Saturday, October 06, 2007


1. The Apostolic Doctrine of Mission
2. The Timeline of the Apostolic Age of Mission:
3. The Apostolic Methods of Missions
4. The Apostles in Mission

1. The Apostolic Doctrine of Mission

The goal of mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ to all mankind as the only savior to save us from eternal judgment and our sins.
This is a clear cut spiritual goal
This is a very unique goal.
This is a very clear and defined goal.
The Ministry of Mission should focus on the most effective and broad distribution of the gospel, in contrast to our local work with its geographical limitations. Our LORD Jesus Christ in this account is our best example. He organized three journeys throughout Galilee. He visited Samaria and the coastal area of Tyre and Sidon.
The responsibility for mission rests on every single member of Christ’s church. Every Christian has the response.
2. The Timeline of the Apostolic Age of Mission:
30 - Jesus Great commission to go to all nations, [1] Pentecost and birth of the Christian church
34 - Church scattered by persecution; in Gaza, Philip baptizes a convert, an Ethiopian who was already a Jewish proselyte.
39 - Peter preaches to the Gentiles
42 - Mark goes to Egypt [2]
49 - Jerusalem Council on admitting Gentiles into the Church 48 - Paul (formerly known as Saul of Tarsus) begins his first missionary journey to modern-day Turkey.
45 - Philippus introduces the Gospel to Ethiopian Queen Gersamot Hendeke VII, (Candake)
51 - Paul begins his second missionary journey, a trip that will take him through Turkey and on into modern-day Greece.[3]
52 - Apostle Thomas arrives in India and founds church that subsequently becomes Indian Orthodox Church (and its various descendants). [4]
54 - Paul begins his third missionary journey
60 - Paul journeys to Rome.
62 – Patriarchat of Alexandria established by Mark [5]
66 –(Judas) Thaddeus establishes the Christian church of Armenia [6]
68 - Bartholomew martyred in nowadays Azerbaijan (in Albanopolis, today Derbend)[7]
69 - Andrew in Patros (Caspian Sea area) martyred to death[8]
72 - Traditional date of the Apostle Thomas' martyrdom in India
96-97 John to higher services after finishing writing the “Book of Revelation” on Patmos
100 - First Christians are reported in Monaco, Algeria, and Sri Lanka [9]
3. The Apostolic Methods of Missions
Principles deal with basics; as a result methods grow out of them.
The verbal preaching. This was the most successful method and used at various meetings.[10]
Strategic Places. The apostolic mission strategy used cities like Rom, Jerusalem, Antochia, Kapernaum, Ephesus, Korinth, Athen as major centers of their efforts to spread the gospel.
Mission journey’s according to a clear cut plan.
Personal dedication to witness, testify and confirm matters of truth in social relationships (Nikodemus, Woman of Samaria, social meetings, invitations, visitations)
Literatur or Writing, Letters.
The education of indigenous coworkers.
Despite using many different methods they all were based on the deep commitment to the Lord to be faithful servants and preparing the nations for His second coming.
4. The Apostles in Mission
This paragraph introduces the distribution of areas where the apostles helped each other to realize the big plan to reach the known world with the gospel during their lifetime.
Map 2:  Traditional Locations Where the Apostles Preached and Died[11]

