How Many Apostles Are Specifically and Clearly Named In Scripture?

Jesus and the original twelve apostles are well known. However, it may be a surprise to learn that there are many others.  Here's a list.

First and foremost is Jesus ... the author and finisher of our faith.

1. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the only begotten Son of the Living God is named "Apostle and High Priest of our confession" according to Hebrews 3:1. 

Secondly, there are the original twelve apostles chosen by Jesus according to Mark 3:14-19. Jesus plus the original twelve brings the total count of named apostles up to thirteen.

2. Simon (Peter)
3. James the son of Zebedee
4. John, Brother of James
5. Andrew
6. Philip
7. Bartholomew (Also known as Nathanael)
8. Matthew
9. Thomas
10. James, son of Alphaeus
11. Thaddaeus
12. Simon the Zealot
13. Judas Iscariot

Thirdly, is the replacement for Judas Iscariot, which brings the total named apostle count up to fourteen.

14. Matthias (Acts 1:25,26)

Additionally, the following named apostles brings the total to twenty.

15. Paul (Galatians 1:1, Romans 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:1, 1 Timothy 2:7, 1 Corinthians 9:1-2)
16. Apollos (see 1 Corinthians 4:6-13)
17. James, the Lord’s brother (see Galatians 1:19)
18. Barnabas (see Acts 14:4,14; 1 Corinthians 9:5,6)
19. Timothy (see 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:6)
20. Silas, a.k.a. Silvanus (see 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:6)

Finally, the following two apostles are identified as "messengers" in most English Bible translations. However, the Greek word for messenger in these instances is actually "apostolos" which is normally translated as "apostle." These two complete the count of specifically and clearly named apostles at twenty-two.

21. Epaphroditus (see Philippians 2:25; “messenger” is apostolos in the Greek)
22. Titus (see 2 Corinthians 8:23; “messenger” is apostolos in the Greek)

So, how many apostles are specifically and clearly named in scripture?

Answer: Twenty-Two.

But wait, there's more ... It is possible for four more individuals to be added to the list.

*23. Andronicus (see Romans 16:7)
*24. Junia (see Romans 16:7)
*25. An unnamed brother with Titus (see 2 Corinthians 8:18,23)
*26. Another unnamed brother with Titus (see 2 Corinthians 8:22,23)

However, these are not included in the count above for the following reasons.

* Andronicus and Junia aren't clearly named as apostles. The wording of the scripture doesn't confirm them as apostles as they could have simply been known by the apostles (see Romans 16:7).

* The names of the brothers with Titus are unknown (see 2 Corinthians 8:18,23).

And there is room for even more.  The seventy that Jesus sent out "two by two" in Luke 10:1 are also not included in the count above because their names are unknown.  However, if these seventy were added to the possible number of twenty-six shown above, the total possible number of apostles identified in scripture would equal ninety-six.


Much of the above listing is gleaned from the following Bible study by Rick Renner that identifies at least eighty-three apostles in scripture. 

Here is a portion of the Rick Renner study.

Over the centuries, the question “Who is a true apostle?” has been something of a theological conundrum for many scholars. Some insist that only the original 12 were true apostles, whereas others argue that the apostolic ministry has continued since the death of Jesus’ original 12 apostles. But let me give you a concise way of looking at this subject. 
In Luke 6:13, Jesus called together His disciples and from among them, He chose 12 men whom He called apostles. They are listed by name in Matthew 10:2-4. In Luke 9:1-6, Jesus sent forth these 12 apostles to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons. But in the next chapter, Jesus appointed 70 more people and “…sent them (apostolos) two by two…” (Luke 10:1). 
When Judas died, Acts 1:25,26 tells us that Matthias was chosen to take his place among the original apostles. Paul was also an apostle, as he testifies of in multiple places throughout the New Testament.
So the Greek word apostle is used to describe the original 12, another group of 70, plus Matthias and Paul — and then 11 others:
  • Apollos (see 1 Corinthians 4:6-13)
  • Epaphroditus (see Philippians 2:25; “messenger” is apostolos in the Greek)
  • James, the Lord’s brother (see Galatians 1:19)
  • Barnabas (see Acts 14:4,14; 1 Corinthians 9:5,6)
  • Andronicus (see Romans 16:7)
  • Junia (see Romans 16:7)
  • Titus (see 2 Corinthians 8:23; “messenger” is apostolos in the Greek)
  • An unnamed brother with Titus (see 2 Corinthians 8:18,23)
  • Another unnamed brother with Titus (see 2 Corinthians 8:22,23)
  • Timothy (see 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:6)
  • Silas (see 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:6) 
If you were to take the entire list of those who were sent forth apostolically in the New Testament, there are at least 83 people in the New Testament who are called “apostles.” All of this makes it very clear that apostolic ministry has continued beyond the original 12 apostles. Just as prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers have continued for 2,000 years, the apostolic gift has also continued; it has simply been more or less unrecognized. 
You may wonder why this information is relevant to you personally and to the Church at large today. But consider it this way: If the Scriptures reveal that there was a multiplied increase in the apostolic ministry in the Early Church — from 12 to 83 — who were called apostles, how much more will Jesus Christ continue to give this gift to men for the purpose of building His Church? 


In a similar fashion to the Renner Study shown above, author B. Mark Anderson provides a list of named apostles in his book "Local Churches Global Apostles." However, Mr. Anderson excludes the 70 and includes the fact that Jesus Christ is named in scripture as "Apostle and High Priest of our confession" according to Hebrews 3:1.

Granted, all of this may be confusing if we are only looking to agree upon a specific number of individual apostles.  However, the purpose of this study is to confirm a key truth according to the Word of God. 

That key truth is the fact that apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healings, helps, governments, and diversities of tongues are all gifts of God according to 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 ... and that all of these gifts are still in operation and available today.

To say that some of these gifts ... for example "apostles" are no longer ... and at the same time to say that ... others ... for example "teachers" still remain ... is a plain and simple error.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Don't allow anyone to steal your faith in Jesus.

His word stands. Jesus is Lord!

God bless you!


Links, notes, and further study...

Below are definitions of the Greek words which are translated as "Apostle" in the New Testament.

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