The Apostles and the Early Church Essay

2953 Words Feb 9th, 2013 12 Pages
The Apostles and the Early Church
GBST 164

In the Gospel of Matthew the term “apostles” is only used when introducing the list of twelve apostles commissioned to follow Christ. “Now the names of the twelve Apostles are these: the first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alpheus, and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him” (Matthew 10:1-4). An apostle is a person sent to accomplish a mission. An apostle represents the one sending and has authority to represent the sender in business, political, or educational situations (T.
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Gigot). As the number of disciples increased, many made the apostles the custodians of the funds to be administered for the common good.
One of the apostles from the early church was Simon Peter. The name Simon means “hearer”, but Peter is the new name given by Christ. Peter means “stone” or “rock” and Cephas is the Hebrew or Aramaic form of Peter. Peter was one of the first three disciples and he received three distinct calls from Christ: the preparatory call at the change of name, the call by the lake, and the call to apostleship (D. Bacon). He was one of the three men (Peter, James and John) who were the favored witnesses of Christ’s power, glory, and agony on three great occasions. Peter is infamous for denying three times even after receiving a threefold warning. Peter was the first among the Twelve not in authority, but in activity and prominence (F.W.P. Greenwood).

Peter was the first to speak, first to act, and always the first mentioned (E. Schell). He was the first to declare his faith in Christ and the first to confess him as the Son of God. Peter was the first to enter the tomb of the risen Lord, and the first of the Twelve to whom Christ appeared after his resurrection (E. Renan). After the ascension, Peter was first among the eleven in directing the choice of Judas’ successor; first at Pentecost in preaching to the Jews, first to administer severe discipline in the

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