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2 Timothy 1:11

ESV for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
NIV And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.
NASB for which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher.
CSB For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher,
NLT And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
KJV Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

What does 2 Timothy 1:11 mean?

This short verse tells not only why Paul served, but the three key roles in which he served. He served because of the gospel, as noted in the prior verse. He was "appointed" or called to be "a preacher and apostle and teacher." Though closely related, these three terms are each rich in meaning.

Paul's role as "preacher" is from the Greek kēryx. This term specifically refers to a herald: a person who declares news, especially on behalf of a king. The modern world would define this role somewhat like an ambassador.

The term "apostle" comes directly from the Greek apostolos, and literally means a "sent one." The original 12 disciples—excluding Judas Iscariot but including Matthias—served as the first apostles (Acts 1). Others, including Paul, were mentioned as apostles in the early church in an official sense. In Ephesians 4:11, apostles were mentioned alongside prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers as those called to equip the saints.

Paul was literally an apostle—a "sent one"—in the sense of being sent by God to deliver the gospel to new lands. Today, people may serve in missionary roles like Paul but do not serve in the same manner as an early apostle. The official office of an "apostle," a person who authenticated the gospel of Christ, as Paul and Peter did, is no longer active in the church.

Paul's role as a "teacher," the Greek word didaskalos, referred to someone who gave instruction. In the Jewish tradition, this was the same meaning of the title Rabbi, an honor often bestowed on Jesus during His ministry.
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