Re: Ephesians 4:11?

From: Jim West (
Date: Tue Oct 07 1997 - 16:36:58 EDT

At 09:13 PM 10/7/97, you wrote:

> IMHO the word "gave" here is a graecisation of the Hebrew /NaThaN/, to give,
> which also means to "set" or "appoint". So God *appointed* some as
> "apostles... prophets... evangelists... pastors... teachers".

This is simply a "targum" on the text. There is absolutely NO evidence that
the text was originally written in Hebrw (which few if any of Pauls readers
would have understood). Nor is there any reason to think that Paul was
thinking in Hebrew and writing in Greek.
The importation of a Hebrew verb is here unnecessary and quite out of place.

> The Church recognised the Apostles as the eye-witnesses of the Resurrection
> of Jesus Christ. Acts 1:15-26 shows how Peter and the eleven (including of
> course himself) decided to appoint a replacement for Judas. They picked
> Matthias; but the Holy Spirit picked Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:2).

Are you implying that the early Church viewed the rolling of the dice as a
chance game? Surely not; for they viewed such a role as inspired by the
Spirit as well.

>As the
> Apostles died out, Scriptures were needed as written records to replace the
> oral evidence of the eye-witnesses (e.g. 2 Timothy 4:11-13, KAI TA BIBLIA
> The mainstream denominations do not recognise an order of Prophets; but some
> of the newer Pentecostal groups do recognise them: e.g. the "Kansas City
> Prophets" in the "Vineyard" Church. Following the close of the New Testament
> Canon, and the general availability of printed Scriptures, the need for an
> order of "prophets" has receded in the western church.

But a "prophet" is nothing more than a "proclaimer" or a preacher; not a
fortune teller in the Jean Dixon mode. The word itself derives from a
compound word meaning "to speak forth; to speak to". To suggest that the
order of "preachers" has declined is historical nonsense.

> The Apostles (some of them) were also the authors of the New Testament
> canonical books, as the O.T. Prophets were the authors of the O.T. canonical
> books: compare "[ye] are built upon the foundation of the *apostles and
> prophets*, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians
> 2:20).

Not one of the 12 wrote a book; and not one of the OT prophets wrote a book
either. This view is utterly impossible in light of the literature itself.
See any introduction to the NT and the OT for the essentials.

> Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
> <>
> 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)


Jim West

Adjunct Professor of Bible,
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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