1. Definition of the concept of “Satan”

Meaning of the word “Satan.”

The root meaning of the word “Satan” is someone who is an antagonizer or opponent. In this sense, the concept of an “anti-Christ” is very close to being Satan, with the focus of who the “Satan” is against being against God and all His people in Satan, and against Christ in the concept of the Anti-Christ. TWOT points out that the verbal form of this word means to bear a grudge or cherish animosity. The principle concept here is a person who opposes.
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Apollyon [ISBE]

Apollyon – a-pol´i-on

(Ἀπολλύων, Apollúōn; אבדּון, ‘ăbhaddōn, “destroyer”): Present participle of the verb ἀπολλύω, “to destroy.”

I. Definition

A proper name, original with the author of the Apocalypse and used by him once (Rev 9:11) as a translation of the Hebrew word “Abaddon” (see ABADDON) to designate an angel or prince of the lower world.

II. Old Testament Background

1. Fundamental Meaning

The term Abaddon (“destruction”) appears solely in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament and in the following narrow range of instances: Job 26:6; Job 28:22; Job 31:12; Psa 88:11; Prov 15:11. In all these passages save one (Job 31:12) the word is combined either with Sheol, “death,” or “the grave,” in such a way as to indicate a purely eschatological term based upon the advanced idea of moral distinctions in the realm of the dead. In the one exceptional passage (Esther 8:6 is incorrectly referred to – the word here is different, namely, אבדן, ‘ābhedhān) where the combination does not occur, the emphasis upon the moral element in the “destruction” mentioned is so definite as practically to preclude the possibility of interpreting the term in any general sense (as Charles, HDB, article “Abaddon”; per con., Briggs, ICC, “Psalms” in the place cited.; BDB, sub loc.). The meaning of the word, therefore, is: the place or condition of utter ruin reserved for the wicked in the realm of the dead.

2. Personification

One other feature of Old Testament usage is worthy of consideration as throwing light upon Rev 9:11. Abaddon and the accompanying terms “Death” and Sheol are personified (as in Job 28:22) and represented as living beings who speak and act (compare Rev 6:8).

III. New Testament Usage

1. The Starting-Point

The starting-point of the Apocalyptist’s use of “Apollyon” is to be found in the fundamental meaning of “Abaddon” as moral destruction in the underworld, together with the occasional personification of kindred terms in the Old Testament. The imagery was in general terms familiar while the New Testament writer felt perfectly free to vary the usage to suit his own particular purposes.

2. Apollyon Not Satan but Part of an Ideal Description

(1) Since Apollyon is a personification he is not to be identified with Satan (compare Rev 9:1 where Satan seems to be clearly indicated) or with any other being to whom historical existence and definite characteristics are ascribed. He is the central figure in an ideal picture of evil forces represented as originating in the world of lost spirits and allowed to operate destructively in human life. They are pictured as locusts, but on an enlarged scale and with the addition of many features inconsistent with the strict application of the figure (see Rev 9:7-10). The intention is, by the multiplication of images which the author does not attempt to harmonize, to convey the impression of great power and far-reaching destructiveness.

(2) This interpretation finds additional support in the writer’s significant departure from the familiar usage. In the Old Testament the place of destruction is personified – in Rev 9:11, personal forces issue from the Abyss, of which the presiding genius is Destruction in person. The seer’s picture is equally independent of the tradition represented by the Talmud (Shab f. 55) where Abaddon is personified as jointly with Death president over six destroying angels. These modifications are evidently due to the exigencies of the pictorial form. It is clearly impossible to portray forces proceeding from the place of ruin in the charge of the place itself.

3. Apollyon Necessary to the Picture

The importance of the conception of Apollyon to the completeness of the picture should not be overlooked. It is intended to represent these forces as having a certain principle of internal unity and as possessors of the power of effective leadership.

4. General Significance of the Description

As to the specific significance of the vision of the locusts as a whole it is not easy to reach a conclusion. Professor Swete suggests (Commentary on Apocalypse in the place cited.) that “the locusts of the abyss may be the memories of the past brought home at times of divine visitation; they hurt by recalling forgotten sins.” It seems to us more probable that it represents an actual historical movement, past or to come, demoniacal in origin and character, human in the mode of its operation and the sphere of its influence, used by God for a scourge upon mankind and kept in restraint by His grace and power.

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or, as it is literally in the margin of the Authorized Version of (Revelation 9:11) “a destroyer,” is the rendering of the Hebrew word ABADDON, “the angel of the bottomless pit.” From the occurrence of the word in (Psalms 88:11) the rabbins have made Abaddon the nethermost of the two regions into which they divide the lower world; but that in (Revelation 9:11) Abaddon is the angel and not the abyss is perfectly evident in the Greek.

Source: [Smith]



[destruction, ruin]

David Cox’s Topical Bible Concordance
• The angel of the bottomless pit. Rev. 9:11.

  1. Destruction, ruin (Job 31:12); the place of the dead, synonymous with the grace (Psa 88:11), Sheol (Job 26:6: Prov 15:11), and death (Job 28:22).
  2. A name of the angel of the abyss, who is called in Greek Apollyon (Rev 9:11).

