In the first blog about “The Apostles OF THE LORD” I listed all that were sited with apostles and got to thinking about it. Then came to mind was 2 Timothy 2:15 and rightly dividing the Word. Since only a few people not of the 12 were called apostles, Paul, Barnabas, Apollos, and James, the Lord’s brother were called “apostles”. The others were not actually called apostles. The Greek word “apostolos” is translated apostle and also messenger. Others were given a description of an apostle but not actually called an apostle. There are 6 men named apostles and 2 called messengers, The following names below are the 8 people that fit the description of an apostle.
Paul, Roman 1:1 and the 12 other books he wrote, Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Barnabas, Acts 14:14, Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
Apollos, Corinthians 4:6, 9, And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 9, For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
James, the Lord’s brother, Gal. 1:19, But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.
Silvanus andTimothy, I Thessalonians 1:1 and 2:6, Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2:6, Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
Epaphroditus, Philippians 2:25, Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants
Titus 2 Corinthians 2:25 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
Andronicus and Junia–Romans 16:7, “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.” They were given a great salute by Paul and said to be known of the apostles. However, they were not given the title of apostle. Other Brothers not named but also faithful are called messengers, according to Acts 28:23, “Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ”.
Therefore, the first 6 men listed are indeed apostles, while the others are not apostles, should there be be a difference between the two words! According to 2 Timothy 2:15 the other men that may fit the description of apostle but not actually called apostles may not be! Henceforth, Epaphroditus, Titus, and the other unnamed brothers, may not be apostles even though the word messenger is from the same Greek word “apostolos” is used. While, apostleship is an office, messenger is not according to Ephesians 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”
The authors of the KJV decided to translate the Greek word “apostolos” as “messenger”, in these cases. Possible reasons is either to reveal a distinguishing difference in apostle and messenger, or to give an explanation/definition of the word apostle. The word “messenger” has two Greek words for this word, “messenger” and “apostle”. Strong’s, 1 “apostolos” as from 649; a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”) (with miraculous powers):–apostle, messenger, he that is sent. And, 2 “ἄγγελος”, from aggello (probably derived from 71; compare 34) (to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication, a pastor:–angel, messenger.
We understand there are the original 12 and Christ as apostles. There is another 6 men called apostles and then others who are called messengers, most likely another 6 bringing the total to 24 plus Christ, who is an apostle, Hebrew 3:1! Now, having said all that, this brings up an interesting thought. Suppose, all those who were called messengers were actually apostles. This would make the total of apostles to be 24, who are men and not angels. This would be important if you would consider Revelation 4:4 “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold”.
These 24 Elders, clothed in white, wearing crowns, are not angels, but saints of the church. Strong’s defines these “Elders” as comparative of presbus (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specially, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian “presbyter”:– elder(-est), old, Greek word, “πρεσβύτερος”, “presbuteros”. For further details on this see “Who are the twenty-four (24) elders in Revelation?”, https://www.gotquestions.org/24-elders.html. Now it is true the Bible provides no verse as to who these 24 Elders are, so says people at Got Questions. This theory, these 24 elders are the apostles of the church, is a presumption, but it would interesting if further research were possible to make this link work!