Re: Ephesians 4:11?

From: Jim West (
Date: Tue Oct 07 1997 - 10:41:30 EDT

At 01:00 PM 10/7/97 +0000, you wrote:
>I have a question regarding Ephesians 4:11. In the Greek, is the "gave"
>in this verse a continuing action, or a one-time act.

The verb is aorist tense. The aorits, however, does not merely function as
a punctiliar; it can also have an ingressive sense. Thus, it would be
legitimate to here translate "he continuously gives..." etc.

>The question behind the question is: can this verse be used to support
>the idea of a present-day five-fold ministry? Or did the church at one
>time have apostles and people ministering in the office of apostle, but
>currently we have evangelists, pastors and teachers?

in fact, an "apostle" is a missionary- a sent one. That the author of
ephesians thought that there were only 12 "apostles" is not correct. By the
time ephesians was written (around 70-80 a.d.) there were in fact none of
the 12 still alive- but there were plenty of "missionaries".



Jim West

Adjunct Professor of Bible,
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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