|New International Version (©2011)|
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
New Living Translation (©2007)
"So guard yourselves and God's people. Feed and shepherd God's flock--his church, purchased with his own blood--over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"Be on guard for yourselves and for 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.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock that the Holy Spirit has appointed you to as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.
International Standard Version (©2012)
Pay attention to yourselves and to the entire flock over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to be shepherds of God's church, which he acquired with his own blood.
NET Bible (©2006)
Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
“Pay attention to yourselves therefore, and to the whole flock in which The Spirit of Holiness has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the Church of God which he has purchased with his blood.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Pay attention to yourselves and to the entire flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as bishops to be shepherds for God's church which he acquired with his own blood.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
American King James Version
Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
American Standard Version
Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood.
Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Darby Bible Translation
Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased with the blood of his own.
English Revised Version
Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in the which the Holy Ghost hath made you bishops, to feed the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood.
Webster's Bible Translation
Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Weymouth New Testament
"Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has placed you to take the oversight for Him and act as shepherds to the Church of God, which He has bought with His own blood.
World English Bible
Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.
Young's Literal Translation
'Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit made you overseers, to feed the assembly of God that He acquired through His own blood,
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:28-38 If the Holy Ghost has made ministers overseers of the flock, that is, shepherds, they must be true to their trust. Let them consider their Master's concern for the flock committed to their charge. It is the church He has purchased with his own blood. The blood was his as Man; yet so close is the union between the Divine and human nature, that it is there called the blood of God, for it was the blood of Him who is God. This put such dignity and worth into it, as to ransom believers from all evil, and purchase all good. Paul spake about their souls with affection and concern. They were full of care what would become of them. Paul directs them to look up to God with faith, and commends them to the word of God's grace, not only as the foundation of their hope and the fountain of their joy, but as the rule of their walking. The most advanced Christians are capable of growing, and will find the word of grace help their growth. As those cannot be welcome guests to the holy God who are unsanctified; so heaven would be no heaven to them; but to all who are born again, and on whom the image of God is renewed, it is sure, as almighty power and eternal truth make it so. He recommends himself to them as an example of not caring as to things of the present world; this they would find help forward their comfortable passage through it. It might seem a hard saying, therefore Paul adds to it a saying of their Master's, which he would have them always remember; It is more blessed to give than to receive: it seems they were words often used to his disciples. The opinion of the children of this world, is contrary to this; they are afraid of giving, unless in hope of getting. Clear gain, is with them the most blessed thing that can be; but Christ tell us what is more blessed, more excellent. It makes us more like to God, who gives to all, and receives from none; and to the Lord Jesus, who went about doing good. This mind was in Christ Jesus, may it be in us also. It is good for friends, when they part, to part with prayer. Those who exhort and pray for one another, may have many weeping seasons and painful separations, but they will meet before the throne of God, to part no more. It was a comfort to all, that the presence of Christ both went with him and stayed with them.