Peter was working as far as Babylon and obviously also visited Syria and Asia Minor. After being imprisoned several times in Jerusalem because of his faith, Peter left with his wife and possibly others. It is believed that he ministered in Babylon to the Jewish colonists there and it is, also, believed to be his location when he wrote his first epistle (1st Peter).[12] The Apostle Peter appointed also bishops for Phoenicia: Among the earliest records which indicate that Bishops of Phoenicia where consecrated are testified by Church-father Clement I (88-89 A.D.) a direct disciple of the Apostle. He wrote that after the martyrdom of Apostle Stephen, Apostle Peter appointed John Mark the Evangelist, one of the Seventy and disciple of Peter, to be Bishop of Byblos. He also designated the Bishop for Berytus (Beirut). In addition it was Peter who appointed the first bishop on the archbishopric of Botris, which was Silas (Silouan). According to the records the Apostle did this during his journey, together with other apostles on the way from Jerusalem to Antioch.
The Result of Paul’s mission trips was, that the gospel according to the records was welcomed in Phoenicia cities like Sidon, Berytus (Beirut), Byblos, Botrys (Batroun) and Tripoli, went to Syria, Minor Asia, Macedonia, Greece and Italy. When traveling from Rome to Jerusalem, after his third trip of evangelism, he stopped at Rhodes. After that he took a boat to Tyre where he found a considerable Christian community: (Acts 21:1-7). The meeting of St. Paul with the Christian community of Tyre took place in the year 58 A.D. Christianity had established its roots in this Phoenician metropolis at the beginnings of the Apostolic age.
John, the Apostle worked in Asia minor, around Ephesus, but the whole Mediterranean Sea was either strongly influenced or the cities reached for the gospel. The apostle John rose to a position of influence within world-wide Christianity and shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, he moved to Ephesus. He became the pastor of the church in Ephesus and had a special relationship to other churches in the area, as we know from the letters to the Seven Churches in Asia, in the book of Revelation. There is a church tradition, which says, that while John was living in Ephesus, John had with him Mary, the mother of Jesus, for a few years. [13]

Thomas, the Apostle, went over Edessa to South India. The Apostle Thomas reached 'Muziri in AD 51-52 from the northern part of Indian peninsula visiting many inland-countries and sharing the Gospel in many places as you see the imprints. Maybe, one reason of selecting the southern coast was flourishing Jewish settlements in along the coast in Kodungallur, Cochin, Madras etc., which date back to the Jewish Diaspora or even back to King Solomon's trading centers.
Thomas planted seven churches in Malayattor. [14]

1. Cranganore or Maliankara (Present Kodungallore)
2. Palur or Palayur ( A place near Thrissur)
3. Paraur or Kottukavu (A Place near Cochin)
4. Kokkamangalam ( A place between Allappy and Kottayam)
5. Niranam (A place near Tiruvalla)
6. Chayal or Nilakkal (An interior hill side place near Sabarimala)
7. Quilon or Kollam
Another reason was the flourishing Roman trade links. "The Apostle St. Thomas landed at Maliankara (i.e. Cranganore) with Habban, the merchant. It is interesting to note that Malikayal' speaks of St. Thomas’s arrival by sea to the port of 'Maliankara' (Kodungallur). The commercial history of the times lends support to this assumption. He must have either sailed from Kalyan in north India or from the island of 'Socotra'. He established the following 7 churches and a Christian community in Malayattor as it is narrated in "St. Thomas parvam" by 'Rabban.
It is the hoary and unquestioned tradition in Malabar, which is corroborated by the customs of the place and by the ethnological research, that the Apostle was signally successful in the conversion of the high cast 'Nambuthiri Brahmins'. Four of the leading Brahmin families are believed to been raised to the privilege of the priesthood. They are:

