Elmer L. Towns describes a disciple as one who follows Jesus and learns from him (423). Not only do disciples follow and learn from Jesus but they accept his teachings as well. For example, a young boy learns his fishing techniques and knowledge from his father. By following his father's techniques, he has shown that he accepts it and could perhaps pass on to others what he has learned. That is not always the case though. Wayne Blank wrote an article titled "Disciples and Apostles" in which he stated that all disciples did not become apostles, but all apostles were disciples (1).
An apostle, which is defined as a teacher or messenger, has the duty of spreading the words and teachings learned (Minirth 129). Robert McCullough-Bade states, in his article "Disciples to Apostles," that the twelve disciples, excluding Judas and including Matthias, eventually became the twelve apostles. Judas was a disciple because he followed and learned from Jesus. He is not considered an apostle because he did not continue as a messenger or teacher of what he was taught.
The difference between a disciple and an apostle is that one is a student learning and the other is a messenger of what they learn. Students do not always become messengers or teachers of what they learn, just as a disciple does not always become an apostle. An apostle, on the other hand, is always a disciple just as a teacher or messenger must always be a learner first.
The words apostle and disciple are used interchangeably as both represent passionate students of certain philosophies and beliefs which they intend to spread by preaching people around them. However, in Chirstianity, disciples were students of Jesus during his existence. Some of the Jesus's followers were also followers of John the Baptist. Not only do disciples follow and learn from Jesus but they accept his teachings as well. For example, a young boy learns his fishing techniques and knowledge from his father. By following his father's techniques, he has shown that he ...
The solution discusses the difference between an apostle and a disciple.