"the Father has sent [apestalken] his Son to be the Savior of the world", E.S.V.

Some possibly relevant thoughts:

"the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world":

  1. that the authority of the Father might be displayed.

  2. that the obedience of the Son might be displayed.

  3. that the world might have a Savior.

    As apestalken is used here, would it be pushing the meaning of the word too far to say that of these three it is the authority of the Father that is being emphasised here?

Which is not to deny the existence of 2 and 3 but to ask if apestalken slants the meaning in this way.

I think one way to get a view on the the word "apestalken" is to compare it with "pempo" as in John 20:21.

"As the Father has sent [apestalken] me, even so I am sending [pempo] you".

Here the chain of sending does start with the Father. Does the word "apestalken" positively accent this not just in John 20:21 but in 1 John 4:14?

1 Answer 1


The verb "I send" ἀποστέλλω (apostelló) occurs more than 130 times in the NT. It is used in various ways:

  • The Father sending the Son, Matt 10:40, Luke 1:19, 4:18, 43,

  • Jesus sending out the disciples, Matt 10:5, 16, 21:1,

  • Jesus sending His angels, Matt 13:41,

  • A Master sending slaves/servants, Matt 22:3, 4

  • God sending Angels, Matt 24:31, Luke 1:26

  • Pilate's wife sending a message to Pilate, Matt 27:19

  • The king sends an executioner, Mark 6:27

  • The priests send Pharisees to Jesus, Mark 12:13

  • John the Baptist send disciples, Luke 7:20

    … and so forth. For comparison, the verb "I send" πέμπω (pempó) is used in very similar ways:

  • The father sends the Son, Luke 20:13

  • The king sending people, Matt 2:8

  • Jesus sending disciples, Matt 11:2

  • God sends Elijah, Luke 4:26

    … and so forth. The two verbs are used almost interchangeably, with πέμπω (pempó) being slightly more official than ἀποστέλλω (apostelló), but this distinction is barely discernible. John 20:21 shows just how similarly they are used.

Therefore, I would not try to read more meaning into the two verbs for "send" that was intended - probably nothing. Both verbs are used of the Father sending the Son, AND the Jesus sending the disciples as per the above list.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.