Did Paul claim to have a specific ordination?

Did Paul claim to have a specific ordination?

This post is a separation of the post called Is ordination a requirement for a female pastor? since it was brought to my attention that the two streams of thought were too much for one post. This post will deal with the ordination of Paul by Jesus as an apostle.

Paul was not ordained by any man yet he claimed to be an apostle ordained by Jesus Christ and chosen to be a witness to the resurrection just as the other eleven were chosen as witnesses of the resurrection.

Matthias was ordained by men, chosen as one of two candidates who were then presented to God for the final decision. God did not speak forth either by prophecy or word of knowledge or through the gifts of the Holy Spirit in choosing Matthias. Rather than a direct word of God, Matthias was chosen by the casting of lots. The question that I asked was whether the decision of men is involved in the gifting and calling of God?

It was disciple’s decision to chose two candidates and Paul was not a candidate put forth by the Apostles because they did not consider that the decision for the twelfth apostle was to be made in the far distant future or that they were not personally responsible for initiating the process. Rather they believed that a witness to the resurrection had to be someone who was among their midst from the beginning so that he could be a witness to the resurrection. Yet Paul was indeed chosen by Jesus to be a witness to the resurrection even though he had not been with the apostles from the beginning.

Let’s examine the ordination requirement of the replacement apostle to Judas. It is found in Psalm 109:8.

Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few; Let another take his office.

The inspired wording says “Let another take his office”. Notice it doesn’t say “Let a group of men give him his office.” The onus is on the successor to Judas to do the taking. When Barsabbas and Matthias were picked by the apostles as two possible replacements, did Matthias say that Jesus had picked him as a witness to the resurrection? Did Matthias give a testimony that he was the one to take the office? No, he did not.

The word in the Greek for “take” is lambánõ. According to the Complete Word Study Dictionary, in the NT, this Greek word means:

to actively take, and, partially in the pass. sense, to receive

So it is an action word that primarily means to “take” and this is why nearly every translation renders it as “take”. What was the “office” that the replacement was to take? It was the “office” of a legal witness to the resurrection. The disciples make this clear in Acts 1:22

…one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.

Judas failed to be a witness of Jesus’ resurrection because in his unfaithfulness he betrayed Jesus and because of his betrayal he committed suicide before the resurrection happened. The replacement for this “office” had to be one who would “take” it himself. The “taking” of the “office” would be a personal witness that one has been called by Jesus Christ as an official witness to the resurrection, and one “takes” the office by claiming and proving their ordination by Jesus.

Did Matthias “take” the office of official witness to the resurrection by his own testimony? It appears that he did not otherwise there would not have been a need to cast lots. Matthias’ testimony that he had been picked by Jesus as the witness to the resurrection would have made such an act of casting lots totally unnecessary. There is no record that Matthias ever claimed to be personally picked by Jesus nor is there any record that the eleven disciples received a witness from Matthias that he was the one who was to “take” the “office” of witness to the resurrection. Instead of Matthias taking the office at the stage where the choice was to be made, the disciples chose to cast lots as an act of their faith that God should be the one who makes the choice.

My question continues in asking did Paul take the “office” of witness to the resurrection? Yes, absolutely! Paul claimed to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, picked to be a witness to the resurrection by the very ordination of Jesus himself. Paul’s ordination was completely opposite to the ordination of Matthias whose ordination proves to be from men alone with no outward miracles or a witness by Matthias himself that he was picked by Jesus as the others had been.

Now how does all of this relate to the ordination of a women Pastors? I personally believe that a true God-ordained choice of Pastor should be only to ratify and recognize what God has already chosen. Man’s ordination cannot make one a Pastor nor can the failure of some to recognize God’s gifting take away one’s gifting and calling from God. Paul’s ordination as an apostle of Jesus was in no way lessened because he did not have the ordination of men. Paul’s proof of his ordination was in his signs and wonders and revelations that stood the test of a true apostle. It was his actions that proved his claims. No ordination of man was necessary.

Have you ever met a Pastor that was ordained but who did not have the fruits of the Spirit or the heart of a shepherd? Such a one is not a true Pastor gifted by Jesus himself. Jesus said that there would be hirelings who do not care for the sheep but who are there as shepherds for other reasons. These hirelings run away when the wolves come to make a meal of the sheep. The fact that they have been ordained by a church cannot truly make them a gift to the church. Only Jesus’ choice and gifting can do that.

Eph 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Eph 4:8 Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”

Eph 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

While there are apostles beyond the twelve who have been gifted by God for service to the church, there are only twelve apostles who formed the foundation of the church along with the cornerstone who is Jesus. Is Paul a member of that special foundation of the church, or is he only one of the other gifted apostles who have been gifted for the service of the body of Christ but not as special foundational apostles? While I believe, as many others do, that Paul was chosen by Jesus as the twelfth apostle, this is something that we can discuss and debate and see what we see in scripture to support our viewpoint. I will be moving the comments from the other post to this one so that we can keep the flow of our arguments.

Thoughts?

23 thoughts on “Did Paul claim to have a specific ordination?

  1. Don,

    Your questions are good as always although you and I disagree on the issue of the twelfth apostle.

    I disagree with you also about wanting to be ordained in a church that has problems with ordaining women.  In the comments made by the sister, her denomination does ordain women however the Pastor in the church she is in is against women as pastors so he will not allow for a woman to participate in his church.  While I can completely understand why someone would leave a church like this and move on, I can also support someone who would work to change the mindset of the church.  I think it is a person’s decision on how they wish to work through this issue.  For example Paul saw Peter’s way of holding back from eating with the Gentiles as not a leadership decision but a sin issue.  If all the leaders were on Peter’s side they still would have been wrong.  Paul was not going to move on because it was an issue that needed correcting.
    .
    Don, although you do not see Paul as claiming to be one of the twelve, I clearly see it.  Paul’s claim to be an apostle picked by Jesus himself to be a witness to the resurrection is the claim of the eleven.  We find here two important things:

    1. Paul claimed to be an apostle for the exact same thing as all the other eleven (all were apostles of Jesus for the witness of the resurrection).

    2. No one else claimed to be an apostle of Jesus for a witness of the resurrection.

    Paul also was the only one in scripture who found the need to defend his apostleship.  The question we need to ask is why?  Why did only Paul claim to have the same mandate as the eleven?  Why was only Paul made to have to defend his apostleship?  These are questions that anyone needs to ask who does not believe that Paul was the twelfth apostle.

    “If the 11 acting in concert after refrring to Scripture and praying could make this big a blunder, how do we know anything they did later makes any sense at all?”

    There is a difference between what the apostles did later and what they did before they were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  If we are going to say that the disciples could not make any mistakes before they were filled with the Holy Spirit’s power then we will have to go back to when they thought that the kingdom was going to be set up by Jesus in their lifetime.  They all appeared to be in unity on this issue but they were all wrong.  The difference comes at the time when they are all speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit – that is the time when they could not be wrong.  Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit came upon them, he (the Holy Spirit) would lead them into all truth.  Did Jesus promise that they would not make any mistakes before that time?  I don’t think so.

    So if Jesus promised the eleven that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth, then once the Holy Spirit came upon them, they would not make any mistakes because it was the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to lead them all into all truth.

    What is the difference between the Holy Spirit’s leading after Pentecost and the decision that they made regarding Matthias before Pentecost?  Let’s consider the differences:

    1.  They were led into all truth after Pentecost and no decision that they made in unity was ever wrong.  There was no promise that they would be lead in to all truth before the Holy Spirit came upon them in power so questioning their decision before they were empowered does not open up a whole can of worms.  It would only be questioning of their humanity instead of questioning the Holy Spirit’s leading.

    2.  Before Pentecost they collectively had wrong ideas that were corrected in time by Jesus.  These wrong ideas did not taint their leadership because their leadership without error came from the power of the Holy Spirit.  Because of this what happened before Pentecost was in a different category from what happened with them after they were empowered by the Holy Spirit.  If they were perfect before Pentecost then it was their own power and their own ability that made them perfect, not the power of the Holy Spirit.  This was not the way it was to be.

