Was Paul The 13th Apostle?

Q. We had a discussion in Bible class this morning concerning the Apostle Matthias. Most of the students (as well as the teacher) think that the decision to chose Matthias to replace Judas was incorrect. The basis for their opinion is that so little is known about him and he is never mentioned again in Scripture. Also, the fact that Paul came after Matthias, which would make Paul the 13th Apostle. What do you think?

A. Although the procedure that Peter followed in Acts 1:15-26 indicates that Matthias was a reasonable choice from their point of view, it’s not clear from reading the passage that the Lord actually prompted the disciples to fill the vacancy in their ranks. On the contrary, by looking back it seems obvious that Paul was God’s choice to replace Judas.

Matthias was never mentioned again by any of the disciples, and none of them raised any objections when Paul described himself as an Apostle chosen by God. Except for Philippians, Thessalonians and Philemon, Paul’s letters began with him introducing himself this way.

Also, if you understand how God uses numbers, you know that he would never have 13 Apostles. The number 13 is associated in Scripture with rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, and revolution.

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