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Pentecostal vs. Apostolic: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed & Dua Fatima || Published on May 21, 2024
Pentecostalism is a broader Christian movement known for its emphasis on Holy Spirit's gifts, Apostolic refers specifically to denominations that adhere to teachings & practices of Apostles, often associated with Oneness theology & baptism in Jesus' name.
Pentecostal vs. Apostolic

Key Differences

Pentecostalism emerged in the early 20th century, focusing on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, prophecy, and healing. This movement embraces the Trinity and believes in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, emphasizing personal experiences with the Holy Spirit. Apostolic denominations, particularly those known as Apostolic Pentecostals, share many of these beliefs but distinguish themselves through their adherence to what they consider the apostles' original teachings, including the modalistic understanding of God rather than the Trinitarian view.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024
The term "Apostolic" is often used to describe churches that follow the teachings of the Apostles, especially those practices found in the Acts of the Apostles. This includes baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) and a strong emphasis on holiness and righteous living. While all Pentecostals value the early church's practices, Apostolic Pentecostals specifically adhere to a Oneness theology, rejecting the Trinity in favor of a belief that God manifests Himself as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but is not three distinct persons.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024
Worship styles in both movements are characterized by vibrant, expressive services, including speaking in tongues, divine healing, and prophetic messages. However, Apostolic Pentecostals often adhere to stricter standards of dress and conduct, based on their interpretations of biblical holiness.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024
Both movements place a strong emphasis on evangelism and believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ. They also share a belief in the importance of living a life guided by the Holy Spirit, with differences largely rooted in doctrinal interpretations, particularly concerning the nature of God and the formula for baptism.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024
Pentecostal is a broad term encompassing many denominations within the charismatic Christian family, "Apostolic" refers to a narrower group of churches that claim a direct lineage to the teachings and practices of the Apostles, often through specific doctrinal and liturgical markers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Belief in Trinity

Yes, embraces the traditional Trinity
Often No, adheres to Oneness theology
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024

Baptism

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
In the name of Jesus Christ
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024

Emphasis

Gifts of the Holy Spirit, personal faith experience
Apostles' teachings, holiness, baptism in Jesus' name
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024

Worship Style

Vibrant, expressive, includes speaking in tongues
Similar, with possibly stricter holiness standards
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024

Theological Focus

Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Oneness of God, direct adherence to Apostolic practices
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
May 21, 2024
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Pentecostal and Apostolic Definitions

Pentecostal

Emphasizes the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Speaking in tongues as evidence.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
Feb 27, 2024

Apostolic

Adheres to Oneness theology.
Baptizing in Jesus' name only.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Feb 27, 2024

Pentecostal

Values personal relationship with God.
Personal testimonies of faith and miracles.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 27, 2024

Apostolic

Emphasizes holiness in lifestyle.
Standards of modesty and conduct.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Feb 27, 2024

Pentecostal

Believes in the Trinity.
God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 27, 2024
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Apostolic

Pertaining to an apostle, or to the apostles, their times, or their peculiar spirit; as, an apostolical mission; the apostolic age.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Pentecostal

Any member of a Pentecostal religious body.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Apostolic

Of or relating to a succession of spiritual authority from the 12 Apostles, regarded by Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and some others to have been perpetuated by successive ordinations of bishops and to be requisite for valid orders and administration of sacraments.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Pentecostal

Practices vibrant worship.
Lively music, speaking in tongues during services.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
Feb 27, 2024

Apostolic

Of, relating to, or derived from the teaching or practice of the 12 Apostles.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Pentecostal

Encourages evangelism.
Spreading the Gospel through missionary work.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 27, 2024

Apostolic

Pertaining to apostles or their practice of teaching; pertaining to the apostles (of early Christianity) or their teachings.
An apostolic mission
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Pentecostal

Of or relating to or occurring at Pentecost.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Apostolic

Of or pertaining to the pope or the papacy; papal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Pentecostal

Of or relating to or characteristic of any of various Pentecostal religious bodies or their members.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Apostolic

According to the doctrines of the apostles; delivered or taught by the apostles; as, apostolic faith or practice.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Apostolic

Follows Apostles' teachings closely.
Strict dress codes and lifestyle guidelines.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 27, 2024

Apostolic

Holds to a direct lineage from the Apostles.
Claiming apostolic succession in beliefs and practices.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 27, 2024

Apostolic

According to the doctrines of the apostles; delivered or taught by the apostles.
Apostolic faith or practice.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Apostolic

Of or pertaining to the Catholic missions.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Apostolic

A member of one of certain ascetic sects which at various times professed to imitate the practice of the apostles.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Apostolic

Practices Jesus' name baptism.
As a key distinction from mainstream Pentecostalism.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 27, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Do Pentecostal and Apostolic churches have different requirements for membership?