    3.  When they prayed to God to make the decision, they gave God choices instead of waiting for him to give his choice. That would force God to pick one of their choices instead of picking someone that they had not even thought of as a candidate.  If God had answered their prayer by a miraculous leading to pick Matthias, then we could be sure that the disciple’s choice of only two men was correct and there was no a third option.  But God did not answer miraculously and if the disciple’s decision to only pick two men at that time and not three (Paul certainly would have been a choice available later on), then we cannot assume that the disciples had the mind of Christ before they were empowered to know his mind.  I think that it is reasonable to question a decision that the disciples made before they were empowered.  To not question their decision before they were empowered seems to me to make the apostles to be icons in their own right.  It would make their own collective will (their decision to pick only two men for God to choose from) as equal to God’s will.  Why should they be empowered then with the Holy Spirit if they had the ability to collectively know God’s will before they were empowered to be led into all truth?  The Holy Spirit then would be not needed since they could do his work as long as they were collectively in union?  No, I don’t think so.  They were human and were susceptible to error before they were empowered as a unit to be the foundations of the church.

    4.  No other decision that they made after they were empowered by the Holy Spirit is called into question.  There are many who call into question the choice that they made before they were empowered.  For example many call into question their decision to cast lots.  This method of understanding God’s will was never used by the Holy Spirit as a method of making a decision.

    If the eleven apostles could pick their own human choices for the twelfth apostle, then should this be an example of how we are to pray?  “God, I am not sure if I should marry Janet or Sue. Please show me which one is your will.  I will cast lots to know.”  What if God wants you to marry Barbara?  How will casting lots work in this situation?  It can’t.  We are not to limit God to our own understanding but allow him to work beyond our human understanding.

    “There is no indication of God’s displeasure with their choosing of Matthias that I can find. ”

    God allowed them to have their choice, but he was not restricted by their choice since it was his decision not theirs.  I believe this is the only way to properly understand Paul’s claims.  Paul claimed two things that will need to be explained away by anyone who does not believe that he was claiming to be the twelfth apostle.  The fact is that Paul claimed to have the exact same mandate as the eleven – Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ to be a witness of the resurrection.  The second thing is that Paul was always having to defend his apostleship.  It is understandable that Paul had to defend his apostleship since the one picked to be the last apostle of the resurrection was Matthias.  If Matthias was the twelfth apostle of the resurrection then Paul’s claim to being an apostle of Jesus Christ as a witness of the resurrection was bogus.

    In my mind, I can either accept Paul’s claim to being an apostle of Jesus Christ as a witness of the resurrection or I can accept that a group of men had infallibility to choose an apostle of Jesus Christ before they were given power by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  I see no can of worms here since I do not see the apostle’s infallibility coming before Pentecost.  I also do not see the wisdom of deciding on two men and then asking God to pick.  Nothing in the OT tells them that it was their responsibility to pick a replacement and nothing in scripture makes the apostles infallible before Pentecost.

    Don, I really have a lot of appreciation for you and I have grown to love you as a brother in Christ.  When you said this, it made me smile:

    “I also think it is a mistake to try to couple the idea of Paul being the 12th apostle (and consequently Matthias being therefore man’s choice but not God’s) with the issue of women being able to be leaders in church.”

    Since this is my blog, I reserve the right to give my strong opinion.  :)

    I will allow myself to be corrected if I am wrong but my correction will come from the text itself and not from fear of questioning.   I do not believe that I am wrong.  If I am wrong, then you will have to prove that the disciples had infallibility before Pentecost and then explain why they even needed Pentecost.  You will also have to explain why the need for the casting of lots if they collectively all had the mind of Christ before Pentecost?  Lastly, you will have to explain to me why the inspired scripture never even hints that a group of men would have the power to pick candidates for the “office” of witness to the resurrection when the scriptures say that the one who is to take Judas’ place is to do the “taking” himself.  You will never convince me that there is a can of worms to open by challenging the humanity of the apostles before Pentecost.  I am not the first to question their wisdom nor will I be the last.  The answer will be in the text itself.  It will not be in fearing to question their humanity before their empowerment by the Holy Spirit.

    I also see a very strong application to the women’s issue.  I am known for seeing things outside the box so I won’t force you to follow me on my pathway.  All that I would ask you to do is to understand that it is okay to see the humanity of men even of the apostles before they were given the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  I have given many reasons for why I believe as I do.  Paul’s claim to being an apostle of Jesus Christ for a witness of the resurrection is something that I cannot ignore and I choose to take him at face value and believe that he was exactly what he said he was.  He was the twelfth witness chosen by Jesus Christ himself to be a witness to the resurrection and one who replaced Judas who failed to be a faithful witness.

    Even though we disagree, I still love you a lot!!! :)

  2. Don,

    One last thing I don’t think I answered very clearly.  It is in regarding to your question about why God didn’t show displeasure in the apostle’s picking of Matthias.  I think this belongs in the realm of why God allowed divorce and why he didn’t push people to quickly in the areas of slavery and polygamy although each of these areas is clearly wrong.  I believe that God allowed Paul to “take” his place as one of the apostles of Jesus Christ to be a witness to the resurrection.  He did not have to advise the apostles that Paul would come along and claim to be this last witness.

    I also believe that by God allowing the disciples to chose their own replacement by choosing the two candidates, this is an example to us that men who are fully dedicated to God can make errors based on their assumptions and their faulty presupposition.  This doesn’t mean that God rejects them.  It just means that the truth will be found in the text, not in our presupposition of what the text should say.

    Again, I want to assure you that I am submissive to be corrected.  I just have a high standard of allowing the text to correct me, not our assumptions.  My pastor has found out that I do humbly admit that I am wrong when I am proven wrong.  I love receiving truth and I love those who love me enough to correct my error.  I both love them and respect them.  But those who correct me have to use the text itself in context.  That is my foundation and that is what I want to be corrected from.  Until I see the text correcting me, I will hold to the claims of Paul.  I too believe that he was an apostle of Jesus Christ picked as an apostle of the resurrection.

  3. On the woman with the anti-woman-leader pastor in a woman-leader denom, she can escalate, as there is a leadership hierarchy.  Perhaps her pastor should not be a pastor in this denom.  Or perhaps she should go to another congregation in this denom.  Or perhaps she should stay and try to convince him.  It is not automatic that she should stay or go or escalate.
    On lots:

    Num 26:53
    “Among these the land shall be divided for inheritance according to the number of names.
    Num 26:54
    To a large tribe you shall give a large inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a small inheritance; every tribe shall be given its inheritance in proportion to its list.

    Num 26:55
    But the land shall be divided by lot. According to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.

    Jos 7:13
    Get up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the LORD, God of Israel, “There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.”

    Jos 7:14
    In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. And the tribe that the LORD takes by lot shall come near by clans. And the clan that the LORD takes shall come near by households. And the household that the LORD takes shall come near man by man.


    Jdg 20:9
    Jdg 20:10
     
    and we will take ten men of a hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and a hundred of a thousand, and a thousand of ten thousand, to bring provisions for the people, that when they come they may repay Gibeah of Benjamin, for all the outrage that they have committed in Israel.”


    1Sa 10:20

    1Sa 10:21
    He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans, and the clan of the Matrites was taken by lot; and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found.


    Pro 16:33

    The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.


    Pro 18:18

    The lot puts an end to quarrels and decides between powerful contenders.

    Jon 1:7
    The sailors said to each other, “Let’s draw lots and find out who is to blame for getting us into this danger.” They did so, and Jonah’s name was drawn.


    Luk 1:9
    According to the custom followed by the priests, he was chosen by lot to burn incense on the altar. So he went into the Temple of the Lord,

    The lot was an accepted way to make decisions and besides being random it might mean they voted.
    The reason I said it was a mistake to couple these ideas is it makes it easier for the non-egals to dismiss 1 by dismissing the other.  The idea of Paul being the 12th apostle is not common.  So you are giving your opponents a “slow pitch” even if you believe it to be true.  There are many things that I might believe the Lord showed me that I would never bring up in an argument.
    On your claim that Paul says the same things as the 11, I want to see verses, as I do not see this.

