Peter encourages elders in 1 Peter 5:2 to ποιμάνατε (be shepherds). Paul instructs Timothy to install elders with qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:2 that include διδακτικόν (apt to teach). In Ephesians 4:11 Paul lists the gifts Christ gave to men for the equipping of the saints and he uses the noun forms of the above verbs to identify the final gift in the list as ποιμένας και διδασκάλους. Are there any historical references indicating that those gifted as shepherds and teachers are synonymous with the elders appointed in the early church? Basically, would it be appropriate to read it as "some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some overseers"?

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    There might be a good question lurking here, but it seems like an odd dot-connecting exercise at the moment. What would you do with 2 Timothy 4:5? Would that leave a list of: "apostles, prophets, overseers" on this sort of reasoning? OTOH, there is some mileage in pressing into the development of the "episcopate": for a bit of toe-dipping see the (badly scanned) sample chapter from Harry Maier, The Social Setting of the Ministry as Reflected in the Writings of Hermas, Clement and Ignatius, "Chapter One: Introduction" (WLU Press, 2002).
    – Dɑvïd
    May 21, 2016 at 8:51
  • David - Thank you for the great resource link. I'm grateful for solid eyesight and technology, which will both allow me to read it. The verse in 2 Timothy 4:5 is also solid. I appreciate the feedback.
    – Jeremy
    May 23, 2016 at 16:32


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