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Note that the twelve are called both "disciples" ("learners," or "followers") and "apostles" (sent ones, possibly equivalent in essence to missionaries). Although all believers should be disciples of Christ, these are called the twelve disciples because they were taught directly by Him. They were also specially sent out by Him into all the world and so were also called His twelve "apostles" (Mark 16:14,15; John 20:19-23; Acts 1:8). Later a few others (Paul), with similar special training and commissioning directly by Christ, were also recognized as apostles. This designation is not appropriate for other followers, especially anyone after the apostolic period.
KJV Defenders Study Bible, by Dr. Henry Morris, Ph.D.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
DEF 10 ISBN 0-529-10444-x
DEF 10-1 ISBN 0-529-10445-8