How Many Apopstles Were in Office Between the Resurrection and the Ascension?

Supposed contradiction and verses:

How many apostles were in office between the resurection and ascention?

1 Corinthians 15:5

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve

Matthew 27:3-5

3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Matthew 28:16

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

Acts 1:9 & 26

9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


   The atheist sure went out of their way to make something out of nothing. First, we get confused often with disciples, apostles, and the original twelve. Let me explain. The office of Apostle was someone who had seen the risen Christ. There were MANY apostles and signs and wonders followed them. All the modern day wanna-bes with the title ďapostleĒ in front of themselves are trying to draw attention and glory to themselves with a title; unless, of course, they are about 2000 years old. The twelve, were just that. Twelve Disciples. Jesus chose twelve to follow closely with Him and learn, and that number ties in significantly with the 12 tribes of Israel as well as the New Jerusalem described in Revelation. Finally, a disciple is any follower of Jesus, but the 12 had a special attention to them because they followed so closely with him. There were many that walked with them as well which is evident with Matthias and Barsabus.

   So the real question here that the atheist should have posed was about the 12 Disciples, as there were countless Apostles. Letís start with Matthew 27:3-5. This shows that Judas ended up killing himself after betraying Jesus. That took the number of the twelve down to eleven. We see this number pop up in Matthew 28:16 as Jesus has risen from the dead and the eleven go with Him to Galilee.  We then follow this up with Acts chapter one. I pointed verses 9 & 26 but all verses between show that they are numbering themselves back to twelve as they once were and the one chosen was Matthias, yet we see this happens, of course, after the ascension. So clearly, the number of them in office was eleven.

   So what do we do with the verse in 1 Corinthians 15:5 which speaks of 12 before the ascension? We handle it in just the way that Paul intended. Mathias was the one elected to office, and had been so long before Paulís letter to the church in Corinth. They were well aware of how he got in office so Paul did not need to address that in his letter. Mathias had seen the risen Christ before he was one of the 12, and it was much easier to include him in that number, rather than going through wasting ink and space on a subject they were already familiar with. No contradiction!

In His Grace,

            Mike Harris


Click Here to go Back to Contradictions Page

Click Here to go Back to Main Page