse |Mark|1:19|KJV). Luke adds to Matthew and Mark that James and John worked as a team with Simon and Andrew. Matthew states that at the time of the encounter, James and John were repairing their nets, but readily joined Jesus without hesitation. This parallels the accounts of Mark and Luke, but Matthew implies that the men have also abandoned their father (since he is present in the ship they abandon behind them), and Carter feels this should be interpreted to mean that Matthew's view of Jesus is one of a figure rejecting the traditional patriarchal structure of society, where the father had command over his children; most scholars, however, just interpret it to mean that Matthew intended these two to be seen as even more devoted than the other pair.
The synoptics go on to describe that much later, after Jesus had later begun his ministry, Jesus noticed, while teaching, a tax collector in his booth. The tax collector, Levi according to some Gospels, Matthew according to others, is asked by Jesus to become one of his disciples. Matthew/Levi is stated to have accepted and then invited Jesus for a meal with his friends. Tax collectors were seen as villains in Jewish society, and the Pharisees are described by the synoptics as asking Jesus why he is having a meal with such disreputable people. The reply Jesus gives to this is now well known: it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Bible verse |Mark|2:17|KJV).

Their apostolate as "Fishers of Men"

The phrase fishers of men, used both in Mark (Bible verse |Mark|1:17) and Matthew, is how Jesus is presented as describing the role he is offering to the men he recruits. Christians have frequently moved the reference from the disciples to Jesus, calling him the fisher of men, and the image of Jesus as a fisherman has become second only to that of Jesus as a shepherd. This image probably went some way towards the reason for the adoption of the Ichthys symbol as the main representative of Christianity, in early times. This is one of the more famous quotes in the New Testament, and it has appeared a number of times in art and culture, such as in literary works like Chaucer's "Summoner's Tale", Byron's Don Juan, Tennyson's Harold, Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and G. K. Chesterton's "The Innocence of Father Brown."
The fullness of what the phrase means is a matter of some serious debate, even among different Christian groups. It has a strong resonance amongst Evangelical groups, who view it as a metaphor for evangelism, and the most important such metaphor. It has an even deeper significance for Catholic Christians, who view it not only as a great evangelical call, but also as one of many scripture passages that support the "Primacy of Peter" as a great sign of unity among the Church (Christ's body), and the teaching that the popes throughout the ages are the successors of "The Chair (or office) of Peter", as Christ's prime earthly shepherds through the ages, after his ascension into heaven.
The institution by Jesus of "The Twelve" apostles is also seen by Catholics as a reference to the universality of the Church, that was prefigured (begun) in "The Twelve Tribes of Israel" in the Old Testament. Those successors of "The Twelve" apostles (the bishops), in union with the successors of Peter (the pope), are collectively called the "magisterium of the Church" - the official, authoritative teaching office established by Christ Himself. (For a more complete explanation of exactly what the magisterium officially teaches, see "The Catechism of the Catholic Church", or the more condensed, easier to read, but still authoritative "Compendium of the Catechism".)
The biblical references to "The Twelve" as "fishers of men," especially the image of Peter's sole role of pulling the net full of "153 large fish" onto the shore (where Christ was ironically already feasting Bible verse |John|21) without tearing the net, when all the apostles present couldn't lift the net into the boat just moments earlier, portray and confirm, among faithful Catholics, the Church's teaching on "papal infallibility" - that Christ's "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic" Church is divinely guided and protected from teaching error, so that all who desire to know his teachings (including His written, inspired word, the Bible, but not exclusively, as in the Protestant belief in "Sola Scriptura", the Bible alone) may have that opportunity.
Some scholars question whether the metaphor has a universal meaning at all, postulating that instead it is simply a phrase tailored to fit people who fish - that if Jesus had met a teacher he would have asked them to teach for him, if Jesus had seen a bus driver, he'd have asked her to drive a bus for him, and if he had met a soldier he would have asked him to do battle for him.
The exact methodology implied by the phrase is generally disputed, particularly by Evangelical groups. A similar reference to fishing occurs in the Book of Jeremiah (Bible verse |Jeremiah|16:15), upon which this phrase may be based, and there it is placed in the context of actively hunting down sinners. Wallace argues that the common view of fishing with a line and hook and bringing each fish in individually is misplaced; Simon and Andrew would have used nets to fish and would have brought in large numbers of fish at once through grand acts. Wuellner presents an alternate view arguing that the disciples may have caught fish individually, and even by hand. Manek believes that to fully appreciate the metaphor one must understand how the sea was viewed at the time, arguing that throughout the Old Testament the sea is presented as unholy, and in stories such as that of Jonah, the depths of the sea are portrayed as synonymous with the underworld, hence in Manek's view the act of fishing is a metaphor for bringing people from the domain of sin and death to one of God. The water reference might also be linked to the idea of baptism, which towards the end of Matthew is explicitly linked to the disciples' mission.

