Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to an apostle.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or contemporary with the 12 Apostles.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or derived from the teaching or practice of the 12 Apostles.
  • adj. Of or relating to a succession of spiritual authority from the 12 Apostles, regarded by Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and some others to have been perpetuated by successive ordinations of bishops and to be requisite for valid orders and administration of sacraments.
  • adj. Roman Catholic Church Of or relating to the pope as the successor of Saint Peter; papal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. pertaining to an apostle, or to the apostles, their times, or their peculiar spirit
  • adj. according to the doctrines of the apostles; delivered or taught by the apostles
  • adj. Of or relating to the pope or the papacy; papal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to an apostle, or to the apostles, their times, or their peculiar spirit
  • adj. According to the doctrines of the apostles; delivered or taught by the apostles.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the pope or the papacy; papal.
  • n. A member of one of certain ascetic sects which at various times professed to imitate the practice of the apostles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining or relating to or characteristic of an apostle, or more especially of the twelve apostles; of the apostles or an apostle: as, the apostolic age.
  • According to the doctrines of the apostles; delivered or taught by the apostles: as, apostolic faith or practice.
  • An epithet of the Christian church, signifying her identity with the primitive church of the apostles. See apostolicity.
  • Pertaining to or conferred by the pope: as, apostolic privileges; apostolic benediction.
  • n. A member of one of various sects (also called Apostolicals or Apostolici) which professed to revive the doctrine and practice of the apostles.
  • n. A title of bishops in early times, afterward limited to primates, and finally to the pope.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. proceeding from or ordered by or subject to a pope or the papacy regarded as the successor of the Apostles
  • adj. of or relating to or deriving from the Apostles or their teachings

Etymologies

From Latin apostolicus ("apostolic"), from Ancient Greek ἀποστολικός (apostolikós, "apostolic"): compare with French apostolique. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “An established religion is certainly desirable,” said Atherton, “and I am inclined to believe, that those who fled from persecution, and have here founded a church on what you term apostolic principles, would be as severe towards those of different modes and opinions, and as much influenced by prejudice, as the church of England has ever been, in regard to her dissenting children.”

    A Peep at the Pilgrims in Sixteen Hundred Thirty-Six

  • In His letter the Pope has presented in unambiguous terms the apostolic nature of the Church, which is always to be led by the bishops, the successors of the Apostles, in communion with the Pope, the successor of Peter, the head of the Apostles.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • Like any politician, the institution of education claims direct descent in apostolic succession from the Founding Fathers. — from The Graves of Academe

    11.03

  • Episcopacy was adopted in apostolic times as the most expedient form of government, being most nearly in accordance with Jewish institutions, and so offering the less obstruction through Jewish prejudices to the progress of Christianity.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • This is just what we might expect; a writing known only partially at first, when subsequently it obtained a wider circulation, and the proofs were better known of its having been recognized in apostolic churches, having in them men endowed with the discernment of spirits, which qualified them for discriminating between inspired and uninspired writings, was universally accepted.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • But as it is not clear that baptism in apostolic times was exclusively by immersion [see on [2202] Ac 2: 41], so sprinkling and washing are indifferently used in the New Testament to express the cleansing efficacy of the blood of Jesus.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Lord gives Himself this compound name, afterwards so current in apostolic preaching and writing.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • This is why I call the apostolic anointing a 'finishing anointing.'

    British Blogs

  • The New Testament, after all, was initially called the apostolic writings, so what one might mean by 'with the apostles' is 'with these texts.'

    Who Do Men Say That I Am?

  • His oratory soon attracted numerous disciples, for whom he wrote a rule, and his austerities and miracles recalled the apostolic ages.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

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