a) Palamattam (Pakalomattam)
b) Sankarapuri
c) Kalli &
d) Kalliankavu
Some of them still exist in 'Koravilangad' a place near Kottayam in Kerala. The head of the Malabar Church - the Archdeacon - had to be selected from Pakalomattam. This practice was continued among the Jacobite seceders, till a hundred years ago. There is a strong belief throughout Malabar that St. Thomas founded 7 Churches or group of Christians in the following places and the imprints and tradition proves it true. Regarding the apostolate of St. Thomas in the Malabar Coast of India (Present Kerala) we have a very ancient narrative from a manuscript preserved by an old family at Palayur.[15] It treats extensively about the journeys of St. Thomas on the Malabar Coast. It is best for those interested to go through this narrative as a whole to have an idea of the tradition which is rife in Kerala.
He then went to Mailepuram (Mylapore - Madras) where he preached the Gospel of the Lord for four and a half months and then embarked for China. He remained in China for four and a half months and returned to Mailepuram. After he had been there for a month or so, the son-in-law of the King of 'Tiruvanchikulam' come to him and besought him to return to Malabar. They embarked on a ship and come to Maliankara (Kodungallore), where, in less than six months, the Apostle converted the King and his family, 40 Jews and 400 heathens. Thomas worked great miracles and in eight months established in that town, the Church of Jesus Christ. He died in south India as martyr in the 72 n. Chr. [16]
Philippus the Apostle preached twenty years in the county of Scythia. Philip was from Bethsaida, of the tribe of Asher. He preached in Phrygia, Pamphylia and Pisidia; he built a church in Pisidia, and died and was buried there. He lived twenty-seven years as an apostle[17] At the age of 87 he arrived at Hierapolis in Asia. The heathen took him and crucified him in the same way his LORD experienced it, while he was preaching[18].
Jude, the Apostle (Thaddaeus) is believed to have evangelized the area of Armenia associated with the city of Edessa, in company perhaps of the apostle Bartholomew, and for a brief time, with the apostle Thomas. One can, also, believe that Jude spent his years of evangelization in Syria and northern Persia. It is likely that he was martyred there and buried in Kara Kalisa near the Caspian Sea, about 40 miles from Tabriz, in modern day Iran.  After the ascension of Jesus, Jude was one of the first apostles to leave Jerusalem for a foreign country. In fact, it is believed that Jude was one of the first apostles to witness directly to a foreign king, a Gentile. [19] When Saint Simeon, Saint Jude's brother was elected Bishop of Jerusalem, Saint Jude went back to travelling and teaching. He was martyred in Armenia. a country which did not completely convert to Christianity for another 250 years.[20]
Andrew, the brother of Apostle Peter parents’ names were Joanna and Jona. Like their father, Andrew and Peter were also fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. In fact, the apostles Andrew, Peter, James and John were all partners in a fishing business prior to being called by Jesus to follow Him. Andrew was the first of the Apostles to follow Jesus (John 1:35-42) and just as John the Baptist introduced Jesus to the nation of Israel, so Andrew is noted for having introduced Jesus to individuals. The apostle Peter became the fisher of men in masse where Andrew was a fisher for individuals. In his later ministry, it is believed that Andrew went to the foothills of the Caucasus mountains (present day Georgia in Russia) and while there he preached to the Scythians as far as the Caspian Sea. He also went to Byzantium which is present day Istanbul in Turkey and from there, to Greece. In fact he traveled to Thrace and Macedonia, down through the Corinthian Gulf to Patros and it was in Patros that Andrew was martyred. In the church of St. Andrew in Patros, Greece, there is a book written in Greek which sheds light on his martyrdom. The following is written: "Aigeatis who was the governor of Patros became enraged at Andrew for his preaching and ordered him to stand before the tribunal in his attempt to do away with the Christian Faith. When Andrew resisted the tribunal the governor ordered him crucified. Andrew remained tied to the cross with thick tight ropes for three days and his last words were: "Accept me, O Christ Jesus, whom I saw, whom I love, and in whom I am; accept my spirit in peace in your eternal realm."  An ancient writer also speaks of the apostle's martyrdom as such:
"Andrew hung upon the cross three whole days, suffering dreadful pain but continuing constantly to tell the people around him of the love of Jesus Christ. The people as they listened to him began to believe his words and asked the governor to let him be taken down from the cross. Not liking to refuse them, he at last ordered the ropes to be cut but when the last rope was severed, the body of the apostle fell to the ground quite dead."
It is believed that Andrew died on the last day of November, 69 AD.
Simon the Zealot and Andrew are credited by an Armenian tradition as the apostles who evangelized in Armenia. There are several places mentioned as to where he suffered martyrdom, one being Phaleaon, a city of Judea and another Jerusalem. Simon was surnamed the Zealot for his rigid adherence to the Jewish law and to the Canaanite law. He was one of the original followers of Christ. Some ancient Christian writers say that Simon and Jude went together as missionaries to Egypt and Persia, and were martyred there.[21] If this is true, it explains, to some extent, our lack of historical information on them and also why they are usually put together. Simon is not mentioned by name in the New Testament except on these lists.
The Apostle James (the son of Alphaeus), who is also called "Less" or "Younger," was a brother of the apostle Matthew and the son of Mary and the brother or father of the writer of the Letter of Jude.[22] He was the brother of the Evangelist Matthew.[23] Which Mary is not altogether certain though she seems to be the wife of one Cleopas. Not much is known about the later ministry of this apostle, however, Aziz S. Atiya, in his "History of Eastern Christianity" says," The seeds of Syrian Christianity had been sown in Jerusalem during the Apostolic age and the contention has been made that the first bishop of the Syrian church was none other than St. James of the Twelve Apostles, identified as 'St. James the Less'."  It has also been said that James (son of Alphaeus) was stoned in Jerusalem for preaching Christ and buried by the Sanctuary. Another source says: The Orthdox Church in America write on its website: “After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle James Alphaeus and the Apostle Andrew the First-Called (November 30), made missionary journeys preaching in Judea, Edessa, Gaza, Eleutheropolis, proclaiming the Gospel, healing all sorts of sickness and disease, and converting many to the path of salvation. St James finished his apostolic work In the Egyptian city of Ostrachina, where he was crucified by the pagans.”[24]
The tradition tells of the Apostle Matthias that evangelized in regions of Armenia and great peril befell him in the cities of Colchis, Sebastopol and elsewhere. It is also believed that he at one time, was aided by the apostle Andrew. Other sources say: “Matthias traveled to Persia and Ethiopia where his life may have been in danger. Matthew more than likely died in Egypt where he was martyred with either the sword or the spear."[25]
The Apostle Bartholomew is reported to have labored in the area around the south end of the Caspian Sea, in the section that was then called Armenia. The modern name of the district where he died is Azerbaijan and the place of his death, called in New Testament times Albanopolis, is now Derbend which is on the west coast of the Caspian Sea. The apostle Bartholomew is said to have been martyred in the year 68 AD. Eusebius states that after the ascension Bartholomew went on a missionary tour to India, where he left behind a copy of the gospel of Matthew.[26] Other traditions record him as serving as a missionary in Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Parthia and Lycaonia.(Asia minor, North of Taurus). The Armenian Apostolic Church together considers him with his Apostle Jude as the apostles who brought Christian faith to their country. A tradition says Bartholomew was crucified in Baku, with his head down. [27].
Also some accounts about the apostles and their places of ministries sometimes differ a lot, it can be said at the end of the apostolic age much was achieved and through the special efforts of the apostles the gospel even came as far as India & China (Thomas), to Spain and to the North of the Caspian and east of the Black Sea; it took roots in Egypt and reached Ethiopia, in all cases with the result that old cultures were beginning to adjust their worldview and value system as well as their system of education. The number of converts, by the end of the apostolic age despite severe persecution were close to 500,000 Christian believers, including those fast growing churches in India, Ethiopia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Armenia and Persia[28].
The Inner Content of Conversions. On one side it reflects God’s power and authority of the Holy Spirit in the lives of individuals. At the same time, some unresolved moral problems became visible. Some also fell into sin or were led astray through heretical teaching. In some cases a tendency toward idolatry developed.

