- Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us—beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection. - Acts 1:21-22
However, others were also named apostles, who were not counted among the Twelve.
- And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. - Luke 9:1-2
- Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. - Luke 10:1
Noting Christ’s post-resurrection appearances, in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul notes that Jesus appeared first to Peter, then to the Twelve, and then to all the apostles.
- and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. […] then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. - 1 Corinthians 15:5-8
Paul makes a particular distinction between the Twelve and all the apostles. Indeed the Twelve were apostles, but others were also commissioned and sent out as messengers of the Lord. Men and women, such as Barnabas, Paul, Andronicus, Junia, Titus, James the brother of Jesus, Epaphroditus, and Silas, were commissioned as apostles or missionaries sent out by the church.
- But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul, heard of it - Acts 14:14a
- Greet Andronicus and Junia, […] who are outstanding among the apostles… - Romans 16:7a
- As for Titus [… ] our brethren […] they are the messengers (apóstolos) of the churches… - 2 Corinthians 8:23
- But I did not see any other of the apostles except James the Lord’s brother. - Galatians 1:19
- But I though it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, […] your messenger (apóstolos), - Philippians 2:25
- as apostles of Christ we (Paul and Silas) might have asserted out authority - 1 Thessalonians 2:6
These individuals served in their churches as apostles. They functioned as authorized emissaries or messengers of their congregation. What the church presently calls a missionary functions as an apostle of the gospel.