Abaddon is Hebrew and the Greek equivalent is Apollyon. Both signify destroyer Rev 9:11. Both the place and the person (angel in charge of doing this) is wound up in the same concept, that of being destroyed. This is not a ceasing from existing but a ruin. ISBE comments that the Hebrew has the idea of intransitive action instead of passive, thus the idea is more of perishing, or going to ruin, or being in a ruined state rather the active being ruined or destroyed. ISBE goes on to say that the word occurs 6 times in the OT and each place it is the name of a place, Sheol. It is the world of the dead as understood by the Hebrews. Three of the six places Abaddon is parallel with Sheol (Job 26:6; Prov 15:11; Prov 27:20) and in the three remaining places, one is the death, one is the grave, and one is “root out all mine increase” (Job 28:22; Psa 88:11; Job 31:12).

“Abaddon belongs to the realm of the mysterious. Only God understands it (Job 26:6; Prov 15:11). It is the world of the dead in its utterly dismal, destructive, dreadful aspect, not in those more cheerful aspects in which activities are conceived of as in progress there. In Abaddon there are no declarations of God’s lovingkindness (Psa 88:11).”

“In a slight degree the Old Testament presentations personalize Abaddon. It is a synonym for insatiableness (Prov 27:20). It has possibilities of information mediate between those of “all living” and those of God (Job 28:22).” ISBE

“We may regard this word as a personification of the idea of destruction, or as sheol, the realm of the dead.”.

In Rev 9:11 personified as the destroyer, Greek, apolluon, “the angel of the bottomless pit,” Satan is meant; for he is described in Rev 9:1 as “a star fallen from heaven unto earth, to whom was given the key of the bottomless pit”; and Rev 12:8-9,12: “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, for the devil is come down.” Also Isa 14:12; Luk 10:18. As king of the locusts, that had power to torment not kill (Rev 9:3-11), Satan is permitted to afflict but not to touch life; so in the case of Job (Job 1-2). “He walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1Pe 5:8). “A murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44), who abode not in the truth.

Elliott identifies the locusts with the Muslims; their turbans being the “crowns” (but how are these “like gold”?); they come from the Euphrates River; their cavalry were countless; their “breast-plates of fire” being their rich-colored attire; the fire and smoke out of the horses’ mouths being the Turkish artillery; their standard “horse tails”; the period, an hour, day, month, and year, 396 years 118 days between Thogrul Beg going forth Jan. 18, 1057 A.D., and the fall of Constantinople, May 29, 1453 A.D.; or else 391 years and 1 month, as others say, from 1281 A.D., the date of the Turks’ first conquest of Christians, and 1672 A.D., their last conquest. The serpent-like stinging tails correspond to Mohammedanism supplanting Christianity in large parts of Asia, Africa, and even Europe.

But the hosts meant seem infernal rather than human, though constrained to work out God’s will (Rev 12:1-2). The Greek article once only before all the periods requires rather the translation “for (i.e. “against”) THE hour and day and month and year,” namely, appointed by God. Not only the year, but also the month, day, and hour, are all definitively foreordained. The article “the” would have been omitted, if a total of periods had been meant. The giving of both the Hebrew and the Greek name implies that he is the destroyer of both Hebrew and Gentiles alike. Just as, in beautiful contrast, the Spirit of adoption enables both Jew and Gentile believers to call God, in both their respective tongues, Abba (Hebrew in marked alliteration with Abaddon Father (Greek, pater). Jesus who unites both in Himself (Gal 3:28; Eph 2:14) sets us the example: Mark 14:36; Gal 4:6. Jesus unites Hebrew and Gentiles in a common salvation; Satan combines both in a common “destruction.”  Fausset

“In Rev 9:11 this name is shown to be the same as Apollyon, ‘the destroyer,’ who is described as ‘the angel of the bottomless pit.’ It is perhaps not so much one of the names of Satan, as his character personified” Morrish

See Apollyon

Sources: Davis Dictionary, Amtrac Dictionary, ISBE, Easton, Morrish.


“Apostle” means somebody sent with a commission to represent or to accomplish some task. This is essentially an embassador (political context) or a missionary (religious context).