While both emphasize a born-again experience, Apostolic churches may have additional requirements related to baptism, holiness standards, and doctrinal agreement, reflecting their interpretation of Apostolic practices.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024

How do Apostolic believers interpret the Bible differently from Pentecostals?

Apostolic believers place a strong emphasis on adhering to the practices of the early church as described in the Acts of the Apostles, including a specific focus on baptism in Jesus' name and a Oneness view of God.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024

Why do Apostolic Pentecostals emphasize baptism in Jesus' name?

They base their practice on passages like Acts 2:38, believing it follows the example set by the Apostles and is essential for salvation.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024

What is the main theological difference between Pentecostal and Apostolic churches?

The main theological difference lies in their views of the Godhead: Pentecostals adhere to Trinitarian beliefs, while Apostolics follow Oneness theology.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024

Can someone be both Pentecostal and Apostolic?

While there are shared beliefs and practices, doctrinal differences concerning the nature of God and baptism typically distinguish members of one group from the other.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024

What are the origins of Pentecostalism and Apostolic Christianity?

Pentecostalism originated in the early 20th century from the Azusa Street Revival, emphasizing a direct experience with the Holy Spirit. Apostolic Christianity claims roots in the earliest Christian church, focusing on adherence to the practices and teachings of the Apostles.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024

How do Pentecostal and Apostolic views on the Holy Spirit differ?

Both value the Holy Spirit's role; however, Pentecostals focus on the Spirit's gifts, such as speaking in tongues as evidence of Spirit baptism, while Apostolics emphasize the Holy Spirit's indwelling power and its manifestation through living a holy life and performing baptisms in Jesus' name.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
May 21, 2024

How do Pentecostal and Apostolic churches approach scripture interpretation?

Both take a literal approach to Scripture but may differ in interpretation, especially concerning the Godhead and baptism. Apostolics heavily focus on the Acts of the Apostles for church practices.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024

What role does prophecy play in Pentecostal and Apostolic beliefs?

Prophecy is valued in both denominations as a gift of the Holy Spirit, used for edification and guidance within the church.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024

What are the challenges faced by Pentecostal and Apostolic believers in contemporary society?

Challenges include navigating cultural relevance while maintaining doctrinal integrity, addressing misconceptions about their beliefs, particularly regarding speaking in tongues and baptism, and engaging with social issues through a biblical lens.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024

What is the significance of speaking in tongues in both denominations?

Speaking in tongues is seen as a sign of baptism in the Holy Spirit in both groups, though Apostolics may also view it as essential evidence of salvation, closely tied to Acts 2:38.
Dua Fatima
Dua Fatima
May 21, 2024

What is the approach to evangelism in both movements?

Both are committed to evangelism, believing in the importance of spreading the Gospel. The methods and intensity of outreach efforts may vary, with both communities engaging in missionary work, local evangelism, and social media outreach.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024

Can Apostolic Christians participate in Pentecostal churches, and vice versa?

While participation in worship services might be possible, full membership often requires adherence to specific doctrinal beliefs unique to each denomination.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
May 21, 2024

How do Pentecostal and Apostolic churches view ecumenism and interfaith dialogue?

Views on ecumenism and interfaith dialogue can vary within each movement, with some groups more open to engaging with other Christian denominations and faiths, while others may adopt a more exclusivist stance based on doctrinal purity.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
May 21, 2024

How do dress codes differ between Pentecostal and Apostolic Christians?

Apostolic Christians often adhere to stricter dress codes based on their interpretations of biblical holiness, which may include directives on hair length, makeup, and modest attire, whereas Pentecostal standards can vary widely among congregations.
Hifza Nasir
Hifza Nasir
May 21, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.
Dua Fatima
Co-written by
Dua Fatima

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