Greek2941. kubernesis -- steering, government, administration ... government
. From kubernao (of Latin origin, to steer); pilotage, ie (figuratively)
directorship (in the church
) -- government
. (kuberneseis) -- 1 Occurrence. ... //strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2941.htm - 7k
752. archisunagogos -- ruler of a synagogue
... [Note the parallel with government in the NT. Like the ancient Jewish , a local
NT church needs to be shepherded by a ("plurality") . See 4245 ("elder").]. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/752.htm - 8k
... CHURCH GOVERNMENT. There are three modes of church government, viz., the
Episcopalian, from the Latin word episcopus, signifying ...
//christianbookshelf.org/hayward/the book of religions/church government.htm
The Government of the Church.
... Word and the administration of the sacraments belong not to the internal economy
of the Church, but to the external; and that church government serves almost ...
/.../kuyper/the work of the holy spirit/xxxix the government of the.htm
... PART I CHAPTER XVII: CHURCH GOVERNMENT. By this time the Gospel had not
only been firmly settled as the religion of the great Roman ...
/.../chapter xvii church government.htm
Branches of Church History.
... III. The history of Church Government and Discipline. The church is not
only an invisible communion of saints, but at the same time ...
/.../history of the christian church volume i/section 2 branches of church.htm
The Government of the Church and Its Offices...
... Article XXX The Government of the Church and its Offices� The Government
of the Church and its Offices We believe that this true ...
/.../various/the belgic confession /article xxx the government of.htm
The Church Exulting in the Government of Jehovah.
... 314. " The Church exulting in the Government of Jehovah. 314. PM Pratt's Coll. The
Church exulting in the Government of Jehovah. 1 Ye subjects of the Lord! ...
/.../adams/hymns for christian devotion/314 the church exulting.htm
... The Henkels must be regarded as champions also of the basic truth of all normal
church-government, viz., that no one is to govern the Christian Church, save ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/bente/american lutheranism/anti-romanistic attitude.htm
American Congregational Creeds.
... have from time to time adopted the Westminster standards of doctrine, with the
exception of the sections relating to synodical Church government. ...
/.../ 103 american congregational creeds.htm
... in doctrine from the Westminster Confession, Methodism holds to them; while this
Confession rather expresses their views on Presbyterian Church government. ...
/.../ 110 methodist creeds.htm
... Obj.9. It has been said by some persons, that church government is sufficient to
meet the necessities of the world, without secular or state governments. Ans. ...
/.../finney/systematic theology/lecture xx human government.htm
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaChurch Government
I. APPROACH TO SUBJECT
1. The General Sense
2. The Local Sense
II. INTERNAL ORDER
1. Subjects of Admission
2. Definite Organizations
4. Ecclesiastical Functions
(1) Control of Membership
(2) Selection of Officers, etc.
(3) Observations of Ordinances
5. Independent (Autonomous) Organizations
III. EXTERNAL AUTHORITY
IV. COOPERATIVE RELATIONS
The object here sought is to discover what kind of church government is mirrored in the New Testament. To do this with perfect definiteness is, no doubt, quite impossible. Certain general features, however, may clearly be seen.
I. Approach to the Subject.
The subject is best approached through the Greek word ekklesia, translated "church." Passing by the history of this word, and its connection with the Hebrew words `edhah and qahal (which the Septuagint sometimes renders by ekklesia), we come at once to the New Testament usage. Two perfectly distinct senses are found, namely, a general and a local.
1. The General Sense:
Christ is "head over all things to the church, which is his body." (Ephesians 1:22); "the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven" (Hebrews 12:23). Here we have "church" in the broadest sense, including all the redeemed in earth and heaven, and in all ages (see also Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 5:22-27 Colossians 1:24 Hebrews 12:23).
2. The Local Sense:
Here the Scripture passages are very numerous. In some cases, the word is used in the singular, and in others the plural; in some it is used with reference to a specified church, and in others without such specification. In all cases the sense is local.
