Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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"...He gave the priesthood to his saintly disciples and pure apostles when he breathed on them and told them receive the Holy Spirit whose sins you forgive they are forgiven and whose sins you retain they are retained." Does this refer in the Holy Bible to the twelve disciples or to the seventy or both? If it included the 70 disciples, then St. Philip would already have a priestly rank. Therefore, how can he be selected to become a deacon?

Our Lord breathed the Holy Spirit onto the apostles only and gave them the authority to forgive sins. Then the apostles passed this authority on to their followers by the laying of the hands on the bishops and the priests whom they had ordained. +++++++ Apostles question: Who received the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room on the day of the Pentecost? Was it the twelve or the seventy or both? answer: In the Holy Book of Acts we read that those who were gathered together in the Upper room were about a hundred and twenty (Acts 1:15). On the day of the Pentecost, they were all with one accord in one place (Acts 2:1), so there was the twelve, the seventy and others with St. Mary the mother of Jesus (Acts 1:14).
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