Was Matthias or Paul God's choice to replace Judas as the 12th apostle?


Acts 1:26

ESV - 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

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

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
With Judas having betrayed Christ and then committing suicide, the 11 remaining disciples decided to replace Judas with a new 12th apostle (Acts 1:16-20). The requirements were that the man had to ...

July 01 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Nathan Toronga Christian Elder.
I'll keep my answer very brief and to the point. 

Paul was God's choice, and it's Paul's name we will see on one of the gates.


1. It was the Messiah who chose the original twelve. Their invitation was varied, but it was the Messiah Himself who appointed apostles from among the disciples. Luke 6:13

2. It was the Messiah who appointed Paul. If Mathias had been God's choice, Paul would have been appointed an evangelist or something else, but no, he was appointed an apostle. Rom 1:1, 1 Cor 9:1-2, 2 Cor 11:5

3. No apostle ever appointed another. This is the prerogative of God alone. It's a high office, and only God appoints to the office of apostle or prophet. 1 Cor 12:28

Peter was always the hasty guy. Unfortunately, in the matter of Mathias, he misjudged. Apostles were handpicked by Jesus Christ, not chosen by lot. This was a brand new method from Peter.

Mathias can be considered a disciple, but not an apostle. 

Hence the apostle who replaced Judas Iscariot was Paul.

Bless you all.

August 30 2014 7 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Bruce Morgan
God does things in ways that are surprising. There were "12 tribes of Israel" but on closer examination there was actually one tribe for each son of Jacob/Israel but instead of a "tribe of Joseph" there were two half-tribes of his sons Manasseh and Ephraim (Joshua 14:3) and Levi was set apart as priests (Joshua 13:33)

God Himself is One God and yet Three Persons.

So, there could be 12 apostles "plus one", and indeed, Paul described himself as an apostle "abnormally born" and not one of "The Twelve" (1 Cor 15:5-11) but rather appointed "Apostle to the Gentiles" (Rom 11:13; Gal 2:8; 1 Tim 2:7)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

August 30 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
Matthias was chosen by God as one of the twelve, not Paul.
This is evidenced by the filling of The Holy Spirit of those who were at Pentecost, signifying His approval.

Acts 2:14 "But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:"

December 24 2013 8 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop
My reading of Scripture reveals that Paul was not a replacement of Judas but that Mathias was. 

The Jerusalem church clearly did the replacement before Paul was called by Christ in person as an apostle to the Gentile church. There can be no conflict on this. 

Both Mathias and Paul were God's choices for their respective ministries. The choice of Mathias by the church community was not questioned anywhere in the Bible. 

The church acted with spiritual prudence in determining the appointment. 

The Jerusalem church was a distinct church communion from the Gentile church until after the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15. 

The issue of which names would appear in the apostolic list of honor is irrelevant in so far as the advancement of the gospel is concerned. 

My concluding view is that there were ultimately 13 apostles of Jesus Christ who served God's divine purposes in laying the foundation for the early church ministry on which the church was built through the church ages. 

All the 13 apostles were special men of God whose offices ended with the apostolic age. 

The appointment of Mathias by the Jerusalem church was therefore biblically valid and legitimate and therefore approved of God. 

Any other appointment to Church office made today [beside that of apostle] which is conducted within the meaning of Scripture remains valid. 

If this were not the case, then the appointment of church ministers or indeed any of the other church ministry offices would be open to question.

August 14 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Dee Fogg
Matthias was chosen by the Apostles not God. Does that not make him an Apostle? No. They prayed to God but did not wait for His answer, but cast lots, the Old Testament way. Peter reverted back to the Mosiac priesthood for direction and discernment. Peter was not a levitical priest to cast lots. They were to wait for the promise, Acts 1:4. The Lord was ushering in a new order. They didn't see Jesus cast lots. He prayed and waited on the Father. I feel the Holy Spirit would have shown them who to choose to fulfill the prophecy in Ps 69:25; 109:8.

December 25 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Julian Grear
To be brief, Matthias was the apostle chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. Paul was appointed later on in the bible.

December 24 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Daniel Carlson Pastor of the Community Bible Church in Aguila, Arizona
The biblical answer is that both Matthias and Paul were apostles. But so were several others! If we go by the Greek word "apostolos," (meaning a delegate, an ambassador of the Gospel, a commissioner of Christ, one who is sent, a messenger - Strong's 652) we discover the following persons were also apostles:

Barnabas (Acts 13:1-3)
Andronicus (Rom. 16:7)
Junia (Rom. 16:7)
Apollos (1 Cor. 4:6-9)
James (the Lord's brother - not one of the original twelve - Gal. 1:19)
Silas (Silvanus) (1 Thess. 1:1 with 2:6)
Timothy (Timotheus) (1 Thess. 1:1 with 2:6)
Epaphroditus ("messenger" = "apostolos" (Phil. 2:6)
And finally, the Great Apostle, Jesus Christ! (Heb. 3:1)

This is not obvious in every case in the English translations, however, the
Greek "apostoles" makes it quite evident.