In Acts 11:26, it is said that Paul and Barnabas were "gathered together with the church," where the church at Antioch is meant. In Acts 14:23, Paul and Barnabas are said to have "appointed elders in every church," that is, churches which they had planted. In Revelation 2 and Revelation 3 the seven churches of Asia Minor are addressed. In Acts 16:5 we are told that the churches "were strengthened in the faith." On the local sense see, further, Acts 8:1; Acts 15:4; Acts 16:5; 20:17 Romans 16:4 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 6:4; 1 Corinthians 11:16; Galatians 1:2, 22, and many other places.
There are a few passages that do not seem exactly to fit into either of the above categories. Such, for example, are Matthew 18:17 and 1 Corinthians 12:28, where it seems best to understand a generic sense. Such, also, are passages like Acts 9:31, and 1 Corinthians 10:32, where a collective sense best suits the cases.
Church government in the New Testament applies only to the local bodies.
II. Internal Order.
With respect to the constitution and life of these New Testament churches, several points may be made out beyond reasonable doubt.
1. Subjects of Admission:
They were composed of persons who professed faith in Christ, and who were believed to have been regenerated, and who had been baptized. See Acts 2:41, 44, 47 (the Revised Version (British and American) "added to them"); Acts 8:12 Romans 1:8; Romans 6:4; Romans 10:9, 10 1 Corinthians 1:2; Colossians 1:2, 4 1 Timothy 6:12, and others, where they are called "saints," "sons of God," "faithful brethren," "sanctified in Christ Jesus."
2. Definite Organizations:
They are definitely and permanently organized bodies, and not temporary and loose aggregations of individuals. It is quite impossible, for example, to regard the church at Antioch as a loose aggregation of people for a passing purpose. The letters of Paul to the churches at Rome, Corinth, Philippi, Thessalonica, cannot be regarded as addressed to other than permanent and definitely organized bodies.
They were served by two classes of ministers-one general, the other local.
At the head of these is the "apostle" (1 Corinthians 12:28 Ephesians 4:11). His official relation to the churches was general. He did not necessarily belong to the group of the original Eleven. Besides Matthias (Acts 1:26), Paul and Barnabas (1 Corinthians 9:5, 6), James, the Lord's brother (Galatians 1:19), Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7) are reckoned as "apostles." The one invariable and necessary qualification of an apostle was that he should have seen the Lord after the Resurrection (Acts 1:22 1 Corinthians 9:1). Another qualification was to have wrought "the signs of an apostle" (2 Corinthians 12:12; compare 1 Corinthians 9:2). He was to bear witness to what he had seen and heard, to preach the gospel of the kingdom (Acts 1:8 1 Corinthians 1:17), to found churches and have a general care of them (2 Corinthians 11:28). From the nature of his chief qualification, his office was temporary.
Next comes the "prophet." His relation to the churches, also, was general. It was not necessary that he should have seen the Lord, but it appertained to his spiritual function that he should have revelations (Ephesians 3:5). There is no indication that his office was in any sense administrative.
After the "prophet" come the "evangelist" and "teacher," the first, a traveling preacher, the second, one who had special aptitude for giving instruction.
After the "teacher" and "evangelist" follow a group of special gifts of "healing," "helps," "governments," "tongues." It may be that "helps" and "governments" are to be identified with "deacons" and "bishops," to be spoken of later. The other items in this part of Paul's list seem to refer to special charismata.
There were two clearly distinct offices of a local and permanent kind in the New Testament churches. Paul (Philippians 1:1) addresses "all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons."
See BISHOP; DEACON.
The most common designation of the first of these officers is "elder" (presbuteros). In one passage (Ephesians 4:11) he is called "pastor" (poimen). In Acts 20:17-28, it becomes clear that the office of elder, bishop, and pastor was one; for there the apostle charges the elders of the church at Ephesus to feed (pastor) the church in which the Holy Spirit has made them bishops (compare Titus 1:5, 7 1 Peter 5:1, 2).
The function of the elders was, in general, spiritual, but involved an oversight of all the affairs of the church (1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 5:17).
As to the second of the local church officers, it has to be said that little is given us in the New Testament. That the office of deacon originated with the appointment of the Seven in Acts 6 is not certain. If we compare the qualifications there given by the apostles with those given by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, it seems quite probable that the necessity which arose at Jerusalem, and which led to the appointment of the Seven was really the occasion for originating the office of deacon in the churches. The work assigned the Seven was secular, that is to say, the "service of tables." They were to relieve the apostles of that part of the work. A similar relation to the work of the elders seems to have been borne by that of the deacons.
