Acts 1:12-26, Why choose a new Apostle?

Not open for further replies.

Douglas P.

Puritan Board Freshman
Would it be fair to see the choice of a new Apostle as even further evidence towards a redemptive-historical reading of the book of Acts and Acts 1:8 in particular? In other words, Christ tells his Apostles to be his “witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” In order to do this the office of the twelfth Apostle must be filled, and thus, the office of Apostle expires upon completion of Christ command in 1:8 with Paul preaching the Gospel to Rome in Acts 28?

I also don’t fully understand Peter’s use of Ps. 69 and Ps. 109 in Acts 1:20. Obviously Apostolic succession can be refuted from other aspects of scripture, (Eph 2:20) so he couldn’t mean anything such as that. So what’s the Apostles immediate rationale for filling the office?

If it’s helpful, I am asking this question after reading Dr. Gaffin’s Perspectives on Pentecost and with a Charismatic/Pentecostal context in mind. Or more pointedly, the New Testament nostalgia (i.e. Why doesn’t the church look like Acts) that is present in many circles (even reformed) today.
Last edited:
1) Regardless of the episode wherein Matthias is chosen, Acts is a witness to the faithfulness of the Apostles in carrying out the Lord's command.

2) Holy Spirit moves the band to fulfill Scripture, by pointedly replacing Judas, "Let another take his office/oversight."

3) The nostalgia is inappropriate, just as it would be inappropriate to build a giant play-pen and live in it, trying to recapture the bliss of one's youth. It was still our youth, and we should value it, and try to live and do church in ways that are consistent with our cradle-home. Our church-fathers blazed a trail, and we must maintain it by the same principles they employed; because we want those who come behind us to recognize the original work, and know they are on the proper path. But no one can blaze the trail anew, or dig a tunnel where previously the Apostles' climbed the hill. We cannot repeat their work, it is not necessary to repeat it, nor have we been endowed with the peculiar gifts that were proper to the initial task. We have the permanent tools, and that is enough.
Luke 22:30, "That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." There is a "reconstituted Israel" theme in Luke-Acts. The programmatic Acts 1:8 follows the question relative to the restoration of Israel. "Ye shall be my witnesses" effectively puts the apostles in the redemptive historical place of Israel. A substitute for Judas was requisite to complete the reconstitution. It was not a hasty decision which was later corrected by the calling of Paul. Paul was not an apostle to the Jews but to the Gentiles. He functioned outside the Twelve.
Not open for further replies.