A View of the Church as the Apostles Took Command

T. Edgar Lyon

Christians in the 20th century, endeavoring to reconstruct the history of the beginnings of the Christian Church, soon became aware of their indebtedness to a writer of the first century. A physician named Luke, this writer composed the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. In reality, his works are a two-volume history of the founding of Christianity. The first of these might appropriately be given the subtitle of "The Life of Jesus of Nazareth, His Gospel, and the Founding of His Church." The second could bear the descriptive subtitle of "The Expansion of Christianity from the Holy Land into the Gentile World under the Leadership of the Lord's Apostles."

Appreciative as we may be of Luke's contributions, there are many things we could wish he had written. He records no formal organization of the church in the days of Jesus, nor does he designate its officers, their titles, and the authority of each. He failed to mention the name by which the Christian community in Jerusalem was known or to indicate the attitude of the Christian Jews toward the temple, its grounds, and the daily sacrifices offered by the Levitical priests, or their attitudes toward the Jewish Sabbath day. Perhaps Theophilus, to whom Luke dedicated both his Gospel and Acts, was so familiar with all these things that Luke saw no need to record such common knowledge, and consequently left our 20th-century queries unanswered.

The Growth of the Church

The Acts of the Apostles continues the narrative of the Christian community at Jerusalem from the end of the Gospel of Luke. Following the ascension of the risen Lord Jesus from the Mount of Olives, Luke related a meeting of the Jerusalem saints, numbering "about an hundred and twenty." (Acts 1:15.) Peter stated the surviving apostles should select candidates to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judas Iscariot. He gave two qualifications for the office: this person must have been with Jesus and his disciples since the Savior's baptism by John, and he must have also been witness to the resurrection of Christ. They found two candidates, each of whom appeared equally qualified. Then they prayed to the Lord, asking him, who knew men's hearts in a way they could not, to indicate which of these two men "thou hast chosen." They were then inspired to choose Matthias, and he filled the vacancy in the Twelve. It is noteworthy that the apostles insisted this be a spirit-guided church, not one governed by human judgment.

Luke then introduces his readers to an unusually exciting event that occurred ten days after the ascension of Jesus during the Jewish festival of Pentecost. On that memorable day, Luke tells us, some Palestinian Jews as well as many devout foreign Jews coming from about 15 different provinces or principalities of the Roman Empire had congregated at an unnamed place. These foreign Jews had probably retired from their businesses in Jewish communities throughout the empire and settled in Jerusalem, hoping to witness the coming of their Messiah. If he did not appear in their mortal lifetimes, at least they could be buried in the soil of their promised land to await the resurrection of the dead at his coming. On this day a miraculous manifestation of foreign tongues was poured out upon the apostles. The hearers were amazed that the apostles, natives of Galilee (See Acts 2:7), were able to explain the gospel in the tongue of the hearer. (See Acts 2:1—37.)

After this miraculous manifestation, Peter made a masterful summary of the messiahship of Jesus, testifying that this Jesus of Nazareth was, in reality, the resurrected redeemer of the world. The congregation, suddenly aware that they needed to repent for rejecting Jesus as their Messiah, asked Peter how they could escape the punishment they justly deserved because of this act. In answer to their inquiry, Peter preached to them the first principles of the gospel and Luke recorded on that day "about three thousand souls" were added to the Christian Church through the waters of baptism. (See Acts 2:37-42.)

More converts joined the Church a little later after another extraordinary event. Peter and John went to the temple "at the hour of prayer." (Acts 3: 1.) As they entered the temple plaza a beggar at the gate asked Peter for money. Peter replied he had none, but healed this man, who had been crippled since birth. This well-attested miracle drew many Jewish people together in the open-air Court of the Gentiles. (See Acts 3:1—11.) There Peter described how they had rejected Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah, and Peter called upon them to repent for this sinful act. Luke records that his preaching was so effective that "many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand." (Acts 4:4.)

The Saints ''All-in-Common" Life-style

The enthusiasm and commitment for a new way of brotherhood was so great among the large numbers converted on these two occasions that, in harmony with gospel teachings concerning caring for each other's welfare, they desired to share whatever they possessed with their fellow Christians:

"Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the price of the things that were sold,

"And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 4:34—35.)