Again, they exercised the highest ecclesiastical functions.
4. Ecclesiastical Functions:
(1) Control of Membership.
In Matthew 18:17, our Lord, by anticipation, lodges final action, in the sphere of church discipline, with the church. When the church has taken action, the matter is ended. There is no direction to take it to a higher court. In the church at Corinth, there was a man who was guilty of an infamous offense against purity. With regard to the case, Paul urged the most summary discipline (1 Corinthians 5:5). If the church should act upon the judgment which he communicated to them, they would act when "gathered together"; that is to say, action would be taken in conference of the church. In 2 Corinthians 2, a reference to the case shows that they had acted upon his advice, and that the action was taken by the majority ("the many," the more, 2 Corinthians 2:6). In 2 Corinthians 2 he counsels restoration of this excluded member now repentant. Exclusion and restoration of members were to be effected by a church. This, of course, carried with it the reception of members in the first instance.
(2) Selection of Officers, etc.
This was true in case of the Seven (Acts 6:3-13; see other cases in Acts 15:22 1 Corinthians 16:3 2 Corinthians 8:1 Philippians 2:25). Acts 14:23 and Titus 1:5 seem, at first, to offset the passages just given. In one of these, Paul and Barnabas are said to have "appointed" (cheirotonesantes) elders in the churches which they had planted. But scholars of first quality, though themselves adhering to Presbyterial or Episcopal forms of church government, maintain that Paul and Barnabas ordained the elders whom the churches selected-that they "appointed" them in the usual way, by the suffrages of the members of the churches concerned. The word rendered "appoint" in Titus 1:5 (katasteses) is more easily understood as referring to ordination instead of selection.
(3) Observation of Ordinances.
Paul gives direction (1 Corinthians 11:20-34) to the church at Corinth about the observance of the Lord's Supper. These directions are given, not to any officer or set of officers, but to the church. Ecclesiastically, of course, the two ordinances are on the same level; and, if one of them had been committed to the custody, so to say, of the churches, so must the other.
5. Independent (Autonomous) Organizations:
The management of their business was in their own hands. Paul wrote the church at Corinth: "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:40). In that comprehensive injunction, given to a church, is implied control of its affairs by the church.
III. External Authority.
The investigation up to this point places us in position to see that there is in the New Testament no warrant for ecclesiastical grades in the ministry of the churches, by which there may be created an ascending series of rulers who shall govern the churches merged into one vast ecclesiastical organization called "the church." So, also, we are in position to see that there is no warrant for an ascending series of courts which may review any "case" that originates in a local church. We may see, on the contrary, that to each local church has been committed by Christ the management of its own affairs; and that He had endowed every such church with ecclesiastical competency to perform every function that any ecclesiastical body has a right to perform.
As the churches are not to be dominated by any external ecclesiastical authority, so they are not to be interfered with, in their church life, by civil government. Jesus taught that Christians should be good citizens (Matthew 22:15-22); so did the apostles (Romans 13:1-7 1 Peter 2:13-16). Jesus also taught the spirituality of His Kingdom: "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). It follows that only where the life of a church touched the civic life of the community has the civil authority any right to interfere.
IV. Cooperative Relations.
While each local church, according to the New Testament, is independent of every other in the sense that no other has jurisdiction over it, yet cooperative relations were entered into by New Testament churches. Examples and indications of that may be found in Romans 15:26, 27 2 Corinthians 8; 2 Corinthians 9; Galatians 2:10 Romans 15:1; Romans 3John 1:8. The principle of cooperation effective in those cases is susceptible of indefinite expansion. Churches may properly cooperate in matters of discipline, by seeking and giving counsel, and by respecting each other's disciplinary measures. In the great, paramount business of evangelizing and teaching the nations, they may cooperate in a multitude of ways. There is no sphere of general Christian activity in which the churches may not voluntarily and freely cooperate for the betterment of the world, the salvation of humanity.
For other standpoints see BISHOP; GOVERNMENT; MINISTRY, etc.