• An appellation of Jesus
Heb 3:1 Apostles




(one sent forth), in the New Testament originally the official name of those twelve of the disciples whom Jesus chose to send forth first to preach the gospel and to be with him during the course of his ministry on earth. The word also appears to have been used in a non-official sense to designate a much wider circle of Christian messengers and teachers See (2 Corinthians 8:23; Philemon 2:25) It is only of those who were officially designated apostles that we treat in the article. Their names are given in (Matthew 10:2-4) and Christ’s charge to them in the rest of the chapter. Their office. — (1) The original qualification of an apostle, as stated by St. Peter on the occasion of electing a successor to the traitor Judas, was that he should have been personally acquainted with the whole ministerial course of our Lord from his baptism by John till the day when he was taken up into heaven. (2) They were chosen by Christ himself (3) They had the power of working miracles. (4) They were inspired. (John 16:13) (5) Their world seems to have been pre-eminently that of founding the churches and upholding them by supernatural power specially bestowed for that purpose. (6) The office ceased, a matter of course, with its first holders-all continuation of it, from the very condition of its existence (cf. (1 Corinthians 9:1)), being impossible. Early history and training .–The apostles were from the lower ranks of life, simple and uneducated; some of them were related to Jesus according to the flesh; some had previously been disciples of John the Baptist. Our Lord chose them early in his public career They seem to have been all on an equality, both during and after the ministry of Christ on earth. Early in our Lord’s ministry he sent them out two and two to preach repentance and to perform miracles in his name Matt 10; Luke 9. They accompanied him in his journey, saw his wonderful works, heard his discourses addressed to the people, and made inquiries of him on religious matters. They recognized him as the Christ of God, (Matthew 16:16; Luke 9:20) and described to him supernatural power (Luke 9:54) but in the recognition of the spiritual teaching and mission of Christ they made very low progress, held back as they were by weakness of apprehension and by national prejudices. Even at the removal of our Lord from the earth they were yet weak in their knowledge, (Luke 24:21; John 16:12) though he had for so long been carefully preparing and instructing them. On the feast of Pentecost, ten days after our Lord’s ascension, the Holy Spirit came down on the assembled church, Acts 2; and from that time the apostles became altogether different men, giving witness with power of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, as he had declared they should. (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8; Acts 1:22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 13:31) Later labors and history. –First of all the mother-church at Jerusalem grew up under their hands, Acts 3-7, and their superior dignity and power were universally acknowledged by the rulers and the people. (Acts 5:12) ff. Their first mission out of Jerusalem was to Samaria (Acts 8:5-25) where the Lord himself had, during his ministry, sown the seed of the gospel. Here ends the first period of the apostles’ agency, during which its centre is Jerusalem and the prominent figure is that of St. Peter. The centre of the second period of the apostolic agency is Antioch, where a church soon was built up, consisting of Jews and Gentiles; and the central figure of this and of the subsequent period is St. Paul. The third apostolic period is marked by the almost entire disappearance of the twelve from the sacred narrative and the exclusive agency of St. Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles. Of the missionary work of the rest of the twelve we know absolutely nothing from the sacred narrative.




A messenger or envoy. The term is applied to Jesus Christ, who was God’s envoy to save the world, Heb 3:1; though, more commonly, the title is given to persons who were envoys commissioned by the Savior himself.

The apostles of Jesus Christ were his chief disciples, whom he invested with authority, filled with his Spirit, entrusted particularly with his doctrines and services, and chose to raise the edifice of his church. They were twelve in number, answering to the twelve tribes. Mt 19:28, and were plain, unlearned men, chosen from the common people. After their calling and charge, Mt 10:5-42, they attended their divine Master, witnessing his works, imbibing his spirit, and gradually learning the facts and doctrines of the gospel. After his resurrection, he sent them into all the world, commissioned to preach, to baptize, to work miracles, etc. See Joh 15:27 1Co 9:1; 15:8; 2Co 12:12; 1Th 2:13. The names of the twelve are, Simon Peter; Andrew, his brother; James, the son of Zebedee, called also “the greater;” John, his brother; Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew, or Levi; Simon the Canaanite; Lebbeus, surnamed Thaddeus, also called Judas or Jude; James, “the less,” the son of Alphaeus; and Judas Iscariot, Mt 10:2-4; Mr 3:16; Lu 6:14. The last betrayed his Master, and then hanged himself, and Matthias was chosen in his place, Ac 1:15-26. In the Acts of the Apostles are recorded the self-sacrificing toils and sufferings of these Christlike men, who did that which was “right in the sight of God” from love to their Lord; and gave themselves wholly to their work, with a zeal, love, and faith Christ delighted to honor-teaching us that apostolic graces alone can secure apostolic successes.



(“one sent forth”.) The official name of the twelve whom Jesus sent forth to preach, and who also were with Him throughout His earthly ministry. Peter states the qualifications before the election of Judas’ successor (Act 1:21), namely, that he should have companied with the followers of Jesus “all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among them, beginning from the baptism of John unto the day that He was taken up, to be a witness with the others of His resurrection.” So the Lord, “Ye are they that have continued with Me in My temptations” (Luk 22:28). The Holy Spirit was specially promised to bring all things to their remembrance whatever Jesus had said, to guide them into all truth, and to enable them to testify of Jesus with power to all lands (Joh 14:26; Joh 15:26-27; Joh 16:13-14). They were some of them fishermen, one a tax collector, and most of them unlearned.
Though called before, they did not permanently follow Him until their call as apostles. All were on a level (Mat 20:20-27; Mar 9:34-36). Yet three stood in especial nearness to Him, Peter, James, and John; they alone witnessed the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the transfiguration, and the agony in Gethsemane. An order grounded on moral considerations is traceable in the enumeration of the rest: Judas, the traitor, in all the lists stands last. The disciples surrounded Jesus in wider and still wider expanding circles: nearest Him Peter, James, and. John; then the other nine; then the Seventy; then the disciples in general. But the “mystery” was revealed to all alike (Mat 10:27). Four catalogues are extant: Matthew’s (Matthew 10), Mark’s (Mar 3:16), Luke’s (Luk 6:14) in the Gospel, and Luke’s in Act 1:13.

