Is "pastor" and "bishop" the same thing?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by AresMan, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. AresMan

    AresMan
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    Can anyone prove to me from the Bible that a "pastor" (poim'en meaning shepherd) and "bishop" (episkopos meaning overseer) are two terms for the same "office"? The Bible clearly defines two "offices": bishop and deacon (diakonos meaning servant) (I Timothy 3). Are "pastor" and "bishop" the same thing? If not, why do we ambiguously connect the two terms if they are not the same?
     
  2. gb93433

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    If you trace episkopos and presbuteros over time you will find that episkopos is a later word. There was a time when they were used interchangeably. Poimen is simply a shepherd. A pastor is a pastor teacher. He is a teacher who shepherds too. He must have both qualities.

    Take a look at Acts 20:28 where episkopos and poimen are used.
     
  3. JackRUS

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    I have wondered the same thing because in 1 Tim. 3 Paul has the bishop being singular, and the deacons being plural.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    Pastor, elder, and bishop (overseer) are three terms that refer to the same office in teh church. It is normally called "pastor" today. ACts 20:28 and 1 Peter 5:1-2 use the terms interchangeably.
     
  5. AresMan

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    So, a church has only one "elder"?

    This was Paul's admonition written to the young Timothy. I would assume "elder" here is not necessarily the same as "pastor".
    The word for elder women here is also presbuteros. I assume there were more than one of these in any given church.
    Again, this is still Paul to Timothy. I assume there would be more than one "elder" in this one church.
    It looks to me here that there is more than one elder in the church.
    I guess I would say that an "elder" literally means an older person, but figuratively means someone with more spiritual wisdom and knowledge, but not necessarily the "head of the church".

    In the Old Testament, the word pastor always had to do with a literal shepherd, mentioned eight times in Jeremiah. The only time the word pastor is used in the New Testament is
    In this verse do these terms mean the same thing, or do they mean two different things, like Jesus being our prophet, priest, and king?
     
  6. gb93433

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    "Elder" comes from a Jewish background. It is the same background of most of the writers of the NT. The word "elder" can mean someone who is older and also someone who holds a particular office.
     
  7. AresMan

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    To my knowledge, there are only two "offices" defined in the Bible: bishop and deacon. Where in the Bible is an "elder" an office in the church?
     
  8. Snitzelhoff

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    Elders were ordained:

    "And when they had ordained them elders in every church..."--Acts 14:23

    "For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee."--Titus 1:5

    They were a specific group of people in the church who were "overseers" of the flock:

    "And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them..."

    "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy ghost hath made you overseers to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

    --Acts 20:17, 28

    They had authority in the church:

    "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, specially they who labour in the word and doctrine"--I Timothy 5:17


    I think the first two verses show sufficiently that one did not simply become an elder by being an older Christian, or particularly wise; one had to be ordained to it.

    Michael
     
  9. Artimaeus

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    President
    Commander-In-Chief
    Leader
    Head of the Executive Branch

    All of these refer to the same thing. We often use different words like that. At my church we call the Pastor "Preacher", "Pastor", "Minister", or even "Reverend". It is all the same guy.

    In the Bible there are various words used to describe the same guy. In the original language they are actual descriptions and not merely words.

    Pastor = shepherd
    Bishop = overseer
    Elder = older

    Each of these are things people can do whether it is a given responsibility or not. When someone is "ordained" (chosen, picked, etc.) they are officially recognized as someone who now has an accountable responsibility. A plurality of these men are necessary so that there can be a sharing of responsibility. No one man whould have the necessary skills and talents to properly execute this job.

    I Tim 3 gives the requirements or qualifications for these men. "Bishop" being singular is no more significant than if I told you the qualifications of a doctor would mean that each hospital can only have only one doctor.
     
  10. TomVols

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    Elders seemed to be multiple at each church, though this may not be prescriptive for every local church today. 1 Tim 5:17 seems to imply that some elders were devoted to preaching/teaching and some were not. This ideally should not be so.
     
  11. HankD

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    The biggest problem with the term "bishop" is the meaning that the various denominations, sects and cults impart to it.

    "Bishop" is very often defined in support of apostolic succession.

    HankD
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Not necessarily. A church can certainly have more than one elder.

    This was Paul's admonition written to the young Timothy. I would assume "elder" here is not necessarily the same as "pastor".</font>[/QUOTE]Corret. "Elder" does not always refer to the office of the church. Like most words, it has more than one meaning and its meaning depends on the context in which it is used.

    In terms of church leadership, it refers to a serious minded and mature man to whom have been given the responsibility of leadership in the church.

    The word "pastor" wasn't used in the OT. You are referring to a Hebrew word translated sometimes as pastor, and sometimes in other ways. It is used to refer to the priests, the spiritual leaders.

    Again, incorrect. The word "pastor" is not used in the NT. It was a Greek word sometimes translated that way. Eph 4:11 is the word poimen, a noun form. In Acts 20:28 and 1 Peter 5:1-2 the verb form is used to describe the responsibilites of the elder/overseer. In both of those passages, the elder is told to oversee (the word for bishop) and shepherd (the word for pastor). These are responsibilities given to the elder of the church.

    Like most words, they have multiple meanings. The meaning in a particular usage is determined by context.

    Most of your post seems built on your intitial comment about more than one. Yes, a church can have more than one elder. It need not have more than one.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I don't think this is the implication at all. I think it means that some were very good at teaching, and others were not. We all know pastors who are great teachers, and pastors who are not great teachers. They are still pastors with the responsibility to teach and preach.
     
  14. Brother Ian

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    The words are typically used synonymously today. I think the different uses of the Greek word depending on the context of the passage can refer to different aspects of the same office.

    Some churches use different titles for the office. You'll hear about Bishop so and so or Elder so and so. Traditionally, the office is called "pastor" in baptist churches.
     
  15. Johnv

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    No. The bishop is the piece with the big pointy thing, and can move diagonally all the way across the board. The pastor can only move straight ahead or to the side one square at a time.
     

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