"And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

"And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." (Acts 2:44—45.)

In these two accounts we are introduced to a plan of religious communitarianism among the Jerusalem saints, evidently a manifestation of the same spirit that motivated the Nephites in the western hemisphere following the visit of the risen Lord to them. Their system of economic cooperation endured about two centuries. (See 4 Ne. 1—27.)

The church grew so rapidly that the acquisition and distribution of food each day was demanding the full time of the Twelve. Aware that this work was preventing them from preaching the gospel-their commission from Jesus-the Twelve called the saints together, and taught the concept that the apostles had not been called by Jesus to "serve tables," and proposed that seven men be called to assume this responsibility. (See Acts 6:1—6.) Seven men were called and set apart by the apostles to manage this economic responsibility.

Luke failed to mention the office or title designating this responsibility. Many years later, when apostate Christianity had given the deacons this assignment, Bible editors and commentators described them in chapter headings and marginal notes as "The Seven Deacons." Luke's text does not say this. However, the work they did of caring for the temporal needs of the people was in keeping with the assignment for bishops. It may be that the Jerusalem saints were here divided into seven branches, with a bishop assuming responsibility for the temporal welfare of each congregation.

The adoption of this new economic system by the Jerusalem saints was an act of great Christian love and faith. Viewed in retrospect, however, it seems a venture bearing seeds of future difficulties. Many of those who joined the church on the day of Pentecost may have been people with accumulated wealth that they had invested in houses, lands, and profit-producing enterprises. Had they retained their Jerusalem lands, houses, shops, etc., and given the profits therefrom to the Christian community, they probably would have retained their capital assets and the community would have had a steady income. By selling their property to give money, these saints had no on-going source of income; as the Church grew in numbers, and many poor joined the Church, the original wealth contributed by the first two large groups of converts apparently became exhausted.

The apostle Paul, while doing missionary work among the Jews and gentiles in Asia Minor and Europe some ten or 15 years later, organized donations from these gentile Christians to aid the poverty-stricken Christians at Jerusalem. (See 1 Cor. 16:1—4; 2 Cor. 9: 1—8.) Apparently, by that time they literally had eaten up their capital and had few producing assets.

The Sabbath in the Primitive Church

Jerusalem saints, in addition to their influence in this experiment with community living, also strongly influenced the development of the Christian Sabbath. Although the scriptures tell us relatively little about ancient Christian observances of their sacred day, we know that all the original Christian leaders had been reared in the Jewish faith and apparently were devout, orthodox Jews-otherwise they would not have been anticipating the coming of the Messiah. Consequently, during their adult lives, they must have been active participants in the Sabbath services in the synagogues, where they observed the opening rituals, read scriptures, and heard sermons that either interpreted the sacred writings or explained Jewish standards of morality. Certainly they would have attended the Friday evening synagogue services in preparation for the Sabbath that began at sunset. There they would have chanted psalms, said prayers, and read portions of the prophets and the laws of Moses.

In addition to its religious services, the synagogue and the rabbi represented school and teacher where, during the week, children and youth were schooled in the Ten Commandments, the law of Moses, and the Talmud, which formed the basis of Jewish worship and service to mankind.

Jesus must have been no exception, for his sermons and teachings show great familiarity with the law, the prophets, and the writings. The Gospels record that he attended synagogues on Sabbath days, often as an interpreter of scriptures, or as one who suggested the errors in Jewish beliefs or practices. (See Luke 4:16—21.)

His apostles, of course, had accompanied him in these visits, and it would be natural for them and their followers to continue attending synagogues. Luke records that when missionaries went beyond the confines of Palestine they attended synagogues on the Sabbath and spoke, when allowed to do so, preaching the death and resurrection of Jesus to the Jews. (See, for example, Acts 13:5, 14; 14:1; 17:1—2.)

