Friday, September 12, 2003



Sorry for the length - but this is well worth the effort.

I believe that there were other Apostles than the Twelve, and that Apostolic Succession includes these other Apostles.

For example, Saint Paul was called an Apostle, and he had charge over presbyters in the NT. Early Church fathers based the primacy of Rome not only on the fact that Peter was martyred there, but that Paul was also martyred there.

The Twelve were symbolic of the tribes of Israel (see Mt. 19:28). While the Twelve were called Apostles, the band of Apostles included others as well, who founded churches and had charge over presbyters, and so forth. I believe the evidence points to at least one woman Apostle.

Conservatives sometimes make a circular argument about Apostolic succession. They will say that Junia of Romans 16:7 was not an Aposlte like Peter, because the word is used differently in different context. Then when you ask for an example for how the word is used as anything other than a title for the same office held by Peter, they offer Rom 16:7 as proof.

Below is some further documentation that women and married men held Apostlic authority and that the offices descendant from them were often elected:

The Witness of Scripture

As stated, conservatives sometimes argue that the word "Apostle" has more than one meaning. I am about to list every reference to the word in the NT to demonstrate that it seems to have always been used as a title of authority.

The word "Apostle" has a secular meaning of "one sent". However, we see in the New Testament that this word was used as a title in many instances.

The Twelve are called Apostles in the following passages:

Mt 10: 2
Mk 3: 13, 3: 14, and 6: 30
Luke 6: 12, 6: 13, 9: 10, 17: 5, 22: 14, and 24: 10.

In addition Luke 11: 49 also mentions Apostles in prophecy. Luke's Gospel calls nobody else an Apostle.

The Gospel of John calls nobody Apostles. Neither do the Johanine epistles. Indeed, John's Gospel does not even name all 12, but only provides seven names - and the names do not agree with Mark's list.

According to Luke, who uses the term the most in the Gospels, the Twelve also seem to be referred to as Apostles in his second writing, Acts of the Apostles.

Though not every passage makes explicit claim that only the Twelve are meant, I will agree that this is the most probable reading in these passages:

Acts 1: 2, 1: 25, and 1: 26. All of these make clear that the Twelve are the first Apostles.

The term Apostles continues to be used in reference to a group with authority in the area of Jerusalem in the following passages of Acts. Since Peter is frequently mentioned with this group, or they act with preeminent authority, it appears to be a reference to the Twelve in almost all the following instances:

Acts 2: 37, 2: 42, 2: 43, 4: 2, 4: 33, 4: 35, 4: 36, 5: 2, 5: 12, 5: 17, 5: 18, 5: 26, 5: 27, 5: 29, 5: 40, 5: 41, 6: 6, 8: 2, 8: 14, 8: 18, 9: 27, 11: 1, 14: 1, 15: 2, 15: 4, 15: 6, 15: 22, 15: 23, and 16: 4.

After the Council in Jerusalem closes in chapter 15 and Paul heads out to the Gentiles in chapter 16, the term "Apostle" is not used anymore in the Book of Acts.

Given that Luke so consistently seems to mean that the Twelve alone are Apostles up to chapter 16, the following verse is striking!
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting... (Acts 14: 14)
This is very interesting because Paul and Barnabas also have presbyters in their care:
This they did, sending it to the presbyters in care of Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 11: 30)
What the author seems to have done is demonstrate that the authority of the Twelve exercised among Jews has now passed to Paul and Barnabas for their mission to the Gentiles.

Yet, Luke never uses the term as anything less than a title!

In addition to Barnabas and Paul, Paul calls James, the "brother of the Lord", an Apostle in Gal 1: 19.

The Church has always taught that this James is the first Bishop of Jerusalem, and many early church sources call him the founder of that Church!

Paul calls himself an Apostle with some type of Apostolic authority in the following texts:

Rom 1: 1, 1: 5, and 11:13. Thus, it is odd that he concludes the letter noting Junia and Andronica are his equals in 16: 7.

