No pastors in the Bible

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by alvin, Jul 28, 2013.

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  1. alvin

    alvin
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    I have noticed that throughout the New Testament the work of overseeing and shepherding the Church is solely the responsibility of the Elders and never is it the task of someone called a "pastor." In Ephesians 4:11 the word for shepherd is translated "pastor" using a Latin term. What I do not understand is that this is such an obvious truth and yet those who consider themselves strict holders to biblical truth ignore this fact. Upon what authority have the Elders been dismissed and replaced with a pastor. Comment would be most welcome.
     
  2. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Huh? You don't think pastors are elders?



    For centuries, Baptists have followed the Bible rather than Presbyterial governance schemes:


    William Rider (first pastor of what came to be Metropolitan Tabernacle Baptist Church, London) in 1656:

    "in the word Elders is comprehended all officers in the Church . . . and so Elders is distinguished into several offices in the Church, as Bishops and Deacons"



    Benjamin Keach (prominent signer of the 1689 LBC) in 1701:

    "Moreover, the Deacons are to be helps in Government. Some think Paul calls the Deacons Elders, when he speaks of Elders that rule well [I Tim. 5:17] (as our Annotators observe)"



    SBTS's Greg Wills, "The Church: Baptists and Their Churches in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries":

    "Many of these held that the pastor and deacons jointly constituted the eldership. South Carolina’s Tyger River Baptist Association, for example, judged in 1835 that "the eldership of the church" consisted of "the ministers and deacons."



    Shaftsbury Baptist Association, 1804 Circular Letter:

    "[Bishops and Deacons] are both called Elders. . . .By these Elders, we understand Bishops and Deacons; and we have not learned from the scriptures, but that these two are the only officers to be ordained in the Christian Church."



    American Baptist Magazine, 1829:

    "The term elder was, probably, a general term equivalent to our word officer; and thus it could be applied to a pastor, or to a deacon ; and the elders of a church included the pastor or pastors and the deacons."



    The Sword and Trowel, 1866:

    "the term elder is applied both to bishops and deacons. This might be supposed to prove too much, as though there had been no separate offices in the Church. It goes, in fact, just to the extent we require, that distinct officers were recognized by the Church, but they were lovingly blended together. There was no contention about a name as expressive of an authority, which it would have been sacrilege for others to invade."
     
  3. alvin

    alvin
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    Overseers and Elders are the same person, pastor cannot be found. Ephesians 4:11 talks of shepherds, clearly the work of the Elders/Overseers...not pastor. Pastor is a Latin word that did not even exist until the 14 century. If, the pastor is a Elder then why is he not called an Elder? Where are the rest of the Elders? Someone show me a single verse in the Bible where someone called a pastor is an Elder. Shepherding and overseeing the Church is the work of the Elders...see Acts 20:28, I Peter 5:1-5.
     
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Next you will be asking them to conduct services without tithing :laugh: :tonofbricks:
     
  5. alvin

    alvin
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    According to the NT the church is to be shepherded and managed by a college of Elders and not a single person called a pastor, or a pastor and his staff or a church council. The only argument I hear for the justification of the office of pastor is that pastor is synonymous with Elder. IF this is true, where in the Bible does this say so? Only Elder and Overseer are synonymous, not Elder and pastor. If a pastor is an Elder, them let them say this from the pulpit and teach they are a Elder among other Elders.
     
  6. agedman

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    In the typical Baptist church there are two offices - that of elder/bishop and that of deacon.

    Historically, the local assemblies of Baptist churches have been pastor led in direct opposition to the hierarchy imposed in other denominations.

    However, this has also allowed some deacon "boards" to consider they are also the spiritual overseers and able to rule the pastor.

    A few Baptist churches use three offices - deacon, elder, pastor/bishop.

    The office of deacon is that limited to physical service to the assembly membership and can be both female and male.

    The office of elder and pastor/bishop is restricted to the male and is limited to the spiritual oversight of the assembly.

    Often the local Baptist church does not recognize elder rule other than that of a pastor or pastors, and consider there is a unity of the office under a ruling authority who is to make all command decisions.

    Personally, I consider that any wise pastor will gather wise and Godly older men in which he can confide and use as a resource - a sounding board - for stability and guidance. in effect, gathering an elder group to support and help in spiritual matters.
     
