Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Authority of Timothy and Titus

Titus 2:15 "These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you."

1Tim 4:11"Command and teach these things"

1 Tim 6:17 "Command those who are rich…"

1 Tim 6:18 "Command them to do good…"

Is there any evidence to suggest Titus or Timothy where considered elders?

Did they go by the title of deacon, preacher, pastor, bishop, clergy, priest, minister, archbishop, cardinal, ...?

Is there anything to suggest they were given some special authority... or is it possible all believers have been given some special authority?

Shouldn't we all be teaching God's truths with confidence?


Frank said...

An elder in those days was an older person. It was never an appointment. The greek word for elder and the context shows this clearly.
Unfortunately those who introduced the clergy structure and hierarchy into the church gave it a meaning which has stuck ever since.

No matter how hard we look we will never find anyone bearing the prefix of Elder, as a title, in the scriptures. For that matter we find no titles bestowed. Descriptions yes, titles no.
The words you list are used to give an air of authority which is merely from man, not from God.

The gifts and ministries are given to whom He will. They are in abundance amongst the body of Christ, unfortunately they are subject to the hierarchical system which is too fearful to permit them freedom. Therefore they remain unused to a great extent, and wisdom from the tree of knowledge rules over the church.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Frank for the comments.
I think I'm discovering some of the same truths.

I've recently realized that nobody in the NT church called themselves deacon, preacher, pastor, bishop, clergy, priest, minister, archbishop, cardinal,...

However elder may be a slightly different matter as there are cases were elders were appointed. It may have been a recognized title of some sort. I agree the meaning of elders has changed... I don't have a clear picture of what the term elder meant to the early church.

However in terms of Timothy and Titus, from what I understand they wouldn't have been elders.... I think they were some of the younger wise men... without any office or job title.

Thanks! God bless!

Frank said...

Tradition causes everyone to adopt the error that elders were ordained, usually quoting Titus. However a simple unblinkered reading of Titus1 shows that they were actually ordaining overseers.
Tit1v5......ordain elders in every city....
What for?
Tit1v7 For a bishop(overseer) must be blameless etc.
Plain and simple they were ordaining overseers!

According to 1Tim3, anyone ordained as an overseer must be mature, not a novice or a youngster, therefore only elders need apply!
The same is true for a deacon(servant/minister) only elders need apply.

The term "elder" obviously excluded young people like Timothy. This is why Paul says in 1Tim4v12 Let no man despise your youth, but you be an example of the believer.....
This is put in context by 1Tim5v1. Rebuke not an elder but exhort him as a father, and the young men as brothers. v2. The elder women as mothers and the younger women as sisters with all purity.

If anyone had the character and qualifications to be appointed as an elder by a church of today, it would be Timothy. Yet here we find him being told to be humble before the elders, ie those older than him both MALE AND FEMALE. This is because being an elder was about your age not about appointment, as proven by the inclusion of females and youngsters in 1Tim5v1-2.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Frank for helping me read that another way. It makes some sense.

Whatever the case, I don't see in the NT the highly organized offices, positions, and roles, with their procedures, policies, and constitutions that have existed through most of church history.

Thanks for the insight.
God bless!