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The New Testament Pattern for Elders

The New Testament Pattern for Elders

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The New Testament Pattern for Elders

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  1. The New Testament Pattern for Elders

  2. 2 Tim. 1:13—Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. • Patton: The word form (hupotuposis) means “to sketch, outline.” The same word is translated “pattern” (1 Tim. 1:16). The noun tupos means “the impression left by a seal, the effect of a blow or pressure, an engraved mark, a pattern, a model. (Truth Commentary on 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) • BAGD: “model, example, rather in the sense prototype 1 Ti. 1:16. Rather in the sense standard 2 Ti. 1:13…” • Thayer: (hupotupoo, to delineate, outline); an outline, sketch, brief and summary exposition… b. an example, pattern…the pattern placed before one to be held fast and copied, model…2 Tim. 1:13.”

  3. Elder or Presbyter (Presbuteros) • Found 67 times in Scripture • Sometimes refers to AGE • Ancestors (Matt. 15:2; Mark 7:3-5; Heb. 11:2) • Older Persons (Luke 15:25; John 8:9; 1 Tim. 5:2) • Sometimes refers to AUTHORITY • Elders of Pharaoh's house (Gen. 50:7) • The leader of the Israelites (Exod. 3:16; 4:29) • 70 elders who assisted Moses (Num. 11:16) • Elders (councils) over cities (Josh. 20:4; Ruth 4:2) • Members of the Sanhedrin (Matt. 16:21; 26:3; Acts 4:5) • God’s ordained leaders in His church (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23; 20:17; 21:18)

  4. Elder • Daniel H. King: “In the Hebrew Old Testament the word zaqen (‘elder’) signified ‘one who wears a beard,’ ‘bearded one,’ that is, a fully developed male adult. The Hebrew word for beard was zaqan. By extension it came to mean ‘gray bearded,’ i.e. an old man. From Israel’s earliest history there are clear indications certain men made up leadership of the larger community. By reason of the age and experience of these men, and the natural respect that attended both, such men were called as a group ‘the elders of Israel.’” (“The Eldership: Descriptive Terms From the New Testament,” Guardian of Truth, Oct. 1, 1981, 25:39:615)

  5. BISHOP or OVERSEER • Used of Christ (1 Peter 2:25) • Used 4 times with reference to overseers of a local church (Acts 20:28; Phil. 1:1, 1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:7)

  6. Bishop or Overseer • BAGD: “overseer. 1. Of God…. –Of Christ 2. Of persons who have a definite function or a fixed office within a group…superintendent, guardian, bishop Acts 20:28…” • Thayer: “an overseer, a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator guardian, or superintendent…spec. the superintendent, head or overseer of any Christian church….” (# 1985, page 243) • Vine: “lit. , an overseer (epi, over, skopeo, to look or watch), whence Eng. ‘bishop,’ which has precisely the same meaning….

  7. Pastor or Shepherd (poimen) • Used to refer to literal shepherds (Luke 2:8, 15, 18, 20) • Used figuratively of Jesus (Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 2:25; 5:4)

  8. Shepherd or Pastor • BAGD: “shepherd, sheep-herder. 1. Lit. –Used as a symbol…Of Christ in an extended allegory J 10:2, 7…2. Fig… b. of those who lead Christian churches… • Thayer: “a herdsman, esp. a shepherd; a prop….in the parable, he to whose care and control others have committed themselves, and whose precepts they follow, John 10:11, 14 b. metaph. The presiding officer, manage, director, of any assembly: so of Christ the Head of the church…of the overseers of the Christian assemblies…. • Vine: “a shepherd, one who tends herds or flocks (not merely one who feeds them), is used metaphorically of Christian ‘pastors’…this involves tender care and vigilant superintendence.”

  9. Three Terms Refer to the Same People • Paul called the Ephesian ELDERS to meet him at Miletus, he told them that the Holy Spirit had made them BISHOPS, and he instructed them to FEED (poimaino, the verb form of poimen, “pastor”) the church (Acts 20:17, 28) • Paul left Titus in Crete to appoint ELDERS, and he gave him the qualifications for BISHOPS/OVERSEERS (Titus 1:5, 7) • Peter tells the ELDERS to TEND (poimaino, the verb form of poimen “pastor”) the flock, EXERCISING THE OVERSIGHT (episkopeo, the verb form of episkopos, ‘bishop’) (1 Peter 5:1-2)

  10. Elder/Presbyter emphasizes the experience of the person and dignity of the position. • Bishop/Overseer emphasizes the character of his work. • Pastor/Shepherd emphasizes the tender care and vigilance involved in his work.

  11. Biblical Pattern for Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have Elders

  12. God Wants Every Church to Have Elders • There were elders in • Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-2) • Lystra, Iconium, Antioch (Acts 14:21-23) • Ephesus (Acts 20:17) • Philippi (Phil. 1:1) • Thessalonica (1 Thess. 5:12) • Churches of the Dispersion (1 Peter 5:1; 1:1) The churches in Asia Minor that were established on Paul’s 1st journey did not have elders for a time (Acts 14:23), and the churches in Crete existed for a while without elders (Titus 1:5). BUT a church that remains without elders is LACKING (Titus 1:5)

  13. Biblical Pattern for Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have a Plurality of Elders

  14. Examples of Plurality of Elders • Churches in Judea (Acts 11:30) • Churches in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch (Acts 14:23) • The Jerusalem Church (Acts 15:2) • The Church at Ephesus (Acts 20:17) • The Church at Thessalonica (1 Thess. 5:12) • The Churches on Crete (Titus 1:5) • The Hebrews Were Overseen by Elders (Hebrews 13:17)

  15. Biblical Pattern for Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have a Plurality of Elders • God Wants Equality Among Elders

  16. Equality Among Elders • Equality is NOT equal in ability • Equality is NOT equal time in shepherding • Equality is Not being equally visible and vocal • Equality is equal in authority

  17. Biblical Pattern for Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have a Plurality of Elders • God Wants Equality Among Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have Qualified Elders

  18. Qualified Elders • There are qualifications that have to be met (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) • Every elder must meet all of these qualifications. (1 Tim. 3:2) • To appoint unqualified men is to fail to keep the pattern (2 Tim. 1:13) • Four Situations • Scripturally Unorganized • Scripturally Organized • Unscripturally Unorganized • Unscripturally organized

  19. Biblical Pattern for Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have a Plurality of Elders • God Wants Equality Among Elders • God Wants Every Church to Have Qualified Elders • God Wants Elders to Exercise Congregational Oversight (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2)