Monday, October 25, 2010

Time for a research paper! redux

 10/20/2010 – notes from legal pad


Biblical roles of leadership in the NT Church based on exegesis of relevant passages.

Draw key words to study: Office of apostles, prophets, pastors & teachers, evangelists, elders, deacons (Eph. 4 as center)

Romans 12

1 Corinthians 12

Compare other passages containing those key words.

In the primitive Church how are elders considered?

Who appoints people to tasks?

What, if any, distinction is there between a gift and an office?

What kind of qualifications are prescribed?

Is there a distinction between prescription and description?

How does this seem to correlate with the idea of the "priesthood of all believers"?

Is a distinction between nouns/adjectives and verbs useful to us?

What are the implications of this 1st century pattern when applied to modern ecclesiastical paradigms?

Based on this information, do an analysis of Augustana 14.

10/25/10 -further look-ups

(source citation)

The Greek New Testament 4th Revised Edition, edited by Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martine, and Bruce M. Metzger in cooperation with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Munster/Westphalia. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft – United Bible Societies (c) 2001. Printed in Germany by C.Η. Beck, Nordlingen.

Ephesians 4.11-12 is a passage of primary importance whenever we consider the "offices" of the Church. 11 καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν τοὺς μὲν ἀποστόλους, τοὺς δὲ προφήτας, τοὺς δὲ εὐαγγελιστάς, τοὺς δὲ ποιμένας καὶ διδασκάλους, 12 πρὸς τὸν καταρτισμὸν τῶν ἁγίων εἰς ἔργον διακονίας, εἰς οἰκοδομὴν τοὺ σώματος τοὺ Χριστοὺ . . .

From this passage, then, we derive ἀπόστολος, προφήτης, εὐαγγελιστής, ποιμήν, and διδάσκαλος.

Another passage of note in discussing spiritual gifts and offices is Romans 12.3-8. 3 Λέγω γὰρ διὰ τῆς χάριτος τῆς δοθείσης μοι παντὶ τῷ ὄντι ἐν ὑμῖν μὴ ὑπερφρονεῖν παρ' ὂ δεῖ φρονεῖν ἀλλὰ φρονεῖν εἰς τὸ σωφρονεὶν, ἑκάστῳ ὡς, ὁ θεὸς ἔμέρισεν μέτρον πίστεως. 4 καθάπερ γὰρ ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι πολλὰ μέλη ἔχομεν, τὰ δὲ μέλη πάντα οὐ τὴν αὐτὴν ἔχει πρᾶξιν, 5 οὕτως οἱ πολλοὶ ἒν σῶμά ἐσμεν ἐν Χριστῷ, τὸ δὲ καθ' εἷς ἀλλήλων μέλη. 6 ἔχοντες δὲ χαρίσματα κατὰ τὴν χάριν τὴν δοθεῖσαν ἡμῖν διάφορα, εἴτε προφητείαν κατὰ τὴν ἀναλογίαν τῆς πίστεως, 7 εἴτε διακονίαν ἐν τῇ διακονίᾳ, εἴτε ὁ διδάσκων ἐν τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ, 8 εἴτε ὁ παρακαλῶν ἐν τῇ παρακλήσει· ὁ μεταδιδοὺς ἔν ἀπλότητι, ὁ προιστάμενος ἐν σπουδῇ, ὁ ἐλεῶν ἐν ἱλαρότητι.

This passage provides us with several additional words which bear study: προφητεία, διακονία, διδασκαλία, παρακλήσις, then three participles: μεταδιδούς, προιστάμενος, ἐλεών. Another issue which arises from Romans 12 is that of a distinction between a gift and an office. From both Ephesians 4 and Romans 12 it is clear that the work engaged in by the believer is a gift from God. However, while Ephesians 4 seems to point to some sort of an office that belongs to a person, Romans 12 tends to focus on the functional gift, rather than the individual exercising the gift.

A third critical passage, one that seems more akin to Romans 12 than to Ephesians 4, is found in 1 Corinthians 12.8-10. 8 ᾧ μὲν γὰρ διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος δίδοται λόγος σοφίας, ἄλλῳ δὲ λόγος γνώσεως κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα, 9 ἑτέρῳ πίστις ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ πνεύματι, ἄλλῷ δὲ χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων ἐν τῷ ἑνὶ πνεύματι, 10 ἄλλῳ δὲ ἐνεργήματα δυνάμεων, ἄλλῳ [δὲ] προφητεία, ἄλλῳ [δὲ] διακρίσεις πνευμάτων, ἑτέρῳ γένη γλωσσῶν, ἄλλῳ δὲ ἑρμηνεία γλωσσῶν·

This passage in 1 Corinthians 12 seems more akin to the one in Romans than the one in Ephesians because the apparent concept of the gifts is one of function. In fact, if anything, this passage distances the gifts even farther from the individual exercising them. It is clear that there is one spirit giving the gifts. At the same time, it appears the gifts are given for the moment of use, quite possibly without forethought on the part of the gifted person. For the purposes of our study, we draw λόγος σοφίας, λόγος γνώσεως, πίστις, χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων, ἐνεργήματα δυνάμεων, προφητεία, διακρίσεις πνευμάτων, γένη γλωσσῶν, and ἑρμηνεία γλωσσῶν.

Another summary of words of interest . . .

Eph. 4






Rom. 12








1 Cor. 12

λόγος σοφίας

λόγος γνώσεως


χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων

ἐνεργήματα δυνάμεων


διακρίσεις πνευμάτων

γένη γλωσσῶν

ἑρμηνεία γλωσσῶν

Let's pull back to the paper topic and see what we've got going.

Ecclesiastical Offices and Structure: What are the appropriate and necessary offices of the Church? Examine biblical leadership titles, functions, and authority.

What I see at the moment is that the Ephesians passage seems that it will be more fruitful in terms of identifying "appropriate and necessary offices." The passages in Romans and especially 1 Corinthians don't seem to discuss permanent types of gifts, at least not on the surface. My next step in development will be to run a concordance type search, probably in Perseus, looking for all of the basic root elements in the various gifts. This should allow me to draw a fairly comprehensive list of noun, adjective, and verb forms of the words I've identified in the "gift" passages. I'll also see what kind of comparisons show up in BADG and see if I can lay my hands on a copy of Kittel in order to see what related words and topics might be listed.

After that step, the exegesis of specific passages begins, asking the kind of questions I've referenced above.

I think this may prove to be an interesting paper.

Dave Spotts
blogging at

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