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1 Corinthians 15:3-9 (ESV):

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

By saying "last of all" (v8), was Paul implying that he was the absolutely last apostle of all time, and that there would be no more apostles after him?

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    No - the two questions are unrelated. No more apostles? No more missionary activity? No more people being sent? Humbug!! Paul is simply saying that he was the last apostle (then living) to have been called, or more likely, that he was the "least of all apostles" as V9 makes clear.
    – Dottard
    Sep 7 at 3:24
  • @Dottard, I've always understood an apostle in the New Testament sense, was someone sent personally by Jesus. I don't think it means someone who works in a mission field, otherwise, it can be argued that every Christian is an apostle sent into the world to represent him in the ministry of reconciliation and thus all are ambassadors (2 Cor 5:17-20).
    – Austin
    Sep 7 at 4:39
  • @Austin - that is OK but can that be deduced from the NT? No such definition can be obtained from the NT. "Apostle" is simply, "One who is sent". Perhaps, it might be stretched to mean one who is sent afar as the NT apostles were, but that just "missionary" in modern terms.
    – Dottard
    Sep 7 at 4:43
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    @Austin - Many modern missionaries have "seen" Jesus in the same way that Paul did. Further, there are many modern miracles by many.
    – Dottard
    Sep 7 at 8:33
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    It appears that some people are very keen to kill off the work of the Holy Spirit in the modern Church. Let us be very clear that without the Holy Spirit, there is no church, only people trying or pretending to do church. I have personally seen too many miracles and direct workings of the Holy Spirit to be persuaded otherwise.
    – Dottard
    Sep 7 at 8:35
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Can 1 Corinthians 15:3-9, particularly verse 8, be used as a proof-text for the claim that there are no more apostles after Paul?

No.

1 Corinthians 15:8

8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

"Last of all" relates contextually to Paul being the least of all those Jesus personally appeared to since he is a murderer of the body of Christ.

"One untimely born" is more literally "abortive birth" this may refer to the hideousness of the circumstances of his rebirth in Christ - being visited by Christ as he was on his way to murder more Christians.

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Can 1 Corinthians 15:3-9, particularly verse 8, be used as a proof-text for the claim that there are no more apostles after Paul?

This is a matter of definition. How does one define apostle? One could use 1 Corinthians 15:8 as the definition of an apostle. Then by definition, Paul was the last one. But I think this definition is too strict and wrong.

There is also a loose definition of apostle.

Strong's Concordance

Definition: a messenger, one sent on a mission, an apostle

HELPS Word-studies

Cognate: 652 apóstolos (from 649 /apostéllō, "to commission, send forth") – properly, someone sent (commissioned), focusing back on the authority (commissioning) of the sender (note the prefix, apo); apostle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostle

There is also a tradition in the Eastern Churches of "Seventy Apostles", derived from the seventy-two disciples mentioned in the Gospel of Luke.

I think this definition is too loose and is also wrong. I'd prefer a definition that is somewhere in between these two extremes.

By saying "last of all" (v8), was Paul implying that he was the absolutely last apostle of all time, and that there would be no more apostles after him?

No, not according to my sense of the word "apostle".

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No.

Paul was the last in the series of Jesus' post resurrection appearances which he has just finished enumerating as part of the Gospel which he preached to them. These appearances do not and can not always represent the occasion of the calling to apostleship since the appearances listed were to Cephas (an apostle already), the Twelve (apostles already), 500 of the brethren (arguably not all apostles), James (likely the Lord's brother and not usually listed as an Apostle), and all the apostles (arguably, in a list format, different than the Twelve), and then, last of all (of the post resurrection appearances) to Paul.

This appearance was the occasion of Paul's calling, along with the follow up visit from Simon, but Paul's point is not that he is the last one called but, rather, that he considers himself the least of those called.

The word "lastly" is referencing the sequence of Jesus' post resurrection appearances.

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