Apostle [ə•PÄS•əl, noun] A Christian commissioned by Jesus to perform a leadership role.

Adjective: Apostolic [a•pə•STÄL•ik]

When Jesus selected the Twelve, he designated them shelykhi/“sent ones,” which was translated by the Greek word apostelos, and became our English word apostle. It still means “sent one,” and still refers to anyone whom Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, sends out to do his work.

Well, in some traditions. Certain Christians believe the only apostles in human history are Jesus's original 12 guys. And the apostle Paul. And maybe a few more guys in the first century. But God, they claim, stopped making and sending apostles in the first century: The apostolic age is over.

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