Since Christian beliefs went beyond those of Judaism, however, we would expect to see Christians modifying their services until they were eventually incompatible with those of the synagogue. For example, in addition to the worship of God the Father and the interpretation of scripture common to both Christians and Jews, the Christians soon added five new dimensions to their Sabbath services: (1) worshipping the resurrected and ascended Christ; (2) the memorial of the Lord's Supper; (3) women and children attending services as well as men-whole family attendance; (4) congregational singing of "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Eph. 5:19); (5) vocal testimony from members of the things that they had seen and heard relating to Jesus. (T.E. Lyon, Apostasy to Restoration, Course of Study for Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums, 1960, p; 34.)

At some time not mentioned in the New Testament, the Christian church shifted its day of worship from the Saturday Sabbath of the Jews to Sunday, first day of the week. Perhaps it was a gradual change, not something done everywhere at once by apostolic directive. It was natural that, as the saints' understanding of the atonement and resurrection increased, they came to feel that the day Christ was raised from the dead was more significant than Saturday. Then, too, they may have deliberately wished to distinguish themselves from Judaism especially after they were expelled from the synagogues as "heretics." Another, very real, possibility is that the change to a Sunday Sabbath was the result of a direct commandment from the Lord.

We must remember that not all people in those early centuries enjoyed a weekly day of rest. The Roman government had made a concession to the Jews, allowing them to rest on their Sabbath day. (Christians did not gain this preferential concession until the Emperor Constantine so decreed in A.D. 321.) And then only city dwellers received this privilege.

Thus Sunday in the early period of Christianity was not a day for rest and worship, but a special day for worship only. But elsewhere the third law of the Roman Twelve Tables applied, forbidding gatherings during the legal hours of darkness, except for funerals, weddings, and birthdays, with attendance limited to family members of the first degree of blood relationship. Such gatherings were allowed only with police approval and escort through the unlighted streets of the cities. As the working day legally began at sunrise and ended at sunset, Christians could hold meetings legally only between daybreak and sunrise, or between sunset and complete darkness.

This may explain why early Christians continued their relationship with Jewish public worship: they could enjoy the privilege of the Jewish day of rest. In addition to expediency, there was the argument of conscience; they must have felt that they were better Jews than those who had refused to accept Jesus as their master, and they were entitled to the special privileges granted to Jews by Rome.

Temple Attendance by Christian Saints

As Sabbath worship obviously grew out of the Judaic background of Christian leaders, so did their attitudes toward the temple. Acts shows that the Christians, both leaders and members, went to the temple at Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost, much as they had done prior to the death of Christ; and there is scriptural evidence that this practice continued for at least 25 years longer. Paul, for one, was arrested while participating in Jewish ceremonies within the temple area. (See Acts 20:26—33.)

The reason the Christian Jews continued to visit the temple area must be viewed in light of two factors. First, the saints viewed themselves as being the true Israel of prophecy and scripture. They believed the Messiah had come and they alone had accepted him. The Jews who had rejected and crucified him had therefore lost their status as members of the Israel of prophecy, thus forfeiting their right to be God's chosen people. The saints believed that since they had inherited the promises of the covenants with Abraham, the temple sanctuary and surrounding plaza were rightfully their places of worship. Of course, the Jews who had control of the temple proper were not going to give the temple up to the followers of a man they had rejected, so the Christians had to be content with the outer portions of the temple while the temple authorities continued traditional ceremonies and sacrifices that the Christians believed were no longer efficacious.

The second reason Christians continued to use the temple locality was because of the convenient meeting place it offered. When Herod the Great constructed the temple to replace the dilapidated edifice of Zerubbabel, he was anxious to make it comparable to the magnificent temples of Rome and Greece. He doubled the area of Solomon's original temple plaza by erecting a large retaining wall across the valley on the west and filling it to the level of the earlier temple grounds. (Portions of this wall are now part of the famous Wailing Wall.) This area covered approximately 35 acres, an open area into which multitudes of different beliefs and lands would gather for religious services, sight-seeing, and even business. (See Matt. 21:12.)

Near the center of this large expanse was an elevated walled area, thought by some to have been known as the Hill of Zion or Mount Zion, where the temple stood.

