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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary

#652 - ἀπόστολος

from (G649)
Parts of Speech
Noun Masculine
  1. a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders
    1. specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ
    2. in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers
      1. of Barnabas
      2. of Timothy and Silvanus
Strong #: 7971 ‑ שָׁלַח (shaw‑lakh');  
Frequency Lists  
Verse Results
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

ἀπόστολ-ος, ὁ,


1.messenger, ambassador, envoy, ὁ μὲν δὴ ἀ. ἐς τὴν Μίλητον ἦν Hdt. 1.21; ἐς Λακεδαίμονα τριήρεϊ ἀ. ἐγίνετο he went off on a mission to Laced., Id. 5.38. commander of a naval force, Hsch.

2. messenger from God, LXX 1 Kings 14:6; esp. of the Apostles, Matthew 10:2, al.

II = στόλος,

1. naval squadron or expedition, Lys. 19.21; ἀπόστολον ἀφιέναι, ἀποστέλλειν, ποιεῖσθαι, D. 3.5, 18.80,107, IG 2.809b190.

2. colony, D.H. 9.59.

3. = ἀποστολή, of envoys, J. AJ 17.11.1.

4. ἀπόστολον, τό, with or without πλοῖον, packet, Pl. 346a, Ps.- Hdt. Vit.Hom. 19.

5. ἀπόστολος, ὁ, order for dispatch, of a vessel, CPHerm. 6.11 (iii A.D., pl.), PAmh. 2.138.10 (iv A.D.), cf. Dig. 49.6.1.

6. export-licence, PGnom. 162 (ii A.D.).

7. gen. dub., cargo dispatched by order, POxy. 522.1,al. (ii A.D.), PTeb. 486 (ii/iii A.D.).

ἀπόσολος , -ου ,

(< 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.)

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) ]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
Old / New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary developed by Jeff Garrison for Copyright 1999-2021. All Rights Reserved, Jeff Garrison, Gdansk, Poland.
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