Paul continues to call himself an Apostle with Apostolic authority in the following passages:

1 Cor 1: 1, 4: 9, 9: 1, 9: 2, and 9: 5.

Then in 1 Cor 12: 28-29, he clearly uses the word as a title of an office of preeminent authority.

Then in 1 Cor 15: 3-9, he uses the title for the Twelve, others, and himself all in one passage.

This seems to imply that Paul and these others are on par with the Twelve in some way, and this indicates that ther emay have been as many as 500 people bearing the title "Apostle" as those who have seen the risen Lord.

We'll return to this verse in just a bit.

2 Cor 11: 5 11: 13, and 12: 11 speak of false "super-apostles" who are heretics. 12: 12 provides marks of true Apostles, and makes no mention of being a member of the Twelve as a criteria.

Gal 1: 1, 2: 8. In Gal 1: 17 and 1: 19, he speaks of his own Apostleship as approved by the other Apostles who are Peter, James and others.

Paul continues to call himself an Apostle in these passages:

2 Cor 1: 1, Eph 1: 1, Col 1: 1, 1 Thess 2: 7, 1 Tim 1: 1, 2: 7, 2 Tim 1: 1, 1: 11, Titus 1: 1

In Eph 2: 20, 3: 5, and 4: 11, he speaks of God giving the church Apostles. While this is likely meant in a general sense not referring to specific people, is intended to convey a particular office of authority comparable to a prophet.

Here are full verses referenced above that makes clear Paul sees himself as having authority as an Apostle:
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? (1 Cor 4: 9)

Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas. (1 Cor 9: 5)
Note that in 1 Cor 9: 5, Paul is saying he, himself, is an Apostle with the same rights as Cephas, and so is "the brother of the Lord", who was not one of the Twelve!

He also acknowledges Cephas (Pope Peter) was a married Apostle.
And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? (1 Cor 12: 28-29)

...although we were able to impose our weight as apostles of Christ. (1 Thess 2: 7)
At one point, Paul mentions that others question his rights as an Apostle:
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? (1 Cor 9: 1)
This indicates that Paul saw himself as an Apostle, even though others may have questioned his authority.

These others probably questioned Paul's authority because he did not know Jesus in the flesh. Yet, it is clear the term "Apostle" is a term designating his authority.

Also, Paul writes 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus with instructions for Bishops.

Many scholars wonder why Timothy and Titus are called Paul's "co-workers" instead of Apostles, but that does not matter.

The point is that whatever office Paul held, he felt authorized to give direction to Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons – unless we deny Pauline authorship of these texts.

Even if we deny Pauline authorship, we see that the early church must have considered Paul authorized to instruct Bishops!

Thus, we can now say that Paul and Luke both seem to use the word "Apostle" exclusively as a title for one with authority over presbyters.

Other places the NT uses the word Apostle:

Heb 3: 1 applies the word to Christ as source of Apostolic authority.

Peter calls himself an Apostle in 1 Pet 1: 1 and 2 pet 2: 1. The author also alludes to apostolic authority in 2 Pet 3: 2.

Jude refers to this Apostolic authority in Jud 1: 17.
Rev 2: 2 speaks of false Apostles.
Rev 18: 20 speaks of Apostles in heaven.
Rev 21: 14 speaks of the Twelve Apostles in heaven.

There is no place in the entire New Testament where the word "Apostle" seems to be used of a lay-person without some type of authority.

Some scholars, looking at these passages have suggested that Paul seems to speak differently about "Apostles of the Lord" and "Apostles of Jesus Christ", but this case is somewhat vague and proves nothing significant.

Others suggest that a small handful of the Lucan passages of Acts may refer to the Twelve and a wider circle. Yet, the wider circle seems to have the same authority of the Twelve.

Most scholars argue that 1 Cor 15: 3-7 in the context of Acts 1:25-26 indicates that being a witness to the resurrected lord was a (if not THE) key criteria for being called an Apostle.