[1] David, Barrett, ed. World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press, 1982), 23.
[2] J. Herbert Kane, A Concise History of the Christian World Mission, (Baker, 1982), 10.
[3] Walker Williston, A History of the Christian Church (1959), 26.
[4] Stephen Neill, A History of Christian Missions (Penguin Books, 1986), 44-45.
[5] Jackie Ascott, “Copts through the Ages” Al-Keraza magazine 1(1), 1(2), 1(3) Coptic Orthodox Church, the Christian Apostolic Church of Egypt,
[6] Roger Wood,  Jan Morris and Denis Wright. (Persia: Universe Books, 1970), 35.
[7] William Steuart McBirnie, The Search for the Twelve Apostles (Tyndale House, 1979).
[8] Charles George, Herbermann,. The Catholic Encyclopedia, (Herbermann, 1913), 737.
[9] David, Barrett, ed. World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press, 1982), 10.
[10] Morris, McDonald, Morris. A Brief Survey of Missions (Singapore: Far Eastern Bible College Press, 1999). 3-5.
[12] William Steuart McBirnie, “Peter,” The Search for the Twelve Apostles (Carol Stream, [IL]: Tyndale House, 1979).
[13] William Steuart McBirnie, “John,” The Search for the Twelve Apostles (Carol Stream, [IL]: Tyndale House, 1979).
[14] "The Cradle of Indian Christianity",
[16] Thomas.
[19] Acts of the Holy Apostle Thaddaeus.
[21] Simon the Zealot:
[25] William Steuart, McBirnie, The Search for the Twelve Apostles (Carol Stream, [IL]: Tyndale House, 1972).
[28] Religious Information Source Website  “The Number of Christians through History”; retrieved on January 2009 and last updated on 09/07/2008

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