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Pastor, Elder, Overseer

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Pastor, Elder, Overseer

Pastor E. Keith Hassell

Pastor/Shepherd

1.     POIMAIN [Strong’s # 4166; “shepherd”; translated “pastor” only once in Ephesians 4:11]

a.      The word is used to refer to occupational keepers of sheep

·        Matthew 9:36 (NKJV)“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”

·        Matthew 25:32 (NKJV)“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.”

·        Mark 6:34 (NKJV)“And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.”

·        Luke 2:8 (NKJV)“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.”

·        Luke 2:15 (NKJV)“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’”

·        Luke 2:18 (NKJV)“And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”

·        Luke 2:20 (NKJV) “Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

b.     The word is used metaphorically of Christ as Shepherd

·        Matthew 26:31 (NKJV)“Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”’”

·        Mark 14:27 (NKJV) “Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”’”

·        John 10:11 (NKJV) “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

·        John 10:14 (NKJV) “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”

·        John 10:16 (NKJV) “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

·        Hebrews 13:20 (NKJV) “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,”

·        1 Peter 2:25 (NKJV) “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

2.     POIMAINO [Strongs # 4165; “to tend as a shepherd; feed; rule”]

a.      Used to describe the tending of sheep by shepherds

·        Luke 17:7 (NKJV) “And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?”

·        1 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV) “Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?”

b.     Used to refer to the Shepherding work of Christ

·        Matthew 2:6 (NKJV)But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.”

·        Revelation 7:17 (NKJV) “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

·        Revelation 12:5 (NKJV) “She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.”

·        Revelation 19:15 (NKJV)“Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

c.     Used to refer to the shepherding work of church Elders or Bishops

·        John 21:16 (NKJV) “He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’”

·        Acts 20:28 (NKJV) “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

·        1 Peter 5:2 (NKJV) “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;”

d.     Used to refer to the shepherding work of overcoming saints

·        Revelation 2:27 (NKJV) “‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father;”

e.      Used to refer to the self-sufficient shepherding of false brethren

·        Jude 12 (NKJV)“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;”

3.     ARCHIPOIMAIN [Strong’s # 750] Chief Shepherd

a.      Used to describe Jesus Christ

·        1 Peter 5:4 (NKJV)“and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

Elder/Presbyter

1.     PRESBUTEROS [Strong’s # 4245] An elder, older person, or senior

a.      Used to refer to someone advanced in years

·        Luke 15:25 (NKJV)“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.”

·        John 8:9 (NKJV) “Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”

·        Acts 2:17 (NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.”

b.     Used to refer to the forefathers

·        Matthew 15:2 (NKJV) “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

·        Mark 7:3-5 (NKJV) “For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, ‘Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?’”

·        Hebrew 11:2 (NKJV) “For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.”

c.     Used to refer to the officials of the people

                                i.            Old Testament examples

·        Joshua 20:4 (NKJV) “And when he flees to one of those cities, and stands at the entrance of the gate of the city, and declares his case in the hearing of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city as one of them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.”

·        Ruth 4:2 (NKJV) “And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, ‘Sit down here.’ So they sat down.”

                              ii.            Members of the Sanhedrin (ruling council)

·        Matthew 16:21 (NKJV) “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

·        Matthew 26:3 (NKJV) “Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,”

·        Matthew 27:41 (NKJV) “Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said,”

2.     PRESBUTERION [Strong’s #4244] The assembly of Elders

a.      Used to refer to the council or senate among the Jews (Sanhedrin)

·        Luke 22:66 (NKJV) “As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying,”

·        Acts 22:5 (NKJV) “as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.”

b.     Used to refer to the Elders of a New Testament Church

·        1 Timothy 4:14 (NKJV) “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.”

3.     SUMPRESBUTEROS [Strong’s # 4850] Fellow-Elder or Co-Elder

a.      1 Peter 5:1 (NKJV) “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:”

Overseer/Bishop

1.     EPISKOPOS [Strong’s # 1985] Overseer, Superintendent, Guardian, Bishop

a.      “Episcopos” is a compound word

                                i.            “Epi” (“over”)

                              ii.            “Skopos” (“to look or watch”, “to scope”) The word “scope” is the root word from which we get the English word “skeptic.”

b.     Used five times in the New Testament

·        Acts 20:28 (NKJV) “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

·        Philippians 1:1 (NKJV) “Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:”

·        1 Timothy 3:2 (NKJV) “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober–minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;”

·        Titus 1:7 (NKJV) “For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,”

·        1 Peter 2:25 (NKJV) “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

2.     EPISKOPEO [Strong’s # 1983] To exercise the oversight, to oversee, to care for, to look at, to take care of.

·        Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV) “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;”

·        1 Peter 5:2 (NKJV) “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;”

3.     EPISKOPEE [Strong’s # 1984] The charge or care; Superintendence; Bishopric

a.      Used to describe the office of a Bishop or Overseer

·        Acts 1:20 (NKJV) “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, and let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let  another take his office.’”

·        1 Timothy 3:1 (NKJV) “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”

b.     Eleazar, son of Aaron, was appointed overseer of the Tabernacle of Moses

·        Numbers 4:16 (NKJV) “The appointed duty of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest is the oil for the light, the sweet incense, the daily grain offering, the anointing oil, the oversight of all the tabernacle, of all that is in it, with the sanctuary and its furnishings.”

Connection between Pastor, Elder & Bishop

An Elder (“presbuteros”) and Bishop (“episcopos”) and Pastor (“poimain”) all refer to the same person in New Testament Church leadership

·        Acts 20:17, 28 (NKJV) “From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders [“presbuteros”] of the church… ‘Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers [“episkopos”], to shepherd [“poimaino”] the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.’”

·        Titus 1:5, 7 (NKJV)“For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders [“presbuteros”] in every city as I commanded you…For a bishop [“episkopos”] must be blameless, as a steward of God…”

·        1 Peter 5:2 (NKJV) “The elders [“presbuteros”] who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd [“poimaino”] the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers [“episkopeo”], not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;”

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