Who is the Twelfth Apostle?

Should Peter have waited in choosing an apostle until after Pentecost? Who was the 12th apostle, Matthias or Paul?

  1. Jesus had already breathed on them and imparted the Spirit (John 20:22), but at Pentecost they were filled with power and baptized into the body of Christ. So Peter was spiritually endowed and qualified to act before Pentecost.
  2. Peter referred to several Psalms and was led by the Spirit of God. Jesus had opened their minds to understand the scriptures (vv.16-20).
  3. Some say Paul was the twelfth apostle because Matthias is never heard of again. Neither is the others mentioned after 1:13 except Peter and John.
  4. Paul did not meet all the qualifications of the other eleven (1:21-22). He was called by Jesus, he saw the resurrected Lord, and he performed signs and wonders, but he did not walk with Jesus from His baptism to His ascension. He was an apostle, but not counted with the twelve.
  5. Paul made it clear he was not to be mentioned with the twelve (I Cor. 15: 5, 8-9).
  6. The 12 apostles were to go to Israel, Paul to the Gentiles [Eph. 3:8; 1 Cor. 15:9].
  7. God gave his approval by empowering Matthias in Acts 2.
  8. Evidently the choosing of the twelfth apostle had to take place before Pentecost.
  9. The Lord never rebuked Peter as he did on other occasions with the Apostles when they were in error. It seems hard to believe that the Lord would have allowed such a crucial error at the beginning of the church.

Consider these Scriptures on Paul.

Acts 9:15-16

But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

Romans 11:13

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.

1 Corinthians 15:5-9

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 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. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Galatians 1:15-17

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Ephesians 3:8

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Revelation 21:12-14

And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Print Friendly