3Denoting the alphabet (or any of the letters in it) used for writing Latin, English, and most European languages, developed in ancient Rome.
‘he substituted the Roman alphabet for the Arabic in written Turkish’
- ‘The obscurity about the major ethnie of Dark Age Scotland was more to do with the fact that the eloquence of their complex sculptured stones was not transliterated into Roman script.’
- ‘The Roman system of scripts ran from around 30 bc to ad 600 and was to influence the subsequent history of scripts, with certain elements being periodically revived.’
- ‘‘Why should these people be forced to learn some sort of Roman transliteration in order to access the company page where they know the official Chinese characters for the names’ he writes.’
- ‘Vietnamese language is closer to Chinese than either Korean or Japanese, but it alone has changed its writing system over completely to Roman letters.’
- ‘Vernacular and academic orthography are therefore often sharply contrasted, the latter having strict conventions for transliterating Arabic into Roman script.’
APOSTLES: WHAT ARE THEY? By Dr. Ron Cottle and Dr. John P. Kelly
There is much discussion on what the word ‘apostle’ means and how to describe an apostle. Some of the confusion is because apostles don’t all look or work alike. Some focus on world missions, some on the marketplace, and others on the local church or a network of churches. However, they all share at least three basic characteristics: Apostles are Ambassadors, Generals-Governors, and Patriarchs.
This series of teachings will begin with the Ambassador Apostle. The next two months will focus on Generals and Patriarchs. These teachings will become part of the ICA Prospectus.
APOSTLES ARE AMBASSADORS
One day Jesus called aside His twelve disciples and after He had given them authority, He commissioned them apostles: “When He had called unto Him his twelve disciples, He gave them authority...and the twelve apostles....” (Matthew 10:1-2).
A. Jesus Himself Chose the People and the Title
It was Jesus alone who chose the name “apostolos” for those whom He called, authorized, and sent out. Among the earliest uses of the term were the Greek historians who used it to describe an admiral over a fleet of ships sent out by his king to discover, explore, conquer, and establish his government in newterritories. Jesus’ choice of the word reflects this meaning and stresses its emphasis on “one sent from another” or a fully authorized representative, ambassador of the sender. (Lyssichus, Or., 19:21; Demosthenes, Or., 18:107) So, Apostles are fully authorized representatives or ambassadors of the one who sent them.
B. Apostles Were First Disciples
It is important to note that the people chosen and authorized to be apostles were already disciples—mathetes. That is, they were not just pupils learning facts from their teacher, or even students learning principles from a professor. They were disciples who were incarnating the character and essence (psuche) of their Master. Like Timothy with Paul, they took on the isopsuchos—same soul or DNA of their Lord (Philippians 2:20). Jesus led them to a mountain and there poured into them Himself. He did not release them until they were thoroughly filled with His vision and values. Only when they were ready did He release them for the task and turn His attention to “teach and preach in their cities.”
C. The Difference between Disciples and Apostles is the Impartation of Exsousia
What is the difference between committed disciples and commissioned apostles? Exsousia! This is not power as the KJV translates it. Rather it is “the right to power” or authority (Matthew 10:1-2). When one is sent out as an apostolos, he is the full delegate and representative ambassador of his sender. He carries in his person the full authority of the one who sent him.
D. Apostle equals Sheliach
Jesus did not think or speak Greek, but Aramaic-Hebrew. He took the Greek word apostolos because Greek was the universal language of the Roman Empire. But He filled it with the content of the Hebrew Sheliach. What then is a Sheliach? He is one commissioned and authorized to fully represent his sender. He represents in his person the one who commissioned him.
Eliezer, the Syrian slave whom Abraham commissioned to bring a wife for Isaac, was the first Sheliach mentioned in scripture (Genesis 24:2ff and 15:2). He was already an elder and servant (zakenand ebed) in Abraham’s house. As such, he was selected and appointed by Abraham himself to be his emissary. He placed his hand “beneath Abraham’s thigh” to take an oath of loyalty and faithfulness. Only after this did Abraham send him out. While on his mission, he was as Abraham himself as he negotiated for Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife.
So, while Greek apostolos gives us the form of the New Testament apostle, it is the Hebrew Sheliach that provides the content. A Sheliach-Apostolos is the full representative of his sender. As the Rabbis said: “The Sheliach of a man is as the man himself” (Beraita 5:5). Gerhard Kittel says: “The Sheliach (of Jesus) is as good as his Sender in all he says and does in the execution of his mission” (K., TDNT, 1:415).
The ancients called this plenipotentiary representation—fully empowered. This is the true meaning of “representative government.” Kittel adds “The emissary of the King is as the King Himself” (K., TDNT, 1:416).
Summary: An Apostle is an Ambassador of the One who sent him.
© 2015 Dr. Ron Cottle and Dr. John P. Kelly