Definition of apostle in English:



  • 1Each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ.

    • ‘The original twelve Apostles had all known Jesus in the flesh on earth, and had seen him in the flesh after his resurrection.’
    • ‘This is evident in the lives of the prophets, John the Baptist, the Apostles and the Lord Jesus Christ himself.’
    • ‘Shortly after Jesus ascended to heaven, he made a promise to the Apostles we read in Acts 1: 8.’
    • ‘Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, saints, angels and religious events are depicted.’
    • ‘The Bible claims to be a reliable historical record and this history from the very beginning was attested to by Christ and the Apostles.’
    • ‘His martyrdom is the first - and only one - among the Apostles to be recorded in Scripture.’
    • ‘Their assigned roles as Christ, Apostles and Mary Magdalene, begin to affect their daily lives.’
    • ‘At the last supper, Jesus Christ tells the Apostles: ‘Now I'm going to turn the water into wine.’’
    • ‘After capitulating before a vicious reign of terror, the Apostle confesses to Mary and promptly rounds a corner on his way to becoming a rock of the Church.’
    • ‘Did the church, prior to the death of the last Apostle come to possess ‘all the truth’?’
    • ‘Bishops today are thought to be the successors of the Apostles.’
    • ‘The Apostles of the Lamb had little to say about Hell or Heaven.’
    • ‘He taught that the Church had become corrupt from the very beginning, and that the Apostles had failed to carry out the Lord's commission.’
    • ‘Someone is working their way through the twelve Apostles.’
    • ‘He compares each of Francis's early companions to one of the twelve Apostles.’
    • ‘But this is on the condition, and only on the condition, that we are walking in the light of His will, keeping the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.’
    • ‘Eighteen ornate towers represent the Apostles, Evangelists, Jesus and Mary.’
    1. 1.1 An important early Christian teacher or pioneering missionary.
      ‘Kiril and Metodije, the apostles of the Slavs’
      • ‘In his view, the Hebrew prophets Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the early apostles, Paul, and John, were seers - persons who saw the fullness of God's appearance.’
      • ‘Our next study takes us to visions of Christ by the apostle Paul in which he received a severe rebuke from the heavenly Lord.’
      • ‘In the apostolic era many women are mentioned as apostles, leaders of house churches, prophets, deacons, and so on.’
      • ‘In addition it carried with it the notion of Christian, papal, power, with Rome being understood as the city of the apostles Peter and Paul.’
      • ‘Always in the background, Barnabas enabled Paul to meet the apostles when they were too afraid to open any doors for Paul.’
      • ‘We're still feeling the fallout from the last time we got all excited about an archaeological link to the early apostles.’
      • ‘Paul, the apostle, says we are ‘new creatures’ once we have taken that step of faith..’
      • ‘She, too, felt multiple calls; indeed, she felt all calls at once: ‘I feel the vocation of the warrior, the priest, the apostle, the doctor, the martyr,’ she wrote.’
      • ‘This story takes place in Jerusalem, while another story in the Apocrypha - set in Rome - tells of two jailers converted by Peter and Paul who release both apostles from prison.’
      • ‘The apostle Paul, facing the same situation, tore his robes with horror.’
      • ‘There were many apostles before Paul and he declares that he is the last and the least.’
      • ‘According to tradition, in the first century the apostle Thomas evangelized the region on his way to India.’
      • ‘And so, because these early apostles were open to the Spirit, Christianity came to Europe.’
      • ‘The apostles and teachers of the church are entrusted with these tasks, and so to them Catholics should look first for guidance about how they are to live their lives.’
      • ‘So the apostle unveils Christ as Lord and unlocks the truth of Scripture, and lives a credible godly life in his ministry.’
      • ‘We reject and condemn these errors and all others that contradict and contravene the above doctrine as being contrary to the pure Word of God, the writings of the holy prophets and apostles, and our Christian Creed and Confession.’
      • ‘Outside the Basilica in the piazza, gazing up at those enormous bronze statues of the apostles Peter and Paul, I could not help wondering how two simple men would feel about being cast in the mould of the institutional church.’