  7. Logos1560

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    Bishops or overseers, elders, and pastors are different titles for the same thing.

    The feeding of the congregation or flock is the same as the pastoring or shepherding of the congregation or flock.

    In his history of Baptists, D. B. Ray noted the following about Acts 20:28 in the KJV: "The word overseers in this passage is episcopous in the Greek--the word which is usually translated bishops; but to have rendered it bishops in this place, would have shown that elder and bishop is the same office, which would have condemned the church of the translators" (Baptist Succession, p. 292). Edward Hiscox quoted Henry Alford, Dean of Canterbury, as saying that the English Version [the KJV] "has hardly dealt fairly in this case with the sacred text in rendering episcopous, v. 28, overseers; whereas, it ought there, as in all other places, to have been bishops, that the fact of elders and bishops having been originally and apostolically synonymous, might be apparent to the English reader" (Principles and Practices for Baptist Churches, p. 90). If a Church of England Dean can in effect see the bias, why are KJV-only advocates unable to see it? Four times the KJV had translated the same word as bishops (Phil. 1:1, 1 Tim. 3:2, Titus 1:7, 1 Pet. 2:25). In Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s Commentary, David Brown asserted that the reason the word was not translated “bishops” at Acts 20:28 was “to avoid the obvious inference that the same persons are here called ‘elders’ (v. 17) and ‘bishops’” (III, p. 150). John Eadie wrote: “It has also been alleged, and not without some reason, that in Acts 20:28, the rendering of the clause ‘over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers’ is a deflection from the true translation, and conceals the identity of the ‘elders’ with the office-bearers usually named ‘bishops’” (English Bible, II, p. 271). James Lillie wrote: “Because had it there (Acts 20:28) been rendered bishop, everyone would have seen, that in the one Church of Ephesus, there were several bishops. In that one text alone, therefore, the word is translated, not as everywhere else, transferred, because, there, dust had to be thrown into the common reader’s eyes, lest he should discern the unscriptural nature of English Church government” (Bishops, p. 186). In The Expositor as edited by Samuel Cox, this is stated: ‘It can hardly be doubted that the translators avoided the word ‘Bishops’ in Acts 20:28 and put ‘overseers’ instead, because otherwise it would have been obvious that in the Apostolic age the word ‘presbyter’ and ‘bishop’ were practically identical” (Vol. III, p. 301). John Beard suggested that the KJV translators saw that the use of “bishops” at Acts 20:28 would have acknowledged that “plain presbyters were the same as bishops” (Revised English Bible, p. 80). Jack Lewis wrote: “It has been thought that the varied use of ’bishoprick’ (Acts 1:20), ’overseers’ (Acts 20:28), ’oversight’ (1 Pet. 5:2), and ’bishop’ (1 Tim. 3:1) was an effort to avoid identification of bishops and elders” (English Bible, p. 63). John McClintock and James Strong agreed that the use of overseers at Acts 20:28 was “in order to avoid the identification of bishops and elders” (Cyclopaedia, III, p. 218).