If this is true, there may have been as many as 500 Apostles. The texts is as follows:
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Kephas, then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. After that he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles
Three important points can be drawn definitively from the NT if we momentarily ignore Rom 16: 7 which mentions Junia:

1) The Twelve are called Apostles in a preeminent sense. They are the first among the Apostles, and Peter exercises primacy in this group, with James and John being mentioned more frequently than others as well.

2) Paul, Barnabas, and James, brother of the Lord are also called Apostles, and have authority over presbyters and claim equal rights to the Apostolic authority of the Twelve at times. Paul even exercises authority over Bishops.

3) All authors are clearly using the word, "Apostle" meaning "sent one" in a sense denoting an office of authority of some type.

Thus, when Andronicus and Junia are called Apostles, it has a significance. We see exactly this in Romans 16:7.
Aspasasthe Andronikon kai Iounian tous suggeneis mou kai sunaichmalotous mou, oitines eisin episemoi en tois apostolois, oi kai pro emou gegonan en Christo
This translates to:
Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me. (Rom 16: 7)

Turning now to Junia and the possibility that this was man's name, the following is from Bernadette Brooten, the footnotes and web references:
It was not always this way [that Junia was thought to be a man]. John Chrysostom was not alone in the ancient church in taking the name to be feminine. The earliest commentator on Romans 16: 7, Origen of Alexandria (e. 185-253/54), took the name to be feminine (Junta or Julia, which is a textual variant),(4) as did Jerome (340/50-419/20),(5) Hatto of Vercelli (924-961),(6) Theophylact (c.1050-c.1108),(70 and Peter Abelard (1079-1142).(8) In fact, to the best of my knowledge, no commentator on the text until Aegidius of Rome (1245-1316) took the name to be masculine. Without commenting on his departure from previous commentators, Aegidius simply referred to the two persons mentioned in Romans 16: 7 as "these honorable men" (viri).(9) Aegidius noted that there were two variant readings for the second name: Juniam and Juliam (accusative in the verse). He preferred the reading Juliam and took it to be masculine. Thus we see that even Juliam, which modern scholars would take to be clearly feminine, has been considered masculine in the context of the title "apostle."
This quotation is taken From: "Junia . . . Outstanding among the Apostles" (Romans 16: 7) by Bernadette Brooten, from Women Priests, Arlene Swidler & Leonard Swidler (eds.), Paulist Press 1977, pp. 141-144.

You can review the full article here: Brooten's Article

Brooten's references to this universal witness of the early church to the femininity of Junia are as follows:
4. Commentaria in Epistolam ad Romanos 10, 26 (PG 14, 1281B); 10, 39 (PG 14, 1289A). Thc text printed in Migne has Junia emended to Junias, but the manuscripts have Junia or Julia.

5. Liber Interpretationis Hebraicorum Nominum 72, 15 (J.P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus, series Latina <=PL> 23, 895).
As a side note to footnote 5, Saint Jerome translates Ioniam as Juliam in the Vulgate, which is clearly feminine, and the Council of Trent says the Vulgate is an authoritative texts for formulating dogma!

Here are the rest of Brooten's notes from the rest of the above quote:
6. In Epistolam ad Romanos 16, 7 (PL 134, 282A).

7. Expositio In Epistolam ad Romanos 114 (PG 124, 552D).

8. Expositio in Epistolam ad Romanos 5 (PL 178, 973C).

9. Opera Exegetica. Opuscula I (Facsimile reprint of the Rome, 1554/55 edition: Frankfurt, 1968), p. 97.
In case you just think that Brooten is offerring a biased reading of the ancient texts, it is highly instructive to read her opponent's reference to her original work in German under the same title.
Throughout the patristic literature, the feminine "Junia" (sometimes written in the variant form "Julia" ) seems to have been recognized, perhaps because there is no record elesewhere of a masculine "Junias", where "Junia" and above all "Julia" were known."
This is from: Women in the Priesthood? A Systematic Analysis in Light of the Order of Creation and Redemption by Manfred Hauke, Ignatius Press (1988) p. 358 and he references Brooten in footnote 141 with no corrections.

Hauke is a favorite of His Holiness, Pope John Pual II.