    1 Samuel 10:20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot.

    Judges 20:9 But now this is what we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot,

  4. Hi Don,

    ” The lot was an accepted way to make decisions and besides being random it might mean they voted.”

    While the “lot” was an accepted way to make decisions in the OT, it is not shown to be an accepted way for decision making in the NT. It is only shown one time and in the disputed area of Matthias as an apostle. The other thing you have not dealt with is that the apostles were the ones who picked the candidates. It wasn’t until they had the candidates that they prayed and asked God which choice he wanted. The problem with that is that if neither one of these choices was God’s choice (i.e. if Paul was the choice and neither one of the other men) then they were forcing the lot to be God’s decision. If you notice the decisions made by “lot” in the OT were not the same as the decision over the twelfth apostle. For example in each case all were brought forward and the lot “chose” the one that was to be picked. In the apostles case, not all were brought forward so the “lot” was skewed. It would have been similar to bringing only a couple of the tribes up front and casting the lot over them while ignoring all of the other tribes. If all are available for the choice, then the “lot” is skewed. When all are there, then the “lot” is in the hands of the Lord. Do you see the difference?

    As far as Paul claiming the same thing as the eleven, consider this:

    Acts 1:22 “beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us–one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.

    Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.

    Acts 2:43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.

    Acts 5:12 At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people…

    Acts 19:11 God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,
    Acts 19:12 so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

    John 15:26 When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,
    John 15:27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

    Acts 10:39 We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.
    Acts 10:40 God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible,
    Acts 10:41 not to all people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
    Acts 10:42 And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.

    Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
    Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.
    Acts 5:31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
    Acts 5:32 And we are witnesses of these things….

    Paul writes:

    1 Cor. 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

    2 Cor. 12:11 I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.
    2 Cor. 12:12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.

    Romans 15:18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me…
    Romans 15:19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

    1 Cor. 9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

    In 1 Cor. 9:1 Paul equates his seeing the risen Christ with his apostleship which is a direct connection to the requirement of being a witness to the resurrection of Jesus.

    1 Cor. 15:8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
    1 Cor. 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
    1 Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

    Paul compares himself to the other apostles who have seen Jesus and he says that he is what he is (an apostle) by the grace of God. That grace of God caused him to work even harder than all of the others.

    Again the requirement of seeing the risen Christ was the requirement for being a true apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul considers himself the least of this group who are to testify of the resurrection.

    1 Cor. 15:15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up – if in fact the dead do not rise.

    Here Paul includes himself in those who are are to testify of the resurrection of Christ.

    Paul claims to have authority from Christ:

    2 Cor. 13:10 For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not tearing down.

    Gal. 1:1 Paul, an apostle not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead

    Gal. 1:11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man,
    Gal 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Romans 1:1 Paul a servant of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle, separate to the gospel of God
    Romans 1:4 and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead,
    Romans 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship….

    Paul received his call by Jesus Christ himself to be an apostle of the resurrection.

    So the questions that you need to answer is:

    1. Why does Paul appeal to the fact that he saw the resurrected Christ as necessary for him being an apostle?

    2. Why does Paul appeal to the fact that he had the necessary “signs and wonders” of a true apostle?

    If Paul was an ordinary apostle who was like those who went out and started churches, then why did he need to appeal to the signs of a true apostle? None of the other secondary apostles ever appealed to these signs nor did they ever claim that they were witnesses to the resurrected Jesus. These are questions that must be answered.

  5. Don,

    You said:

    “The reason I said it was a mistake to couple these ideas is it makes it easier for the non-egals to dismiss 1 by dismissing the other. The idea of Paul being the 12th apostle is not common. So you are giving your opponents a “slow pitch” even if you believe it to be true. There are many things that I might believe the Lord showed me that I would never bring up in an argument.”

    We each have our own way of argumentation. My way of argumentation is to use the scriptures and prove from them that men’s authority does not make a pastor nor does men’s authority take away the gifting of a person as a pastor. Perhaps you could show me how you teach from the scriptures that men’s authority cannot make one a pastor nor can it take away one’s calling. If you have a better way of seeing this from the scriptures, I would be open to seeing it. I believe that the fact that Paul proved his apostleship when he was not ordained by man is very applicable to the fact that one can be what one is called to be without having to be ordained by a body of men. I also believe that although Matthias was an apostle of the eleven, he was not called to be an apostle of the resurrection as Paul was called so his ordination of men did not “make” him what he was not called to be by Jesus. If you have a better way to show this from any other text of scripture, I am very open to hearing it. I am assuming that you believe that men cannot “make” one a pastor nor can they invalidate one’s calling. If you don’t believe this, I would be open to hearing why you don’t hold to this either.

    Iron sharpens iron. it is always good to be pushed to show what we believe and why we believe it. It stretches us and causes us to keep our focus on the text and the context.

  6. On leadership ministries being gifts


    Eph 4:11

    Eph 4:12
    with a view to the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,

    On Paul confirming his message

    Gal 2:2
    I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.
    Gal 2:6
    And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)–those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.
    Gal 2:7
    On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised
    Gal 2:8
    (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles),

    Gal 2:9
    and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

    This is the leaders of the Jerusalem church confirming Paul’s message.
    Paul wrote Scripture, so signs and wonders help confirm him as speaking for God as God did things thru him.  If anyone today would claim to write Scripture, I would expect similar signs and wonders as part of the confirmation.
    On Acts

    Act 1:21
    So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
    Act 1:22
    beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us–one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”

    you say that one of the marks of the 12 is being a witness to the resurrection and quote this verse, but you do not accept the other qualification, being with Jesus from the baptism of John.  This was not very many people, so 2 possibles does not seem impossible.  And Paul is not one of them.

    Ephesians 2:11 And indeed He gave some to be apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers;

  7. Don,

    “Paul wrote Scripture, so signs and wonders help confirm him as speaking for God as God did things thru him. If anyone today would claim to write Scripture, I would expect similar signs and wonders as part of the confirmation.”

    What miracles and signs and wonders did Luke do?

    Miracles with signs and wonders was not a requirement for writing scripture. Paul didn’t use it to prove that he wrote scripture. He used it to prove that he was an apostle of Jesus Christ.

    The apostles thought that the replacement apostle had to be with them from the beginning because it had to be someone who was given as a witness to the resurrection. They had no idea at that point that Jesus could call Paul into heaven to witness his resurrection and learn from him as they had learned from Jesus. but Jesus picked Paul anyway as a witness for the resurrection. I believe that Jesus’ choice stands. I don’t think that you answered the following questions:

    1. Why does Paul appeal to the fact that he saw the resurrected Christ as necessary for him being an apostle?

    2. Why does Paul appeal to the fact that he had the necessary “signs and wonders” of a true apostle?
    The questions have to do with Paul being an apostle, not about writing scripture.

    I know these are hard questions. I admit that. But I do believe they deserve to be answered. They are very important to me.

    Blessings,
    Cheryl

  8. 2Co 11:4 “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
    2Co 11:5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
    2Co 12:11
    2Co 12:12
    The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.

    Paul is contrasting his apostleship with false apostles, who claim they are super-apostles. He is not contrasting it with the 12 or other true apostles.
    Paul did see the resurrected Christ, but did not see Jesus between the resurrection and the ascension. He can testify to it, as Jesus told him about it.

    1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
    1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
    1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas,
    1Co 15:6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
    1Co 15:7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
    1Co 15:8
    “Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”

    In 1 Cor 15:5 who are the 12 that Jesus appeared to? My claim is that it cannot include Judas Iscariot and so must include Matthias. We also see that the 12 are NOT THE SAME as those called apostles.

    2 Cor 12:11 “I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing.”

  9. Don,

    I am trying to figure out what you are actually claiming.  Are you claiming that in 1 Cor 15:5 that Peter is not part of the 12 since he is named before the twelve?  Or do you understand that the “12? is a name for those who had been picked by Jesus to be his witnesses of the resurrection?