Election of Matthias to Judas's share in their ministry

After Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ and then in guilt committed suicide before Christ's resurrection (in one Gospel account), the apostles numbered eleven. When Jesus had been taken up from them, in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit that he had promised them, Peter advised the brethren, "Judas, who was guide to those who took Jesus … For he was numbered with us, and received his portion in this ministry … For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his habitation be made desolate, Let no one dwell therein,' and, 'Let another take his office' … 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 he was taken up from us, must become with us a witness to his resurrection" (cf. Bible verse |Acts|1;15-26). So, between the ascension of Christ and the day of Pentecost, the remaining apostles elected a twelfth apostle by casting lots, a traditional Jewish way to determine the Will of God. The lot fell upon Matthias, who then became the last of the Twelve Apostles in the New Testament.
This is one of several verses used by the Roman Catholic church in support of its teaching of Apostolic Succession.

The Apostle to the Gentiles: Paul of Tarsus

In his writings, Saul, later known as Paul, though not one of the Twelve, described himself as an apostle, one "born out of time" (e.g. Romans 1:1 and other letters), claimed he was appointed by the resurrected Jesus himself during his Road to Damascus vision; specifically he referred to himself as the Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13, Galatians 2:8). He also described some of his companions as apostles (Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, Andronicus and Junia) and even some of his opponents as super-apostles (2nd Corinthians 11:5 and 12:11). As the Catholic Encyclopedia states: "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'"; thus extending the original sense beyond the original Twelve. Since Paul claimed to have received the Gospel through a revelation of Jesus Christ (cf. Gal 1:12; Acts 9:3-19, 26-27, 22:6-21, 26:12-23) after the latter's death and resurrection, (rather than before like the Twelve) , he was often obliged to defend his apostolic authority (1st Corinthians 9:1 "Am I not an apostle?") and proclaim that he had seen and was anointed by Jesus while on the road to Damascus; but James, Peter and John in Jerusalem accepted his apostleship to the Gentiles (specifically those not circumcised) as of equal authority as Peter's to the Jews (specifically those circumcised) according to Paul in Galatians 2:7-9. "James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars … agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews." (Galatians 2:9NIV) Paul, despite his self-designation as an Apostle, considered himself inferior to the other Apostles because he had persecuted Christ's followers (1 Corinthians 15:9).
Many historians maintain that Paul and Peter certainly disagreed on the extent of Paul's authority as an Apostle, with Peter maintaining Paul was not one of those chosen by Jesus, or by him chosen after his death. See also Pauline Christianity and Jewish Christians. Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church consider Paul an Apostle; they honor Paul and Peter together on June 29. Paul sometimes replaces Matthias in classical depictions of "The Twelve Apostles," although he has also been called the "Thirteenth Apostle" because he was not a member of the original Twelve (unlike the replacement Matthias) but is still considered an apostle.

Other New Testament usages of the term "apostle"

Jesus himself

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews () refers to Jesus as the "apostle and high priest of our professed faith" and of rank greater than that of Moses.