Verse 28. - Take heed for take heed therefore, A.V. and T.R.; in for over, A.V.; bishops for overseers, A.V.; purchased for hath purchased, A.V. Take heed, etc.; προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς, peculiar to Luke (Acts 5:53; Luke 12:1; Luke 17:3; Luke 21:34). Now follows the weighty charge of this great bishop to the clergy assembled at his visitation. With the true feeling of a chief pastor, he thinks of the whole flock, but deals with them chiefly through the under-shepherds. If he can awaken in these individually a deep concern for the souls committed to their charge, he will have done the best that can be done for the fleck at large. The first step to such concern for the flock is that each be thoroughly alive to the worth and the wants of his own soul. "Take heed unto yourselves." He that is careless about his own salvation will never lie careful about the souls of others (comp. 1 Timothy 4:16). In the which the Holy Ghost, etc. Ἐν ῷ, no doubt, does not strictly contain the idea of "over which;" but the idea of authoritative oversight is contained in the word ἐπίσκοπος, and therefore the rendering of the A.V., and of Alford's A.V. revised, is substantially correct. Perhaps the exact force of the ἐν ῷ is "among which," like ἐν ἡμῖν (Acts 2:29, and elsewhere). The call and appointment to the ministry is the special function of the Holy Ghost (John 20:22, 23; Acts 12:2; Ordination Service). To feed; ποιμαίνειν, the proper word for "tending" in relation to τὸ ποίμνιον, the flock, as ποιμήν, the pastor, or shepherd, is for him who so feeds the flock of Christ (see John 10:11, 16; John 21:17; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:2, 3). St. Peter applies the titles of "Shepherd and Bishop of souls" to the Lord Jesus (1 Peter 2:25). St. Paul does not use the metaphor elsewhere, except indirectly, and in a different aspect (1 Corinthians 9:7). The Church of God; margin, Church of the Lord. There is, perhaps, no single passage in Scripture which has caused more controversy and evoked more difference of opinion than this. The T.R. has τοῦ Θεοῦ, but most uncials have τοῦ Κυρίου. Kuinoel asserts that the reading τοῦ Κυρίου rests on the authority, besides that of the oldest manuscripts, of the old versions, and of many el' the most ancient Fathers, and says that it is undoubtedly the true reading. Meyer, too, thinks that the external evidence for τοῦ Κυρίου is decisive, and that the internal evidence from the fact that ἐκκλησία τοῦ Κυρίου Occurs nowhere else in St. Paul's writings, is decisive also. But on the other hand, both the Codex Vaticanus (B) and the Codex Sinaitieus (א), the two oldest manuscripts, have Θεοῦ (Θυ). The Vulgate, too, and the Syriac have it; and such early Fathers as Ignatius (in his Epistle to the Ephesians) and Tertullian use the phrase, "the blood of God," which seems to have been derived from this passage. And Alford reasons powerfully in favor of Θεοῦ, dwelling upon the fact that the phrase ἐκκλησία τοῦ Θεοῦ occurs ten times in St. Paul's writings, that of ἐκκλησία τοῦ Κυρίου not once. The chief authorities on each side of the question are:
(1) in favor of τοῦ Κυρίου, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Bornemann, Lunge, Olshausen, Davidson, Meyer, Hackett, as also Grotius, Griesbaeh (doubtfully), Wetstein, Le Clerc, and others;
(2) in favor of τοῦ Θεοῦ, Bengel, Mill, Whitby, Wolf, Scholz, Knapp, Alford, Wordsworth, etc., and the R.T. It should be added that the evidence for τοῦ Θεοῦ has been much strengthened by the publication by Tischendorf, in 1563, of rite Codex Sinaiticus, and in 1867 of the Codex Vaticanus, from his own collation. The result is that τοῦ Θεοῦ seems to be the true reading (see the first of the two collects for the Ember weeks in the Book of Common Prayer. With regard to the difficulty that this reading seems to imply the unscriptural phrase, "the blood of God," and to savor of the Monophysite heresy, it is obvious to reply that there is a wide difference between the phrase as it stands and such a one as the direct "blood of God," which Athanasius and others objected to. The mental insertion of "the Lord" or "Christ," as the subject of the verb "purchased," is very easy, the transition from God the Father to God incarnate being one that might be made almost imperceptibly. Others (including the R.T.) take the reading of several good manuscripts, Διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου, and understand τοῦ ἰδίου to be an ellipse for τοῦ ἰδίου υἱοῦ, the phrase used in Romans 8:32; and so render it "which he purchased by the blood of his own Son." Οἱ ἰδίοι, his own, is used without a substantive in John 1:11. This clause is added to enhance the preciousness of the flock, and the responsibility of those who have the oversight of it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Take heed therefore unto yourselves,.... Since the blood of men may be required of those, who are negligent or partial in their office, and shun to declare the whole counsel of God: this exhortation is given them not merely as men, to take care of their