    John Cotton (1584-1652) affirmed that Paul “called for the elders of Ephesus, Acts 20:17, whom also he named Bishops, for so the Greek word is, which is translated overseers, verse 28” (Way, p. 47). Calibute Downing (1604-1643), who was a son-in-law of KJV translator Richard Brett, referred to “elders or parochial bishops, or bishops of particular congregations; Acts 20:17, 28” (Clear Antithesis, pp. 1-2). John Davenport (1597-1670) noted that “those whom Luke calls elders, in Acts 20:17, Paul calls Bishops in verse 28” (Power, p. 79). In his 1699 book, Thomas Forrester agreed that Paul described “the elders of that one city [Ephesus] as Bishops” (Hierarchical Bishops, p. 68). In 1688, David Clarkson affirmed that “elders of the church who are said verse 28 to be made Bishops by the Holy Ghost” (Primitive Episcopacy, p. 10). Francis Turretin noted that “the Ephesian pastors who are said to be presbyters are also called bishops (Acts 20:28)“ (Institutes, III, pp. 201-202). Edward Litton noted that “the same persons, whom, at verse 28, St. Paul calls ‘bishops’ are described by St. Luke, at verse 17, as ‘the presbyters of the church’ of Ephesus” (Church, p. 287). Thomas Smyth observed that “on this occasion, Paul formally enjoined upon its presbyters to continue to act as bishops, and to govern that church of which the Holy Ghost had constituted them the bishops” (Presbytery, p. 260). Concerning Acts 20:17, 28, George Campbell wrote: “Here there can be no question that the same persons are denominated presbyters and bishops” (Lectures on Ecclesiastical, p. 72). Henry Alford observed: “For ‘overseers,‘ bishops; elders and bishops, in the primitive Church, were the same” (How to Study, p. 351). Ralph Wardlaw commented: “overseers--the same word as that usually translated bishops” (Congregational Independency, p. 176). Zodhiates noted that “the elders of Acts 20:17” at verse 28 “are called bishops” (Complete Word Study, p. 635). The 1380's Wycliffe's, the 1535 Coverdale's Bible, the 1538 Coverdale's Duoglott New Testament, and 1582 Rheims had rendered it "bishops" in this verse while the other pre-1611 English Bibles had “overseers.” An edition of the KJV printed in London in 1660 has this marginal note for “overseers”: “Or bishops.“ In his note on Acts 20:28, Diodati indicated that the Italian Bible has “bishops” at its rendering. One source in 1871, Thomas Abbott observed that it had been “stated that this rendering [overseers] was due to Bancroft’s influence,” but he asserted that it was “erroneously stated” because the rendering “occurs in Tyndale who cannot be suspected of high prelatic notions” (English Bible, p. 42). Since this verse is not given as one the examples of the 14 changes in Hill’s 1648 sermon and is also not mentioned in the 1671 book about Henry Jessey, this reference could indicate that there were other sources about them available to authors in the 1800’s.


    Would the rendering “bishops” [plural] at Acts 20:28 for several “elders” [plural] of a church [singular] at one city (Acts 20:17) have been a problem for the prelatic or Episcopal church government view that each bishop is over a diocese or district that may include several churches and that a bishop has authority over elders or pastors? Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary gave as its second definition for bishop the following: “in the churches maintaining apostolic succession, a prelate superior to the priesthood, consecrated for the spiritual government and direction of a diocese, bishopric, or see” (p. 187). Would use of the rendering “bishops” at Acts 20:28 have conflicted with the hierarchical or prelatic sense or definition of the diocesan bishop? Would not “bishops” have been one of the ecclesiastical words according to the third rule to be used and kept unless its use at this verse in the genuine prelatic sense was considered a problem for the prelates? Would use of “bishops” at Act 20:28 have demonstrated to English readers that “bishops” and “elders” were names for the same office and that these were not diocesan bishops? Was “overseers” used at Acts 20:28 in order to prevent English readers from seeing the error of the Episcopal claim that a bishop was superior to an elder? David Calderwood (1575-1650) maintained that “the prelate maketh a confusion of names that he may put himself in the place of the apostle” (Pastor and the Prelate, p. 21). Calderwood noted that “the question is not of the bishop, but of the prelate or diocesan bishop, whether he be the divine bishop” (p. 33). Calderwood observed that “the diocesan bishop is but one, in a diocese, over many kirks [churches]“ (p. 33). Calderwood asserted that “the diocesan bishop hath no particular congregation for his flock” (p. 34). John Davenport maintained: “Not one bishop over many churches, but many bishops over one church; not diocesan but congregational bishops” (Power, p. 79). Calibute Downing referred to prelates as “diocesan Lord Bishops, lording over their brethren contrary to Christ’s forbidding” (Clear, pp. 1-2). At the entry for “bishop,“ Samuel Green asserted that “Diocesan bishops are not known in the New Testament” (Biblical and Theological Dictionary). William Ames (1576-1633) wrote: “Ordinary ministers conform to the instituted church and are not ecumenical, national, provincial, or diocesan bishops, but rather elders of one congregation. In the same sense they are also called bishops in the Scriptures” (Marrow, p. 209). Ralph Earle wrote: “Turning to the NT, we discover one fact immediately: there is no mention of any diocesan bishop” (Word Meanings, p. 389). In his commentary on Acts, John Phillips maintained that “the word [episkipos] does not envision an Episcopal hierarchy” (p. 405). What advantage or gain was provided to English readers by translating the Greek word as “overseers” only at Acts 20:28 besides the obvious gain to those who advocated Episcopal church government?
     