Thus, even Manfred Hauke is admitting that there is no evidence the text was rendered as referring to a masculine name prior to the twelfth century or so.

For over one thousand years, there was no question that Junia was a woman Apostle!

Hauke even goes on to say that Chrysostam was adamant that Junia is a woman being called an Apostle, and Chrysostam is quite surprised by this.

Hauke argues that Junia must not have been a full Apostle only because he feels certain that 1 Cor 14: 35 is a strict prohibition to silence on all women in the churches for all times (a command from the Lord).

However, I would argue against Hauke that this cannot be the case, because the same letter, 1 Cor 11: 6 offers instructions to prophetesses to keep their hair covered while prophecying in church.

Hauke does acknowledge the strength of this counter-argument, but suggest that prophetesses were only permitted to speak the responses in the liturgy - a theory most scholars would find to be absurd rationalization, since the very nature of prophetic utterances was charismatic!

I agree with Conzelman that 1 Cor 14: 35 is an interpolation in the original texts that cannot be taken as Paul's original words, and in light of 1 Cor 11: 6, cannot be taken as an absolute prohibition aimed at all women for all times!

What about the argument that conservatives raise suggesting that "among the Apostles" does not imply that Andoronicus and Junia are Apostles?

Couldn't "they are prominent among the Apostles" mean that they are prominent to the Apostles, rather than they are prominent as Aposltes?

This is a technical argument grammatically. The word translated as "among is the Greek "en". It is the root word of the English "in".

In the New Testament, it is used 97 times, and seems to always mean "in". For example, in Mt 20:26, "to be great among you" is the same word.

On the other hand, there is the use of the dative case in the sentence "among the Apostles".

In Latin, the dative almost always denotes an indirect object, such that the sentence would be rendered "to the Apostles" or "for the Apostles".

Assuming some similarity between ancient Latin and Greek, this would seem to indicate Junia is prominent to the Apostles, rather than as an Apostle. In Latin, the more common case for expressing with, by, from, or within might be the ablative case.

Yet, even in Latin, there are exceptions where the ablative and dative seem to be used interchangeably, and in Greek these two cases are interchanged more frequently.

Indeed, the ablative case in Greek has come to be called the "lost case" and the dative was used almost exclusively to not only denote "to" or "for", but also "by", "with", "on", "in", "at", etc...

As stated already, the usage of the dative in Mt. 20:26 with the word "en" clearly indicates "among" as part of the group to whom Christ is speaking.

Suffice to say that no Catholic Bible scholar I am aware of seriously considers this argument entirely compelling, and all the early sources that interpret Junia as a woman also clearly read the texts as saying Andronicus and Junia are prominent as Apostles.

Joseph Fitzmayer and John P. Meier are among the living English speaking Catholic Bible scholars who point this out, referencing many of the same texts as Brooten.

But let's turn to my favorite, the late Father Raymond E. Brown, because he served twice on The Pontifical Biblical Commission, and is known as a conservative by many Biblical scholars:
It has caught modern attention that Andronicus and Junia (preferable to "Junias" ) are "outstanding among the apostles" (16: 7). Junia/Junias is most likely a woman's name, and she may have been the wife of Andronicus. This identity would mean that Paul could apply the term "apostle" to a woman.
Brown goes on in an explanatory footnote to say the following:
"Apostle" had many meanings, and for Paul a common meaning is one who saw the risen Jesus and became a preacher of the gospel. Since more than 500 saw the risen Lord at one time (1 Cor 15: 6) it would be rather surprising if there not women apostles in this sense.
Note - I already said Brown was known as a conservative, and while his word choice is technically accurate, he is not denying the possibility of my interpretation, but affirming it.

A woman was called an Apostle by a person who uses the word in a specific sense!

I have hunted through many of Brown's works for the evidence of his claim that "'Apostle' had many meanings..."

The closest I can find is the distinction between the Twelve and everyone else.

I still see no evidence either in Brown or anywhere else of an Apostle that could not found a church, consecrate a bishop, have care of Presbyters, instruct Bishops, etc....