bodily health, the outward concerns of life, and provide for themselves and families; nor merely as Christians, but as ministers of the Gospel; that they would take heed to their gifts, to use and improve them, and not neglect them; to their time, that they spend it aright, and not squander it away; and to their spirit, temper, and passions, that they are not governed by them; and to their lives and conversations, that they be exemplary to those who are under their care; and to their doctrine, that it be according to the Scriptures; that it be the doctrine of Christ, and the same with the apostles; that it be according to godliness, and that it tends to edification; that it be sound and incorrupt, pure and unmixed, and all of a piece and consistent with itself; and that they be not infected and carried away with errors and heresies:
and to all the flock; the church and all the members of it, which are compared to a flock of sheep, which are to be looked after and watched over by the ministers of the word, who are as shepherds to them, lest they should be infected, or any damage done them. The people of God are compared to sheep on many accounts; before conversion, for their going astray, when they are as lost sheep; after conversion, for their meek and inoffensive carriage and behaviour, and for their patience in bearing sufferings, to which they are exposed: and a church of Christ is compared to a flock of them, being in Gospel order, folded together and feeding in the same pasture, attending the word and ordinances, under the care of shepherds appointed by Christ the chief shepherd; whose business it is to take heed unto them, and care of them, to learn to know their state and condition, to watch over them, and to feed them with knowledge and with understanding, for which they are qualified by Christ; and they are to take heed unto everyone in the flock, the poor of the flock as well as others, the lambs as well as the sheep, and the sick and the diseased, the torn, and straying, and driven away, as well as the fat and the strong: and this flock, though a little flock, is a holy and beautiful one, a flock of men, and of the souls of men dear to God, to Christ and the blessed Spirit; and a special regard should be had unto them, and that for reasons following:
over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers; or "bishops"; this is said to the elders of the church, Acts 20:17 which shows that the office of an elder and a bishop is one and the same office; and this contains in it more than one argument why they should take heed to the flock; as because they are the overseers of it, who have the care and oversight of the flock, that is under their inspection, and is their proper province, and office; and this they were put into by the Holy Ghost, who gave them gifts to qualify them for it, and called, and inclined them to undertake it, as well as moved the people to make choice of them for this purpose; and since, therefore, this was an affair in which the Holy Ghost was so much concerned, it became them very diligently to attend it:
to feed the church of God; with knowledge and understanding; and discharge the whole office of faithful shepherds to the flock, by feeding the flock and not themselves, strengthening the diseased, healing the sick, binding up the broken, bringing again that which was driven away, and seeking up that which was lost: and here is another argument suggested, to stir up to a diligent performance of this work; and that is, that this flock is the church of God, a set of men whom God has chosen for himself, and called by his grace out of the world, and separated for his own use and glory, and among whom he dwells; and therefore to be fed with the faithful word, with the finest of the wheat, and not with the chaff of human schemes, and with the wind of false doctrine, nor with anything that is vain, trifling, and deceitful; but with the solid doctrines of the Gospel, with the words of faith and good doctrine, with the wholesome words of Christ Jesus, which have in them milk for babes and meat for strong men, and with and by the ordinances of the Gospel, which are the green pastures they are to be guided into, and abide in; and in all they are to be directed to Christ, the sum of the word and ordinances, who is the bread of life, and food of faith; and that the church should be thus fed, is the will of Christ, who has appointed and ordered his ministers to feed his lambs and sheep, and has furnished them with what is necessary for this work; this is the design of the ministry of the Gospel, and the administration of ordinances; and the churches of Christ are placed where food may be had, where the word is faithfully preached, and the ordinances truly administered: some copies read, "the church of the Lord"; and others, and so the Complutensian edition, "the church of the Lord and God":
