Body Ministry – BT3

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Elders, Bishop-Overseers, and Shepherd-Pastors are the same group functions!




The term “bishop” comes from the Greek noun episcope that commonly means “visitation, investigation, or inspection of troops” (a).  Peter uses it in Acts 1:20 citing Psalms 109:8 in the Greek LXX for “a place of leadership” (NIV), “position of responsibility” (NET), “office” (NASB), “post” (MSG), or “bishopric” (KJV) regarding the replacement of the apostle Judas after he hung himself. Again, the religion of special people, positions, offices, and titles is often seen in many bible translations.  How sad!  The term “bishop” was created in 1800’s Old English for “a senior member of the Christian clergy, typically in charge of a diocese and empowered to confer holy orders.” Another “tradition of men!”  Why is the modern church “borrowing” from the OT when the New Covenant Ways are completely different-in-kind by definition (b) – this is part of The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church. <Notes> a) Luke 19:44, 1 Peter 2:12, b) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior.


The Greek word episcope can also mean “charge or function of an elder who looks into/over others, thus a superintendent.” The corresponding OT Hebrew pyquddah generally means “visitation, inspection of troops, oversight, custody, or care of” but can also mean “charge over,” even though Brown-Dryer-Brigg suggests in this regard it refers to “charge over one’s possessions.”  The only other place episcope is used is by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:1-2 where he says:  “If a man reaches out for episope he desires a good work.  The episkopos (overseer) must be above reproach, husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, apt/skillful in teaching, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (a).  We know from 1 Peter 2:25 that the shepherd (b) and episkopos overseer were the same person – caring for the flock by simply sitting on a hill watching over the sheep. <Notes> a) “Lord’s servant … teaching” 2 Timothy 2:24, b) poimen.


Regardless of the flawed doctrines of many churches, the overseers are simply “elders (a) . . . above reproach, the husband of one wife, his children believers who are not open to debauchery or insubordination.  For the one who oversees (b) as God’s steward, must be above reproach, not be arrogant, quick-tempered, drunkard, violent, greedy for gain, hospitable, lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined . . . holding firm to the trustworthy logos gospel message (c) as has been taught, so that he may be able to give alongside-counselling, advising, encouraging, comforting (d) by/with sound/healthy teaching and/coupled to correct/refute the gainsayers (e)” (f). <Notes> a) presbuteros: older in The trusting-relying-Faith b) episkopos, c) logos, d) parakaleo, e) those who speak against the trustworthy message, f) Titus 1:5-9.


Elders, bishop-overseers, and pastors are the same people!  Acts 20:17-28 tells the “elders (a) of the church of Ephesus who came to him in Miletus . . . Pay careful attention (b) to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers (d) to shepherd (c) the church of God.” Also 1 Peter 5:1-2 says: “I urge the elders (a) among you, who I am also an elder (a) , . . . shepherd (c) the flock of God among you, overseeing (d), not by constraint but voluntarily, not for gain but willingly” – see Donations page. <Notes> a) presbuteros, b) pros + echo: hold toward/near is a description of overseeing c) poimaino is the common verb form, the noun is used only once of Christians, d) episkopeo: the verb overseeing – Hebrews 12:15.


Paul simply divides the Church into 3 groups: “all the saints, bishop-overseers, and deacons” (a).  But as we’ve seen above the “bishop-overseers” are the elders, who are also the shepherds, so Paul could have said “all the saints, bishop-overseers/elders/shepherds, and deacons.”  Paul only “set in front” or “set in place” (b) elders in every church (c), which obviously then are the “bishop-overseers/shepherds!”  This same group Paul describes as:  “God’s servants who are apt/skilled to teach” (d).  They are the “overseers who are apt/skilled to teach” (e) who Paul encourages Christians to “let the elders that keep standing before [you] to maintain care (f) well be counted worthy of double honor, chiefly those laboring wearily by the means of the logos gospel message (g) and/coupled are teaching [it]” (h) – see Donations page.  We also knows from Ephesians 4:11 that the coaching/facilitating function of the poimen shepherd grace-gift to the Church from Christ “for the saints to actually do the work of the ministry so that the Body-of-Christ may be build up” – not the shepherd – in the Greek structure: “tous-the apostles, de-moreover tous-the prophets, de-moreover tous-the evangelists, de-moreover tous-the poimenas-shepherds kai-coupled/also didaskalous-teachers” couples together “moreover the shepherd and/also teacher” all after 1 “de-moreover tous-the” connector phrase, thus meaning “shepherd who is also a teacher” – just as the above passages say.  The modern church has not followed the NT model for church structure at all, that’s because they either don’t know their bible or more likely prefer “the traditions of men.”  <Notes> a) Philippians 1:1, b) histemi or tithemi – see Coaches and Facilitators, c) Titus 1:5; Acts 14:23, d) 2 Timothy 2:24 – see Coaches and Facilitators and Teach One Another, e) 1 Timothy 3:1-2, f) proistemi – see Coaches and Facilitators, g) logos, h) 1 Timothy 5:17.




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