In all four the apostles are grouped in three classes, four in each. Philip heads the second division, i.e. is fifth; James the son of Alpheus heads the third, i.e. is ninth. Andrew follows Peter on the ground of brotherhood in Matthew and Luke; in Mark and Acts James and John, on the ground of greater nearness to Jesus, precede Andrew. In the second division Matthew modestly puts himself after Thomas; Mark and Luke give him his rightful place before Thomas. Thomas, after his doubts were removed (Joh 20:28), having attained distinguished faith, is promoted above Bartholomew (or Nathanael) and Matthew in Acts. In Matt, hew and Mark Thaddaeus (or Lebbaeus) precedes Simon Zelotes (Hebrew “Canaanite,” i.e. one of the sect the Zealots). But in Luke and Acts Simon Zelotes precedes Jude (Thaddaeus) the brother of James. John gives no catalogue, but writing later takes it for granted (Rev 21:14; Rev 21:19-20).

In the first division stand Peter and John, New Testament writers, in the second Matthew, in the third James and Jude. The Zealot stood once the last except the traitor, but subsequently became raised; bigotry is not always the best preparation for subsequent high standing in faith. Jesus sent them in pairs: a good plan for securing brotherly sympathy and cooperation. Their early mission in Jesus’ lifetime, to preach repentance and perform miracles in Jesus’ name, was restricted to Israel, to prepare the way for the subsequent gospel preaching to the Jews first, on and after Pentecost (Act 3:25). They were slow to apprehend the spiritual nature of His kingdom, and His crucifixion and resurrection as the necessary preliminary to it. Even after His resurrection seven of them returned to their fishing; and it was only by Christ’s renewed call that they were led’ to remain together at Jerusalem, waiting for the promised Comforter (John 21; Act 1:4).

From the day of the Pentecostal effusion of the Holy Spirit they became new men, witnessing with power of the resurrection of Jesus, as Jesus had promised (Luk 24:45; Luk 24:49; Act 1:8; Act 1:22; Act 2:32; Act 3:15; Act 5:32; Act 13:31). The first period of the apostles’ working extends down to Act 11:18. Excepting the transition period (Acts 8-10) when, at Stephen’s martyrdom, the gospel was extended to Samaria and. to the Ethiopian eunuch by Philip, Jerusalem is its center, and Peter’ the prominent figure, who opened the kingdom of heaven (according to Jesus’ promise to him, Mat 16:18-19) to the Jews and also to the Gentiles (Acts 2; 10). The second period begins with the extension of the kingdom to idolatrous Gentiles. (Act 11:19-26).
Antioch, in concert with Jerusalem, is now the center, and Paul the prominent figure, in concert with the other apostles. Though the ideal number always remained twelve (Rev 21:14), answering to the twelve tribes of Israel, yet just as there were in fact thirteen tribes when Joseph’s two sons were made separate tribal heads, so Paul’s calling made thirteen actual apostles. He possessed the two characteristics of an Apostle; he had” seen the Lord,” so as to be an eye witness of His resurrection, and he had the power which none but an Apostle had, of conferring spiritual gifts (1Co 9:1-2; 2Co 12:12; Rom 1:11; Rom 15:18-19). This period ends with Act 13:1-5, when Barnabas and Saul were separated by the Holy Spirit unto missionary work. Here the third apostolic period begins, in which the twelve disappear, and Paul alone stands forth, the Apostle of the Gentiles; so that at the close of Acts, which leaves him evangelizing in Rome, the metropolis of the world, churches from Jerusalem unto Illyricum had been founded through him.
“Apostle” is used in a vaguer sense of “messengers of the churches” (2Co 8:23; Phi 2:25). But the term belongs in its stricter sense to the twelve alone; they alone were apostles of Christ. Their distinctive note is, they were commissioned immediately by Jesus Himself. They alone were chosen by Christ Himself, independently of the churches. So even Matthias (Act 1:24). So Paul (Gal 1:1-12; Rom 1:1; 1Co 15:9-10). Their exclusive office was to found the Christian church; so their official existence was of Christ, and prior to the churches they collectively and severally founded. They acted with a divine authority to bind and loose things (Mat 18:18), and to remit or retain sins of persons (Joh 20:21-23), which they exercised by the authoritative ministry of the word. Their infallibility, of which their miracles were the credentials, marked them as extraordinary, not permanent, ministers.
Paul requires the Corinthians to acknowledge that the things which he wrote were the Lord’s commandments (1Co 14:37). The office was not local; but “the care of all the churches.” They were to the whole what particular elders were, to parts of the church (1Pe 5:1; 2Jo 1:1). Apostles therefore could have strictly no successors. John, while superintending the whole, was especially connected with the churches of Asia Minor, Paul with the W., Peter with Babylon. The bishops in that age coexisted with, and did not succeed officially, the apostles. James seems specially to have had a presidency in Jerusalem (Act 15:19; Act 21:18).

Once the Lord Himself is so designated, “the Apostle of our profession” (Heb 3:1); the, Ambassador sent from the Father (Joh 20:21). As Apostle He pleads God’s cause with us; as” High Priest,” our cause with God. Appropriate in writing to Hebrew, since the Hebrew high priest sent delegates (“apostles”) to collect the temple tribute from Jews in foreign countries, just as Christ is the Father’s Delegate to claim the Father’s due from His subjects in this world far off from Him (Mat 21:37).



a-pos’-l ([ @apostolos], literally, “one sent forth,” an envoy, missionary): For the meaning of this name as it meets us in the New Testament, reference is sometimes made to classical and Jewish parallels. In earlier classical Greek there was a distinction between an aggelos or messenger and an apostolos, who was not a mere messenger, but a delegate or representative of the person who sent him. In the later Judaism, again, apostoloi were envoys sent out by the patriarchate in Jerusalem to collect the sacred tribute from the Jews of the Dispersion. It seems unlikely, however, that either of these uses bears upon the Christian origin of a term which, in any case, came to have its own distinctive Christian meaning. To understand the word as we find it in the New Testament it is not necessary to go beyond the New Testament itself. To discover the source of its Christian use it is sufficient to refer to its immediate and natural signification. The term used by Jesus, it must be remembered, would be Aramaic, not Greek, and apostolos would be its literal equivalent.

