Re: Ephesians 4:11?

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Tue Oct 07 1997 - 21:13:08 EDT

On Tue 7 Oct 97 (13:00:36), wrote:
> 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?

 Dear Anton,

 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".

 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). 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.

 Missionaries could be regarded as Evangelists; Church ministers are variously
 Pastors and Teachers. But the duty of evangelisation is enjoined upon all
 church members.

 Mainstream denominations take their Church Order from the Pastoral Epistles,
 and have a threefold order of DIAKONOI, PRESBUTEROI and EPISKOPOI.
 Ignatius in his epistles to the Smyrnaeans and the Philadelphians built on
 this (circa 115 AD), which is the basis for present practice.

 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


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

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