      • ‘He had to come and defend his teaching as an apostle of Jesus Christ among those churches.’
      • ‘Significantly, the apostle Paul mentions how the ‘god of this age’ has exerted himself to blind the minds of unbelievers.’
      • ‘In this spiritual and apostolic journey, St. Paul, an apostle of Gentiles, is the model for our lives.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the apostle Paul says, unambiguously, that we're justified by faith apart from words, because the whole argument of his thrust is that Christ's death on the cross looks after all of our sins.’
      • ‘Those who represent the Pentecostal movement say that missionaries function as apostles.’
      • ‘The danger of false apostles and Paul's legitimate apostolic authority are the initial concerns expressed in his Epistle to the Galatians.’
      • ‘Then there was the missionary apostle represented by Paul.’
      • ‘I mean, God had taken me a murderer, and I feel that he's made me into a minister, just like he's done to the apostle Paul.’
      • ‘He would not have allowed women like Priscilla, Paul the apostle's business partner, to be called as a deacon.’
      • ‘The apostles (‘sent ones’ / missionaries) were people who cared.’
      missionary, evangelist, evangelical, proselytizer, spreader of the faith, spreader of the word, preacher, teacher
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    2. 1.2 A vigorous and pioneering advocate or supporter of a particular policy, idea, or cause.
      ‘a man once known as the apostle of free-market economics’
      • ‘That is the point of his often quoted dictum: ‘The men of culture are the true apostles of equality.’’
      • ‘Greek and Latin signified far more than our modern apostles of ‘relevance’ will allow.’
      • ‘It is not fashionable these days, in a world in which the apostles of the free market hold sway, to cite Karl Marx, who has long since been demonized in the cathedrals of capitalism.’
      • ‘In an age of cinema that favours familiarity, remake and rehash, this director remains one of the few remaining apostles of the pioneer spirit.’
      • ‘He was an saintly apostle of peace, love and unity and a great poet.’
      • ‘It suggests that the apostles of understanding are caught between two places.’
      • ‘In order to rise to power, the shrewd chieftain of the Fascists did not hesitate to play the role of the apostle of free enterprise, advocating the immediate dismantling of all forms of wartime planning of economic activities.’
      • ‘The apostles of the New Economy declared the irrelevance of everything invented before the Internet, and of any skills other than their own.’
      • ‘We no longer have to take the apostles of the new economy the least bit seriously.’
      • ‘Again, totalitarianism has an almost irresistible allure - it moves people - by reason of the emotional and essentially religious spirit which its leading apostles have infused into it.’
      • ‘One was an apostle of selfless love; the other presided over the Me Decade.’
      • ‘Even the apostles of the free market believe that our impact on nature has increased dramatically in the twentieth century (they just think it does not matter).’
      • ‘You were an apostle of peace and an advocate of humanity and human dignity.’
      • ‘He said the incident should be an eye opener to the apostles of democracy.’
      • ‘While the idea of human improvement may be implicit in notions of renaissance, he was anything but an apostle of the idea of progress.’
      • ‘Some readers think he's a demonic force for mediocrity, others believe he's an apostle of decent design for the masses.’
      • ‘The yuppie apostles of the ‘new economy’ will also be humbled by a plunging stock market.’
      • ‘We Americans are apostles of the Fast World, the prophets of the free market and high priest of high tech.’
      • ‘Worldwide, however, the paradox of his life and works persists as even the most stringent apostles of musical progress champion his music for its harmonic invention.’
      advocate, apologist, proponent, exponent, promoter, propagandist, spokesperson, spokesman, spokeswoman, supporter, upholder, champion
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The twelve Apostles were Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the Less), Judas (or Thaddaeus), Simon, and Judas Iscariot. After the suicide of Judas Iscariot his place was taken by Matthias


Old English apostol, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apostolos ‘messenger’, from apostellein ‘send forth’.