ABC:1 Corinthians 15

From BibleStrength

Verse 5

Jim Meritt of states a contradiction exists here and queries "How many apostles were in office between the resurrection and ascension?"[1]

Meritt is trying to say Paul should have said there were eleven instead of twelve at the time. However, Paul was writing after the fact when there were once again twelve apostles (now including Mathias, who had replaced Judas). Therefore Paul was justified in using the phrase "the twelve" after the fact, since Mathias doubtless saw the risen Lord as well, even if Mathias was not considered one of the twelve yet.

The term "the twelve" was likely a common way of referring to the twelve apostles at the time Paul wrote that, just as the Beatles frequently were referred to as the "Fab Four" when they were alive. Yes, Paul was referring to a time Mathias wasn't yet considered one of "the twelve" but at the time Paul was writing Mathias had become one of "the twelve."

Even if one really wanted to nitpick like this, Judas didn't technically stop getting considered one of "the twelve" until Acts 1:26, so even if he died a few days before Peter saw Jesus (compare Matthew 27:3-5 and 28:7) he was still considered one of "the twelve." Meritt assumes Judas just stopped being considered one of "the twelve" upon dying which the Bible never states.


  1. Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from