Question: Was Paul a "real" apostle, with authority over the Church like the original Twelve?

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Question: Was Paul a "real" apostle, with authority over the Church like the original Twelve?

Paul evidently considered his calling an office

Was Paul a "real" apostle, with general authority over the Church like the original Twelve, or was he just some guy with no particular ecclesiastical authority, who was "sent forth" to preach? Paul evidently considered his calling an office. "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office." (Romans 11:13) When Paul mentioned other apostles, he did not seem to distinguish his office from theirs. "Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" (1 Corinthians 9:5) "For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles." (2 Corinthians 11:5) The only sense in which he seems to have thought himself less than the other apostles is that he had formerly persecuted the Church. "For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." (1 Corinthians 15:9) And just as the original Twelve apostles were "ordained" as such by Jesus, (John 15:16) Paul claimed, "I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle." (1 Timothy 2:7) Obviously, given the number of authoritative letters he wrote to various local churches, he considered himself to have jurisdiction over a wide area.

The presence of apostles in the New Testament Church beyond the original Twelve and Matthias supports the LDS interpretation

Others called "apostles" in the New Testament include Barnabas (Acts 14 14:{{{4}}}) and James the Lord's brother. (Galatians 1:19) Were they ordained apostles like Paul and the Twelve? The question is not answered in the New Testament, but the presence of apostles in the New Testament Church beyond the original Twelve and Matthias supports the LDS interpretation of Ephesians 4:11-14. Apostles should continue in the Church to, among other things, keep the faithful from being tossed about by every wind of doctrine. And even if the calling of original Twelve was somehow different than that of the other apostles like Paul, all of them seem to have had general jurisdiction over the local churches. Can the authors produce modern apostles with general jurisdiction over local Protestant churches? No wonder there are thousands of Protestant sects.


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