which he hath purchased with his own blood; which being the blood not only of a pure and innocent man, but of one that is truly and properly God as well as man, was a sufficient ransom price to redeem the church and people of God from sin, the law, its curse and condemnation: so that this is no inconsiderable proof of the true and proper deity of Christ; and contains a fresh argument, or reason, why the flock of God and "church of Christ", as the Syriac version reads; or "the church of the Lord and God", as in five of Beza's exemplars: or "of the Lord God", as the Arabic version, should be taken heed unto and fed; because it must needs be dear to God and Christ, and precious to them, since so great a price has been paid for it. The purchaser is God, Christ who is God over all, blessed for ever, not a creature; that could never have made such a purchase, it could not have purchased a single sheep or lamb in this flock, no man can redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him, much less the whole flock; but Christ being God, was able to make such a purchase, and he has actually made it, and given a sufficient price for it; not to Satan, with whom these sheep were a prey, and from whom they are taken in virtue of the ransom given; but to God, from whom they strayed, against whom they sinned, and whose law they broke; and this price was not silver and gold, nor men, nor people: but Christ himself, his life and blood; and which were his "own", the human nature, the blood of which was shed, and its life given being in union with his divine person, and was in such sense his own, the property of the Son of God, as the life and blood of no mere man are theirs: and this purchase now being made in this way, and by such means, is a very proper one; it is not made without price, but with an invaluable one; and it is a legal purchase, a valuable consideration being given for it, perfectly equivalent to it; and therefore is a complete one, there is nothing wanting to make it more firm, it is a finished purchase; and it is a very peculiar one, it is a peculiar people that are purchased, called the purchased possession, Ephesians 1:14 and a peculiar price which is paid for it; there is no other of the same kind, nor any thing like it, and it is made by a peculiar person, one that is God and man in one person.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. Take heed … unto yourselves—Compare 1Ti 3:2-7; 4:16; 6:11.
and to all the flock—Compare Heb 13:17. Observe here how the personal is put before the pastoral care.
over … which the Holy Ghost hath made you—Compare Joh 20:22, 23; Eph 4:8, 11, 12; Re 3:1. (Ac 14:23 shows that the apostle did not mean to exclude human ordination).
overseers—or, as the same word is everywhere else rendered in our version, "bishops." The English Version has hardly dealt fair in this case with the sacred text, in rendering the word "overseers," whereas it ought here, as in all other places, to have been "bishops," in order that the fact of elders and bishops having been originally and apostolically synonymous, might be apparent to the ordinary English reader, which now it is not [Alford]. The distinction between these offices cannot be certainly traced till the second century, nor was it established till late in that century.
to feed the church of God—or, "the Church of the Lord." Which of these two readings of the text is the true one, is a question which has divided the best critics. The evidence of manuscripts preponderates in favor of "THE Lord"; some of the most ancient Versions, though not all, so read; and Athanasius, the great champion of the supreme Divinity of Christ early in the fourth century, says the expression "Church of God" is unknown to the Scriptures. Which reading, then, does the internal evidence favor? As "Church of God" occurs nine times elsewhere in Paul's writings, and "Church of the Lord" nowhere, the probability, it is said, is that he used his wonted phraseology here also. But if he did, it is extremely difficult to see how so many early transcribers should have altered it into the quite unusual phrase, "Church of the Lord"; whereas, if the apostle did use this latter expression, and the historian wrote it so accordingly, it it easy to see how transcribers might, from being so accustomed to the usual phrase, write it "Church of God." On the whole, therefore, we accept the second reading as most probably the true one. But see what follows.
which he hath purchased—"made His own," "acquired."
with his own blood—"His own" is emphatic: "That glorified Lord who from the right hand of power in the heavens is gathering and ruling the Church, and by His Spirit, through human agency, hath set you over it, cannot be indifferent to its welfare in your hands, seeing He hath given for it His own most precious blood, thus making it His own by the dearest of all ties." The transcendent sacredness of the Church of Christ is thus made to rest on the dignity of its Lord and the consequent preciousness of that blood which He shed for it. And as the sacrificial atoning character of Christ's death is here plainly expressed, so His supreme dignity is implied as clearly by the second reading as it is expressed by the first. What a motive to pastoral fidelity is here furnished!
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