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__________________ Biblical Elder, cont. __________________
In this latter verse, we see that elder and bishop are interchangeable names for the same duty. How do I know that, you ask? In a few sentences, here, it should all become clear.
Paul had instructed these other preachers to: "set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city Titus 1:5: Elders were to be the husband of one wife, having faithful children, having his children in subjection... and must know how to rule his own house."
So, you see that an unmarried man would have no fatherly experience with children, no experience as a loving and caring husband, no experience running an orderly household. This is the reason elders (bishops or overseers) were to be married men.
Another interchangeable word for elder is overseer, as we see in Acts 20:
Acts:20:17: And from Miletus he [Paul] sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church...18: And when they were come to him, he said unto them... 28: 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...
More About Elders (Overseers)!
First, let's set one thing straight, before we begin... The Elder in the First Century Assembly (church) did NOT stand on a podium, a Pulpit, in front of a lectern, and Preach TO the people.
The Greek term translated elder is presbyteros. The elders were the mature brethren who were the servant/leaders in the local church. This term and the term bishop are synonymous and represent one office. Bishop comes from the Greek term episkopos.
If you refer to a good lexicon (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament), you will see that the term, "Bishop" meant "an overseer", a man charged with overseeing things; seeing that things are done [by others] and that they are done correctly (rightly).
As one lexicon says (paraphrased): He is like a curator, a guardian, or a superintendent.
The Church and its immediate leader
The Elder gently "Leads" (from behind). He leads the body of Believers who are Called-Out of the World to Serve God.. That is, The Church.
Ekklesia [an assembly of those called out to attend to the business of God's kingdom, which has a spiritual SHARING format requiring the participation of each and every Professing Christian who comes. It is NOT a one-way LECTURE given by an eloquent, persuasive, intellectual speaker] (see Heb. 10:24-25, 1 Cor. 14:26).
The body of Christ is NOT Ruled by authoritarians but counseled and led by experienced leadership--as by shepherds who follow the Sheep, gently Steering the 'Sheep' , as it were---because he has a knowledge of THE WAY and its hazards that is superior to that knowledge possessed by the average sheep. He acts as a brother, to Serve, or Minister to the sheep. (Mt. 20:25-26, 23:8, 18:17, Heb. 13:7-17).
This is the biblical Elder.