Acts 1:21-26, Were the Apostles Right in Choosing Matthias?

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Fly Caster, Sep 21, 2004.

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  1. Fly Caster

    Fly Caster Puritan Board Sophomore

    ...Or was Paul God's choice and did they "jump the gun?"

    I'm interested in getting some opinions on this. I have one, but I'm kind of having to re-think it.
  2. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    My personal opinion is that they jumped the gun. The fact that the concept of 12 apostles follows Acts (e.g. Revelation) and the fact that Paul is so clearly and apostle, teamed with the fact that we never hear anything about Matthias either in Scripture or (to my knowledge) Church History/tradition is very interesting.

    I'm not dogmatic about it, but I'd also be curious to hear others.
  3. Abd_Yesua_alMasih

    Abd_Yesua_alMasih Puritan Board Junior

    I have always thought it rather strange but I guess it doesnt help us either way. Paul being left out is odd when you think about it :detective: But could he have been a disciple of Jesus if he had never met him? Isnt it just best to call him a Super Apostle or something ;) He does not really fit the criteria of a disciple although I couldnt tell you right now what they are :think:
  4. VanVos

    VanVos Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think Paul was the exception rule as one born out of due season 1 Cor 15:8, who was probably the 12th Apostle.


    What about Acts 14:14 is Barnabas an Apostle?
  5. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Jonathan, the New Testament does indeed let us know that there were other apostles, such as Barnabas. Fraser, there are no official "standards" of being a [i:0a689c02c4]disciple[/i:0a689c02c4] that can be deduced from necessary inference in the New Testament, but only such standards of being an [i:0a689c02c4]apostle[/i:0a689c02c4]. And Paul [i:0a689c02c4]did[/i:0a689c02c4] see Christ with his own eyes - on the road to Damascus (otherwise he would not have been qualified to be an apostle). And again, there were more apostles than merely the twelve. That is why I don't think it's logical to say that Paul was "left out" at all. He was an apostle just like any of the twelve, as well as other people like Barnabas. Paul simply didn't happen to be the one chosen to specifically replace Judas - but that doesn't make him "left out" in any sense any more than Barnabas or any other apostle. That's one reason why Matthias' apostleship poses no "challenge" per se to that of Paul.

    I'm personally of the opinion that Matthias was a valid apostle. We are nowhere told that God disapproved or that Matthias reaped any kind of vanity or judgment. Also noteworthy and, I think, important is the fact that God uses many ordinary means to providencially bring about His will - for example, "the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord" (Prov. 16:33, ESV). This could easily have been the case when the 11 disciples cast lots for Matthias, and we really have no indication otherwise.
  6. VanVos

    VanVos Puritan Board Sophomore

    Good thoughts Chris, with that being the case would you say that Matthias is the 12th foundational Apostle, as we read it Rev 21? or would you still opt for Paul, because of his unique calling to the Gentiles (Rom 11:13)?

  7. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    There is a difference between an apostle and an Apostle.
  8. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:037b9db08f="VanVos"]Good thoughts Chris, with that being the case would you say that Matthias is the 12th foundational Apostle, as we read it Rev 21? or would you still opt for Paul, because of his unique calling to the Gentiles (Rom 11:13)?


    Even though I don't feel very strongly about the issue, I'd be more inclined to say Matthias, simply because he was the only one that we know was specifically selected with the intent of replacing Judas as one of the initial 12.

    [quote:037b9db08f="fredtgreco"]There is a difference between an apostle and an Apostle.[/quote:037b9db08f]

    In what sense? And on what basis?
  9. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I'm with Calvin on this one: [quote:971be60d9c]It was right that Matthias should be chosen in the place of Judas....

    So let us...consider what the Spirit speaks by the mouth of Peter. He begins by saying that the Scripture had to be fulfilled, lest anyone's mind should be troubled by the dreadful fall of Judas....

    Peter's sermon is in two parts. Firstly he disposes of the difficulty which devout minds might have found in the fall of Judas; whence also he derives an exhortation that the rest may learn to fear God. Secondly, it remains for them to choose another in Judas' place. He establishes both by the witness of Scripture....

    What he now brings in seems at first sight to be far-fetched. For if David spoke of transferring the bishopric to Judas, it does not at once follow that a successor should be elected by the disciples. Yet because they knew they had the charge laid upon them of ordering the Church, as soon as Peter has shown them that it was God's will that this should be done, he rightly infers that it is they who ought to execute the matter. For since God is pleased to use our agency for maintaining the government of the Church, as soon as we are assured of His will, we must not delay but diligently perform whatever our ministry demands. That was, beyond all controversy, the duty of the Church....

    Only one was to be chosen in the place of Judas; they put forward two. It may be asked why they were not content with one. Was it because they were so like that they could not discern which was the more fit? This would surely not have been adequate reason for them to allow the matter to be decided by lot. And it seems also that Joseph was held in greater estimation. Or was it that there was a difference of opinion? This is highly unlikely, and is rendered untenable by the striking testimony that Luke gave a short time before to their unanimity. Finally it is not to be thought that they should mar the election of the apostle with such dissension. But the lot was introduced rather for this reason, that it might be known and witnessed to that Matthias was not to [sic] much chosen by the votes of men as appointed by the judgment of God. For there was this difference between the apostles and pastors, that whereas the pastors were chosen simply by the Church, the apostles must be called by God. Thus Paul in the preface to his epistle to the Galatians declares himself to be an apostle 'neither of men nor made by man.' Therefore as the distinction of this office was so great, it was fitting that in the election of Matthias, however well men had done their duty, the final decision should be left to God. Christ had appointed the others with His own voice; if Matthias had been adopted into their ranks by the choice of men alone, his authority would have been less than theirs. A middle course was adopted, whereby the disciples offered to God those whom they thought to be best and He should choose to Himself the one whom He knew to be most fit. Thus God, by the outcome of the lot declared that He approved the apostleship of Matthias. Now the disciples might seem to have acted rashly and irregularly in entrusting so important a matter to chance. For what certainty could they gain thereby? I reply that they had recourse to the lot only under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For although Luke does not say it was so, yet since he has no desire to accuse the disciples of rashness but rather makes it plain that the election was lawful and approved by God, I therefore affirm that they took this step under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; even as beyond doubt their whole course of action was dictated by the same Spirit. But why do they not pray that God should choose whom He would out of the whole multitude? Is not this to rob God of His freedom, when they limit Him to their choices and in a sense make Him subject to them? But anyone who will take time to consider the matter will clearly recognize from the sense of Luke that the disciples would have dared do nothing, which they did not know to be their duty, and to have been commanded them by God. As for those who raise difficulties, we shall let them go their own way.[/quote:971be60d9c] From Calvin's commentary on Acts
    (Eerdmans set, Torrances eds., vol. 6, pp. 39-46)
  10. Ianterrell

    Ianterrell Puritan Board Sophomore

    Peter gives an exegetical and prophetic ground for electing another apostle to replace Judas. Luke doesn't qualify that decision...who are we to?
  11. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    I'd have to agree with Calvin here. Luke made it clear that Matthias and Justis satisfied the conditions for apostleship before one of them was chosen by God to fulfill the office. I don't think he would have listed those qualifications if he thought Paul was the one for the job. Also, just because Mathias wasn't mentioned beyond this chapter doesn't mean anything either. Very few of the Apostles are ever mentioned again in Scripture after this point.
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