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 Elders in the New Testament Church
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Posted - 22 Jan 2006 :  21:20:23  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Elders in the New Testament Church.

The word elder is the title of an ordained overseer or leader of a congregation and comes from the old English word eldra (West Saxon ieldra, yidra), comparative of eald archaic for old (elder simply means older). Latin translations have senior which in Rome was a man over forty five. An elder is a leader in a church and is also a title interchangeable with a pastor. (Acts 20:17,28; Ti. 1:5; 1 Pt. 5:1-4). All elders are male and have some years of experience behind them (1 Tim 3:6; 5:1). Sometimes age, wisdom, and experience, are inseparable qualities for an elder. The title elder is borrowed from the congregation of Israel and from the Jewish synagogues. The Hebrew word for elder is zaquen (2205) which means an older man. The Greek word presbuteros (4245) has a very similar meaning, and is the source of our English word presbyter and also Presbyterian. An elder is a judge and guardian of the community. Scripturally, a person is always called an elder if he is someone who is overseeing whether part of the Jewish Sanhedrin or of the Church of God. As the people of God morphed from the Jewish race into the all inclusive church, the unregenerate elders of the Jewish Sanhedrin became obsolete and the mantle was passed onto the leaders of the New Testament Church who were Apostles and leaders. An elder in a New Testament sense could be simply defined as a mature Christian who oversees for another's benefit. Whether they are a pastor, a bible study leader, or youth group leader, elders are mature trustworthy leaders in the church regardless of title. All leaders in the church are serving Christ, by serving and helping others reach their full potential in the Christian life. In the English language, an elder is seen as someone who has the experience and wisdom to hold the position or rank as a boss, teacher, manager, commanding officer, supervisor, or coach who trains and leads others to reach their full potential in any corporate setting.

Just as the people in the Old Testament sought out God's counsel and wisdom from elders, so to does the church look to her overseers. Although in the NT the believer is to seek counsel in the Bible and personal prayer, a healthy, submissive relationship to headship is paramount to ones personal walk and authority in the church. In the New Testament, churches had one head. This is made clear by the authority given to Timothy by Paul in the "pastoral epistles".


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Posted - 01 Sep 2006 :  20:47:26  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
It is notable that "All elders are male" and that "An elder is a leader in a church and is also a title interchangeable with a pastor". These two facts alone speak very loadly to this generation of Christians who seem to act like the bible is not God's word.

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