Thread: Eldership
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:02 AM   #85
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default Re: Eldership

Originally Posted by Peter Debelak View Post
I've been tied up as of late, so haven't had/don't have time to respond yet, but I just wanted to say I've been following and appreciate the thoughts and studies. I'll be jumping back in soon... (for better or worse).

Grace to you,

Well, then, try this one:

From the examples actually found in scripture, it would seem that elders were only appointed by apostles or co-workers. Apostolic appointment is in Acts 14:23 and appointment by a co-worker in Titus 1:5. But these two passages are the only places where we see elders or overseers being "appointed." In most places in the New Testament, elders are simply mentioned without any reference to how they became elders. It is not as if we have dozens of examples of elders being appointed and they all occur through an apostle or a delegate. In fact, there is no explicit instruction as to who may appoint elders. And since Acts 14:23 clearly doesn't cary the weight of establishing someone in an office, we should turn to Titus 1:5.

Darby translates, generously, I think, thusly:
Tts 1:5 For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou mightest go on to set right what remained [unordered], and establish elders in each city, as *I* had ordered thee:
Pretty much every other translation uses "appoint." NIV gives a footnote on "appoint" that says "or, ordain."

The Greek word in Titus regarding "appointment" of elders is \kathistemi\

Here is Vine's discussion:

Strong's Number: 2525
Appoint, Appointed:

a strengthened form of No. 1, usually signifies "to appoint a person to a position." In this sense the verb is often translated "to make" or "to set," in appointing a person to a place of authority, e.g., a servant over a household, Mat 24:45, 47; 25:21, 23; Luk 12:42, 44; a judge, Luk 12:14; Act 7:27, 35; a governor, Act 7:10; man by God over the work of His hands, Hbr 2:7. It is rendered "appoint," with reference to the so-called seven deacons in Act 6:3. The RV translates it by "appoint" in Tts 1:5, instead of "ordain," of the elders whom Titus was to "appoint" in every city in Crete. Not a formal ecclesiastical ordination is in view, but the "appointment," for the recognition of the churches, of those who had already been raised up and qualified by the Holy Spirit, and had given evidence of this in their life and service (see No. 11). It is used of the priests of old, Hbr 5:1; 7:28; 8:3 (RV, "appointed").
I don't think you can avoid a translation here that requires understanding the "installation" to an "office." But I've already made my statement about Titus elsewhere so that I cannot conclude the matter there.

Moreover, even if Paul and Titus were designated by God to install godly men to the office of eldership, the modern context requires us to examine who are the Paul and the Titus to do the same thing? You must be talking about the Local Church, I think, because nowhere else is there the practice of having apostles and co-workers in this way, that I am aware of.

Is it indeed the case that elders must only be appointed by someone with superior authority? If not, then how shall they be appointed? Where is the instruction of the New Testament on this imprtant and practical point?

I am really bothered by this.
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
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