If anyone disagrees, although I'm not a coward, I'm not prepared to die on the battlefield to defend my position. I have more important battles to fight!

September 03 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Richard Rios
First of all, from the Old Testament examples into the New Testament it is God who decides who the lot falls on and not man. (Prov 16:33) So it was not man’s decision, but God’s when the lot fell on Mathias.

Second, Paul himself stated that he was chosen to be an Apostle to the Gentiles and not to the Jews (Rom. 11:13). According to Jesus own words, the 12 Apostle’s who had followed Him will sit in Judgment over the nation of Israel (Mat. 19:28). Paul had not followed Jesus and therefore could not meet this requirement. So, another Apostle had to be chosen from the disciples who had followed Christ to fill the vacant position of Judas to sit in judgment over Israel.

Third, Paul Himself states in the verse that you cited that it is Jesus Christ and God who appointed him as an apostle (Gal. 1:1), and again at the beginning of most of his epistles Paul clearly states that he was called by the will of God to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ. In 1 Tim. 1:1 Paul says that he is an Apostle by the command of God. So it is not only Jesus the Son who appoints apostles (as you have mentioned) but God does as well.

After Jesus chose the original 12 Apostles, scripture clearly tells us that He spent the whole night in prayer to God then He chose the 12 (Luke 6:12-16). So we are led to understand that Jesus went before God the Father in prayer, seeking direction as to who the 12 would be. So the decision was not His alone, but was in conjunction with the Father's.

So Mathias was clearly God’s choice to replace Judas as an Apostle to the nation of Israel, and Paul was God’s choice to be chosen as an Apostle to the Gentiles.

December 19 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
It really does not matter. We know Paul was chosen to preach the gospel, First Corinthians 15:1-4 to save the Jews first and also to the Greeks. Romans 1:16. 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, First Corinthians 15:1-4, for it is the POWER Of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

Paul wrote most of the new testament. Romans to Philemon. Now salvation is a free gift apart from works by faith alone in the fInished work of Christ alone. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 First Corinthians 1:21 First John 2:2, and First Timothy 2:4. 

The whole bible is for us, but not all to us. We have to be able to discern scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit who is only given to those who believe and receive the free gift of eternal life Ephesians 1:13-14. Our guarantee of eternal life. 

Romans 8-9 Without the Spirit there is no salvation, with the Spirit we have eternal life even if we never believe it again. First Timothy 2:13

December 08 2020 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Profile pic Mark Vestal Proud of nothing of myself. Freed by Christ who did it all!
Matthias became the 12th apostle to the "circumcision" (Israel, through Christ's earthly ministry). Paul was appointed by God to be the apostle of the "uncircumcision" (everyone else, through Christ's heavenly ministry that was revealed to Paul). Notice below that two gospels are mentioned and they were given to two different groups of people:

Gal 2:7-9
"But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."

Gal 1:11-12
"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Eph 3:1-9
"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"

1 Tim 1:16
"Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."

1 Cor 4:15-16
"For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me."

We follow Christ today from His heavenly ministry to Paul, which is the gospel of God's grace and Christ crucified. We do not follow Christ's earthly ministry to Israel, which is of the coming of Israel's promised and long awaited earthly Kingdom of heaven.

2 Cor 5:16
"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more."

1 Cor 1:23
"But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;"

Both groups are "in Christ", but one is of earth (Israel, and her Kingdom) and one is of heaven (the church, the body of Christ). Both will come together in the end:

Eph 1:10
"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"

December 08 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ed Besselman
I don't see the Holy Spirit leading impetuous Peter to appoint Matthias to replace Judas. Scripture does not say that Peter prayed nor sought the LORD's will.

Look at all the introductions of Paul in his letters to the churches.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
I Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God,
II Corinthians 1:1 & Ephesians 1:1 & Colossians 1:1 & II Timothy 1:1 begins... Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
I Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ,
Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ,

I believe that Galatians tells a lot of the problems that Paul was having with this Matthias / Paul controversy.

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men... (the disciples in the upper room), neither by man (Simon Peter), but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead;)

I believe that Paul was the 12th apostle... even though there are others also designated as apostles.

April 04 2017 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Scottcrop Scott Ranck
The book of Acts, could rightfully be called "Acts of the Holy Spirit. The tenor of the book shows how the Spirit of God initiated all the moves. The Spirit said, separate onto me Paul and Silas to the work I've called them. The book is also written as a narrative. Some of it describes things that happened but doesn't necessarily mean God endorsed the action. I believe the book opens and shows us what happens when we do the initiating. God said, wait for the Spirit. Peter acted in the flesh, it was not his place to replace one of the handpicked apostles. Matthias was the choice of the flesh. It is like me saying Lord, which car do you want me to buy. It may be neither but when you cast lots, it will fall one way or the other. God clearly showed His pick when He encountered Paul on the road to Damascus! There can only be twelve, twelve foundations named after the apostles of the Lamb. Jesus clearly chose Paul, there is no scriptural evidence to show He clearly picked Matthias.

January 16 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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