  8. alvin

    alvin
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    I understand you comment but it does not invalidate the fact that the management of the church was entrusted to a body of people called Elders, always in the plural. No pastors. In fact for thousands of years the word ποιμένας (poimén) found in Ephesians 4:11 has never been translated "pastor" but shepherd. Shepherding is the work of the Elders. God did not put the word pastor in the Bible, man did. If the current pastor of a church is "really" an Elder then let him say so and reinstall the rest of the Elders to the Church. The Church was never meant to be a monarchial episcopate.
     
  9. alvin

    alvin
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    No. there are no "Bishops" in the Bible also. There are Elders/Overseers. None other. Pastor and Bishop are Latin terms. When we translate from Greek to English we do not use Latin terms because it suits our purpose. Baptists have alway tole the Roman Catholic there are no priests in the NT Church while never realizing there are no pastors either. The was not a single pastor until after the Reformation, and it was to replace the priests.
     
  10. alvin

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    What I am reading here is the the pastor is synonymous with an Elder. Do not say "bishop" because that word does not exist in the NT and if you mean Overseer when you say "bishop" that IS synonomous with Elder. So, the claim is a pastor is an Elder. Again, if this is true then why is he not called an Elder? Why does he not teach this from the pulpit? Where are the rest of the Elders that Paul worked so diligently to install in every church? By what authority did someone dare to replace a college of Elders with one person called a pastor?
     
  11. alvin

    alvin
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    Southern Baptist used the Philadelphia Confession of Faith until they came up with their own: THe PCF stated Chapter 17: “ON THE CHURCH”
    8. A particular church, gathered and completely organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members; and the officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church (so called and gathered), for the peculiar administration of ordinances, and execution of power or duty, which he intrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the world, are bishops or elders, and deacons.
    (Acts 20:17, 28; Phil. 1:1).

    The Baptist Faith and Message 1925 stated: “Its Scriptural officers are bishops, or elders, and deacons.”

    The Baptist Faith and Message 1963, it was changed to say: “Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.”

    Someone decided Elders were no longer needed. They have been replaced with someone who wishes to be called a "pastor."
     
  12. Jerome

    Jerome
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    College of Elders? What in the world?

    It is true that some Baptist churches have forsaken Biblical congregationalism for a something akin to a monarchial episcopate (dictatorial Pastor) scheme. But the answer is not to turn to some similarly unbiblical oligarchial presbyteriate (ruling Elders) scheme.
     
  13. Zenas

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    Pastor is the Latin word for shepherd. The word was used extensively by the poet Virgil in the 1st Century B.C.
     
  14. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Apparently the op has some hangup with the English words derived from Latin? Bizarre.
     
  15. alvin

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    You may call it a "scheme" but if so it still is the only one given in the New testament. In addition, Paul said the Elders are appointed by the Holy Spirt, and are worthy of honor so I would be careful of calling it a scheme.
     
  16. alvin

    alvin
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    No...it may be translated as "pastor" but its Greek is shepherd even in Virgil!
     
  17. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Huh?

    "On the Church" is chapter 27, not 17.

    And how did you happen to miss paragraph 10, "The work of pastors being constantly to attend the service of Christ, in his churches..."; or paragraph 11, "Although it be incumbent on the bishops or pastors of the churches, to be instant in preaching the word..."?
     
  18. alvin

    alvin
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    By the way, can you provide me an example of Virgil of Virgil using the word pastor in Latin, not a translation but in his works?
     
  19. alvin

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    Again...I reply...there are no bishops in the bible as there are no pastors in the Bible. I ask "Are you saying a pastor is an Elder?" If so why does he have a special title? Why does he not identify himself as an elder among other elders of the Church....and where are the Elders that Paul worked to appoint in every Church and are called by the Holy Spirit?
     
  20. alvin

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    Search the entire NT and tell me one instance where ποιμένας is translated as pastor. We all know pastor is an office in our churches, show me anywhere where the pastor is an office. There are two offices and that of Elder and Deacon.
     
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