Thus, it is extremely interesting that the second century Gnostic Gospel of Mary calls Mary Magdalene a woman Apostle.

The Acts of Paul and Thecla from the second century also refer to a woman Apostle named Thecla!

See The Gospel of Mary for early documentation of Mary Magdalene as an Apsotle.

See The Acts of Paul for early documentation of a woman named Thecla as an Apostle.

Furthermore, Canon 15 of the infallible Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon calls deaconesses "ordained". This is consistent with Phoebe being a deaconess in Rom 16:1-2.

1 Tim 5:1-2 uses the term "presbyteress" in the context of saying that presbyters are ordained by the laying of hands in verse 17.

There are even ancient tombstones in Christian graves bearing the title "presbyteress" on the tombstones of women.

Were there women priests in the early Church based on women apostles?

What else do we know about Apostolic succession?


Early Christian Writings

These writings are quoted from New Advent, considered a "safe" or "orthodox" source by most conservatives.

Because some passages are rather lengthy, I will reverse the blockquote indent to my own shorter comments, and quote the early sources in blue font.

Many of us are all familiar with the list of the bishops produced by Irenaeus of Lyons who complied a list of the first twelve bishops of Rome. For those who are not, here are some select quotations:

Adversus Haereses

Book III, 3.2-3

2. Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; (we do this, I say,) by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also (by pointing out) the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority -- that is, the faithful everywhere -- inasmuch as the Apostolic Tradition has been preserved continuously by those who are everywhere. (Ad hanc enim eoclesiam propter potentiorem principalitatem necesse est omnem convenire ecclesiam, hoc est eos qui sunt undique fideles, in qua semper ab his qui sunt undique, conservata est ea qua est ab apostolis traditio).
Note that Irenaeus is saying in the first sentence that the list of all apostolic succession is so large, that he provides Rome to narrow his scope to what he deems essential for unity. Bear in mind, however, that it would not be for until another 1695 years that Ireneaus point of the essentiality of Roman primacy would be defined infallibly even by the Roman Catholic Church!
3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing (in his ears), and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone (in this), for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spake with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sorer having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

The Teaching of the Apostles
Syriac text unknown date

1. Jerusalem received the ordination to the priesthood, as did all the country of Palestine, and the parts occupied by the Samaritans, and the parts occupied by the Philistines, and the country of the Arabians, and of Phoenicia, and the people of Caesarea, from James, who was ruler and guide in the church of the apostles which was built in Zion.

2. Alexandria the Great, and Thebais, and the whole of Inner Egypt, and all the country of Pelusium, and extending as far as the borders of the Indians, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Mark the evangelist, who was ruler and guide there in the church which he had built, in which he also ministered.

3. India, and all the countries belonging to it and round about it, even to the farthest sea, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Judas Thomas, who was guide and ruler in the church which he had built there, in which he also ministered there.

4. Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia, and Galatia, even to Pontus, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Simon Cephas, who himself laid the foundation of the church there, and was priest and ministered there up to the time when he went up from thence to Rome on account of Simon the sorcerer, who was deluding the people of Rome with his sorceries.

5. The city of Rome, and all Italy, and Spain, and Britain, and Gaul, together with all the rest of the countries round about them, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Simon Cephas, who went up from Antioch; and he was ruler and guide there, in the church which he had built there, and in the places round about it.
Note that Peter founded so many other churches than Rome!
6. Ephesus, and Thessalonica, and all Asia, and all the country of the Corinthians, and of all Achaia and the parts round about it, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from John the evangelist, who had leaned upon the bosom of our Lord; who himself built a church there, and ministered in his office of Guide which he held there.

7. Nicaea, and Nicomedia, and all the country of Bithynia, and of Inner Galatia, and of the regions round about it, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Andrew, the brother of Simon Cephas, who was himself Guide and Ruler in the church which he had built there, and was priest and ministered there.

