Is apostolic succession biblical?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The doctrine of apostolic succession is the belief that the 12 apostles passed on their authority to successors, who then passed the apostolic authority on to their successors, continuing throughou...

July 01 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

My passport new Arun Kumar Engineer, Chennai, India
The scripture nowhere supports apostolic succession. We should first know what an apostle means. (Luke 6:13). The qualification of an apostle is he should have lived with Jesus, seen the signs and wonders performed by Him, witnessed His death and most importantly, witnessed His resurrection (Acts 1:21-26). Paul was an exception, but he saw resurrected Jesus in His glorious form (Acts 9:5). 

Judas was replaced with Matthias in order to fulfill the prophecy (Acts 1:20). None of the apostle passed his office to another apostle. Instead, apostles only formed elders to take care of the Church which was established by them (Acts 14:23). Paul also advises Titus to form elders in Crete (Titus 1:5-6). 

So the concept of apostolic succession is not biblical. But it was formed by the Roman Catholic denomination in order to retain the "Monarchical Episcopate" system which was germinating in the Church during the apostle John's time. John mentions a name "Diotrephes" in 3 John 1:9-10. 

Diotrephes wanted to be the first among all, and did not accept even the apostle John and refused to welcome all followers who come by. He was in a position to excommunicate those members who welcomed such visiting followers and the other members were not in a position to rebuke or to restore this issue, the provision which Paul advised Titus, complaining about Elders (1 Timothy 5:19). 

Peter was an apostle, but called himself a co-leader or an elder (1 Peter 5:1). So did the apostle John (2 John 1:2). 

This is how one man government crept into the Church and the present system of "so-called" apostolic succession is existent in order to manifest one-man rule over the Church, which Christ condemned (Mark 9:35; Mark 10:42-45). 

Not only apostolic succession, all denominations except the brethren, church of Christ and some others exhibit this type of system even though they do not specifically advocate the concept "apostolic succession". i.e., presbyters, pastors, bishops etc are in a position and motive to control the Church and not to shepherd them nor wanting to be one of them. This is the structure of mainline and other charismatic denominations. I.e., the existence of hierarchy in the Church. 

Roman Catholic system specifically advocates this term. That is all the difference.

September 22 2014 7 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Paul Gerardi Engineer, Student of the Word - living and written
"Apostolic" succession is impossible and the claim that it is supported by Scripture is untenable.

The requirements for an Apostle are clearly outlined in Scripture. And no one, aside from the Apostles of Scripture, qualifies.
The requirements are listed in Acts 1:21-26, where the Apostles themselves (under inspiration of the Holy Spirit) spell out the requirements for selection of an Apostle (in this case, to replace Judas).

1) The candidate was required to be someone who followed Jesus during his entire earthly ministry, beginning from Jesus’ baptism by John to Jesus’ ascension into heaven (Acts 1:21–22a).
2) The candidate was required to have seen Jesus after His resurrection (Acts 1:22b).
3) The candidate needed to have been appointed by the Lord Jesus himself (Acts 1:24–25).

The last Apostle, was Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus, who
1) was a student of Moses and the Prophets, all of which taught of Jesus, the Messiah (Luke 24:25-27), thus fulfilling the 1st requirement.
2) met the resurrected Lord personally (Acts 9:3-6), thus fulfilling the 2nd requirement.
3) and who was personally selected by the Lord Jesus to be an Apostle (Acts 9:15-16), thus fulfilling the 3rd requirement.

What IS biblical, is the succession of teachers (2 Timothy 2:2) and of elders - the under-shepherds, Jesus being the chief shepherd. (1 Peter 5:1-4).

March 21 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Vincent Mercado Supporter Skeptic turned believer, Catholic, father of 3
Is apostolic succession biblical? OF COURSE YES!

When a king dies, another takes his place. e.g. David

When a prime minister dies, another takes his place. e.g. Shebna

When an apostle dies, another takes his place. e.g. Judas Iscariot

All authority by the previous office holder is passed on to the next. This is called succession.

September 20 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

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