    Are you also claiming that Paul said that he saw the resurrected Christ and that he had signs and miracles only because he wanted people to think that he was just as good as the false apostles?  Sort of a one-up-manship?  I gave a lot of verses to you and I am not sure if I understand your point.  Are you saying that all the verses I gave you are there only because Paul is claiming to be equal to the false apostles and is not claiming to be equal to the true 12 apostles?  If so, that doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Did you answer why Paul claimed to be a witness to the resurrection and why every other apostle other than the twelve did not claim to be an apostle of the resurrection or claim that they had signs and wonders to prove their apostleship?  If you did answer this, I missed it from the verses that you quoted.

    I do not think that there is any relevance at all that the eleven saw Jesus between the resurrection and the ascension.   Paul claimed to have seen the resurrected Christ and since the witness chosen by Christ had to be a witness to the resurrection, I don’t see any relevance at all to having to witness the ascension.  Are you making a claim here that this is important?

    The claims of Paul that I wanted you to address are his claims to having the signs and wonders that make him a true apostle and the fact that he claims to being picked as a witness to the resurrection by Jesus Himself.  I don’t see anyone else making that claim other than the other eleven disciples.  Can you comment on this?

  10. 1. Peter is one of the 12, the leader of the 12.  However, the 12 are 12, not 11, and are not Paul as he discusses himself later.  It is not the faithful of the 12, it is simply 12, so the 12 being discussed include Matthias.  That is, at the time Paul wrote 1 Cor, the 12 had a meaning that included Matthias and excluded Judas Iscariot.
    2. Paul is in a contest with the false super-apostles.  He wants to win the hearts of the Corinthians or at least as many as possible.  They say they are better than Paul, he says they are not.  I am just trying to exegete 2 Cor on super-apostle.  You claimed that Paul is comparing himself to the 12 (eminent apostles), I do not think so in this verse.
    3. On what other apostles claim, the Bible is selective in what is recorded, not everything is recorded.  When it is silent we simply do not know, so we do not know what signs and wonders, if any, were associated with other apostles.  But the reason Paul makes his claims in 2 Cor is because he is in a context with false teachers.
    4. A claim I am making is you used part of Acts 1:22 but not the whole sentence.  This is not consistent.  If you reject the process of choosing Matthias, it is ironic that you use part of this process to justify your position.  To be consistent, accept it all or reject it all; for example, I accept it all as Godly, the 11 were acting in faith based on their understanding after referring to Scripture and prayer, which is all that we can do today.

  11. Don,

    1. In 1 Cor. 15 we see several very interesting observations that will help us to understand this passage. First of all we see that each “group” of listing of people does not meaning that it is entirely new people. Peter is listed first as “Cephas” who is apparently the first of the men who saw the resurrected Christ, but I think we can all agree that “Cephas” is not excluded from “the twelve”. So we have Peter listed first and then the twelve with Peter being a part of the twelve.

    Now at the time of the first appearance of Christ to the “twelve” (as the order is given as a time order), Judas was not there neither was Thomas. This means that “the twelve” is a title for the twelve apostles, not a number of who were present. Matthias would not be included in this number since he was not “picked” at this time.

    John Gill brings out the same claim as I do that “the twelve” are the “name” of the group not the number that were present.

    “then of the twelve; though there were then but eleven of them, Judas being gone from them, and having destroyed himself; and at the first appearance of Christ to them, there were but ten present, Thomas being absent; and yet because their original number, when first chosen and called, were twelve, they still went by the same name;

    Remember that Paul is listing the appearances in order of the men whom Jesus appeared to. I do not believe that there is any evidence at all that Matthias was counted as one of the twelve during the resurrection appears of Jesus with the other eleven disciples. If he was, then there would not have been a need to draw straws to pick him later. The fact that Thomas was not present but the group is still called “the twelve” shows that the number does not prove that Matthias was there with them.

    Then we find in order of appearance that Jesus appeared to 500 brethren and then:

    “1Co 15:7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;”

    The understanding is that the phrase “then to all the apostles” means that Jesus appears to the eleven that now included Thomas who had been missing when Jesus appeared the first time. With the apostles were others, likely the 72 disciples whom Jesus had sent out two by two. This is the last recorded appearance of Jesus so this would be the ascension into heaven. Some consider the term “all the apostles” to be just the 11 apostles and some consider the number to include all those who were present. I don’t think this is an issue since we both agree that there were other apostles besides the 12 apostles.

    Lastly Paul says that he saw the resurrected Christ. Paul considered himself abnormally born because he lacked the “gestation” period of having been with Christ during His earthly ministry. (The Bible Knowledge commentary).

    2. It appears odd to me that Paul would be fighting to compare himself only to the false apostles since Paul considered himself in within the group in 1 Cor. 15:8

    Albert Barnes on the 2 Cor. 11:5 passage says that Paul is saying that he is equal to the very top apostles. He paraphrases Paul:

    “For I suppose … – I think that I gave as good evidence that I was commissioned by God as the most eminent of the apostles. In the miracles which I performed; in the abundance of my labors, and in my success, I suppose that I did not fall behind any of them. If so, I ought to be regarded and treated as an apostle; and if so, then the false teachers should not be allowed to supplant me in your affections, or to seduce you from the doctrines which I have taught. On the evidence that Paul was equal to others in the proper proof of a commission from God;”

    John Gill says:

    “the very chiefest of the apostles: such as Peter, James, and John; who seemed to be pillars, were eminent apostles, of great note among them, and such as Christ, in the days of his flesh, took particular notice of. This he says, not to exalt himself, but to show, how weakly and injudiciously the Corinthians acted in setting up the false apostle above him;”

    John Gill then goes on to include the false apostles as making themselves equal to the twelve. It appears that even if Paul is equating himself with what the false apostles claim, it isn’t who they really are that Paul is equating himself with. It is with their “claims” that he is equating himself with. The claims are to be equal with the very top apostles and that would be the twelve.

    Paul appears to be claiming a position of apostleship, one just like the other eleven as he claimed to have genuine miracles, signs and revelation.

    3. While we do not know what signs and wonders the other apostles did, we do know that it was important to have signs and wonders and miracles and to have seen the resurrected Christ to be an apostle of Paul’s caliber. We don’t hear of any other apostle that claimed the things that Paul claims. If having signs and wonders must be a sign of a regular apostle today and if it was also a sign back then, then there is no evidence that a regular apostle had these signs either then or now. The only evidence of signs and wonders was from the hands of the twelve apostles and Paul’s claim to these preeminent signs, wonders and revelations puts him in the class of the twelve if not in the best of that class as none of the other apostles did as much as Paul did. Why would Jesus give a secondary apostle preeminent signs and revelations than he gave to the others of the twelve? It doesn’t make sense to me other than that Paul’s claims to being preeminent are true.

    4. As far as Acts 1:22, I believe that the requirement to have been there the entire time of Jesus’ ministry was a requirement to have been under Jesus’ teaching. Every single one of the eleven had been under Jesus’ entire teaching and were witnesses of the resurrection. While I do not think that the eleven saw past their own experience to understand at that time that Jesus would raise up one who received the same teaching as they did and who also saw the resurrected Christ but who had not been with them for one minute. Yet Paul claims to have been taught by Christ and he claims to have seen the resurrected Christ so his experience with Jesus matched their experience during the time that they were with Christ.

    You said:

    “If you reject the process of choosing Matthias, it is ironic that you use part of this process to justify your position.”

    I believe that it is Jesus himself who said that the twelve were to be witnesses to his resurrection. While I can take the partial understanding of the eleven, my foundation on the selection of the twelfth apostle is on Jesus’ words, the OT prophecy of the selection of the replacement for Judas and Paul’s testimony that he was selected by Jesus to be a witness to the resurrection, to receive teaching by Jesus himself and to be an apostle who has more miracles and more revelation then the other eleven. I believe Paul makes his claims in this way because the twelfth position has been taken and his claim appears to make him an interloper to position taken by Matthias. I do not believe that he would take the opportunity to brag about himself just to make himself an equal to the false apostles. Paul’s authority was from Jesus alone and no other secondary apostle had this kind of authority.

