"Missionary" vs. "Evangelist"

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by Hawaiiski, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Hawaiiski

    Hawaiiski
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    Where did the term "missionary" originate? Why do we use it if it isn't in the Bible? Was an evangelist in the Bible the equivalent of a missionary?
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, Hawaiiski.

    "Missionary" comes from the Latin misso (inf. missere), "to send," and I believe the term came from the Latin Bible. "Apostle" comes from the Greek apostolos meaning "sent one" (verb, apostello, "I send"). So in my mind they mean the same thing with the caveat that the 12 were special, but there was a second tier of apostle/missionaries throughout the NT.

    I once did a thread on why missionary = apostle. You can find it at: http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=30276

    I'd be happy to share furthur about why evangelist does not mean missionary later in the week, but it is late Monday evening here and tomorrow we have a pastors' fellowship all day. Please bear in mind though, that this is a fellowship thread, so I'll not debate. However, if things start to warm up we can always start a debate thread. :type:
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I have to correct myself. The Latin word for "to send" is mitto, mittere. The noun missionis from mitto means "a sending off," but the word said by my English dictionary to be the origin of "missionary" is the adjective missionarius, which is not in my Latin-English dictionary; missionary is evidently a modern (16th or 17th century?) derivative.:type:
     
  4. David Lamb

    David Lamb
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    Are you suggesting that we should restrict our use of English words to those found in the bible? If so, which particular English translation would be the "bench-mark"?

    If we had to jettison all words and phrases not found in a particular English translation of the Scriptures, we would need new names for: prayer-meeting, bible-study, bible college, theology, Sunday school, concordance, chapel, service (in the sense of "a meeting to praise and pray to God, and hear His Word), quiet time, the trinity, the incarnation, and many others.

    If the meaning behind a particular word or phrase is to be found in scripture, that is what is important. What is a missionary? To some people, you have to face cannibals and the like to be a missionary, but a missionary is someone sent by his church to take the good news of the gospel elsewhere (not necessarily abroad). As we do indeed read of such things in the bible, (for example, Saul and Barnabas were sent out by the church at Antioch - Acts 13), why not use the term "missionary"?
     
  5. Hawaiiski

    Hawaiiski
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  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Here are some reasons I don't believe that the evangelist of the Bible was a church-planting missionary.

    (1) In Acts 6, Phillip did not plant a church. He did mass evangelism and personal evangelism, but when time came for church polity to be established, he sent to Jerusalem for the apostles. At that point Peter in particular handled the church problem of Simon. Philip left to do personal evangelism with the Ethiopian eunuch.

    (2) On the other hand, all through the book of Acts Paul and Barnabas (also an apostle, 14:14) and others not called evangelist did church-planting, both within their Jewish culture and cross-cultural.

    (3) In Acts 21, Philip had a fixed abode, and the people of Paul's church-planting mission stayed with him. There is no evidence in that chapter of Philip being a missionary. On the contrary, special mention is made of his soul-winning daughters! I'm reminded of 20th century Evangelist John R. Rice, who had six daughters, all of them soul-winners.

    (4) In Ephesians 4:11 you read of the evangelist and apostle as separate offices. If apostles were the church planters of the early church (and they were), then the evangelists must have had a different task.

    (5) Linguistically, the Greek word for evangelist (euaggelistes) indicates a specialist in evangelism.

    Throughout most of church history, missionaries such as Patrick (Ireland, 5th century) were called apostles. In fact, I have a missionary biography from about 1920 entitled, John G. Paton, Apostle to the New Hebrides. In church history it is only in recent years (largely due to dispensationalism) that missionaries have been called "evangelists.

    Thus I conclude that the Biblical evangelist is a specialist in evangelism, not church planting: he does various kinds of evangelism himself and he seeks to revive the church to do evangelism. :type:
     
  7. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    One who fulfills the office of Evangelist is given the gifting to fulfill that office. That gifting is a communication gift, particularly the communication of the gospel to one or more people that is markedly greater in response by hearers than those without the gift to fulfill that office.

    You will see an Evangelist far more able in communicating the gospel and notably higher in the percent of converts to the gospel who have listened to the Evangelist's presentation. This is their unique gifting.

    They are NOT Pastor/teachers and are not gifted to teach regular doctrine as a Pastor but to function as an Evangelist...hence the office of Evangelist.

    A missionary is someone who generally goes to a foreign land, whether gifted as an Evangelist or Pastor/teacher or neither, but goes to discriminate the gospel and endeavors to establish a local church or assist in establishing a local church or perform Christian services to the native land and peoples with the hope of presenting the gospel.

    There is no office of missionary in the Bible but the work of a missionary IS BIBLICAL and the part of the commission of the church. The office of Apostle no longer exists, hence missionary's should not be compared to the office of Apostle. They have neither the gifting or authority of an Apostle.

    Ideally a missionary would be gifted to fulfill the office of Evangelist but the Bible makes no demands that only Evangelists may establish local churches in other lands.
     
    #7 Alex Quackenbush, Oct 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2007
  8. John of Japan

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    I believe I could give you a good theological run for your money on some of these statements, but I'll refrain since this is a fellowship thread. If you'd like to debate this feel free to start a debate thread on it. (Example: what's the difference between the two kinds of apostles in the NT?)

    God bless.
     
  9. Plain Old Bill

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    Is this to be 2 out of 3 falls or a ten round thing?:laugh:
     
  10. Rippon

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    "A missionary ... goes to discriminate the gospel." What ?! I think you meant 'disseminate' Q .
     
  11. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    :laugh: I had better acknowledge this correction before someone from TBN wanders over here and decides it sounds clever and a book for $29.95, a CD series for $19.95 and a seminar is developed to promote a NEW doctrine they have revealed to them in a vision.
     
  12. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    John of Japan, if you are listening, some time this weekend I will make the thread (or anyone else if they wish) in the debate area: Missionary vs Evangelist. The debate is worthwhile.
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    How about this title:

    "A servant of God"?
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, Alex.

    We've been on vacation for a week, so I've not been able to answer this. We'll actually get back home tomorrow (at a hotel now), so if you'll start the thread I'd be happy to join in.

    God bless.

    John
     
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Amen! "He must increase, but I must decrease."
     

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