(1) The fact that they felt it necessary to appoint a replacement for Judas (1:12-26)
(2) Peter’s Pentecost sermon (2:14-41)
(3) Peter and John’s arrest and appearance before the Sanhedrin (4:1-21)
(4) Annias and Sapphira episode (5:1-11)
(5) Arrest and jailing of apostles (NB: for Luke the “apostles and the “Twelve” are synonyms)(5:17-42)
(6) The Twelve’s appointment of the seven spirit-filled men for ministry (6:2-6)
(7) The apostles sending of Peter and John to Samaria (8:14-15)
(8) Peter and Cornelius’ conversion (10)
(9) Peter and James, the brother of John’s arrest (12)
Still as the narrative progresses through these chapters there are hints that the leadership is in process. First, mention is made of a wider group of leaders. We see this first in the reference in Acts 11:1 to the “Apostles and the brothers”; the later group not however a reference to the actual brothers of Jesus. Again in 11:22 a wider group (the “church at Jerusalem”) is said to have sent Barnabas to Anitoch. Also in chapter 11 the financial gift brought by Barnabas and Saul was given to the “elders”. This process seems to have ended by Acts 15 where James clearly has taken the preeminent role of leadership in the Jerusalem church; see also Acts 21:18. Note that Peter specifically signals him out in Acts 12:17 after his miraculous release from prison.
Second, if Peter is any indication of the function of the wider group of Twelve, then after they are said to have remained in Jerusalem subsequent to the onslaught of persecution (8:1), they appear to be involved in a wider missionary endeavor and marginal in the leadership structure in Jerusalem, although clearly not absent. Peter for example said to be travelling about the country (9:32) and was residing in Joppa in Acts 10. This observation of the missional function of the Twelve seems to confirm my suspicion that the Twelve’s appointment by Jesus had significant functional importance which although Matthew most explicitly emphasizes is clearly not absent in the other Gospels. Matthew’s unique introduction of the Twelve in contrast to Mark and Luke, suggests I think his understanding of the Twelve as having an emissary role. In Matthew’s view, and perhaps now confirmed historically in Acts’ portrait, the Twelve are called the twelve apostles (Matt 10:2) because they were sent by the Davidic King on the official duty of announcing the arrival of the Messianic Kingdom and dispensing the eschatological blessings of that kingdom. Bauckham apparently concurs with this at least in part when he writes,
It seems likely that many members of the Twelve were no longer permanently resident in Jerusalem, as was certainly the case with Peter, while at least one had died (Acts 12:2), James stepped into the leadership gap. Any remaining members of the Twelve would have become members of the college of the elders with whom James presided over the church (Acts 21:18).
While it is possible that some of the Twelve remained in Jerusalem as Bauckham’s last sentence suggests, it seems equally or even more likely to me that they had eventually all scattered on mission in fulfillment of their vocation. Furthermore, if Paul’s reference to the “division of apostolic labor” in Galatians 2:7-9 is correct (and there is no necessary reason to doubt its historical credibility), then it is conceivable that Peter and the Twelve’s primary mission field was the circumcised.