The Greek text of Phil. 2:25 according to the Textus Receptus states,
ΚΕʹ Ἀναγκαῖον δὲ ἡγησάμην Ἐπαφρόδιτον τὸν ἀδελφὸν καὶ συνεργὸν καὶ συστρατιώτην μου ὑμῶν δὲ ἀπόστολον καὶ λειτουργὸν τῆς χρείας μου πέμψαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς TR, 1550
From my previous readings of the Greek New Testament, I recognize the Greek word «ἀπόστολον» as the accusative declension of the lemma «ἀπόστολος», from which the English word “apostle” is derived. This Greek word is translated into English as “apostle” in the KJV (1769) in 78 of its 81 occurrences (~96%).
The reason for the question is that some translations translate «ἀπόστολον» as “messenger” in Phil. 2:25, but statistically, it seems as though “apostle” is the preferred reading. But, of course, it’s rather simplistic to suggest that a particular Greek word must always be translated by the same English word for each occurrence. Nevertheless, why should it be translated as “messenger” here rather than “apostle”? Would translating it as “apostle” be considered absolutely erroneous, for some reason?