What Is a New Testament Apostle?


What is a New Testament apostle? The definition of the word means sent one, or messenger. Apostles were people sent both by Jesus and commissioned by the church to carry the good news of Jesus’ lordship to the ends of the earth. So in this sense, there were both 12 apostles (Luke 6:13) and a wider group who were witnesses to the resurrection (1 Cor. 9:1).

Watch today’s Seven Minute Seminary by Dr. Ben Witherington III as he explains the marks of a biblical apostle.

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Dr. Witherington joined the Asbury Seminary faculty in 1995. A prolific author, Dr. Witherington has written more than 40 books and six commentaries. He is a John Wesley Fellow for Life, a research fellow at Cambridge University and a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Society of Biblical Literature, Society for the Study of the New Testament and the Institute for Biblical Research. In his leisure time, Dr. Witherington appreciates both music and sports. It is hard to say which sound he prefers: the sophisticated sonance of jazz sensation Pat Metheny or the incessant tomahawk chant of the Atlanta Braves faithful. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, he is a dedicated Tar Heels basketball and football fan. He and his wife, Ann, have two children.