If there are twelve apostles why did Jesus appoint Saul?


With the twelve apostles already spreading the Gospel why did Jesus appoint Saul/Paul to be his messenger to the Roman Empire? Acts chapter 9:1-19


Technically, Judas was out of the picture before Jesus crucifixion leaving a vacant ‘commission’ in the original apostolate. Perhaps it is even appropriate that someone who was undermining Jesus work (as Judas had done), was Gods target for a new reformed recruit??


Saul did not replace Judas, as anyone who reads the Bible knows. He was never one of the twelve. But his recruitment makes us fairly sure God wanted him on side. An erudite knowledgeable, Jew, a Roman citizen, a zealot already doing great damage to the early church- sounds like a lot of modern day Jesuits. Hee Hee! Compare this man with the weak, faithless Peter who failed every test Jesus had put to him in the past. Makes one wonder why Peter was chosen as the first Pope, almost as if God wanted to show the Church that it could be run by fools and still survive. All these contradictions makes us realise the truth about the foolishness of God. But I digress. Christ obviously saw value in this man. And why not? Look at the works of Paul for his Master! All we know is that all died for their Christ. And here we are sitting in our mediocrity comparing these men far greater than us, smug in our materialism and middle class mores pretending we are part of the same revolutionary Church. It would be risible if it wasn’t so sad. No wonder I fall upon His Mercy every day of my life.


Paul answers your own question with what might be my favorite passage from him:

1 Timothy 1: 12-17 NRSVCE
I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

And about the twelve, there’s really no particular reason more wouldn’t be added. It’s not as though there are twelve apostles in the present day; there are thousands of them.


Because Judas needed to be replaced


Perhaps HE did it so that 2000 years later no zealot trad could claim that the Church could only have 12 Bishops :smiley:
Running for cover :stuck_out_tongue:


Matthias was the one that replaced Judas in the book of Acts.


Acts 1:12-26 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk[a] from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters,** the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms:

“‘May his place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in it,’[c]

and,“‘May another take his place of leadership.’[d]

21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.**


Amen:clapping: Couldn’t have put it better.


Yes! I was wondering when someone would remark about that. :slight_smile: (I was just about to).


Paul, with his educated background and boundless energy, was probably the only early Apostle who was an inveterate letter-writer. For every one that survived there are probably dozens more.


Man… what a great answer :slight_smile: Not that I can add much but I think it shows God’s redemptive nature. You have Judas who would rather commit suicide than repent and then you have Paul who did everything he could (including being complicit with the murder and persecution of Christians) to stop the work of Christ but repented when he was shown “the light.” Just goes to show none of us can do something so bad that God cannot forgive us when we confess and repent. :slight_smile:


I think we could do without the remark about the Jesuits.


Christ conferred upon his apostles the original task of shepherding the earthly Church in his absence. As the Church grew, the apostles themselves appointed different kinds of ministers to assist them.

Among the apostles there were two groups. The first consisted of the Twelve, who witnessed the whole of Christ’s earthly ministry from his baptism to his Ascension (Acts 1:21-26). The second group of apostles, including Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:14), was not bound by this condition. Thus Paul had seen and been commissioned as an apostle by the risen Christ (1 Cor. 9:1, Gal. 1:1), though he had not been a disciple of Jesus during his earthly ministry (Acts 9, 1 Cor. 15:8).

Christ could have continued to appear to individuals and appoint them as apostles throughout the Church age. However, he chose not to do so, and so the apostles passed from the scene.

The fact that this group has not continued is a Christian teaching, though not found in the New Testament, that is universally honored among Christians, including Protestants (except for certain radical Pentecostals). Thus it can be used as a counterexample with those advocating sola scriptura.

As the apostles died, the task of shepherding the Church fell by default upon the highest-ranking ministers appointed by them. This group is known today as the bishops, who are the successors of the apostles as the highest shepherds of the earthly Church.

Due to bishops’ role as the successors of the apostles, possession of a valid episcopacy is necessary for a church to claim apostolic succession. Apostolic succession thus involves in the bishops serving as successors to the apostles, not serving as apostles. The bishops are not simply a continuation of the office of apostle; they received the governance of the Church when that office ceased.


I think also St. Paul symbolizes the way in which faculties and graces shall be bestowed in the future Church. He foreshadows our own bishops and priests, and the Apostolic succession.


Peter was not faithless. Peter was the only one to get out of the boat. All the rest of the Apostles cowered in fear while the storm raged and Peter alone asked Jesus to command him to get out of the boat. Peter is the only person in the history of man aside from Christ to have walked on water. That doesn’t happen when someone has no faith.

Have you never read Acts of the Apostles? It was Peter who stood up and addressed the crowds at Pentecost and it was Peter who, through faith and belief in the power of the name of Jesus, performed the first miracle of the Church.

And the Jesuit comment was foul. You have managed to insult both the first Pope and the current Pope in one post.




And the Jesuit comment was foul. You have managed to insult both the first Pope and the current Pope in one post. **

You’ve handed out a few insults yourself. :mad:


I disagree. Paul was the twelfth apostle. Judas was called but never sent by Christ. Matthias was neither called nor sent by Christ. Paul was both called and sent by Christ. Matthias was the first nonapostle bishop and his mention in Acts one establishes the Apostoilic Succession of bishops. But He is no Apostle. Note that Peter calls for one to occupy the office vacated by Judas. There is no office in the church of apostle. There are only three offices, that of bishop, priest and deacon. The DR and the KJV do not use the term ‘office’ instead use the term bishopric as the translation of the Greek word episkope. That word is also used in the New Testament and translated as ‘bishop’.


As influential as Paul turned out to be, certainly he was on the “second tier” of Jesus’ Disciples/Apostles.

First Tier would be all those who actually SAW and HEARD Jesus, either in life, or after his resurrection.

that did not apply to Paul, who as a Jewish priest was called Saul.

Paul’s dramatic epiphany, was after all, self-reported.

That is why the early Christian leadership was VERY suspicious of him.



There were other apostles that were appointed even after Paul, they had to have seen the risen Christ in order to be an apostle. Paul saw the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.

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