We must not in the 20th century be guilty of reading what we know from modern revelation into the temple of early Christian times. We must remember that this temple was used by apostate Jews who had only the Levitical priesthood. Though beautiful and costly, the temple was small since it was built not to accommodate gatherings for ordinances but to symbolize the historic presence of God in Israel. A limited number of Levite priests were allowed to enter the temple, but men of other tribes and all women were forbidden to set foot there. Adjoining the stone temple were rooms for the priests, a large hall for Sanhedrin meetings, and offices for officials authorized by Rome to exercise jurisdiction over the Jews throughout the world. These structures were enclosed within the temple wall, with gates to protect the sanctuary from desecration in case of rioting, and outside this wall were the so-called forecourts. Closest to the wall was the Court of the Israelitish Men from which Jewish males could observe the priests making daily sacrifices on the high outdoor altar east of the temple. Behind this area was a Court of the Israelitish Women, who could not come as close to the temple as could the men. Beyond the women's court was the outermost and largest part of the temple plaza, known as the Court of the Gentiles. (This was public, much like Temple Square in Salt Lake City is open to the public, although an inner fence surrounds the temple itself.)

Herod had imported marble columns from Greece to adorn the outer confines of the Court of the Gentiles, erecting them in a double row on three sides of the temple plaza. On the fourth side was the Royal Hall, a colonnade containing 162 Corinthian columns set in four rows, somewhat like the great pagan temple at Karnak in Egypt. Some authorities have speculated that it, like many Greek and Roman temples, was roofed with Lebanese cedar for protection from the sun and rain or occasional snow. Several references call this hall Solomon's Porch. (See Acts 3:11, 5:12; John 10:23.)

Luke's narrative indicates the saints, having established communal ownership, were not obliged to work daily, so instead gathered in this colonnaded hall some distance from the temple itself for meetings. There Peter, the other apostles, and perhaps those in charge of food distribution gave instructions. It appears Solomon's Porch may have served the same purpose as the Greek and Roman forums where public meetings and debates were held. It is easy to understand why the temple officials became provoked at this "heretical" group who had taken over this large hall on the temple grounds and were preaching doctrines that condemned the Jewish leaders in particular and the Jewish nation in general.

Christianity Spreads to the Samaritans

Although the first massive conversions came from the Jewish community, as we have seen, the universal truths of the church soon appealed to other groups. The first group receptive as a people seems to have been the Samaritans, whose origins dated back to the eighth century B.C., when thousands of Israelite males were deported to Assyria. These men were replaced by pagans from other lands who intermarried with the Israelite women, accepted the religion of their wives generally but also mingled with it the worship of Baal. (See 2 Kings 17:24—33.) The Jews at the time of Jesus viewed them as apostate Israelites, but because the Samaritans accepted the Old Testament and many Jewish oral traditions, they were not regarded as gentiles, but as people with a degenerate and corrupt religion.

Matthew records that Jesus instructed his apostles while he was alive not to preach to gentiles or Samaritans (see Matt. 10:5), and there is no record that Jesus baptized any of them. However, many Samaritans had accepted Jesus as their Messiah, and Philip, possibly on assignment from the Twelve (see John 4:39—42), journeyed to Samaria and made numerous converts.

Peter and John, learning of his success, went to Samaria and assisted in confirming them members of the church. (Acts 8:5—8, 14—25.) The fact that arch-orthodox Philip, Peter, and John did not hesitate to accept Samaritans into the Church indicates they did not view them as gentiles.

First Non-Jews Admitted to the Church

Ever expanding, the ripples of the gospel moved beyond Jews and apostate Jews-the Samaritans-to gentiles. This is the exciting story of Cornelius. It represents the Lord's revelation to the president of the Church and formalized and legitimized the carrying of the gospel to the gentiles.

A Roman army captain stationed at Caesarea about 35 miles northwest of Jerusalem, Cornelius was described as a devout in his worship of the god of the Jews and was generous to the Jewish poor. The description in Acts 10:1—2 shows him as an investigator of Judaism, affiliated with the local synagogue to the extent that Jews would permit a gentile to join with them. While praying for guidance-perhaps wondering if he should become a Jewish proselyte-an angel appeared and told him to send to Joppa, about 35 miles southward along the coast, and ask Peter to visit him.

