This Twenty-First study introduces the six Greek terms which identify the ‘elders’ of the New Testament Scriptures. The references are classified under four headings and an overview is provided on the number of times one or more of the Greek terms appear in each book of the New Testament.
This Twenty-Second study considers how the term ‘elders’ is used in two of the four classifications: (1) Generic References; (2) Revelation References. It will be shown that the term in no way identifies any type of ‘office’, but is invariably used to distinguish the younger from the elder. The ‘elders’ were singled out by age, not appointment.
This twenty-third study considers how the term ‘elders’ is used in the third of four classifications: The Jewish Elders. Four New Testament books use the term in this connotation and a general analysis is provided for its usage in each book. The references are then compiled together according to their historic narratives, out of which emerges two categories: (1) The Community Elders; (2) The Council (Sanhedrin) Elders. Special attention is given to the ‘community elders’ upon which is established the basic meaning of the term when identifying the elders of the Sanhedrin.
This twenty-fourth study considers how the term ‘elders’ is used in the third of four classifications: The Jewish Elders. Four New Testament books use the term in this connotation and a general analysis is provided for its usage in each book. The references are then compiled together according to their historic narratives, out of which emerges two categories: (1) The Community Elders; (2) The Council (Sanhedrin) Elders. Special attention is given to the elders of the Sanhedrin.
This twenty-fifth study unfolds the use of the term ‘synagogue’ throughout the New Testament Scriptures. One of the central arguments upon which Reformed Baptists establish their ideas of a plural eldership is based on their presupposition that the Christian church is modeled after the Jewish synagogue. If it can be shown the Scriptures do not support this theory, then the weakness of their position will be exposed.
This twenty-sixth study unfolds the use of the term ‘church’ throughout the New Testament Scriptures. The Greek term EKKLESIA is found 118 times. These references are organized under several categories, but each and every occurrence of the term is used strictly in a ‘local and visible’ context. The Romish and Reformed concept of a ‘universal and invisible’ church finds no scriptural support. The implications of this distinction with regards to ‘eldership’ will be more fully explored in the upcoming studies
This twenty-seventh study investigates the origin of the first church. Was it established on the Day of Pentecost when Jesus baptized her in the Holy Spirit, or was it established during the earthly ministry of Christ when He called together the twelve apostles? If it was established during the earthly ministry of Christ, as this study maintains, then Christ Himself is the prototype for church leadership.
This twenty-eighth study considers whether the Lord Himself taught His church was modeled after the family unit (as opposed to the Jewish Synagogue). If this be affirmed by Christ, then a clear path is laid for identifying the elders that appear in the early churches.
This thirtieth study is a continuation from the twenty-eighth—not only did Jesus Christ describe His church as a household, but so did His apostles in the writings of the New Testament. So clear is this point made throughout the Scriptures, that to entertain the idea that the Christian church is designed after the Jewish Synagogue is to impose upon the Scriptures what it never says nor implies.
This thirty-first study explores the meeting places of the first church. Not only did Jesus and His apostles compare the Christian church to a household, but it was in the physical houses and among the members of the households that the Christian church gathered. Consequently, it is natural that the ‘elders’ so frequently mentioned in the early churches were none other than the household heads representing each family. These persons were not elected by the church, or appointed by a central government, to an office of ‘eldership’, but were simply honored by that title in virtue of age.