APOS'TLE, noun [Latin apostalus; Gr. to send away, to sent.]
A person deputed to execute some important business; but appropriately, a disciple of Christ commissioned to preach the gospel. Twelve persons were selected by Christ for this purpose; and Judas, one of the number, proving an apostate, his place was supplied by Matthias. Acts 1:2.
The title of apostle is applied to Christ himself, Hebrews 3:1. In the primitive ages of the church, other ministers were called apostles, Romans 16:7; as were persons sent to carry alms from one church to another, Philippians 2:25-30. This title was also given to persons who first planted the Christian faith. Thus Dionysius of Corinth is called the apostle of France; and the Jesuit Missionaries are called apostles.
Among the Jews, the title was given to officers who were sent into distant provinces, as visitors or commissioners, to see the laws observed.
Apostle, in the Greek liturgy, is a book contained the epistles of St. Paul, printed in the order in which they are to be read in churches, through the year.