Hort, The Christian Ecclesia; Hatch, Organization of the Early Christian Churches; Whitley, Church, Ministry and Sacraments in the New Testament; Lindsay, The Church and the Ministry in the Early Cents.; French, Synonyms of New Testament; Vitringa, De Synagoga Vetere; Holzinger, ZAW; Schurer, Schurer, History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, II; Driver, Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament; Thayer, New Testament Lexicon, and Cremer, Biblical Theol. Lexicon, under the word, "ekklesia" and "sunagoge"; Neumann, Rom. Staat und die all-gemeine Kirche; Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire.; Lightfoot, "The Christian Ministry," in Commentary on Philippians; Harvey, The Church; Dagg, Church Order; Hovey, Religion and the State; Owen, Church Government; Ladd, Principles of Church Polity; Dexter, Congregationalism; Hodge, Discussions in Church Polity; Abbey, Ecclesiastical Constitutions; Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity; Jacob, Ecclesiastical Polity; Bore, The Church and Its Ministry; Dollinger, The Church and The Churches; Stanley, Lectures on the Eastern Church; Dargan, Ecclesiology.
E. J. Forrester
Topical Bible Verses1 Timothy 3:8-13
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;Topicalbible.org
1 Timothy 5:17
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.
1 Timothy 3:1-16
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.
For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath on him that does evil.
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
For this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Church and State
Church and State: Artaxerxes, in Exempting Priests, Levites, and Other Temple Functionaries from Taxes
Church and State: Attempted Usurpation of Ecclesiastical Functions by Civil Authorities, Reproved
Church and State: David
Church and State: Ecclesiastical Power Superior to Civil: Appoints Kings
Church and State: Ecclesiastical Power Superior to Civil: Directs Administration
Church and State: Ecclesiastical Power Superior to Civil: Reproves Rulers
Church and State: Ecclesiastical Power Superior to Civil: Withdraws Support and Anoints a Successor
Church and State: Manasseh, in Subverting, and Afterward Restoring, the True Religion
Church and State: Solomon
Church and State: State Favorable to Religion: Cyrus, in his Proclamation to Restore the Temple at Jerusalem
Church and State: State Favorable to Religion: Darius, in his Edict Furthering the Restoration of the Temple
Church and State: State Superior to Religion: Ahaz, in Transforming the Altars
Church and State: State Superior to Religion: Hezekiah, in Reorganizing Temple Service
Church and State: State Superior to Religion: Jehoash, in Supervising the Repairs of the Temple
Church and State: State Superior to Religion: Jeroboam, in Subverting the Jewish Religion
Church and State: State Superior to Religion: Josiah, in Exercising the Function of the Priests in the Temple
Church and State: State Superior to Religion: Solomon, in Thrusting Abiathar out of the High Priest's office
Church is Clothed in Righteousness
Church is Edified by the Word
Church is Glorious
Church is Prayed For
Church of Israel in Covenant With God
Church of Israel was Relatively Holy
Church of Israel: A Type of the Church of Christ
Church of Israel: Admission Into, by Circumcision
Church of Israel: All Israelites Members of
Church of Israel: Attachment of the Jews To
Church of Israel: Called The: Congregation of Israel
Church of Israel: Called The: Congregation of the Lord
Church of Israel: Established by God
Church of Israel: Had: A Spiritual Church Within It
Church of Israel: Had: An Appointed Place of Worship
Church of Israel: Had: An Ordained Ministry
Church of Israel: Had: Appointed Feasts
Church of Israel: Had: Appointed Ordinances
Church of Israel: Had: The Divine Presence Manifested in It
Church of Israel: Members of Excommunicated for Heavy Offenses
Church of Israel: Members of Required to Attend Its Worship
Church of Israel: Members of Required to Keeps Its Statutes
Church of Israel: Members of Required to Know Its Statutes
Church of Israel: Members of Separated From, While Unclean
Church of Israel: Persons Excluded From
Church of Israel: Privileges of
Church of Israel: Proselytes Admitted Into
Church of Israel: Supported by the People
Church of Israel: The Depository of Holy Writ
Church of Israel: Worship of, Consisted in Praise
Church of Israel: Worship of, Consisted in Prayer
Church of Israel: Worship of, Consisted in Preaching
Church of Israel: Worship of, Consisted in Reading God's Word
Church of Israel: Worship of, Consisted in Sacrifice
Church: Assembly of the Saints
Church: Assembly of the Upright
Church: Baptized (Immersed) Into by One Spirit
