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.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Overseer in 1 Peter 5:2

1 Peter 5:2 (NIV 1984)
"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;"
The way this is written this verse seems to support the concept of an office of overseer.

I'm not a Greek student. Please correct me if I'm wrong. But from a quick glance at the Greek for this passage, I don't know why most translations include the word overseers or oversight.

Take a look here for the breakdown of the Greek words in this verse.

"tend you the among you flock of God not by obligation but voluntarily not lucre but eagerness"

Rea-range the terms to make sense, but notice there is nothing here to hint at an office of an overseer.

I see the NIV version has dropped the word 'overseer' from it's 2010 version, but had it in it's 1984 version.

I hate to suggest it, but I have some translators bee doing their own version of playdough scripture. :)

EDIT: I stand corrected. Some manuscripts have ἐπισκοποῦντες which can be translated "look diligently, take the oversight.", so that is why the translators have gone this way. Thanks Steve.

Interesting the other time that term shows up is Hebrews 12:15, and gets translated "See to it", "look carefully", "watching"... and it seems to be written to all believers.

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Anonymous said...

Jon, depends on which manuscript the translators used - some manuscripts don't have "ἐπισκοπέω"... some do.

In context (regardless if the manuscript includes ἐπισκοπέω or not), any literal/real shepherd not giving some degree of oversight to his sheep would be negligent and irresponsible in his duties - it's kind of the whole purpose of being a shepherd, isn't it? It's the shepherds role to give oversight to where to lead the sheep to pastures and water and giving oversight to the protection of the flock from wolves and predators, and ultimately helping lead and guide the flock back to the pen safely.

Somehow God intends this analogy to translate practically into His church, otherwise He would have chosen to use a different analogy or not use it at all.


Jonathan said...

Thanks Steve, that makes more sense.

I see two manuscripts have ἐπισκοποῦντες from the ones listed here:

Meaning "look diligently, take the oversight."

Interesting the other time that term shows up is Hebrews 12:15, and gets translated "See to it", "look carefully", "watching"... and it seems to be written to all believers.

But yes I agree, watching over others and shepherding are the same.