According to some priests I've met, the epithet "Apostle to X" is not really an Orthodox epithet. Take for example Ss. Cyril and Methodius. In the West, they are regularly referred to as "Apostles to the Slavs", whereas in the East they are properly, "Equals to the Apostles." I think some priests in the DOS have been personally corrected on this by his emminence Dmitri. Although etymologically apostle and missionary are equivalent -- one is from Greek apostolos and the other from Latin missio, both meaning to send -- in Orthodoxy it seems to me that apostle is restricted in practice to the Seventy, the Twelve, and Paul ("as one abnormally born"). --Basil 20:59, 27 Jan 2005 (CST)
- I'd have to see the original language texts before I could judge whether "Apostle to X" is correct or not. I've seen it used in English language Orthodox sources, though. Equal-to-the-Apostles is Ισαποστολος in Greek -- that I know. I'm not sure what's wrong with the expression "Apostle to X," though (even if it's a relatively new invention). Anyone know whether that may perhaps be an ancient Western usage? *shrug*
- One data point is that the troparion in use by St. Aidan's Orthodox Church in Manchester, UK, refers to St. Aidan as "Apostle of the North." So that's at least one liturgical reference I can think of right off.
- The distinction seems to be the use of "Apostle" as a title vs. epithet. I've never seen Aidan, for instance, called "Apostle Aidan." --Rdr. Andrew 21:13, 27 Jan 2005 (CST)
- I think also a liturgical use will be slightly a different thing from the form of their commemoration. Also, you will pardon me for my Byzantinism here, a troparion to a pre-Roman Celtic saint written in the past few decades by English-speaking Orthodox (whom I'm supposing to be converts) will not hold nearly as much weight for me as the opinion of someone with a broad experience in the literature of multiple Orthodox cultures like, for example, Archimandrite Ephrem or Fr. Thomas Hopko. I'm a snob, I know. You should see me in a conversation about the arts; I'm positively insufferable. ;-) --Basil 21:31, 27 Jan 2005 (CST)
- Well, sure. It was simply an example that came to mind immediately. Unless there are strenuous objections to including a mention of "Apostle to the X," I think we should leave it in, because it is being used, and I honestly don't see what might be wrong with it. (What was the content of that objection you noted above?) --Rdr. Andrew 06:11, 28 Jan 2005 (CST)
- The context (that's what you meant, right?) was me being corrected by my priest for calling Ss. Cyril and Methodius "Apostles to the Slavs," which is the common non-Orthodox epithet for them (see the BCP or Roman Catholic calendars). He told me that they aren't really called that in Orthodox tradition, and intimated that Archbishop DMITRI frowned on it. IOW, someone probably got corrected by his emminence at some point. My recollection of the reason behind the correction was that apostle as an epithet is reserved for the Apostles. If no one else is going to object, my comment should be noted as a concern or a hesitation rather than an objection. --Basil 20:58, 28 Jan 2005 (CST)