1. The Twelve:

In the New Testament history we first hear of the term as applied by Jesus to the Twelve in connection with that evangelical mission among the villages on which He dispatched them at an early stage of His public ministry (Matt 10:1; Mark 3:14; Mark 6:30; Luke 6:13; Luke 9:1). From a comparison of the Synoptics it would seem that the name as thus used was not a general designation for the Twelve, but had reference only to this particular mission, which was typical and prophetic, however, of the wider mission that was to come (compare Hort, Christian Ecclesia, 23-29). Luke, it is true, uses the word as a title for the Twelve apart from reference to the mission among the villages. But the explanation probably is, as Dr. Hort suggests, that since the Third Gospel and the Book of Ac formed two sections of what was really one work, the author in the Gospel employs the term in that wider sense which it came to have after the Ascension.

When we pass to Acts, “apostles” has become an ordinary name for the Eleven (Acts 1:2; Acts 1:26), and after the election of Matthias in place of Judas, for the Twelve (2:37,42,43, etc.). But even so it does not denote a particular and restricted office, but rather that function of a world-wide missionary service to which the Twelve were especially called. In His last charge, just before He ascended, Jesus had commissioned them to go forth into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Matt 28:19; Matt 28:20; Mark 16:15). He had said that they were to be His witnesses not only in Jerusalem and Judea, but in Samaria (contrast Mt 10:5), and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Ac 1:8). They were apostles, therefore, qua missionaries–not merely because they were the Twelve, but because they were now sent forth by their Lord on a universal mission for the propagation of the gospel.

2. Paul:

The very fact that the name “apostle” means what it does would point to the impossibility of confining it within the limits of the Twelve. (The “twelve apostles” of Re 21:14 is evidently symbolic; compare in 7:3 ff the restriction of God’s sealed servants to the twelve tribes.) Yet there might be a tendency at first to do so, and to restrict it as a badge of honor and privilege peculiar to that inner circle (compare Ac 1:25). If any such tendency existed, Paul effectually broke it down by vindicating for himself the right to the name. His claim appears in his assumption of the apostolic title in the opening words of most of his epistles. And when his right to it was challenged, he defended that right with passion, and especially on these grounds: that he had seen Jesus, and so was qualified to bear witness to His resurrection (1Co 9:1; compare Ac 22:6 ff); that he had received a call to the work of an apostle (Rom 1:1; 1Cor 1:1, etc.; Ga 2:7; compare Acts 13:2; Acts 22:21); but, above all, that he could point to the signs and seals of his apostleship furnished by his missionary labors and their fruits (1Cor 9:2; 2Cor 12:12; Gal 2:8). It was by this last ground of appeal that Paul convinced the original apostles of the justice of his claim. He had not been a disciple of Jesus in the days of His flesh; his claim to have seen the risen Lord and from Him to have received a personal commission was not one that could be proved to others; but there could be no possibility of doubt as to the seals of his apostleship. It was abundantly clear that “he that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the circumcision wrought for (Paul) also unto the Gentiles” (Ga 2:8). And so perceiving the grace that was given unto him, Peter and John, together with James of Jerusalem, recognized Paul as apostle to the Gentiles and gave him the right hand of fellowship (Ga 2:9).

3. The Wider Circle:

It is sometimes said by those who recognize that there were other apostles besides the Twelve and Paul that the latter (to whom some, on the ground of 1Cor 15:7; Gal 1:19, would add James the Lord’s brother) were the apostles par excellence, while the other apostles mentioned in the New Testament were apostles in some inferior sense. It is hardly possible, however, to make out such a distinction on the ground of New Testament usage. There were great differences, no doubt, among the apostles of the primitive church, as there were among the Twelve themselves–differences due to natural talents, to personal acquirements and experience, to spiritual gifts. Paul was greater than Barnabas or Silvanus, just as Peter and John were greater than Thaddaeus or Simon the Cananean.

But Thaddaeus and Simon were disciples of Jesus in the very same sense as Peter and John; and the Twelve and Paul were not more truly apostles than others who are mentioned in the New Testament. If apostleship denotes missionary service, and if its reality, as Paul suggests, is to be measured by its seals, it would be difficult to maintain that Matthias was an apostle par excellence, while Barnabas was not. Paul sets Barnabas as an apostle side by side with himself (1Cor 9:5; Gal 2:9; compare Acts 13:2; Acts 14:4; Acts 14:14); he speaks of Andronicus and Junias as “of note among the apostles” (Ro 16:7); he appears to include Apollos along with himself among the apostles who are made a spectacle unto the world and to angels and to men (1Cor 4:6; 1Cor 4:9); the natural inference from a comparison of 1Th 1:1 with 2:6 is that he describes Silvanus and Timothy as “apostles of Christ”; to the Philippians he mentions Epaphroditus as “your apostle” (Php 2:25 the Revised Version, margin), and to the Corinthians commends certain unknown brethren as “the apostles of the churches” and “the glory of Christ” (2Co 8:23 the Revised Version, margin). And the very fact that he found it necessary to denounce certain persons as “false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ” (2Co 11:13) shows that there was no thought in the primitive church of restricting the apostleship to a body of 12 or 13 men. “Had the number been definitely restricted, the claims of these interlopers would have been self-condemned” (Lightfoot, Galatians, 97).