8. Byzantium, and all the country of Thrace, and of the parts about it as far as the great river, the boundary which separates from the barbarians, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Luke the apostle, who himself built a church there, and ministered there in his office of Ruler and Guide which he held there.

9. Edessa, and all the countries round about it which were on all sides of it, and Zoba, and Arabia, and all the north, and the regions round about it, and the south, and all the regions on the borders of Mesopotamia, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Addaeus the apostle, one of the seventy-two apostles, who himself made disciples there, and built a church there, and was priest and ministered there in his office of Guide which he held there.

10. The whole of Persia, of the Assyrians, and of the Armenians, and of the Medians, and of the countries round about Babylon, the Huzites and the Gelae, as far as the borders of the Indians, and as far as the land of Gog and Magog, and moreover all the countries on all sides, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Aggaeus, a maker of silks, the disciple of Addaeus the apostle.

The Apostolic Constitutions
Fifth century

Book 8.4 and 5

Wherefore we, the twelve apostles of the Lord, who are now together, give you in charge those divine constitutions concerning every ecclesiastical form, there being present with us Paul the chosen vessel, our fellow-apostle, and James the bishop, and the rest of the presbyters, and the seven deacons.

In the first place, therefore, I Peter say, that a bishop ordained is to be, as we have already, all of us, appointed, without blame in all things, a select person, chosen by the whole people, who, when this person is named and approved, let the people assemble, with the presbytery and bishops that are present, an the Lord's day, and let them give their consent.

Let the principal of the bishops ask the presbytery and people whether this be the person whom they desire for their ruler. If they give their consent, let him ask further whether he has a good testimony from all men as to his worthiness for so great and glorious an authority; whether all things relating to his piety towards God be right; whether justice towards others has been observed by the person; whether the affairs of family have been well ordered by the person; whether the person has been without blame in the course of life.

If all the assembly together do according to truth, and not according to prejudice, witness that this person is such a one, let them the third time, as before God the Judge, and Christ, the Holy Ghost being also present, as well as all the holy and ministering spirits, ask again whether this person be truly worthy of this ministry, that so "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." If they agree the third time that the person is worthy, let them all be demanded their vote; and when they all give it willingly, let them be heard.

Silence being made, let one of the principal bishops, together with two others, stand near to the altar, the rest of the bishops and presbyters praying silently, and the deacons holding the divine Gospels open upon the head of him that is to be ordained, and say to God thus: O Thou the great Being, ….(prayer of ordination)
Note that these passages point out two important truths:

The first point is that apostolic succession is traced to other people than the Twelve. Paul was considered an apostle, and the succession of the Church at Jerusalem goes to James, who is the Lord's kinsman, and not one of the two James among the Twelve!

The second point is that while bishops will need to be approved and ordained by the laying on of hands form another bishop, the candidates are ELECTED by the people.
Book 8.35
"I James, the brother of Christ according to the flesh, but His servant as the only be-begotten God, and one appointed bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord Himself, and the Apostles,..."
An interesting aside is the following canon from the same book seems to discourage the notion that the apostles left their wives or would demand celibacy of anyone:
6. Let not a bishop, a priest, or a deacon cast off his own wife under pretence of piety; but if he does cast her off, let him be suspended. If he go on in it, let him be deprived.

Eusebius' History of the Church

Book 1.12

The names of the apostles of our Saviour are known to every one from the Gospels. But there exists no catalogue of the seventy disciples. Barnabas, indeed, is said to have been one of them, of whom the Acts of the apostles makes mention in various places, and especially Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians.

They say that Sosthenes also, who wrote to the Corinthians with Paul, was one of them. This is the account of Clement in the fifth book of his Hypotyposes, in which he also says that Cephas was one of the seventy disciples, a man who bore the same name as the apostle Peter, and the one concerning whom Paul says, "When Cephas came to Antioch I withstood him to his face."

