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Easton's Bible Dictionary
Our Lord gave them the "keys of the kingdom," and by the gift of his Spirit fitted them to be the founders and governors of his church (John 14:16,17,26; 15:26,27; 16:7-15 ). To them, as representing his church, he gave the commission to "preach the gospel to every creature" (Matthew 28:18-20 ). After his ascension he communicated to them, according to his promise, supernatural gifts to qualify them for the discharge of their duties (Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:16; 2:7,10,13; 2 co 5:20; 1 Corinthians 11:2 ). Judas Iscariot, one of "the twelve," fell by transgression, and Matthias was substituted in his place (Acts 1:21 ). Saul of Tarsus was afterwards added to their number (Acts 9:3-20; 20:4; 26:15-18; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11 ).
Luke has given some account of Peter, John, and the two Jameses (Acts 12:2,17; 15:13; 21:18 ), but beyond this we know nothing from authentic history of the rest of the original twelve. After the martyrdom of James the Greater (Acts 12:2 ), James the Less usually resided at Jerusalem, while Paul, "the apostle of the uncircumcision," usually travelled as a missionary among the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8 ). It was characteristic of the apostles and necessary (1) that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21,22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; Acts 22:14,15 ).
In 2 Corinthians 8:23 and Philippians 2:25 the word "messenger" is the rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered "apostle."
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.
Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Apostle'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/a/apostle.html. 1897.