Barnabas

In Bible verse |Acts|14:14, Barnabas is referred to as an apostle.

Andronicus and Junia

In Paul states that Andronicus and Junia were "of note among the apostles".
There are two interesting questions here. First, was Junia female? Second, there is the question of whether the phrase means they were well-known to the apostles, or were apostles themselves. Taken together, these raise the possibility of a female apostle, which may be an example of gender neutrality in the early church.

Silas

Silas is referred to as an apostle in I Thessalonians (see 1:1 and 2:6) along with Timothy and Paul. He also performs the functioning of an apostle as Paul's companion in Paul's second missionary journey in Acts 15:40ff.

Timothy

Timothy is referred to as an apostle in I Thessalonians (see 1:1 and 2:6) along with Silas and Paul. However, in II Corinthians 1:1, he is only called a "brother" when Paul refers to himself as "an apostle of Christ". Timothy performs many of the functions of an apostle in the commissioning of Paul in I and II Timothy, though in those epistles Paul refers to him as his "son" in the faith.

Apollos

Apollos is included as "us apostles" in I Corinthians 4:9 (see 4:6, 3:22, 3:4-6) along with Paul and probably "Cephas" (Peter).

Titus

Titus is not referred to directly in title as an apostle, but his commission as one is strongly implied in Titus 1:5. Also, he is called a "son" in the faith, just as is Timothy, who was included in the designation of "apostles" in I Thessalonians (see above).

Later Christianizing apostles

Roman Catholic tradition

A number of successful pioneering missionaries are known as Apostles. In this sense, in the traditional list below, the apostle first brought Christianity (or Arianism in the case of Ulfilas and the Goths) to a land. Or it may apply to the truly influential Christianizer, such as Patrick's mission to Ireland, where a few struggling Christian communities did already exist. The reader will soon think of more of the culture heroes.

"Equal to the Apostles" according to Eastern Orthodox tradition

Some Eastern Orthodox saints are given the title specific to the Eastern rites "equal-to-the-apostles", see isapostolos Cosmas of Aetolia. The myrrh-bearing women, who went to anoint Christ's body and first learned of his resurrection, are sometimes called the "apostles to the apostles" because they were sent by Jesus to tell the apostles of his resurrection.
  • Constantine the Great
main Constantine I and Christianity
The Emperor Constantine the Great, sometimes considered founder of the Byzantine Empire, formally recognized Christianity in the Roman Empire in the Edict of Milan in 313. According to Philip Schaff's History of the Christian Church: "Soon after his death, Eusebius set him above the greatest princes of all times; from the fifth century he began to be recognized in the East as a saint; and the Greek and Russian church to this day celebrates his memory under the extravagant title of "Isapostolos," the "Equal of the apostles". The Latin church, on the contrary, has never placed him among the saints, but has been content with naming him "the Great," in remembrance of his services to the cause of Christianity and civilization. Comp the Acta Sact. ad 21 Maii, p. 13 sq. Niebuhr remarks: "When certain oriental writers call Constantine `equal to the Apostles’, they do not know what they are saying; and to speak of him as a ’saint’ is a profanation of the word".
In the Russian Orthodox Church also:
  • Saint prince Vladimir
  • Saint princess Olga of Kiev

Apostles today

In the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican churches, bishops are seen as the successors to the Apostles. See Apostolic succession.
Many Charismatic churches consider apostleship to be a gift of the Holy Spirit still given today (based on 1 Corinthians 12:28, and Ephesians 4:11).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("LDS Church"; see also Mormon) believes that the authority of the original twelve apostles is a distinguishing characteristic of the true church established by Jesus. For this reason, it ordains Apostles as members of its Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, second in authority to the church's First Presidency
The Community of Christ also has apostles, forming the Council of Twelve, who preside over the missionary efforts of the Church. In terms of church government, they are second only in authority to the First Presidency, whose members are often former members of the Council of Twelve (but this is not a requirement). The current president of the Church, Stephen M. Veazey, was himself a member of the Council of Twelve (and in fact its president), just prior to becoming President of the Church. According to church law, the Council of Twelve Apostles, under specific circumstances, is equal in authority to the First Presidency.
The New Apostolic Church believes also in the current existence of modern day apostles. They believe in the return of the apostles in the 1830s in England by prophecies. From among the renewal movements in the 1800s see: Catholic Apostolic Church; from which the New Apostolic Church split off. Other examples include the United Apostolic Church.