4. Apostles in Didache:

When we come to the Didache, which probably lies beyond the boundary-line of New Testament history, we find the name “apostles” applied to a whole class of nameless missionaries–men who settled in no church, but moved about from place to place as messengers of the gospel (chapter 11). This makes it difficult to accept the view, urged by Lightfoot (op. cit., 98) and Gwatkin (HDB, I, 126) on the ground Of Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8; Acts 1:22; 1Cor 9:1, that to have seen the Lord was always the primary qualification of an apostle–a view on the strength of which they reject the apostleship of Apollos and Timothy, as being late converts to Christianity who lived far from the scenes of our Lord’s ministry. Gwatkin remarks that we have no reason to suppose that this condition was ever waived unless we throw forward the Didache into the 2nd century. But it seems very unlikely that even toward the end of the 1st century there would be a whole class of men, not only still alive, but still braving in the exercise of their missionary functions all the hardships of a wandering and homeless existence (compare Didache 11:4-6), who were yet able to bear the personal testimony of eye-witnesses to the ministry and resurrection of Jesus. In Lu 24:48 and Ac 18:22 it is the chosen company of the Twelve who are in view. In 1Co 9:1 Paul is meeting his Judaizing opponents on their own ground, and answering their insistence upon personal intercourse with Jesus by a claim to have seen the Lord. But apart from these passages there is no evidence that the apostles of the early church were necessarily men who had known Jesus in the flesh or had been witnesses of His resurrection–much less that this was the primary qualification on which their apostleship was made to rest.

5. The Apostleship:

We are led then to the conclusion that the true differentia of the New Testament apostleship lay in the missionary calling implied in the name, and that all whose lives were devoted to this vocation, and who could prove by the issues of their labors that God’s Spirit was working through them for the conversion of Jew or Gentile, were regarded and described as apostles. The apostolate was not a limited circle of officials holding a well-defined position of authority in the church, but a large class of men who discharged one–and that the highest–of the functions of the prophetic ministry (1Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11). It was on the foundation of the apostles and prophets that the Christian church was built, with Jesus Christ Himself as the chief corner-stone (Eph 2:20). The distinction between the two classes was that while the prophet was God’s spokesman to the believing church (1Cor 14:4; 1Cor 14:22; 1Cor 14:25; 1Cor 14:30; 1Cor 14:31), the apostle was His envoy to the unbelieving world (Gal 2:7; Gal 2:9).

The call of the apostle to his task might come in a variety of ways. The Twelve were called personally by Jesus to an apostolic task at the commencement of His earthly ministry (Mt 10:1 ff parallel), and after His resurrection this call was repeated, made permanent, and given a universal scope (Matt 28:19; Matt 28:20; Acts 1:8). Matthias was called first by the voice of the general body of the brethren and thereafter by the decision of the lot (Acts 1:15; Acts 1:23; Acts 1:26). Paul’s call came to him in a heavenly vision (Ac 26:17-19); and though this call was subsequently ratified by the church at Antioch, which sent him forth at the bidding of the Holy Ghost (Ac 13:1 ff), he firmly maintained that he was an apostle not from men neither through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead (Ga 1:1). Barnabas was sent forth (exapostello is the verb used) by the church at Jerusalem (Ac 11:22) and later, along with Paul, by the church at Antioch (Ac 13:1); and soon after this we find the two men described as apostles (Ac 14:4). It was the mission on which they were sent that explains the title. And when this particular mission was completed and they returned to Antioch to rehearse before the assembled church “all things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith unto the Gentiles” (Ac 14:27), they thereby justified their claim to be the apostles not only of the church, but of the Holy Spirit.

The authority of the apostolate was of a spiritual, ethical and personal kind. It was not official, and in the nature of the case could not be transmitted to others. Paul claimed for himself complete independence of the opinion of the whole body of the earlier apostles (Gal 2:6; Gal 2:11), and in seeking to influence his own converts endeavored by manifestation of the truth to commend himself to every man’s conscience in the sight of God (2Co 4:2). There is no sign that the apostles collectively exercised a separate and autocratic authority. When the question of the observance of the Mosaic ritual by GentileChristians arose at Antioch and was referred to Jerusalem, it was “the apostles and elders” who met to discuss it (Acts 15:2; Acts 15:6; Acts 15:22), and the letter returned to Antioch was written in the name of “the apostles and the elders, brethren” (Ac 15:23).

