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Related to Apostles: Apostles Creed, Twelve Apostles, 12 apostles



in early Christian literature—especially in the oldest landmark, the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles)—the wandering preachers of Christianity.

In the New Testament the term “apostle” is also used as a designation for the closest followers of Christ; synonyms of this meaning are “disciples,” or “the twelve.” According to the Gospels, they were Andrew, Bartholomew, John, Judas Iscariot, Matthew, Peter, Simon Zelotes (or Simon the Canaanite), Thaddeus (or Judas, the son or brother of James), Philip, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), and James (son of Zebedee). After Judas Iscariot’s betrayal, Matthias (not to be confused with Matthew) was chosen in his place. Paul also included himself among the apostles. Christian tradition (as expounded in the Acts of the Apostles and in the apocryphal biographies of the apostles) connects the spread of Christianity with the activity of the twelve apostles and Paul. Doubts concerning the historical authenticity of these apostles, expressed by some researchers, are hypercritical. It is certain, however, that neither the so-called Apostles’ Creed nor the apostolic constitutions and canons (which were written later) belong to the apostles.

In contemporary speech apostle is used figuratively to refer to a zealous follower of any kind of idea or doctrine.


References in classic literature ?
Yes, my boy, I'm sorry for you, now; it's a bad case--very bad; but the apostle says, `Let everyone abide in the condition in which he is called.
I had hoped to find in you -- as being a man of sense and an accomplished mathematician -- a fit apostle for the Gospel of the Three Dimensions, which I am allowed to preach once only in a thousand years: but now I know not how to convince you.
So earnestly did he labor for their conversion that he has always been called the apostle to the Indians.
If I had gone to see the great apostle of beauty, I should have had to go clandestinely--en cachette, as they say here; and that is not my nature; I like to do everything frankly, freely, naivement, au grand jour.
Surely in counsels concerning religion, that counsel of the apostle would be prefixed, Ira hominis non implet justitiam Dei.
Strickland had the directness of the fanatic and the ferocity of the apostle.
And the next moment I was aware that the thought was a treason against truth, and Ernest rose before me transfigured, the apostle of truth, with shining brows and the fearlessness of one of Gods own angels, battling for the truth and the right, and battling for the succor of the poor and lonely and oppressed.
He was the apostle of simplicity, the prophet of nature.
I'd rather he HAD been a thief and taken all the apostle spoons than that I--Well, I must shut the front-door, I suppose.
He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife," says the Apostle Paul, and Alexey Alexandrovitch, who was now guided in every action by Scripture, often recalled this text.
And Michaelis, the ticket-of-leave apostle - you don't mean to say you don't know where he is?
It was not safe to be too confident, even about the best of men; an apostle had fallen, and wept bitterly afterwards; and though Peter's denial was not a close precedent, his repentance was likely to be.