Origins of the words Disciple and Apostle

A ‘disciple’ is defined by the Greek word “mathetes”, which refers to a learner or somebody learning from another in a mentor-like relationship. The person who is “mathetes” is gaining knowledge from the person they are following.

Jesus Christ initiated a discipleship relationship with His disciples when He first summoned them to Him (Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:27; John 1:43). He instructed them in what God wanted of them and taught them His ways.

origins of the words disciple and apostle - the four apostles, albrecht durer, 1526
The Four Apostles, Albrecht Durer, 1526

However, when they understood God’s Way, it became necessary to send them forth as messengers to spread the Gospel throughout the world.

Following Jesus’ ascension, the title apostle was coined.

The Christian assembly defines the Apostle as “a preliminary pick of Judas’ replacement.”

Paul is also known as an apostle since Jesus bestowed this title on him.

When the last Apostle died around 100 AD, the apostolic age ended.

Even now, many Christian disciples are sharing the Gospel of Jesus.

In today’s Christian church, however, there are no actual apostles.

Differences in meaning

An apostle is doled out to communicate those illustrations to other people, while a disciple is a student who gains from an educator or teacher.

“Missionary” signifies “courier” or “one who is sent.”

An apostle is sent off to convey or to disperse those lessons.

“Student” for all intents and purposes has two implications: it can allude to a courier, or it can allude to the twelve individuals who are personally attached to Jesus Christ.

We can guarantee that all witnesses were adherents, however, not all devotees are apostles. Jesus picked twelve Disciples, and this inward gathering of men became known as Apostles except in the case of Judas Iscariot who wasn’t an apostle.

The 12 of them were trained by Jesus and endowed with spreading Jesus’ instruction all through the world so numerous Disciples would ultimately follow.

christ between the apostles john and paul (christ preaching)
Christ between the Apostles John and Paul (Christ Preaching)

The Difference Between Apostle and Disciple

Despite the fact that the Apostles and Disciples were adherents of Jesus, there is a separation between the two in view of power.

The apostles were responsible for proceeding with Jesus’ work, spreading the Gospel, and shaping love networks, while the disciples followed him and gained from him.

The apostle drove the recently established Christian strict custom after Jesus’ demise and, as indicated by Ephesians 2:20, established the groundwork for its lessons (NRSV).

Whenever numerous new devotees joined the Christian people group, they followed the messengers’ lessons, as indicated by Acts 2:42. (NRSV).

The Apostolic Age

The Apostolic Age was the time period immediately following Jesus’ death.

During this time, the issue of Gentile admission to the Church (which was still a Jewish sect) and the binding nature of the Law came to a head.

The matter of circumcision, in particular, necessitated an authoritative ruling for male Gentiles who accepted the Christian message.

The “apostles and elders” met in Jerusalem in what is known as the “Apostolic Council” to settle the controversies that had developed on this matter.

The description of the meeting in which the Jewish mitzvah was addressed may be found in Acts 15, where Peter appears as a proponent of Gentile entrance.

Scriptural Lists of the 12 Apostles.

The names of the twelve Apostles appear in the New Testament four times: once in each of the three Synoptic Gospels, and once in Acts.

The lists’ generally constant nature, with small alterations in each, indicates that they are four variants of a single early oral tradition.

The early Christians’ desire to know the names of the Twelve is an indicator of the early Church’s regard for them.

The names are divided into three groups of four in each of the four lists, with the first name in each group remaining constant.

The same males are mentioned in each of the three groupings of the four lists, assuming Jude, James’ brother, is the same as Thaddeus (see Saint Jude Thaddeus).

However, the order of the names differs slightly in each group, with the exception that all three Synoptics identify Judas Iscariot last (and naturally is missing from the list of Acts).

The third group has the most variety, with the lists distinguishing between an Apostle who has already been mentioned and another with a similar name.

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Apostolic Office

The sending or commissioning of the Apostles by Christ is the essence of the apostolic office.

An Apostle is Christ’s emissary ambassador, or vicar, having complete ability to act in His name as one who is sent (the Greek term for Apostle).

As a result, the New Testament places a strong emphasis on Christ’s sending of His Apostles (Mt 28.19: Mk 3.14 and parallels); He sends them just as He was sent by His Father (Mt 10.40; Jn 13.20).

Matthias will not be able to assume Judas’ place among the Apostles until God has chosen him by lot for this task (Acts 1.21–26).

Because the Apostles are not commissioned by the Church (Gal 1.1), they are above the Church and not subject to its jurisdiction (1 Cor 4.3).

They are Christ’s official witnesses, particularly of His Resurrection (Lk 24.48; Acts 1.8, 21–22; 13.31); Paul can rank as an Apostle since he saw the risen Lord (Acts 9.3–5; 1 Cor 15.8).

However, simply seeing Christ resurrected from the dead does not qualify a person to be an Apostle (1 Cor 15.5–6).

christ communion of apostles
Christ Communion of Apostles

Great crowd and the seventy

In the gospel stories, the number of individuals among Jesus’ disciples is not usually stated.

At the beginning of the Sermon on the Plain, which begins in Luke 6:17, a significantly larger group of individuals is named disciples.

Seventy (or seventy-two, depending on the source) people are also sent out in pairs to prepare the way for Jesus (Luke 10).

They’re known as “the Seventy” or “the Seventy Disciples” at times.

They are to eat whatever food is handed to them, heal the sick and spread the word that God’s rule is approaching, that whoever hears them hears Jesus, that whoever rejects Jesus rejects the One who sent him.

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Conclusion Origins of the words Disciple and Apostle

A disciple is a person who follows or learns.

Apostle is a Greek word that means “one who is sent.

Apostles are people on a mission to accomplish something, whereas disciples follow a teacher or leader and learn from them.

As a result, the proverb goes,

“All apostles are disciples, but not all disciples are apostles.”

In Luke 6:13, there is a clear contrast between these two phrases.

“When the morning arrived, Jesus gathered his followers around him and picked twelve of them to be apostles but only 11 of them were apostles.

This demonstrates that Jesus had more than twelve disciples.

He always had a significant following of people who wanted to learn from him and others who supported his ministry (including women).

In Luke 10:1, Jesus sends forth seventy-two disciples, indicating that he had more than a dozen disciples.

“After that, the Lord appointed 72 others and sent them ahead of him, two by two, to every town and area where he was due to go.”

After this, you may claim that these 72 disciples become apostles. They are even referred regarded as apostles in some sects.

FAQ Origins of the words Disciple and Apostle

What are the three characteristics of a disciple?

A disciple is someone who takes their learning seriously. They are willing to put in the work to improve themselves and grow in their understanding. A disciple is also humble and open to seeing things from different perspectives and others’ input. Lastly, a disciple has a measure of self-awareness, knows their own strengths and weaknesses, and is always working on becoming the best version of themselves.

What does it mean to be a disciple of God?

To be a disciple of God means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It means to study his teachings and apply them to your life. It means to live your life in such a way that you bring glory to God. This is not easy, but it is worth it because the rewards are great. When you live your life for God, you will find true meaning and purpose. You will also have eternal life in heaven where you will be able to spend eternity with God himself. So if you want to know what it means to be a disciple of God, just know that it is an honor and a privilege that comes with great responsibility. But don’t let that scare you away, because the rewards are more than worth it.

What is the difference between an Apostle and a Disciple?

An apostle is someone who is chosen by Jesus to be one of his twelve main followers. A disciple is someone who chooses to follow Jesus of their own accord. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between the two. An apostle is someone who Jesus hand-picked to spread his message, whereas a disciple is somebody who chose to believe in him and follow his teachings of their own free will.

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