Lecture 10 – Framework- Plurality of Elders

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The Biblical, Normal, or Ideal Framework of the Task of Shepherding and Oversight

INTRODUCTION

I. Presuppositions

1. The biblical terms used for the office and task of oversight are synonymous and interchangeable.

Acts 20:17

Acts 20:28

Titus 1:5, Titus 1:7

2. The presence and function of biblically qualified overseers is a matter essential to the well-being of the church.

Acts 14:21-23

1 Tim. 3:14-15 with 1 Tim. 3:1

Titus 1:5

Douglas Bannerman, Scripture Doctrine of the Church, (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1887), pp. 530 -533.

II. The major thesis – The normal biblical framework for the administration of the task of oversight is that of a plurality of scripturally qualified overseers, functioning with genuine parity but with realistic, harmonious, functional diversity.

1. The evidence for a plurality of overseers as the norm

a. The record of apostolic practice

Acts 14:21-23

Titus 1:5

 

b. The description of Apostolic churches

Acts 15:3-4,

Acts 15:22-23;

Acts 11:29-30;

Acts 20:17;

Acts 21:18

Phil. 1:1

 

c. The assumption of apostolic injunctions

1 Thes. 5:12

Heb. 13:7, Heb. 13:17

Jas. 5:14

1 Pet. 5:1-2

John Murray, Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 2, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1977), pp. 345-346.

2. The evidence for a biblical standard of qualification

1 Tim. 3:1-7

Titus 1:5-9

1 Pet. 5:1-4

John Owen, The Works of John Owen, vol. 15., (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1966), pp. 493-496.

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