Unity School of Christianity/The Twelve Powers of Man

The Unity Church associates each Apostle with a power, as per Charles Fillmore's The Twelve Powers of Man. They are Love (John), Enthusiasm or Zeal (Simon the Canaanite), Imagination (Nathanael Bartholomew), Faith (Simon Peter), Strength (Andrew), Power (Philip), Will (Matthew), Understanding (Thomas Didymus), Wisdom (James, son of Zebedee), Order (James, son of Alphaeus), Life (Judas Iscariot/Matthias), and Elimination or Renunciation (Judas Thaddaeus). Most of these are based on the Biblical and historical character of the Apostles, such as Simon's zealotry, Peter's attempt to walk on water when the others would not get out of the boat, Andrew's strength of character when facing execution, or Judas's desire to improve others' lot in life through charity. Sam Patrick and Omar Garrison's Jesus Loved Them: Living Portraits of People Who Knew Jesus, published by Prentice-Hall in 1957, explains the twelve-power connections with the disciples along with full-page paintings of each of them, and others in Jesus's life.

Further reading

  • Navarre RSV Holy Bible. Four Courts Press, Dublin, Ireland, 1999.
  • Albright, W.F. and C.S. Mann. "Matthew." The Anchor Bible Series. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.
  • Pope Benedict XVI, "The Apostles", published 2007, in the US: ISBN 978-1-59276-405-1; different edition published in the UK under the title: "Christ and His Church – Seeing the face of Jesus in the Church of the Apostles", ISBN 978-1-86082-441-8.
  • Carson, D.A. "The Limits of Functional Equivalence in Bible Translation - and other Limits Too." The Challenge of Bible Translation: Communicating God's Word to the World. edited by Glen G Scorgie, Mark L. Strauss, Steven M. Voth.
  • Carter, Warren. "Matthew 4:18-22 and Matthean Discipleship: An Audience-Oriented Perspective." Catholic Bible Quarterly. Vol. 59. No. 1. 1997.
  • Clarke, Howard W. The Gospel of Matthew and its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.
  • "Fishers of Men." A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature. David Lyle Jeffrey, general editor. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1992.
  • France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985.
  • Manek, Jindrich. "Fishers of Men." Novum Testamentum. 1958 pg. 138
  • Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975
  • Wuellner, Wilhelm H. The Meaning of "Fishers of Men". Westminster Press, 1967.
  • The Lost Gospel - The Book of Q. by Burton L Mack
apostles in Arabic: تلاميذ المسيح
apostles in Breton: Roll an ebestel
apostles in Bulgarian: Апостол
apostles in Catalan: Apòstol
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apostles in Welsh: Y Deuddeg Apostol
apostles in Danish: Jesu disciple
apostles in German: Apostel
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apostles in Modern Greek (1453-): Απόστολος
apostles in Spanish: Apóstol
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apostles in French: Apôtre
apostles in Western Frisian: Apostel
apostles in Friulian: Apuestul
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apostles in Korean: 사도
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apostles in Indonesian: Keduabelas Rasul
apostles in Italian: Apostolo
apostles in Hebrew: השליחים
apostles in Haitian: Apòt
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apostles in Lithuanian: Apaštalai
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apostles in Dutch: Apostel
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apostles in Norwegian: Jesu apostler
apostles in Norwegian Nynorsk: Apostel
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apostles in Albanian: Apostulli
apostles in Simple English: Twelve Apostles
apostles in Slovak: Apoštol
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apostles in Chinese: 十二使徒
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