Old / New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary
Entry for Strong's #652 - ἀπόστολος
Word Definition [ Thayer | Strong | Mounce ]
From G649; a delegate; specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”), (with miraculous powers): - apostle, messenger, he that is sent.
apostle, representative, messenger, envoy; often used in a technical sense for the divinely appointed founders of the church
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 7971 ‑ שָׁלַח (shaw‑lakh');
Frequency Lists [ Book | Word | Parsing ]
Thayer's Expanded Definition
ἀπόστολος, ἀποστόλου, ὁ;
1. a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders ( Herodotus 1,21; 5,38; for שָׁלוּחַ in 1 Kings 14:6 ( Alex.); rabbinical שְׁלִיחַ): John 13:16 (where ὁ ἀπόστολος and ὁ πέμψας αὐτόν are contrasted); followed by a genitive, as τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν, 2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 2:25; ἀπόστολον ... τῆς ὁμολογίας ἡμῶν the apostle whom we confess, of Christ, God's chief messenger, who has brought the κλῆσις ἀπουρανιος, as compared with Moses, whom the Jews confess, Hebrews 3:1.
2. Specially applied to the twelve disciples whom Christ selected, out of the multitude of his adherents, to be his constant companions and the heralds to proclaim to men the kingdom of God: Matthew 10:1-4; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:26; Revelation 21:14, and often, but nowhere in the Gospel and Epistles of John; ("the word ἀπόστολος occurs 79 times in the N. T., and of these 68 instances are in St. Luke and St. Paul." Lightfoot). With these apostles Paul claimed equality, because through a heavenly intervention he had been appointed by the ascended Christ himself to preach the gospel among the Gentiles, and owed his knowledge of the way of salvation not to man's instruction but to direct revelation from Christ himself, and moreover had evinced his apostolic qualifications by many signal proofs: Galatians 1:1,11; Galatians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 1 Corinthians 15:8-10; 2 Corinthians 3:2 ff; 12:12; 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11, cf. Acts 26:12-20. According to Paul, apostles surpassed as well the various other orders of Christian teachers (cf. διδάσκαλος, εὐαγγελιστής, προφήτης), as also the rest of those on whom the special gifts (cf. χάρισμα) of the Holy Spirit had been bestowed, by receiving a richer and more copious conferment of the Spirit: 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11. Certain false teachers are rated sharply for arrogating to themselves the name and authority of apostles of Christ: 2 Corinthians 11:5,13; Revelation 2:2.
3. In a broader sense the name is transferred to other eminent Christian teachers; as Barnabas, Acts 14:14, and perhaps also Timothy and Silvanus, 1 Thessalonians 2:7 (6), cf. too Romans 16:7 (?). But in Luke 11:49; Ephesians 3:5; Revelation 18:20, 'apostles' is to be taken in the narrower sense. (On the application of the term see especially Lightfoot on Galatians , pp. 92-101; Harnack, on ' Teaching etc. 11,3 [ET]; cf. BB. DD. under the word)
Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament
ἀπόσολος , -ου , ὁ
(< ἀοστέλλω ),
[in LXX; 1 Kings 14:6 A (H7971) *;]
1. a fleet, an expedition (Dem.).
2. a messenger, one sent on a mission (Hdt., LXX, l.c., and Papyri; v. M, Pr., 37 f.; MM, s.v.; M, Th., i, 2:7 and reff.): John 13:16, 2 Corinthians 8:23 Philippians 2:25.
3. In NT, an Apostle of Christ
(a) with special ref. to the Twelve: Matthew 10:2, Mark 3:14, Luke 11:49, Ephesians 3:5, Revelation 18:20, al., equality with whom is claimed by St. Paul, Galatians 1:1; Galatians 1:11 ff, 1 Timothy 2:7, a1.;
(b) in a wider sense of prominent Christian teachers, as Barnabas, Acts 14:14, apparently also Silvanus and Timothy, 1 Thessalonians 2:6, and perhaps Andronicus and Junias (Junia?), Romans 16:7 (v. ICC, in l); of false teachers, claiming apostleship: 2 Corinthians 11:5; 2 Corinthians 11:13, Revelation 2:2. (On the different uses of the term in NT, v. Lit., Gal., 92-101; Cremer, 530; DB, i, 126; DCG, i, 105; Enc. Br., ii, 196 ff.)
Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT
It is not easy to point to an adequate parallel for the NT usage of this important word, but it may be noted that in Herod. i. 21 (cf. v. 38) it is found = ";messenger,"; ";envoy,"; and with the same meaning in LXX 3 Regn 14.6 Α ἐγώ εἰμι ἀπόστολος πρὸς σὲ σκληρός, cf. Symm. Isaiah 18:2. Reference may also be made to the interesting fragment in P Par p. 411 f. (B.C. 191), where, if we can accept the editor’s restoration of the missing letters, we read of a public official who had sent to a delinquent a messenger bearing the orders he had disregarded—ἐπεσ ]ταλκότων ἡμῶν πρός σε τὸν ἀπ [όστολον ]. Cf. also a lexical extract cited by Nägeli, p. 23, ὁ ἐκπεμπόμενος μετὰ στρατιᾶς καὶ παρασκευῆς ἀπόστολος καλεῖται : this is interesting as being coloured with the association found in Attic, though applied to a person.
Apart from its use in Attic inscriptions, as Syll 153 (B.C. 325) = ";fleet,"; ";naval expedition,"; ἀπόστολος is used for a ";ship"; in P Oxy III. 522 (ii/A.D.). In this document (cf. also P Tebt II. 486, ii/iii A.D.), which is an account of the expenses of corn-transport, it is of interest to notice that each ἀπόστολος is known by the name of its owner, e.g. λόγος ἀποστόλου Τριαδέλφου, ";account—for the ship of Triadelphus."; In P Oxy IX. 1197.13 (A.D. 211) a different sense is required—ὁπόταν τὰ ἐξ ἀποστόλων πλοῖα παραγένηται, where Hunt renders, ";whenever the boats collected in accordance with the orders of lading arrive,"; and cites P Amh II. 138.10 (A.D. 326) (as amended by Mitteis, Chrest. II., p. 391) ἐ ]ξ ἀποστόλου τῆς τάξεως, where a ship-master embarks certain loads ";in accordance with the bill of lading of the Officium,"; also P Lond 256(a).10 (A.D. 15) (= II., p. 99) ἀκολούθως τῷ [18 letters]ου ἀποστόλῳ, and CPHerm 6.11 f. (cf. Wilcken Chrest. I., p. 522) ἐπ [εὶ ο ]ἱ σοὶ ἐπίτροπο [ι τοὺς καλο ]υμένους ἀποστόλους [. . .. . . δι᾽ ὧν κελεύειν α [ὐτο ]ῖς ἔθος [τὴν ] τοῦ σείτου ἐμ [β ]ο [λὴν ποιεῖσ ]ται (l.-θαι). In P Oxy X. 1259.10 (A.D. 211–2) ἐξ ἀποστόλου τοῦ κρατίστου ἐπιτρόπου τῆς Νέας πόλεως ";in accordance with the message of his excellency"; (Edd.), the noun seems to be more general; but the papyrus concerns the shipment of corn to Alexandria. See further Archiv iii. p. 221 f. Since in early times the non-specialized and etymological meaning is found in Herodotus, and the other only in Attic writers, we see in the NT use the influence of Ionic on the Κοινή : cf. Proleg. pp. 37, 81.
The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
List of Word Forms
αποστολοι αποστολοί αποστόλοι απόστολοι ἀπόστολοι αποστολοις αποστόλοις ἀποστόλοις αποστολον απόστολον ἀπόστολον αποστολος αποστόλος απόστολος ἀπόστολος αποστολου αποστόλου ἀποστόλου αποστολους αποστόλους ἀποστόλους αποστολων αποστόλων ἀποστόλων apostoloi apóstoloi apostolois apostólois apostolon apostolōn apostólon apostólōn apóstolon apostolos apóstolos apostolou apostólou apostolous apostólous