In founding a church Paul naturally appointed the first local officials (Ac 14:23), but he does not seem to have interfered with the ordinary administration of affairs in the churches he had planted. In those cases in which he was appealed to or was compelled by some grave scandal to interpose, he rested an authoritative command on some express word of the Lord (1Co 7:10), and when he had no such word to rest on, was careful to distinguish his own judgment and counsel from a Divine commandment (1Cor 12:25; 1Cor 12:30). His appeals in the latter case are grounded upon fundamental principles of morality common to heathen and Christian alike (1Co 5:1), or are addressed to the spiritual judgment (1Co 10:15), or are reinforced by the weight of a personal influence gained by unselfish service and by the fact that he was the spiritual father of his converts as having begotten them in Christ Jesus through the gospel (1Co 4:15 f). It may be added here that the expressly missionary character of the apostleship seems to debar James, the Lord’s brother, from any claim to the title. James was a prophet and teacher, but not an apostle. As the head of the church at Jerusalem, he exercised a ministry of a purely local nature. The passages on which it has been sought to establish his right to be included in the apostolate do not furnish any satisfactory evidence. In 1Co 15:7 James is contrasted with “all the apostles” rather than included in their number (compare 1Co 9:5). And in Ga 1:19 the meaning may quite well be that with the exception of Peter, none of the apostles was seen by Paul in Jerusalem, but only James the Lord’s brother (compare the Revised Version, margin).


Lightfoot, Galatians, 92-101; Hort, Christian Ecclesia, Lect II; Weizsacker, The Apostolic Age, II, 291-99; Lindsay, The Church and the Ministry, 73-90.

J. C. Lambert


Apostle’s Names

Mat. 10:2-4
Mar. 3:16-19
Luk. 6:14-16
Act. 1:12-18
1st Group
Simon (Peter)
Andrew (Peter’s brother)
James (son of Zebedee)
John (James’ brother)
Simon (Peter)
James (son of Zebedee)
John (James’ brother)
Simon (Peter)
Andrew (Peter’s brother)
2nd Group
Matthew (tax gatherer)
3rd Group
James (son of Alphaeus)
Simon (the Cananean)
Judas (Iscariot)
James (son of Alphaeus)
Simon (the Cananean)
Judas (Iscariot)
James (son of Alphaeus)
Simon (the zealot)
Judas (son of James)
Judas (Iscariot)
James (son of Alphaeus)
Simon (the zealot)
Judas (son of James)

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[Utley – NT Topics]



Abstemii is a Roman Catholic term used to identify those who could not parpake of the eucharist (communion) within the Roman Catholic Church. This has to do with a belief or conviction within these people against taking strong drink.

An abstemius (plural abstemii) is one who cannot takewine without risk of vomiting. As, therefore, the consecration at Mass must be effected in both species, of bread and wine, an abstemius is consequently irregular.

St. Alphonsus Liguori, following the opinion of Suarez, teaches that such irregularity is de jure divino (Latin: “of divine law”); and that, therefore, the Pope cannot dispense from it. The term is also applied to one who has a strong distaste for wine, though able to take a small quantity. A distaste of this nature does not constitute irregularity, but a papal dispensation is required, in order to excuse from the use of wine at the purification of the chalice and the ablution of the priest’s fingers at the end of a Mass celebrated in the Tridentine Mass. In these cases the use of wine is a canonical law from whose observance the Church has power to dispense. A decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, dated 13 January 1665, grants a dispensation in this sense to missionaries in China, on account of the scarcity of wine; various similar rulings are to be found in the collection of the decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites.


ABSTEMII. A name given to such persons as could not partake of the cup of the eucharist, on account of their natural aversion to wine.



Origen: Syriac for beloved father, coming from ab, father, which comes from abah, “he is willing” denoting a father wills and desires all good to his children. The term reads the same forward as backward, showing God is a father to his children from eternity to eternity, from another view, through prosperity or through chastening.

Meaning: An endearing and consoling access to God which every Christian enjoys, provoking a reverent affection from child to father.

Common Use: In Syriac, Coptic and Ethiopic church it is a title used for the bishop. This practice grew until the bishop of Alexandría began to use the title “Baba” or “Papa” (grandfather). This title was taken the bishop of Rome who now is generally understood as the “Pope”. Within Catholicism, the term is used of a superior in a monastery.

The Jews used this title of certain Rabbins called Tanaites.

Biblical Use: Mark and Paul use this work in Rom 8:15 and Gal 4:6, and Jesus uses it in His agony in Mark 14:36. It apparently was clearly understood in their time within the Jewish community and early Christian primitive assemblies. The concept behind the term has to be an understanding of free entrance to the “abba” (father), and of a free flow of blessing and gifts from the abba to the person. It captures the concept of a deep and beautiful relationship between two people, one of whom (the abba) has all to give and highly desires to show his burning love through good deeds to the other person who has great need.

For Christ, this term relates directly with God the Father from the point where the Father “beget” the Son. For the Christian, this term centers around our spiritual adoption by God.

