Secret Alias wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:43 pm
It's as old as the oldest Samaritan exegete Marqe. But its implicit in the number of times Exodus says God sent Moses.
This is what I thought. In that case, I sincerely doubt that early Christians ever had the idea that Moses was the only "sent one" or prophet of God. In the same way that, if anything, they expanded
the number of scriptural texts to include works like 1 Enoch, some Wisdom books, and others (another trait they share with Qumran), so too they assumed that there had been many
prophets sent by God (not just Moses, or not just Moses and his immediate successor Joshua), and that, in fact, in "these last days" prophecy was undergoing a renaissance, and any Jack or Jill with the spirit of God could prophesy.
In the Didache we can see that apostles and prophets are cut of the same cloth; an apostle is basically just an itinerant prophet:
Didache 11.3-6: 3 But concerning the apostles and prophets [τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ προφητῶν], do as the gospel decrees. 4 Let every apostle [πᾶς... ἀπόστολος] who comes to you be welcomed as the Lord. 5 But he should not remain more than a day. If he must, he may stay one more. But if he stays three days, he is a false prophet [ψευδοπροφήτης]. 6 When the apostle [ὁ ἀπόστολος] leaves he should take nothing except bread, until he arrives at his night’s lodging. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet [ψευδοπροφήτης].
Didache 13.1: 1 Every true prophet [προφήτης ἀληθινός] who wants to settle down with you deserves his food.
Thus the entire "parade of prophets" from the Hebrew scriptures opens up as subtext:
Exodus 3.13-15: 13 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent [ἀπέσταλκεν] me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am,” and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘“I am” has sent [ἀπέσταλκεν] me to you.’” 15 God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent [ἀπέσταλκεν] me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial name to all generations.”
Isaiah 6.8: 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send [ἀποστείλω], and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me [ἀπόστειλόν με]!”
Jeremiah 7.25: 25 “Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising early; and I sent [ἀπέστειλα] them.”
Jeremiah 14.14: 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them [οὐκ ἀπέστειλα αὐτοὺς] nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.”
Zechariah 2.9: 9 “For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent [ἀπέσταλκεν] Me.”
This, I think, is fairly clearly the origin of the term "apostle" for early Christian missionaries. They were prophets sent by God. And this seems to me to be the case before even considering some of the most hamfisted references:
Luke 11.49-51: 49 “For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send [ἀποστελῶ] to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the alt ar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’”
Matthew 23.34-36: 34 “Therefore, behold, I am sending [ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω] to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”