What is an apostle? Meaning of the word "apostle"

Despite the fact that Christianity remains the leading religion in the territories of the countries of the former Soviet Union, many people are still poorly aware of the terminology of this belief. For example, some believers do not know the origin and meaning of the word "apostle" and would very much like to correct this unfortunate misunderstanding. If you belong to this type of people, then you are right at the address. In this article you will find all the necessary information that interests you.

what is the apostle

Apostle. What does this word mean?

This term has Greek roots. In order to answer the question "what is an apostle?", It is necessary to find out its original translation. Translated from the Greek word "apostle" means "messenger", "student", "devotee" or "follower." In the context of gospel history, the word "apostle" called the disciples of Jesus Christ, who spread his wisdom. Initially there were 12 of them: Peter, Andrei, James and John of Zebedee, James Alfeyev, Bartholomew, Philip, Matthew, Simon Zealot, Thomas, Jude James and Judas Iscariot.After the betrayal and the death of the latter by the new apostle, Matthew was elected, so that the total number of students would again be 12.

After these events, 70 followers were elected by Jesus Christ, whose names are not mentioned in the Gospel. Mark, Luke, as well as Paul, who was acquainted with the teachings of the Lord after his death and resurrection, are attributed to them. Despite the fact that Paul was not originally associated with Christ and his associates, by his actions he fully revealed the true meaning of the word "apostle." Thanks to him, Christian teachings spread widely throughout the Roman Empire.

 apostle word meaning

In Orthodoxy, apostles are also called other saints who spread the Gospel in pagan states and tribes (for example, the holyGregory the Illuminator, the Apostle of Armenia). In church literature, such people bear the title of Equal Apostles.

But the above facts are not the only explanations of what the apostle is. In church terminology, the word also means a book that contains part of the Gospel and the Epistles of the Holy Apostles.

The original meaning of the concept of "Gospel"

In addition to the question "what is an apostle?", The question of the meaning of the term "gospel" is no less common. Like the previous word, it is of Greek origin and literally means positive and good news. In ancient Greece, the days of antiquity, the word "Gospel" was used in the following cases:

  1. To describe the gift to the messenger who brought the good news.
  2. To describe the sacrifices made to the ancient deities in honor of receiving positive news.
  3. To describe the positive news.

apostle word origin

Christian meaning of the term "gospel"

In the Church's understanding, it means the following:

  1. The joyful news that the Lord removed the curse of the very first sin from mankind and told how to save his spiritual component.
  2. The generic name of the teachings of the Savior, which he gave to his disciples. The word "Gospel" describes the story of the disciples about the activities of Jesus of Nazareth and his moral teachings. At the center of their story is the idea that Jesus is the head of the kingdom of heaven, the messiah, and the redeemer of human sins.
  3. In certain cases, this designation describes the New Testament wisdom in the form of the Christian religion, telling about the significant events in the life of the Son of God, as well as about the morality that he preached and spread.Also, the word "Gospel" is used to interpret certain events that occurred with Christ and people from his environment.
  4. The story of the sacrifice that Jesus made in the name of all mankind, for the sake of his salvation and the continuation of his life in the kingdom of God.
  5. The word "Gospel", as well as its synonym for "Evangelism", describes the spread of Christian ideals. Consequently, “Evangelism” is a full-scale missionary activity, the essence of which is to preach biblical teachings.

apostle which means

The formation of Christianity

You already know what "apostle" means. Now it's time to talk about exactly where the disciples of Jesus Christ spread his teachings and what difficulties they encountered.

The government of the Roman Empire initially negatively related to the teaching spread by the followers of the true God. People who accepted Christianity were persecuted for a long time and severely punished for their worldview. The first Christians had to hide in the catacombs and secretly spread the gospel of the Savior from the authorities. That is why the fish was chosen as a symbol of the first followers of Christ - a sign of silence and silence.

Despite all the persecution and persecution, the young religion continued to spread throughout the mighty Roman state, attracting new followers. More and more people began to learn about Christ, the afterlife, the holy letter and what the apostle is.


As time went on, the persecution of Christians continued, but at some point the government elite of Rome decided to stop the struggle with the adherents of the new religious movement. After some time, Christianity received official approval from the authorities, and soon became the official religion of Rome. After these events, everyone knew the meaning of the word "apostle", as well as the philosophy that these people spread.

apostle what does this word mean

Impact on language and culture

As you might have guessed, such a popular word could not leave its mark on the language and culture of the Slavic peoples. You already know the original meaning and origin of the word "apostle", now it's time to tell about other cases of the use of this term.

For example, the name Apostle is very common among representatives of Eastern European nations.This family name was owned by the Ukrainian Cossack dynasty, from which famous hetmans emerged, as well as the Russian family of the Muravyov-Apostolovs, who took part in the Decembrist movement. In addition, the word "apostle" denotes some terms used in a particular field of activity. Among lawyers, for example, it was synonymous with the word “appeal”. In our times, “apostles” call adherents of a certain idea who are 100% convinced of the correctness of their worldview.

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