Definition of apostolic in English:



  • 1Relating to the Apostles.

    ‘apostolic writings’
    • ‘Did the Jewish Scriptures have the same authority as apostolic Christian writings?’
    • ‘The early church was established by apostolic writing as well as apostolic preaching.’
    • ‘When the Lord commissioned Peter to be a leader of the apostolic church, he presented his role not as commander-in-chief or company executive but as a provider of food.’
    • ‘Paul admitted that boasting over his apostolic credentials made him a fool.’
    • ‘Perhaps post-gospel traditions of Mark as apostolic associate and interpreter were religious by-products of the need, manifested by early Christians, to recall and to recast Jesus' activities.’
    • ‘The most authoritative guidance comes from Holy Scripture understood in the light of apostolic tradition, inasmuch as this is the normative channel whereby revelation is transmitted.’
    • ‘In this ultimo tempo, the paths of Peter and his apostolic twin, Judas, cross and ultimately diverge.’
    • ‘There is ample evidence from apostolic times, from the patristic, canonical and liturgical tradition, well into the Byzantine period that this order was held in high honor.’
    • ‘Persons wishing to embrace the apostolic life as monks had to do so under one of the approved rules and new houses had to be incorporated by charter with one of the existing orders.’
    • ‘Here he saw and put into practice the task of exegesis as listening to the text as apostolic testimony to divine address.’
    • ‘He believes episcopacy to be of apostolic origin and to have received divine approbation, if not direct command.’
    • ‘He who does not bring or teach apostolic doctrine ought not to be received by the Church which is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.’
    • ‘Most of them accepted tradition and creeds only as they contained and were in agreement with the apostolic witness.’
    • ‘I admire a lot of things about Protestants and evangelicals - I admire their commitment, their apostolic fervour.’
    • ‘The apostolic message is that healing space was created through the Christ on the cross as God's response to human violence.’
    • ‘These Oxford dons were convinced that the only reason the state could interfere in the workings of the church was that the English nation had forgotten the apostolic roots of its church.’
    • ‘Hence, he criticizes those who fail to exercise judgment in such a way and who simply insist that Presbyterian orders are of apostolic origin and must be followed by all churches at all times.’
    • ‘The priest is the ordained representative of the bishop and, as such, the most visible apostolic link between the local community and the universal church.’
    • ‘Though it is little used today, especially since we have the completed Word of God, it was evident in the New Testament apostolic times.’
    • ‘Also praiseworthy is his emphasis on John as a close reader of Scripture, and as a person of the church with a wide apostolic mission to direct others in the life of contemplative prayer.’
    Ecclesiastical, church, priestly, pastoral, religious, spiritual, prelatic, canonical, parsonical
    View synonyms
  • 2Relating to the Pope, especially when he is regarded as the successor to St Peter.

    ‘an apostolic nuncio’
    • ‘As the successors of Peter in Rome, the popes laid claim to apostolic supremacy, just as Peter had been given primacy over the apostles in the mother community in Jerusalem after the Resurrection of Christ.’
    • ‘A private viewing was held at the apostolic palace in the Vatican.’
    • ‘As apostolic nuncio, he automatically became dean of the diplomatic corps.’
    • ‘In Divini Amoris Scientia, his apostolic letter announcing the doctorate, the Pope goes even further.’
    • ‘The prestige of the city itself was no longer sufficient; but in the doctrine of apostolic succession the popes had an unassailable position.’
    • ‘After serving as apostolic delegate to Greece and Turkey from 1935 and as papal nuncio in liberated France from 1944, in 1953 he became a cardinal and Patriarch of Venice.’
    • ‘The same day in Bulgaria, representatives of the Roman Catholic Church revealed more details about the upcoming apostolic visit.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the Vatican has already said that a section of its archive dating from 1931 to 1934 was destroyed or lost during the bombing of Berlin in 1945 and in a fire at the apostolic nuncio's palace.’
    • ‘Later this year, the Vatican is expected to begin an apostolic visitation of U.S. seminaries.’
    • ‘Bulgarians have expressed a positive attitude towards the Papal apostolic visit.’
    • ‘Together, the miniatures address the presence of a modern Elymas, Luther, and reassert Paul's apostolic authority; legitimately mandated to the papacy.’
    • ‘The liturgy will end with the Pope's giving his apostolic blessing, known as Urbi et Orbi, or ‘to the city and the world’.’
    • ‘The Vatican appoints an apostolic visitor when it receives allegations of ‘grave irregularities’ at an institution of a diocese.’
    • ‘It was bombarded with complaints from the nuncio, the apostolic administrator for the diocese and other senior clerics.’
    • ‘At the end of 1944, he became apostolic nuncio to France.’


Middle English: from French apostolique or ecclesiastical Latin apostolicus, from Greek apostolikos, from apostolos (see apostle).