Matthias, also, who was numbered with the apostles in the place of Judas, and the one who was honored by being made a candidate with him, are like-wise said to have been deemed worthy of the same calling with the seventy. They say that Thaddeus also was one of them, concerning whom I shall presently relate an account which has come down to us. And upon examination you will find that our Saviour had more than seventy disciples, according to the testimony of Paul, who says that after his resurrection from the dead he appeared first to Cephas, then to the twelve, and after them to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom some had fallen asleep; but the majority were still living 4 at the time he wrote.
Note that Eusebius references the 70 of Luke 10:1 as though these disciples were also ordained. He continues the passage with a reference to James, brother of the Lord, who is not one of the Twelve.
Afterwards he says he appeared unto James, who was one of the so-called brethren of the Saviour. But, since in addition to these, there were many others who were called apostles, in imitation of the Twelve, as was Paul himself, he adds: "Afterward he appeared to all the apostles." So much in regard to these persons. But the story concerning Thaddeus is as follows.

Book 2.1

First, then, in the place of Judas, the betrayer, Matthias, who, as has been shown was also one of the Seventy, was chosen to the apostolate. And there were appointed to the diaconate, for the service of the congregation, by prayer and the laying on of the hands of the apostles, approved men, seven in number, of whom Stephen was one. He first, after the Lord, was stoned to death at the time of his ordination by the slayers of the Lord, as if he had been promoted for this very purpose. And thus he was the first to receive the crown, corresponding to his name, which belongs to the martyrs of Christ, who are worthy of the meed of victory. Then James, whom the ancients surnamed the Just on account of the excellence of his virtue, is recorded to have been the first to be made bishop of the church of Jerusalem. This James was called the brother of the Lord because he was known as a son of Joseph, and Joseph was supposed to be the father of Christ, because the Virgin, being betrothed to him, "was found with child by the Holy Ghost before they came together," as the account of the holy Gospels shows.

But Clement in the sixth book of his Hypotyposes writes thus: "For they say that Peter and James and John after the ascension of our Saviour, as if also preferred by our Lord, strove not after honor, but chose James the Just bishop of Jerusalem."

But the same writer, in the seventh book of the same work, relates also the following things concerning him: "The Lord after his resurrection imparted knowledge to James the Just and to John and Peter, and they imparted it to the rest of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles to the seventy, of whom Barnabas was one. But there were two Jameses: one called the Just, who was thrown from the pinnacle of the temple and was beaten to death with a club by a fuller, and another who was beheaded." Paul also makes mention of the same James the Just, where he writes, "Other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother."


Note that almost all list admit that they could not provide full and complete lists of all apostolic succession. Each author is admitting names are left out, though the role and title of "Apostle" were crucial.

Note also that James, the brother of the Lord, and first bishop of Jerusalem is not one of the two James among the Twelve on any list. The See of Jerusalem rivaled Rome in the early Church as a seat authority, as Constantinople later would.

Note also that Peter passed on succession through more Sees than Rome, and in the Bible we see him and Paul together in Antioch in Gal 2: 11.

Note also that bishops were elected.

All this points to the fact that there were many who were apostles in the early Church, our Church WAS more democratic than today, and our faith in apostolic succession does not imply that the current Pontiff is a monarch.

All of this also raises the important, how important is it that Paul, who always used the word as a title, called a woman, Junia, an apostle?

How important was it that the early Christians often called Mary Magdelene an Apostle, or that Paul is said in the second century to have traveled with a woman apostle named Thelca?

The Church admits that questions of women priests, elected bishops, and married clergy date back to the second it possible that the answers are still open to development because the Holy Spirit refuses to continue to nudge us where Jesus already trod?

The reason we should consider ordain womening and elected married men is that Christ and the Church probably already has!

Peace and blessings!

See related articles:
Petition to the Holy Father for Women Priests
Genesis and Paul on Women
Is Ordinatio Sacerdotalis Infallible?
Why We Need Married Priests
How Does Doctrine develop?
Is the Church a Divine Monarchy?
Did the Church Support Slavery?
What is Infallibility?
Papal Infallibility?
The Primacy of Conscience
Our Mother Who Art in Heaven,..,God as Mother
Is the Church Like a Political Party?
Why I Remain a Catholic

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