Church: Believers Continually Added To, by the Lord
Church: Body of Christ
Church: Branch of God's Planting
Church: Bride of Christ
Church: Called Courts
Church: Called the Congregation in the O. T. (K. J. V. And Others)
Church: Christ, Head of
Church: Christian, Divinely Established
Church: Christ's Love For
Church: Church of God
Church: Church of the Firstborn
Church: Church of the Living God
Church: City of the Living God
Church: Congregation of Saints
Church: Congregation of the Lord's Poor
Church: Corruption In
Church: Dear to God
Church: Decrees of
Church: Defiling of, Will be Punished
Church: Design of
Church: Dissensions In
Church: Divisions In, to be Shunned
Church: Duty of, to Ministers
Church: Extent of, Predicted
Church: Family in Heaven and Earth
Church: Flock of God
Church: Fold of Christ
Church: General Assembly of the Firstborn (People)
Church: God Defends
Church: God Provides Ministers For
Church: God's Building
Church: God's Heritage
Church: God's Husbandry (Farm)
Church: Golden Candlestick (Lampstand)
Church: Government of, Mosaic and Christian
Church: Habitation of God
Church: Harmonious Fellowship of
Church: Heavenly Jerusalem
Church: His Kingdom
Church: Holy City
Church: Holy Hill
Church: Holy Mountain
Church: Holy Place
Church: Holy Temple
Church: House of Christ
Church: House of God
Church: House of Prayer
Church: House of the Lord
Church: Household of God
Church: Israel of God
Church: Kingdom of God
Church: Kingdom of Heaven
Church: King's Daughter
Church: Lamb's Bride
Church: Lamb's Wife
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Antioch
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Asia
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Babylon
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Caesarea
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Cenchrea
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Cilicia
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Corinth
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Ephesus
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Galatia
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Galilee
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Jerusalem
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Joppa
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Judaea
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Laodicea
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Pergamos
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Philadelphia
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Samaria
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Sardis
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Smyrna
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Syria
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Thessalonica
Church: List of Congregations of Christians: Thyatira
Church: Lot of God's Inheritance
Church: Love For
Church: Loved by Believers
Church: Membership In
Church: Ministers Commanded to Feed
Church: Mount Zion
Church: Mountain of the Lord's House
Church: My Father's House
Church: My Kingdom
Church: New Jerusalem
Church: Not to be Despised
Church: Pillar and Ground of the Truth
Church: Place of God's Throne
Church: Pleasant Portion
Church: Privileges of
Church: Prophecies Concerning Prosperity of
Church: Rules of Discipline In, Mosaic and Christian
Church: Safe Under his Care
Church: Salt and Light of the World
Church: Sanctuary of God
Church: Sister of Christ
Church: Sought Out, a City not Forsaken
Church: Spiritual House
Church: Spouse of Christ
Church: Strength and Glory of God
Church: Temple of God
Church: Temple of the Living God
Church: The God of Jacob
Church: The Lord's Portion
Church: The Wicked Persecute
Church: Thy Kingdom
Church: Unclassified Scriptures Relating To
Church: Unity of
Church: Worship of, to be Attended
The Church is Edified by the Word
The Church: Believers Continually Added To, by the Lord
The Church: Belongs to God
The Church: Christ, the Foundation-Stone of
The Church: Christ, the Head of
The Church: Clothed in Righteousness
The Church: Defiling of, Will be Punished
The Church: Displays the Wisdom of God
The Church: Elect
The Church: Extent of, Predicted
The Church: Glorious
The Church: Glory to be Ascribed to God By
The Church: God Defends
The Church: God Provides Ministers For
The Church: Loved by Christ
The Church: Ministers Commanded to Feed
The Church: Not to be Despised
The Church: Purchased by the Blood of Christ
The Church: Saints Baptised Into, by One Spirit
The Church: Sanctified and Cleansed by Christ
The Church: Shows Forth the Praises of God
The Church: Subject to Christ
The Church: The Body of Christ
The Church: The Object of the Grace of God
The Church: The Wicked Persecute
The Church: Unity of
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