    While I can appreciate why you do not believe that Paul was the twelfth apostle, especially because you do not want to see the eleven as having made a premature act of picking a replacement, I do not see any proof in the passages that Jesus himself chose and commissioned Matthias. This is very important to me because if Jesus had chosen Matthias surely there would have been an ordination from Jesus as he had personally ordained the rest of the eleven. I see this ordination in Paul and Paul’s “proofs” have convinced me. I see no verification that Matthias was Jesus’ ordained pick.

    I also really feel for Paul because I can see how hard it would be in that day and age where the replacement for Judas was already a “done deal” to try to convince others that he was legitimately picked by Jesus as an apostle of the resurrection with the same mandate as the other eleven. No wonder so many didn’t believe him. No other mere apostle ever appeared to have to defend their apostleship. Why did Paul have to defend his apostleship? Personally, I believe it because he wasn’t just an ordinary apostle. I believe that we will witness his name written on one of the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem and I believe that he will be sitting on a throne judging the twelve tribes of Israel just as the other eleven will sit.

    Now if Matthias had claimed to be personally picked by Jesus as one of the twelve and had claimed that he was one of the twelve and proved it was so by his signs and miracles, then that would help. His ordination was an ordination of man’s choice brought before God. The disciples didn’t ask God if he wanted one of these men. They simply asked him to chose which one and then they didn’t wait on his voice, they cast lots. This doesn’t sit right with me and it doesn’t match what Jesus did for Paul. If Jesus personally picked Paul, and Paul was merely a second class apostle, then why couldn’t Jesus have personally picked Matthias too in the same miraculous ways as he did for Paul? The mode of picking plus the inspired words in the OT that say that the one is to “take” his place not be elected to the position, just leaves things hanging and seems misplaced compared to Paul’s claims.

    If the only thing that would stop me from believing Paul’s ordination, is that the eleven couldn’t be wrong, I have no problem accepting that they could have stepped outside of their authority and made a mistake before they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. If not, why did they even need the Holy Spirit? He wasn’t needed in picking the replacement…or was he? If he was, then his job was done after Pentecost and Paul is right there in our face 🙂

  12. 1Co 15:3

    1Co 15:4

     

    And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    1Co 15:5

     

    And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

    1Co 15:6

     

    After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

    1Co 15:7

     

    After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

    1Co 15:8

     

    And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

    Here is how I understand this, the named James is not one of the 12, he is one of the brothers of Jesus that became a believer after the ascension and became the leader of the Jerusalem church in Acts 15.  It is not James one of the 12 as that one is already included in the 12.

    There are different groups discussed, they are not all distinct but some are.  Apostles are listed separate from the 12 and given later, my understanding is that these are those apostles at the time that were NOT the 12, as the 12 apostles were already mentioned.

     Paul is giving an order, but it is not every data point; yes Thomas was not there at first time with the 10 of the 12, but did see Jesus soon after.
    So the question is whether Matthias saw Jesus, my assumption is he was certainly one of the 500, being a disciple from the beginning.  The question is what did Paul mean by the 12.  I agree it is possible he meant the 11, but it is also possible he meant the 12 at the time of his writing 1 Cor and the way the whole church understood the term, that is, to include Matthias.

    In any case, it is clear (to me) that Paul when he wrote 1 Cor did not consider himself one of the 12.

    2. Paul is one of the apostles.

    2Co 11:4

     

    For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

    2Co 11:5

     

    Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
     

    He is competing with false teachers.  I am not sure why you refer to Gill, the immediate context of 2 Cor 11:4-5 seems clear to me.

    FWIIW, some missionaries today claim miracles.

    3. Paul is making his special claims to counter the false super-apostles.  He wants the Corinthians to make the right decision.

    The Bible says believers will do GREATER things.

    I do not see Paul as a secondary apostle, he is my hero, but that does not mean he is one of the 12.

    4. I do not follow your argument here, so I will defer to concentrate on discussing the above and then get back to this once the above are discussed.

    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
     

    1Co 15:4

     

    And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    1Co 15:5

     

    And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

    1Co 15:6

     

    After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

    1Co 15:7

     

    After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

    1Co 15:8

     

    And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

    Here is how I understand this, the named James is not one of the 12, he is one of the brothers of Jesus that became a believer after the ascension and became the leader of the Jerusalem church in Acts 15.  It is not James one of the 12 as that one is already included in the 12.

    There are different groups discussed, they are not all distinct but some are.  Apostles are listed separate from the 12 and given later, my understanding is that these are those apostles at the time that were NOT the 12, as the 12 apostles were already mentioned.

     Paul is giving an order, but it is not every data point; yes Thomas was not there at first time with the 10 of the 12, but did see Jesus soon after.
    So the question is whether Matthias saw Jesus, my assumption is he was certainly one of the 500, being a disciple from the beginning.  The question is what did Paul mean by the 12.  I agree it is possible he meant the 11, but it is also possible he meant the 12 at the time of his writing 1 Cor and the way the whole church understood the term, that is, to include Matthias.

    In any case, it is clear (to me) that Paul when he wrote 1 Cor did not consider himself one of the 12.

    2. Paul is one of the apostles.

    2Co 11:4

     

    For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

    2Co 11:5

     

    Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
     

    He is competing with false teachers.  I am not sure why you refer to Gill, the immediate context of 2 Cor 11:4-5 seems clear to me.

    FWIIW, some missionaries today claim miracles.

    3. Paul is making his special claims to counter the false super-apostles.  He wants the Corinthians to make the right decision.

    The Bible says believers will do GREATER things.

    I do not see Paul as a secondary apostle, he is my hero, but that does not mean he is one of the 12.

    4. I do not follow your argument here, so I will defer to concentrate on discussing the above and then get back to this once the above are discussed.

    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

    1Co 15:4

     

    And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    1Co 15:5

     

    And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

    1Co 15:6

     

    After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

    1Co 15:7

     

    After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

    1Co 15:8

     

    And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

    Here is how I understand this, the named James is not one of the 12, he is one of the brothers of Jesus that became a believer after the ascension and became the leader of the Jerusalem church in Acts 15.  It is not James one of the 12 as that one is already included in the 12.

    There are different groups discussed, they are not all distinct but some are.  Apostles are listed separate from the 12 and given later, my understanding is that these are those apostles at the time that were NOT the 12, as the 12 apostles were already mentioned.

     Paul is giving an order, but it is not every data point; yes Thomas was not there at first time with the 10 of the 12, but did see Jesus soon after.
    So the question is whether Matthias saw Jesus, my assumption is he was certainly one of the 500, being a disciple from the beginning.  The question is what did Paul mean by the 12.  I agree it is possible he meant the 11, but it is also possible he meant the 12 at the time of his writing 1 Cor and the way the whole church understood the term, that is, to include Matthias.

    In any case, it is clear (to me) that Paul when he wrote 1 Cor did not consider himself one of the 12.

    2. Paul is one of the apostles.

    2Co 11:4

     

    For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

    2Co 11:5

     

    Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
     

    He is competing with false teachers.  I am not sure why you refer to Gill, the immediate context of 2 Cor 11:4-5 seems clear to me.

    FWIIW, some missionaries today claim miracles.

    3. Paul is making his special claims to counter the false super-apostles.  He wants the Corinthians to make the right decision.

    The Bible says believers will do GREATER things.

    I do not see Paul as a secondary apostle, he is my hero, but that does not mean he is one of the 12.

    4. I do not follow your argument here, so I will defer to concentrate on discussing the above and then get back to this once the above are discussed.


  13. Act 6:2

     

     
    And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.

    The question I would pose to you is how would the original reader understand this, specifically, what is meant by the twelve?

    My claim is they would read it as including Matthias and the 11, since that is what was done in Acts 1.  They would not think it is just 11 and that the 11 made a mistake in choosing Matthias.  There is no claim in the Bible that they made a mistake in Acts 1 to Acts 6 and Paul is not yet a follower of Jesus.

  14. Don,

    I will get to your post #12 early next week. I will be away from email for a couple of days.

    Regarding your question from #13:

    “The question I would pose to you is how would the original reader understand this, specifically, what is meant by the twelve?”

