Difference between Apostle and Disciple

Key difference: In Christianity, a disciple is referred to a student or a follower of Jesus and his teachings, whereas an apostle is referred to an ‘ambassador’ or a ‘preacher’ who helps in spreading Jesus’ teachings and philosophies.

The terms ‘apostle’ and ‘disciple’ are often eased in biblical studies. They are often interchanged and taken to mean the same. However, there are considerable differences between the two terms.

According to Dictionary.com, the term ‘apostle’ is defined as:

  • Missionary
  • Messenger or
  • Emissary

This term is derived from the classic Greek word ‘apóstolos’ which literally means ‘the one who is sent away’. It originated and was usually referred to the followers of Jesus.

An apostle is an ‘ambassador’ or a ‘preacher’ who helps in spreading Jesus’ teachings and philosophies. He is a student, who is further trained by the Jesus of Nazareth, to become a messenger of goodwill. The main reason to turn a disciple into a preacher was to take their help in spreading Jesus’ teachings and philosophies. They would helps in spreading the ‘good news’ and also establish the church through evangelism.

There were 12 disciples of Jesus, who later turned into apostles. Out of his many followers, Jesus chose the 12 to travel and learn from him; also these men were originally the Disciples of Christ. These were the men who were sent to far off lands to act as messengers. Among these 12 apostles was Judas; It was Judas, who betrayed Jesus and later killed himself, and was replaced by Matthias to carry forward the mission.

According to Dictionary.com, the term ‘disciple’ is defined as:

  • Learner
  • Pupil
  • Student

This term is derived from the classic Greek word ‘mathaytes’ which simply means a ‘student’. It is widely used in the concept of Christianity.

A disciple is a student or a follower of Jesus and his teachings. They were essentially his students during his existence. Jesus had a huge following; he accepted sinners and women which led to a lot of controversies, though it is still not certain whether they were his disciples or not. The word ‘disciple’ is derived from the Latin word ‘discipulus’ and is essentially considered as a learner who learns from his teacher. Some famous and first followers of Jesus were John the Baptist and Saint Peter; they are considered to be the important ones.  Saint Peter was the first one to have hailed Jesus as the messiah of humanity.

Comparison between Apostle and Disciple:

 

Apostle

Disciple

Definition

An apostle is a messenger and ambassador.

A disciple is a follower and student of a mentor, teacher, or a wise person.

Reference

He is an ambassador of the gospel.

He is a student of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Origin

It is derived from the Greek word ‘apostolos’ which means messenger or ambassador.

It is derived from the Greek word ‘mathaytes’ which means student or pupil.

Choice

  • He is chosen by his master to serve and follow him.
  • They are sent.
  • He is a believer who chooses the person and discipline in what they believe.
  • They are called.

Person

He is someone who spreads the word.

He is the learner of the teachings and philosophies.

Personification

All apostles are disciplines.

Not all disciplines are apostles.

Followers

There were originally 12 apostles of Christ.

There are many followers of Christ.

Image Courtesy: ebctn.org, stjudetvm.com

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