It is thought by Selden, Witsius, Doddridge, and others, that Saint Paul alluded to a law among the Jews which forbade servants or slaves to call their master Abba, or Father; and that the apostle meant to convey the idea that those who believed in Christ were no longer slaves to sin; but being brought into a state of holy freedom, might consequently address God as their Father.” [Buck]


A Syriac word, signifying Father. It is more particularly used in the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic churches, as a title given to the bishops. The bishops themselves bestowed the title ABBA more eminently on the bishop of Alexandria, which occasioned the people to give him the title of Baba or Papa; that is, Grandfather: a title which he bore before the bishop of Rome. It is a Jewish title of honour given to certain Rabbins called Tanaites: it is also used by some writers of the middle age for the superior of a monastery. St. Mark and St. Paul use this word in their Greek,Mark 14:36. Rom. 8:15. Gal. 4:6. because it was then commonly known in the synagogues and the primitive assemblies of the Christians. It is thought by Selden, Witsius, Doddridge, and others, that Saint Paul alluded to a law among the Jews which forbade servants or slaves to call their master Abba, or Father; and that the apostle meant to convey the idea that those who believed in Christ were no longer slaves to sin; but being brought into a state of holy freedom, might consequently address God as their Father.


ABBA, A Syriac word, signifying a beloved father. The word is used by our Lord in his agony, Mark 14:36, and by Paul, when he recounts to the believers of Rome and Galatia, their glorious privileges, foremost of which he places “the spirit of adoption, by which they cry Abba Father.” Rom 8:15, Gal 4:6. We thus perceive, both in the term itself, and the manner of using it, how endearing and consoling is the access to God which the Christian enjoys.


Abba. – The Aramaic, or late Hebrew, word for “Father.” [Mark 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6.] It is a modified form of the more ancient Hebrew word “Ab,” and expresses reverent affection. But it was probably used more generally by the Jews than its sacred use in the New Testament indicates, and thus passed into ecclesiastical language among the Christians of Palestine, Egypt, and Ethiopia, as the designations of a bishop or the head of a monastery [Gr. Abbas], just as “Father in God” is one of the designations of an English bishop. Through the intermediary forms, “baba” and “papa” the word was the original of the title “Papa,” or “Pope,” assumed by the Bishops of Rome. [Pope.]


ABBA, is a Syriac appellative, from the Hebrew word ab, a father, which comes from abah, he was willing; denoting that a father wills and desires all good to his children. It reads the same backward as forward: God is a father to his children from eternity to eternity.


ABBA, a Syriac word, signifying father. It being the same whether we read it backward or forward, may perhaps hint to us, that God’s fatherly affection to his people, is the same, whether he smile on them by prosperity, or chasten them by heavy crosses and sore adversity. The Spirit of adoption making the saints cry ABBA, FATHER, imports, that by his influence, both Jews and Gentiles, as one united body, have the most assured faith in, love to, and familiar intercourse with God, Rom 8:15,Gal 4:6.


Abba, Aramaic, Father

A term borrowed from childhood’s language to express filial address to God (Mark 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). The corresponding Hebrew word is Ab; it is common in compound proper names in the forms Ab and Abi, as Abimelech, Abner, or Abiner, Eliab.


Ab (combining name)

Ab (combining name)

(אך or ,( s ‘ābh or ‘abh, the Hebrew and Aramaic word for “father”): It is a very common word in the Old Testament; this article notes only certain uses of it. It is used both in the singular and in the plural to denote a grandfather or more remote ancestors (e.g. Jer 35:16, Jer 35:15). The father of a people or tribe is its founder, not, as is frequently assumed, its progenitor. In this sense Abraham is father to the Israelites (see, for example,Gen 17:11-14, Gen 17:27), Isaac and Jacob and the heads of families being fathers in the same modified sense. The cases of Ishmael, Moab, etc., are similar. The traditional originator of a craft is the father of those who practice the craft (e.g. Gen 4:20,Gen 4:21, Gen 4:22). Sennacherib uses the term “my fathers” of his predecessors on the throne of Assyria, though these were not his ancestors (2Ki 19:12). The term is used to express worth and affection irrespective of blood relation (e.g. 2Ki 13:14). A ruler or leader is spoken of as a father. God is father. A frequent use of the word is that in the composition of proper names, e.g. Abinadab, “my father is noble.” See ABI.

The Aramaic word in its definite form is used three times in the New Testament (Mar 4:6), the phrase being in each case “Abba Father,” addressed to God. In this phrase the word “Father” is added, apparently, not as a mere translation, nor to indicate that Abba is thought of as a proper name of Deity, but as a term of pleading and of endearment. See also ABBA.

Source: [ISBE]

1. Father, found in many compound Hebrew proper names: as Abner, father of light; Absalom, father of peace.
2. The fifth month of the sacred, and the eleventh of the civil year among the Jews. It began, according to the latest authorities, with the new moon of August. It was a sad month in the Jewish calendar. On its first day, a fast was observed for the death of Aaron, Nu 33:38; and on its ninth, another was held in memory of the divine edicts which excluded so many that came out of Egypt from entering the promised land; and also, of the overthrow of the first and second temple. See MONTH.

Source: [Amtrac]

1. (father), an element in the composition of many proper names, of which Abba is a Chaldaic form, having the sense of “endowed with,” “possessed of.”

2. See Month

Source: [Smith]



Means to a person who encourages crimes, someone accounted guilty, and punished with principals Psa 50:18; Prov 13:20; 2Joh 1:11.



tr.v. a·bet·ted, a·bet·ting, a·bets

1. To approve, encourage, and support (an action or a plan of action); urge and help on.
2. To urge, encourage, or help (a person): abetted the thief in robbing the bank.