Q&A: Could there be any non-authoritative infallible apostles like Paul today?

Could there be any non-authoritative infallible apostles like Paul today?

Question

Could there be any non-authoritative infallible apostles like Paul today that give new revelations?

Answer

First of all, the writings of Paul are absolutely and completely authoritative. He received revelation from Christ himself (Gal. 1:12; cf. 1 Cor. 11:23; 2 Cor. 12:1; Gal. 1:1, 16; 2:2; Eph. 3:3; 1 Thess. 4:15) and wrote thirteen letters that are inspired, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). The original documents that the apostle Paul authored, called "autographs," are authoritative infallible Scripture.

Second, all New Testament apostles, like Paul, were authoritative and infallible in their original writings of Scripture. So, in examining your question, we need to ask another: If the so-called apostles of today are infallible in their revelations, then why wouldn't they also be authoritative? Certainly they are either infallible and therefore authoritative, or they are fallible and therefore, by definition, can't be authoritative. Respectfully, there is no such a person as a non-authoritative infallible apostle.

Third, we need to understand that one of the actual biblical roles of apostles like Paul was to give new authoritative infallible revelation. Paul stated, "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works." (2 Cor. 12:12). The signs that Paul performed (Acts 13:11; 14:8-10; 19:11-12; 20:9-12) actually authenticated his apostleship (1 Cor. 15:18). So, where is the authentication of these so-called present-day apostles?

Lastly, John says we are to test the spirits to see whether they are from God (1 John 4:1; cf. Deut. 13:1-5; 18:20-22; Jer. 14:14; 23:16; Matt. 7:15; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Pet. 2:1; 2 John 1:7, etc.). Naturally, we would need to ask: If these so-called apostles today don't give new authoritative infallible revelation, then what is their function biblically? And where in Scripture do we observe an example of such non-authoritative yet infallible apostles? While Paul exemplified other true apostles as pillars of the faith (Gal. 2:9), didn't he also teach that false apostles were non-authoritative? (2 Cor. 11:12-14; cf. Rev. 2:2). If the "apostles" of today don't meet the biblical parameters for a true apostle, then upon what basis do they claim to be in the biblical office? On every count these so-called apostles fail the test. And clearly, the office of apostle doesn't biblically exist today.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).