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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 What they are and what they do

When have a vague idea of the nature of 'elders' we need to move on to what they actually do. There is a word available for us but it will need a little unpacking.... overseers or as the older versions will have it 'bishops'.

The English word 'bishop' acutally derives from the Greek 'episkopos' If you say the word you can hear the similarity. Just say

ePISKOPos without pronouncing the lower case letters and you will here the link. Now what is an episkopos? Well technically the word just means someone who 'over-sees', now you know!
;-)

But the derivation of a word is only a tiny part of finding the meaning. Usage is the real key.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/7 9:35Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: What they are and what they do

Quote:
Ron's: But the derivation of a word is only a tiny part of finding the meaning. Usage is the real key.



I have been anxious to know what exactly they are responsible before God for doing. :-D


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/7 10:58Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
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 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:

The responsibility of the oversight is to oversee, or keep a watch,(like the Christmas shepherds.. they were 'keeping a watch over' not 'ruling over'). They are not the initiators of every move in the church but they are the safety element in the church.




Relative to what overseers do, I thought of the above quote, which I recalled having read earlier, and found again on page 12 of this thread.

This reminds me of the words the Lord said of David. "I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep..." (2 Sam. 7.8).

In other words, David was just keeping an eye on the sheep as they enjoyed the liberty of feeding in the green pastures he led them to.

Quite the leader, who would be not in front of the flock, controlling and directing all things, but behind them...

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/7 11:53Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
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 Re:

Quote:

ADisciple wrote:


In other words, David was just keeping an eye on the sheep as they enjoyed the liberty of feeding in the green pastures he led them to.

Quite the leader, who would be not in front of the flock, controlling and directing all things, but behind them...


My thoughts (for what it's worth) on this are that the 'Elder' is the position and overseeing is what he does. That is shepherding the flock. No one really should be called 'Pastor' as Pastor is the function of an Elder. It's what you do not what you are. Could this equally apply to teacher; phrophet; evangelist etc?

I think that a shepherd in NT times would lead the sheep not drive them or follow from behind.


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Dave

 2009/1/7 12:25Profile
ADisciple
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 Re:

Quote:

Heydave wrote:
I think that a shepherd in NT times would lead the sheep not drive them or follow from behind.



I agree, a shepherd doesn't "drive" the sheep, like cattle.

But if we understand what is meant by the shepherd "following the sheep," he is still leading them. But it's just kind of a watching over them, watching out for lions and bears, and giving them complete liberty to feed as their hunger leads them, and to grow in their own personal relationship with the Chief Shepherd.

Like Peter said. "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder..." (A fellow elder, I think it means. He called himself AN elder, not THE elder) "...Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight, thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind, neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock..." (1 Pt. 5.3).

So he led by example.

And notice again here, he says, "the elders which are among you..." Not over you. It's similar, I think, to the verse in Acts that has been discussed. ("Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers..." Acts 20.28).

Your comment about not being called pastor, and that it is a function of an elder, not a position, is interesting. I'll see what others have to say about it.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/7 13:31Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Quote:
Heydave on 2009/1/7 14:25:05
I think that a shepherd in NT times would lead the sheep not drive them or follow from behind.



This is often said but there are at least two occasions when God tells David that he called him when 'he was following the flock'. I think it can be both. Sometimes they 'lead' the way to new pastures and sometimes just let them get on with it.

Did you know that God is referred to as an 'overseer'? What is man that thou [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Psa&c=8&v=1&t=KJV#conc/4]visitest[/url] him... In the Greek Old Testament that the early Christians used this is the verb for 'to shepherd' and yet if you check it out you will find it frequently refers to a 'check up' kind of a visit. The word is used in the NT quote from Psalm 8 in Heb 2:6.

'elder' is who he is 'overseeing/checking out' is what he does.

This is a linked verb [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1980&t=KJV]Strong's G1980 - episkeptomai[/url]. Check out how the word is used from that URL and you will see the sense of 'checking out'.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/7 13:49Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

ADisciple wrote:


But if we understand what is meant by the shepherd "following the sheep," he is still leading them. But it's just kind of a watching over them, watching out for lions and bears, and giving them complete liberty to feed as their hunger leads them, and to grow in their own personal relationship with the Chief Shepherd.



Thank's for this, I understand what you are saying and agree. I stand corrected :-)
I think it can be either way as Ron says on his post, so sorry for making it one way. Most important thing is we agree it is NOT lording over the flock, but leading by example and watching over the flock.

Thanks for your correction.


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Dave

 2009/1/7 14:52Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

Heydave wrote:
Thank's for this :-)



You're welcome. I've been appreciating the things you are sharing as well. :-)

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/7 15:17Profile
Heydave
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 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:

Did you know that God is referred to as an 'overseer'? What is man that thou [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Psa&c=8&v=1&t=KJV#conc/4]visitest[/url] him... In the Greek Old Testament that the early Christians used this is the verb for 'to shepherd' and yet if you check it out you will find it frequently refers to a 'check up' kind of a visit. The word is used in the NT quote from Psalm 8 in Heb 2:6.

'elder' is who he is 'overseeing/checking out' is what he does.

This is a linked verb [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1980&t=KJV]Strong's G1980 - episkeptomai[/url]. Check out how the word is used from that URL and you will see the sense of 'checking out'.




This very interesting and helpful.
In 'Vines it says that the Greek Spt OT in Exodus 3:16 the word 'Episkope' is used where it says that God 'visited' Israel in their captivity. This would mean he did not just passivly visit, but looked into and checked them out! He was overseeing them; being a Bishop to them.

Interestingly in Heb 2:6 in the NKJV it translates it as saying ..'or the son of man that you TAKE CARE of him? Which confirms that visiting / taking care / checking out are all implied in these functions of Shepherd and overseer.


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Dave

 2009/1/7 16:18Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
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 Re: What they are and what they do

I'm still following this thread. I haven't bailed out, but for a little while I'll be in Detroit than NY than Ok and finially Ks. I'll try to keep up in the reading.
One quick question: Overseers, do they function the same as do shepards in the book of EZE 34? with its description of what they were to be about?


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D.Miller

 2009/1/7 17:39Profile





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