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What Is Apostolic Doctrine? by Eddie L. Hyatt

Paul’s Message Given Equal Status with the Twelve

Even though it is clear from Paul’s epistles that he was convinced of his equal status with the Twelve (see 2 Cor. 11:5), he eventually traveled to Jerusalem and presented to them the gospel he preached for their corroboration (Gal. 2:1-2). He apparently deemed it necessary to confirm that the gospel he was preaching to the Gentiles was in accord with the original eyewitness accounts of the Twelve and the teaching they had personally received from the Lord (Gal. 2:1-2). The Twelve accepted him and affirmed the Gospel that he was preaching. Paul says that they gave to him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship (Gal. 2:9). Paul thus recognized the necessity of making sure that his own revelation was in harmony with the original eyewitness accounts.

The New Testament is the Standard by Which All Teachings & Revelations Are to Be Measured

The eyewitness accounts of the Twelve and the revelation received by Paul eventually became canonized in our New Testament. Paul wrote 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament. Luke, a close associate of Paul, wrote the gospel of Luke and Acts. Matthew and John, both members of the Twelve, wrote the gospels that bear their names. Mark, a close associate of Peter, wrote the gospel of Mark. [i] Peter himself wrote 1st and 2nd Peter. John, in addition to the gospel he composed, wrote 1st 2nd and 3rd John and Revelation. James was written by the half-brother of Jesus who was also the recipient of a post-resurrection appearance of Jesus. Jude was written by the brother of James, probably another half-brother of Jesus. The author of the book of Hebrews is unknown but many believe it was Paul. The entire New Testament was, therefore, written by one of the Twelve, or Paul or one of their immediate associates. This means that the New Testament contains the original apostolic testimony and teaching. As such it is the standard by which all succeeding teachings and revelations must be measured.

Conclusion

When Acts 2:42 says that the early Church continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching, it is referring to the oral teaching of the Twelve which was later canonized as part of the New Testament. Like the early church, the church today must also continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine or teaching. How? By hearing and adhering to the original apostolic message that has been preserved for us in the New Testament.

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Category: Church History

About the Author: Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min. (Regent University), M.Div. and M.A. (Oral Roberts University), serves the body of Christ around the world by teaching with academic excellence and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He has authored several books, including 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity. His passion is to see authentic spiritual awakening transform the Church and impact the world in the Twenty-first century. www.eddiehyatt.com

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