    While I believe that “the twelve” was a name of the group, I do believe that the people and the disciples considered Matthias to be part of that group so that would mean that at that time there would be twelve in “the twelve”. That is the reason that I believe Paul had such a difficult time with his claim to being a true apostle picked by Jesus as a witness to the resurrection. If the twelfth apostle was already picked then Paul’s claim appeared invalid. There is no doubt that everyone accepted Matthias to be among the twelve apostles. The question that I ask you that I have also asked myself is, “Did Jesus consider Matthias to be among the twelve to be picked by him as an apostle of the resurrection?” This is the question that I have had to answer “No” to because of Paul’s evidence.

    I am sorry for being so slow. I really appreciate these discussions. I am and will be slow in answering just because I want to work on getting other articles up as I can and I place that first. By the way the editing work is going well. I have about a solid week left of post production work to do (God-willing) to finish the first DVD on the Trinity. The work on the last DVD should commence in July after we come back from a time away. It is very exciting for me to see everything come together. God-willing everything will be done in time for our September deadline. Next project I am going to try to make sure I don’t have a definite deadline so I can cut down on the 15 hour days I have been putting in. The long hours are getting harder on me as I get older 🙂

  15. I consider this should probably be the LOWEST priority thing on your plate and it is fine with me it it quiesces.

    I do not see Paul being challenged by the other apostles, I do see him in battles with legalists (Pharisees) and antinomialists (Greeks who want only freedom). 

  16. Don comment #12,

    “And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

    Paul is commenting on order of appearance (to the male witnesses – females were not considered valid witnesses in that day). He is not giving groups of people that do not overlap. For example, Cephas (or Peter) is part of “the twelve” so there is an overlap here. The appearance to James is not recorded in scripture.

    The next thing of importance is that Jesus appeared to many people over a period of 40 days. Jesus appeared to “the twelve” several times even when they were not all together. Thomas was missing during the first appearance of Jesus to “the twelve”.

    During the period of 40 days that Jesus appeared to the disciples we can note that the number of “the twelve” was not complete. Although Matthias would have been around during that time, he was not appointed by Jesus to be the twelfth apostles while Jesus was here in his resurrected body. This is a huge point that should not be missed. Jesus walked and talked with his disciples and he explained the scriptures that were fulfilled by his life, death and resurrection. He ate food with his disciples and he gave them commandments. Yet never once did he say that Matthias would fill the empty space that Judas’ betrayal brought. Why is this? Why was it a full 43 days after Jesus’ death that there was no replacement of Judas? Why did the disciples not ask Jesus who he was going to appoint and why didn’t Jesus appoint a replacement? The answer is simple. The time had not yet come and the replacement had not yet come to salvation. There could be no other reason why Jesus failed to appoint Matthias during the 40 days that he was here on the earth in his resurrected body. There is also no command that Jesus gave to his eleven remaining disciples to chose a replacement that he had failed to chose while he was here in his resurrected body.

    My contention is that Jesus did not chose Matthias during the 40 days that he was here and the vacancy was apparent because he was not Jesus’ choice. The time was not yet for the one “born out of time” who would be saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, meet the resurrected Christ and be taught by him and be sent out as a witness to the resurrection.

    Don, I will get to your other arguments later. Perhaps you can speak to Jesus’ silence on the replacement of the twelfth apostle during the 40 days. I believe that there was a vacant spot for 40 days and there would continue to be a vacant spot for many more days until the apostle Paul was ready to be sent forth as the last appointed witness of the resurrection by Jesus himself.

  17. Jesus not picking Matthias in the 40 days is an argument from silence.  There are lots of things Jesus did not talk about at all, or at least was not considered important enough to record.  Most scholars say that this is because much was assumed by a 1st century Jew and so does not need to be stated.  My poiny is when there is silence, fill in the gaps with the 1st century Jewish default understanding.  As a concrete example, Jesus is not recorded as speaking against fornication, houwever this was part of the general 1st century Jewish understanding of the OT.  So it is not too big a stretch to believe Jesus thought the same.

    God knows everything that we will do, including what the 11 would do.  The 11 needed to start execising their authority, it is like learning to walk.  And Jesus had given them authority to execise, with the loosing and binding statements and others.

  18. Not picking Matthias during the time that Jesus was explaining the prophetic application of scripture to his disciples, teaching and commanding them on what to do regarding their witness to the world, would not be an argument from silence. The fact is that if Matthias had been picked during the 40 days when Jesus was here to do this “ordaining of the twelfth apostle”, the disciples would have known it and Matthias would have known it. There would have been no need to “cast lots” for a decision. One thing we know for sure – Matthias was not picked by Jesus during the 40 days that he was here in his resurrected body on earth.

    If Paul is the twelfth apostle, then Jesus picked him in the same way that he picked every other apostle – by his personal in-person appointment. If Matthias is the twelfth apostle, then this is the only apostle picked as a candidate by men and not directly picked in person by Jesus.

    You said:

    “God knows everything that we will do, including what the 11 would do. The 11 needed to start execising their authority, it is like learning to walk. And Jesus had given them authority to execise

    Jesus did not give the apostles the authority to pick the twelfth apostle. Neither Jesus nor scripture says that this was to be in their power or authority. It is very obvious that they felt it was their obligation to fill the vacancy, but Jesus did not give them this obligation.

    The things in their authority were offering forgiveness and reconciliation so that a person would be free from a charge held against them. Stephen, the very first martyr forgave those who were killing him. Stephen loosed the charge of sin against his attackers and what he loosed was also loosed in heaven. The charge was forgiven the men who killed Stephen. Forgiveness for sin against a person was in their authority.

    There is not one word in scripture that gives the apostles the authority to pick an apostle of Jesus Christ. That authority belongs to Jesus alone. They cannot exercise an authority that is not theirs.

    If it was an important act of quickly picking a replacement for Judas, then Jesus not only had the authority to pick Judas’ replacement, but he had the opportunity and Matthias was there to see the resurrected Christ. The fact that Jesus did not personally appoint Matthias during this time when the vacancy was there is a strong point that Matthias was not the one who would immediately fill the vacancy. If Jesus had spoken to the disciples and told them that it would be in their authority to pick a replacement, then why didn’t they pick Matthias? Why did they cast lots for Matthias instead of exercising their authority? The fact is that they did not have this authority. Scripture is silent on the apostles taking for themselves what has always belonged to Jesus alone.

    You said:

    There are lots of things Jesus did not talk about at all, or at least was not considered important enough to record. Most scholars say that this is because much was assumed by a 1st century Jew and so does not need to be stated.

    You are absolutely right in that scripture does not give all the words of God or of Jesus.  For example scripture does not record the words that God spoke to Eve after he created her, however her testimony stands as a proof that he did speak to her. However there isn’t any testimony from the apostles that Jesus gave them this special authority. They also did not act in authority. They chose two from their human wisdom (they did not pray about who to pick for the two candidates) and only after picking the two, did they pray and cast lots. The end result was neither a personal decision by Jesus or an authority exercised by the apostles. It was an assumption they made in faith believing the bible had to be fulfilled but wrongly assuming that they were responsible for fulfilling prophesy.  Jesus is the fulfillment of prophesy and an apostle of Jesus Christ is there by Jesus Christ’s authority alone.  If it was the apostle’s authority then there are two logical questions that beg to be answered:

    1.  Where does scripture say they had this authority?

    and

    2.  Why did the apostles give up their “right” to this “authority” by casting lots?  This appears to me to be abrogating their authority not exercising it.

  19. On 2, lots may be votes or they might be random, it is not clear.  Even if random the lot is in the hands of the Lord as they were acting in faith.

    Rev 21:14

     

    And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

    Here we see there were 12 and only 12 names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb.  We both agree Judas is not there.  John wrote Rev around 90-100, in other words after the events in Acts, where Matthias was chosen.  Who would anyone think was the 12th apostle?  Before one might think Paul was the 12th you need to knock Matthias out of the running.  The question does not even come up if Matthias is the 12th.

    Mat 28:16

     

    But the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus appointed [or, designated] to them.

    Mat 28:17

     

    And having seen Him, they prostrated themselves in worship before Him, but some were doubtful.

