Apostle vs Disciple: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Apostles were chosen by Jesus Christ to be his closest followers and spread his teachings.
  2. Disciples meant learners or followers and were closely associated with Christianity due to its connection with the apostles of Jesus Christ.
  3. Apostles were tasked with spreading the Gospel message and establishing the early Christian Church. In contrast, disciples primarily focused on learning from their teachers and adopting their teachings.

Who is an Apostle?

The term “apostle” is derived from the Greek word “Apostolos”, meaning ‘one who is sent forth’ and holds a significant role in various religious and historical contexts. Apostles are associated with Christianity as they were chosen by Jesus Christ to be his closest followers and to spread his teachings. The most well-known apostles are the Twelve Apostles.

Jesus granted apostles authority to perform miracles and preach the Gospel. Their mission was to establish and expand the early Christian church and carry their message forward. They faced persecution, challenges and even martyrdom.

One of the defining moments for the apostles was the Pentecost, where they received the Holy Spirit and communicated in various languages, enabling them to spread the Gospel globally. Their teachings and actions became the foundation of Christian theology and doctrine, shaping the beliefs of millions over centuries.

Who is a Disciple?

A disciple was derived from the Latin ‘disciples’, meaning learner or follower. It is closely associated with Christianity due to its connection with the apostles of Jesus Christ. The concept of disciples transcends religious boundaries and has been essential in various spiritual traditions and educational settings.

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Disciples are individuals who follow Jesus Christ’s way of life. It involves a commitment to personal growth, transformation and adherence to moral and ethical principles. The relationship between a teacher and a disciple is characterized by guidance, instruction and the passing down of wisdom.

Outside of religious contexts, discipleship has found its place in education and mentorship. Students are called the disciples, highlighting their role as learners who engage with their mentors to acquire skills and values.

Difference Between Apostle and Disciple

  1. Apostles were explicitly chosen by Jesus Christ and were granted authority to spread his teachings. In contrast, disciples were followers and learners who sought to emulate the education of a spiritual leader.
  2. “apostles” refers to the Twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus in the New Testament. In contrast, disciples could include a broader range of followers who learned from and followed a spiritual leader.
  3. Apostles were tasked with spreading the Gospel message and establishing the early Christian Church. In contrast, disciples primarily focused on learning from their teachers and adopting their teachings.
  4. Apostles were associated with performing miracles and had the authority to heal the sick cast out demons, and perform other supernatural feats. In contrast, disciples were not known for performing miracles on the same scale, as they did not hold the same supernatural authority.
  5. Apostles held leadership roles within the early Christian Church and guided its development. In contrast, disciples were more focused on personal growth and had a different level of organizational leadership than apostles.

Comparison Between Apostle and Disciple

ParametersApostleDisciple
RoleSpecifically chosen by Jesus Christ himselfFollowers and learners who sought to emulate the teachings of a  spiritual leader
NumberJesus chose twelve apostles in the New TestamentA more comprehensive range of followers who learned from a spiritual leader
TeachingSpreading the Gospel message and establishing the early Christian churchLearning from their teacher
AuthorityPerforming miracles like healing the sick or casting out demonsNot the same level of supernatural authority
LeadershipHeld leadership rolesNot the same level of leadership
References
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=QzEqCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=%E2%80%A2%09Apostles+were+chosen+by+Jesus+Christ+to+be+his+closest+followers+and+spread+his+teachings.&ots=H1oQIV16vc&sig=r6eKcWnwVzZFgX4jH5qXO92X5G8
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?id=NffjoovXLbYC&lpg=PA7&ots=STWkD0ds2Q&dq=%E2%80%A2%09Apostles%20were%20chosen%20by%20Jesus%20Christ%20to%20be%20his%20closest%20followers%20and%20spread%20his%20teachings.&lr&pg=PA7#v=onepage&q&f=false
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Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

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