Peter, having received an allegorical vision teaching him that he must accept the invitation, journeyed northward to Caesarea, accompanied by Christian Jews from Joppa. Cornelius related to Peter his angelic visitation and asked him to give his household the promised message. The Holy Ghost was in such evidence that Peter could not deny that Christ was opening the door of Christian membership to non-Jews, so he baptized them. (See Acts 10:44—48.)

When he returned to Jerusalem, related his vision and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon the gentiles, the Christian Jews said, in astonishment, "Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." (Acts 11: 18.) These were the first gentiles admitted into the Christian Church, and officially opened the door to the worldwide Christianity that Paul, as "Apostle to the Gentiles," was designated to spearhead.

The Growing Organization

Twentieth-century members of the Church must not try to make exact parallels between every incident in biblical history and present-day practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rather, it would be useful to think of the early Christian church's organization and priesthood interpretation as being comparable to the latter-day Church during its formative years from 1830 to 1850, and, as a result, priesthood officers engaged in activities before there were organized quorums as we know them today. Individuals were given assignments that later became apostolic functions before there was a Council of the Twelve.

This may help us understand such puzzles as the man named Agabus who is mentioned twice (see Acts 11:28; 2 1: 10) as a prophet. He could have been a seventy or some other church officer. Nothing is known of him or his relationship to the apostles, since Luke gives no details. Similarly, Luke mentions that Philip, then residing at Caesarea, had four daughters "which did prophesy." (See Acts 21:9.) Luke records none of these women's prophecies nor how they were regarded-although Agabus' prophecy of Paul's captivity in Rome was obviously accurate. (See Acts 21:11.) We do not know what positions they held or what functions they filled. It might merely mean that some people were gifted with spiritual insight.

Luke's writings preserve for us glimpses of a growing church exploring what it meant to be Christian, moving from a Jewish religion to become a worldwide Church. As in our day it was directed by human beings, inspired from on high and motivated by their fervent testimonies of Jesus, charged like us with translating gospel principles into action within the framework of the world in which they found themselves.

T. Edgar Lyon, retired institute of religion teacher, serves as historian for Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., and is high priests group instructor in the Rosecrest Ward, Salt Lake Canyon Rim Stake.

What do we know concerning apostolic succession in New Testament times? Was it important to keep the number of apostles at twelve? Where does the apostle Paul fit in?

Leland Gentry, curriculum specialist, Department of Seminaries and Institutes

Early in our Savior's earthly ministry, he chose twelve men to assist him in the work of building his kingdom. These he called and ordained to be his apostles and special witnesses. The Savior approached the task of choosing his Twelve with great care. Prior to making the final decision "he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." (Luke 6:12.)

Matthew records:

"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 or Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus:

"Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him." (Matt. 10:2—4.)

All but Judas were still acting in their apostolic callings at the time of Jesus' ascension into heaven. (See Acts 1:1—14.)

That it was the Lord's intention to fill the vacancy created by the apostasy of Judas is clearly indicated by events that followed the Savior's final departure from the earth. Peter informed the early disciples that it was necessary to ordain one of their number to take the place of Judas, one who could "be a witness with us of his resurrection." Again the selection was made with care. Two men, both of apostolic stature, were proposed: Joseph (called Barsabas) and Matthias. Then the apostles prayed and said, "Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen." The decision favored Matthias, "and he was numbered with the eleven apostles." (See Acts 1:14—26.) The selection of Matthias "set the pattern for the future." (Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 2:30.)