    Mat 28:18

     

     

    Mat 28:19

     

    “When you* have gone, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    Mat 28:20

     

    teaching them to be observing all [things], as many as I commanded you*. And listen! _I_ am with you* all the days, until the conclusion of the age! So be it!” [Gr. amen, and throughout NT].
     

    And having approached, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth was given to Me.
    Here Jesus promised to be with the 11 (the you is plural) always.  Here is one reason I claim the 11 acting as the 11 COULD NOT make a mistake in choosing Matthias.

    On the authority to do so, there is the bind and loose verse.

    Mat 18:18

     

     
    “Positively, I say to you*, whatever [things] you* bind on the earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever [things] you* loose on the earth will have been loosed in heaven.
     

    This is using rabbinic terms to say that they (you plural again) can make decisions on things that have not already been decided.  They use this authority in Acts 15 and I claim they also use this authority in choosing Matthias.

  20. Don,

    You said:

    On 2, lots may be votes or they might be random, it is not clear. Even if random the lot is in the hands of the Lord as they were acting in faith.

    There is no other place in scripture where lots means voting so the ordinary meaning must stand. They used the random lot to make the decision. This was the question of my point. If choosing Matthias was an action of their authority, they did not exercise their authority by this action. I agree that they thought they were acting in faith. The question is still whether they had the right to make this decision and thus were exercising their authority. It appears clear to me that they did not come to a consensus regarding whom the group wanted to put into Judas’ place. They could not exercise this authority because they said that they did not know the hearts of these men. Since the decision was a matter of the heart, they did not have the authority to make the decision and were trusting that God would by the casting of the lot choose for them. The very act of casting the lot proves that were not taking their authority.

    Before one might think Paul was the 12th you need to knock Matthias out of the running. The question does not even come up if Matthias is the 12th.

    This has been my point all along. Paul would have been accepted as an apostle by the church because of his claims, because of his authority and because of his miracles if Matthias had not been chosen by the apostles as one of the two candidates that they cast the lot for. It was because of the apostle’s actions and the subsequent naming of Matthias to the twelfth position that Paul had to defend his apostleship. There is no other reason why Paul had to fight to be accepted as an apostle. It does no good to claim that Paul wanted to be considered as high as the false apostles. Paul was not arrogant. Whether people considered him as high as others was not his point. The point was that he was a legitimate apostle thus his claim that he was picked by Jesus himself and not by men. No one else had to fight for their apostleship. That is because everyone else was a secondary apostle not one of the ones specifically picked by Jesus himself. So it was Paul’s claim to apostleship that was in question not how high up he was in that apostleship.

    Here Jesus promised to be with the 11 (the you is plural) always. Here is one reason I claim the 11 acting as the 11 COULD NOT make a mistake in choosing Matthias.

    Jesus said that he would be with them. Does this mean that he would make them infallible in everything they do? And is this just for the twelve? Jesus said the same thing to Paul:

    Act 18:9 And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
    Act 18:10 for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.”

    Jesus promised to be with all of us because he would indwell us. This is the blessing of belonging to God. It does not mean that whoever Jesus will be with can never make a mistake.

    Since Jesus said that he would be with Paul, why would Paul submit himself to being tested by scripture? Paul commended the Bereans for testing Paul’s teaching against the OT scriptures. Paul didn’t claim that the apostles were infallable.

    Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

    Paul says that if an apostle or even an angel were to preach a gospel contrary to what has already been preached (and which lines up with the OT scriptures) that apostle or that angel is to be accursed. Everything is to be tested by the foundation that has already been laid and no apostle can lay another foundation and claim infallibility. Paul says even if “we” preach a gospel contrary to what we have preached. Here he lays the claim that even if they all agree to another gospel in agreement as a group, they are not infallible if the new “gospel” is contrary to the gospel already preached. This means that everything must be tested by the scriptures and the foundation that had already been laid.

    So my question is now and still is, where do the scriptures say that the apostles have been given authority to pick the twelfth apostle?

    On the authority to do so, there is the bind and loose verse.

    Mat 18:18
    “Positively, I say to you*, whatever [things] you* bind on the earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever [things] you* loose on the earth will have been loosed in heaven.

    Okay, so let’s test this out to see if this passage gives the apostles ultimate authority in everything that they do. What is the context of Matthew 18?

    Mat 18:15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
    Mat 18:16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.
    Mat 18:17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
    Mat 18:18 “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.
    Mat 18:19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
    Mat 18:20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

    In this passage Jesus is giving a general principle about how to handle conflicts between Christian brothers. When a brother sins against you, Jesus said, go to him privately to confront him about his sin. If he doesn’t listen to you take one or two witnesses with you so that you fulfill the “two or three witnesses” requirement of a judicial matter. If he still won’t listen take the matter to the entire church. If he won’t listen to the church then treat him not as a Christian brother but as an unbeliever.

    Jesus then goes on to promise that he will be with the church as they are gathered together in his name. Although scripture already promises that Jesus will be with us individually because he will be in us, he is now promising that he will be with the body of Christ that is gathered even if the body is only two or three strong. The binding and loosing is given to the church not only to the twelve. This is not a promise of infallibility of a few but a promise of Jesus to be with the church as they act in discipline against an erring brother. The binding refers to restricting that person outside of the fellowship and the loosing refers to forgiveness. This entire passage is referring to a brother sinning against another brother and the discipline that the church takes regarding that sin. The proof in context that this is what is meant is the very next verse. After Jesus has said that two or three strong would constitute the body of Christ in a setting and after promising to be with them in making judgment calls regarding a charge of sin, Peter then gives a question about the “loosing” or the forgiving of the sinning brother. Peter asks:

    Mat 18:21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

    We can see the act of “loosing” a person’s sin when Stephen forgave those who killed him. Jesus also “loosed” his Roman executioner’s from the sin of killing him. Jesus says that if we fail to forgive and give mercy to those who ask us for forgiveness, then we will not be forgiven.

    The passage has nothing to do with infallibility of the twelve. It has nothing to do with decision making of the apostles as a whole. It has to do with church discipline, the necessity of forgiving (or loosing from the charge of sin) towards the repentant brother and the binding decision to cast an unrepentant brother out of their midst.

    Where in this passage is binding and loosing given only to the twelve? Where are the twelve given infallibility in any action that they do as a unit? It certainly isn’t in this passage.

    Another point that I had made previously was that the Holy Spirit was necessary for the apostles to get the job done. The foundation of the church would not be built without the Holy Spirit. I believe that they would not have made the decision to appoint the twelfth apostle if they had waited for the infilling of the Holy Spirit since he would lead them into all truth.

    Joh 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
    Joh 16:14 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

    The apostles needed to wait for the Holy Spirit. If they were infallible before the Holy Spirit came, then he really wasn’t needed.

    This is using rabbinic terms to say that they (you plural again) can make decisions on things that have not already been decided. They use this authority in Acts 15 and I claim they also use this authority in choosing Matthias.

    While Acts 15 could be taken as a church disciplinary decision to deal with the men who were trying to bring in legalism into the church, it is a united church that debates the issue and checks scripture to make sure that they are right (Acts 15:15-18).  It wasn’t just the twelve that came together but the apostles and the elders.  They had much debate.  They checked the scriptures and they listened to the testimony regarding how the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit as they had and the miracles that were done amongst the Gentile believers.  All of this brought them to the decision that if God accepted these believers as they were and they were accepted in the family of God by faith just as the Jews were, then there should be no burden placed on them other than what is needed to not be a stumbling block to the Jews and to keep themselves from sexual sin.

    This passage cannot be used to say that only the twelve had infallibility because it wasn’t just the twelve who made the decision.  The reason why their decision was infallible here was because the scriptures were looked to for guidance and the witness of the Holy Spirit was accepted.  Was this something special given only to them?  I don’t think so.  We too can make judgment calls by testing all things by what has already been written.

