apostles, the twelve
The twelve men chosen by Jesus to follow him and to spread the gospel after his death. They included Peter, James, John, Thomas, Matthew, and Judas Iscariot (who was later replaced). Paul, even though he was not one of the Twelve, is generally considered an apostle because of his crucial role in the spread of Christianity.
Note: In general usage, an apostle is someone who preaches or promotes a cause, particularly a religious one. The term also connotes a disciple.
any of the early followers of Jesus who carried the Christian message into the world. (sometimes initial capital letter) any of the original 12 disciples called by Jesus to preach the gospel: Simon Peter, the brothers James and John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alpheus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas Iscariot. […]
the dignity or office of an apostle. Roman Catholic Church. the dignity and office of the pope as head of the Apostolic See. the mission of bishops in their dioceses. an organization of the laity devoted to the mission of the Church. Historical Examples Mr. Archer has been followed, and perhaps outrun, in his apostolate […]
of or characteristic of an . pertaining to or characteristic of the 12 . derived from the in regular succession. of or relating to the pope; papal. Contemporary Examples Even the U.K. maintains an apostolic mission that, until 2005, was always filled by British Catholics. Prosecute the Pope Geoffrey Robertson March 31, 2010 The apostolic […]
- Apostolic age
the earliest period of Christianity, lasting through the death of the last apostle.