Then, as now, the number needed to make a full quorum of apostles was twelve. The same was true when Jesus visited the Nephites and appointed his twelve among them. (See 3 Ne. 12:1.) Nowhere in scripture does it speak of a quorum of five or of ten or of eleven apostles but always of twelve. The number itself appears to have significance. Speaking of this fact, President David O. McKay once said:

"Some have asked whether the number twelve had any significance. Well, it has…

"It is a fact that that number was chosen, that the group consisted of twelve, that it was so during Christ's ministry among men. As far as we can find in the Acts of the Apostles it continued to be so. It is very difficult to find out whether every vacancy that occurred was filled, thus continuing the exact number of twelve, but we do know that the first vacancy made by Judas Iscariot was filled before the work was taken up, and we can readily infer that that policy was continued throughout the ministry of the Twelve." (Ministry and Authority of the Early Apostles, Relief Society Magazine 25:806—7; italics added.)

Apostles then, as now, were to be "special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world." (D&C 107:23. See also Acts 1:8.) Paul reports that God placed these officers, with others, in the Church "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ." These, Paul said, were to remain "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Eph. 4:11—12.) Since none of those conditions was achieved in apostolic times, we may conclude that the need for apostolic succession continued. President Joseph Fielding Smith has written of the original Twelve:

"In their callings as apostles they became special witnesses of the divine mission of Jesus Christ and were his advocates to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. It was the plan of the Lord that this chosen body of witnesses should be perpetuated through all lime, holding the keys of divine authority, with power to build up the Church…in all parts of the world. This quorum was continued for a time, and other apostles were ordained when vacancies occurred. (Answers to Gospel Questions 5:175—76, italics added.)

The question naturally arises, Where does the apostle Paul fit in? Was he a member of the Quorum of the Twelve? Were there other apostles besides Paul and Matthias who were not members of the original quorum? When, where, and by whom were they ordained? These and related questions are difficult to answer, for our records of apostolic times are very sparse.

At least three men besides Matthias are known to have held the apostolic office following the departure of Jesus from earth. These are Paul, Barnabas, and "James the Lord's brother." (See Gal. 1:19.) Both Paul and Barnabas are called "apostles" by Luke as early as their first missionary journey. (See Acts 14:14.) "James the Lord's brother" is known to have played an important role at the famed Jerusalem Council (see Acts 15:13—21) and is named an apostle and a "pillar" in the church by Paul. (See Gal. 1:19; 2:9.) Although we have no record of the ordination of these brethren to the apostleship nor of their addition to the Quorum of the Twelve, we may assume with safety that they were ordained by Peter and his brethren of the Twelve. The following statement from President Joseph Fielding Smith argues strongly for this fact.

"We are extremely lacking in information in relation to many important details that failed to seep through the ages to our day, and we are left in darkness to know when and where Paul was ordained. But this is not strange when we think of the fragmentary information that has been received.

"If it had not been for the faithful recording by Luke, the chances are that we would have as little about the activities of Paul as we have about Peter and John and the other original members of the council of the apostles. The fact may be correctly surmised that Paul did find time to mingle with his brethren and that through the divine inspiration the apostleship was conferred on him by their action. It is evidently true also that Barnabas likewise was by them ordained; also James, the Lord's brother, and others if we had the record." (Answers to Gospel Questions 4:99—100, italics added.)

It is also possible that some men were called as apostles without being a member of the Quorum of Twelve. Instances of this sort are not unknown in our own dispensation. As President McKay once said:

"There are apostles who are not members of the council. I think there were in that day [i.e., in New Testament times], at least they were considered to be apostles… A man may be an apostle but not one of the Council of the Twelve," (Relief Society Magazine 25:812.)

Some scholars feel that other faithful brethren of the early Church, men such as Silas, Timothy, Jude, and Apollos, may have served in the apostolic office. We simply do not know. Of these, however, Elder Bruce R. McConkie has written:

All of the brethren in the Church who knew by personal revelation that Jesus was the Christ, meaning all who had testimonies given by the Holy Ghost of his divine Sonship, were witnesses of the Lord. Such were Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolas, Ananias, John Mark, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen, Judas Barsabas, Silas, Timotheus, Apollos, Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Tychicus, Trophimus, Agabus, Mnason-all of whom are mentioned in Acts and are variously referred to as prophets, teachers, and disciples, but none of whom are called apostles. Only Barnabas, Paul, Matthias, James the Lord's brother, and the original Twelve are singled out to carry the apostolic appelation. (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 2:131.)