  21. Sorry for being so long winded.  We are getting ready to have a couple week R & R time and I didn’t want to leave answering this until we got back, hence the extended answer all in one place 🙂

  22. Okay, back to the comments on questions from post #12

    The question is what did Paul mean by the 12. I agree it is possible he meant the 11, but it is also possible he meant the 12 at the time of his writing 1 Cor and the way the whole church understood the term, that is, to include Matthias.

    It is clear in scripture that “the twelve” was at times used as the name of the group. This is the way Paul uses it in 1 Cor 15 because it is clear that he is giving the order of the appearances of Jesus to the legal witnesses (again women were not considered legal witnesses so they are not included). As an ordering list, it is impossible for “the twelve” in 1 Cor. 15:5 to be anything other than the name of the group since there is scriptural evidence that Thomas was not there when Jesus first appeared to “the twelve”.

    So the question is whether Matthias saw Jesus, my assumption is he was certainly one of the 500, being a disciple from the beginning. The question is what did Paul mean by the 12. I agree it is possible he meant the 11, but it is also possible he meant the 12 at the time of his writing 1 Cor and the way the whole church understood the term, that is, to include Matthias.

    I think it we can agree that Matthias had to have seen the resurrected Christ. He was certainly one of the 500 and the apostles could not have picked him as a candidate to be a witness of the resurrection if he had not seen the resurrected Christ.

    Even is Matthias was present with the other 10 when Jesus first showed up (and I do not believe there is any evidence that he was there), that would still make them only eleven. This means that Paul uses the term “the twelve” as a term of the name of the group and not the number that were present.

    In any case, it is clear (to me) that Paul when he wrote 1 Cor did not consider himself one of the 12.

    This is the reason we are having this discussion. I do believe that Paul was fighting for his authority as a true apostle one of the ones who was an apostle of Jesus Christ picked to be a witness to the resurrection. He gives all the claims necessary to being one of the twelve witnesses and I happen to believe that this is what he claimed and why Paul’s apostleship is the only one ever challenged in scripture.

    3. Paul is making his special claims to counter the false super-apostles. He wants the Corinthians to make the right decision.
    The Bible says believers will do GREATER things.
    I do not see Paul as a secondary apostle, he is my hero, but that does not mean he is one of the 12.

    We can also agree on this one thing – Paul is also my hero! I too do not believe that Paul was a secondary apostle. However this is also where we have a problem. Only the twelve apostles had a special authority from Jesus to lay the foundation of the church. No other apostle had authority. Paul claimed to have authority. Paul also claimed to have great revelations and his writing in the NT can be compared to the influence of Moses on the OT. So having no other apostle claiming to have authority we would have the three groups listed this way:
    1. The twelve apostles
    2. Paul
    3. All the other secondary apostles

    This would put Paul in a class by himself. If we broke the groups down not by the kind of apostle they were but the authority they had we would have only two groups:

    1. The twelve apostles of Jesus Christ + Paul
    2. All the other secondary apostles

    The fact is that Paul’s authority matched the authority of the other twelve. Paul then appears to fit the model of the twelve and either he is in a class by himself with the exact same authority as the other twelve or he is a true apostle of Jesus Christ picked by Jesus as the twelfth witness of his resurrection. I believe there are only two groups of apostles and Paul was part of the twelve. The facts just don’t make sense to me any other way.

    I think if I am not mistaken, that I have finished answering your points. One last point that I would like to make is the importance of the vacancy of Judas’ calling that was left open for at least 43 days. Jesus apparently did not see any problem in having the “position” filled immediately since he did nothing about appointing a replacement for Judas while he was here in his resurrected body.

    “The twelve” also did not have any sense of urgency to take an authority upon themselves to appoint a replacement while Jesus was here in his resurrected body.

    Jesus told them to wait for the Holy Spirit’s power. For some reason before they were given the indwelling Holy Spirit with power to fulfill their mission, they decided that the scriptures should be fulfilled now. I see no scriptural injunction in the OT for a group of men to make the decision to fulfill scripture when Jesus himself didn’t take it upon himself to fulfill the scriptures at that time. Would things have been different if they would have just left things alone? I believe they would have. I take my belief from what happened to Abraham. God had given him a promise but God seemed to be slow to fulfill that promise. Abraham and Sarah took the authority to fulfill the scriptures for themselves. The result of humans making the decision to take authority over something that God alone has authority over caused great trouble in the world because Ishmael was born from Abraham’s actions. Yet God didn’t stop Abraham from acting out his plan nor did he say that Abraham sinned in trying to fulfill the prophesy. What God did say was that he would bless Ishmael as Abraham asked, but Ishmael would represent man’s way while Isaac would represent God’s way.

    I believe that we have in the NT another example of the same thing. The disciples acted as Abraham acted. They were acting in faith but they used human means to accomplish what only God was meant to accomplish. God also did not berate them for their actions just as he did not berate Abraham for following his wife’s urging to procreate a child by Sarah’s Egyptian maid.

    But God also made a clear distinction between what man has accomplished and what God brings about in that he called Isaac Abraham’s only son.

    Gen 22:2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

    Just as Abraham’s decision to procreate a child by natural means without the work of the Holy Spirit caused a persecution of the Spirit-born son, so too I believe that Paul, the apostle who was “born of the Spirit” (i.e. as an apostle), like a child born out of time much later than all the other apostles who were witness to the resurrection, Paul found himself greatly troubled by having to prove himself a true apostle because of the “fleshly born” apostle who came about by the actions of the apostles. Yes, they too acted in faith, but they acted in a fleshly way. They too did not wait for the work of the Holy Spirit just as Abraham did not wait. In Paul’s case as in Isaac’s case the fleshly born “son” brought trouble for the Spirit-born “son”. I believe that there is every indication that Paul was the twelfth apostle and if the apostles had not already picked Matthias by lot, I believe that Paul would have been readily accepted as the twelfth apostle because of his testimony, his miracles and his great revelations.

    I think I have pretty much laid out my argument and why I believe as I do. For the many who find this post and who are interested enough to read through all the arguments, I just ask you to consider whether the 11 apostles were just as capable of stepping ahead of God as Abraham did. Abraham was a great man of faith yet his preempting God was a sign that he still had clay feet. All I ask is for you to consider whether the eleven disciples also had clay feet even though they operated with great faith. Did they preempt the Holy Spirit’s work by choosing a replacement for Judas by taking an authority for themselves that wasn’t theirs just as Abraham did? Why do you think that the method of choosing a replacement is a documented OT method but was not a practiced NT church method because it was never again used once the Holy Spirit came upon the church? Is it possible that in Matthias we have a NT example of Abraham’s lack of waiting? Abraham still acted in faith but the resulting child was not sanctioned by the Holy Spirit and Abraham’s actions could not make his offspring to be the one ordained by God.

    The last question I always ask is to give this the “so what?” test. What difference does it make? I believe the difference is whether we accept Paul’s authority or not as a foundational apostle whom the church was built upon. Was the church built upon Paul as well as the other apostles of Jesus Christ? There are some who will not listen to Paul and will only read the gospels. They say that Paul was wrong and that he was a woman hater and influenced by his Pharisaical upbringing. Some even today are willing to ignore Paul’s words and they do not believe that Paul had authority to set the foundation of the church. I disagree with them. I believe that Paul had that authority and that it was given him by Jesus Christ himself. I also believe that Paul’s testimony about the resurrection is the clearest witness of the gospel 1 Cor. 15:1-4. Without Paul’s authority to set a doctrinal basis for the church there would be much missing from God’s word.

    Was Paul the twelfth apostle? I sincerely believe that he was.

  23. I do not think it is not really possible to be counterfactual about Spiritual things, as God is certainly in control. 

    We know Peter wrote that what Paul wrote was Scripture and that endorsement is good enough for me, Peter being one of the 3 that are one of the 12.  The apostles also endorsed Paul as being apostle to the gentiles, which was something like 98% “market share” of the people of the 1st century, so no wonder we find Paul having a huge influence.  And with the resulting gentilization of the church, his letters go to the front of the line in the Bible once they are no longer scrolls in a basket but a codex (book form).

    I do not see any such term as secondary apostles in the Bible, there a some people who are simply called apostles, they include the 12 and some others.  Such people (apostles) can exist today, but we often call them missionaries.

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