What Does “Pastor” Mean?
Understanding “Pastors and Teachers”
1 Peter 5:1–4; Ephesians 4:11
1 Peter Lesson #149
October 18, 2018
Dr. Robert L. Dean, Jr.
“Our Father, it’s just a great privilege and a great act of grace on Your part to have brought us into relationship with You through Christ’s work on the Cross. That by His death we have redemption.
“The price has been paid, the penalty has been paid, and by believing and trusting in Him, and Him alone, we have eternal life. We are brought into Your royal family, adopted as heirs and sons. And, Father, the value of this is beyond anything we can imagine.
“Father, we are brought into an organism in this dispensation called the church. And this, too, is unique in all of history. Father, we pray that as Church Age believers we might come to understand and appreciate all that You’ve given us and provided for us. That this might be a central priority in our lives: to grow closer to You, to walk with You, to know Your Word, and to gradually be more set apart to service to You.
“As we study tonight, we pray that You will help us to understand at least the conclusions, the main ideas, of what we are covering—if not all of the details, that we can understand how we are to be fed and matured as believers. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”
In our study of 1 Peter we have been going through additional studies (a sub-series) on the church. The technical word in theology is “ecclesiology,” from the Greek word EKKLESIA.
And this is just a survey. I’m not going through a lot in depth on a lot of things—I’m going a little more in depth tonight.
But we’ve been looking the past several weeks about the meaning of the word pastor. A lot of different people have different ideas—a lot of wrong ideas, a lot of muddled ideas and confused ideas—about what a pastor is and what is pastoral.
If you have the gift of pastor-teacher and somebody says, “Oh, that’s so pastoral,” you always wonder, “What do you mean by that?” Everybody has different ideas.
So we’ve been drilling down on this a little bit the last few weeks by going through the Old Testament use of the literal meaning, and then its imagery—how it’s used metaphorically to refer to leaders.
We’ll look at those conclusions again tonight because that forms the background of understanding the word in the New Testament.
The word pastor to refer to a church leader is only used one time in the New Testament. But, we come out of a Baptistic tradition.
In the Baptistic tradition, the key leader in the church has been identified as a pastor, and that’s been pretty normal.
If you go to other traditions, then you may refer to them as bishops or you may refer to them as elders. But within a sort of Baptistic background, that one term has taken over. There’s nothing wrong with that.
We have two passages we’ve been looking at. The passage we’ve been studying, where we stopped, is in 1 Peter 5:1–2 where Peter says, “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder.”
He uses the noun PRESBUTEROS to refer to elders. And he says, to the elders, that they are to shepherd—that’s the command there. It’s an aorist imperative, which makes it a priority.
You can use a present tense with an imperative, and that means it’s just sort of standard operating procedure. Or you can use an aorist.
Now, they’re not contradictory to one another. Sometimes you just want to punch it up a little bit, and that’s when you would use an aorist imperative—that this is a priority.
“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers.” So you have these three words. PRESBUTEROS for the elder, and they are addressed by that title. Their role is to shepherd, and they are also to manage, to oversee. This brings an administrative aspect into focus.
You have the same collection of words in Acts 20:17 and then in Acts 20:28 as Paul is addressing the elders of the church of Ephesus. They are called PRESBUTEROS, or elders, in verse 17. Then he says, “… the Holy Spirit has made you overseers [EPISKOPOS] …”
Then instead of using an imperative, he uses an infinitive to express their purpose. Their purpose is to shepherd, to feed.
So this is why we set this up. We went through a study the last few weeks trying to understand what this metaphor means when we come to the New Testament.
We’ve been asking questions as we move through this study.
- First of all, we looked at the terminology in terms of the church—where that comes from—seeing that the technical meaning is in the New Testament.
- The church began at the Day of Pentecost. You don’t have a church in the Old Testament. Matthew 16:18, talking about something in the future—using a future tense, Jesus said, “‘I will build My church…’” It wasn’t there yet. He was going to build it in the future.
- Then we went through a survey of Acts to see how leadership developed there, seeing that there is a transition from apostles to apostle and elder.
- Then we looked at how leadership terms were used and developed in the early part of the Church Age, developing into three basic forms of church government. The Episcopal form of government, which is usually connected to the Roman Catholic Church, Greek Orthodox, Anglican or Episcopal Church, and the Methodist Church. There are a few other congregations who use that. The elder form (the Presbyterian form) of government, and then the Congregational form of government.
- We’re on the fifth question talking about what are the scriptural terms used for biblical leaders?
We’ve looked at the others, but the primary one is about the shepherd.
So, with these three terms distinguishing them, the term elder is the primary term emphasizing the office. But the idea of being older is not older physically. Although I think that there is an importance to some age factors. You just learn more because of experience.
But it primarily focuses on spiritual maturity.
And I say that because I pastored two churches in the 80s. One was a Congregational church. We had a lot of older people in that congregation. The mean age was about 60. But a lot of those leaders didn’t have a lot of wisdom—they didn’t have a lot of spiritual maturity. (There were one or two who did.)
Then I went from there to pastor a church in Dallas, and they had an elder rule government. But the men there were all young. They weren’t really spiritually mature, and they needed another ten or fifteen years of life. But the oldest guy in the church was only forty two, so it was a little hard to get older men.
But back then—in the mid-80s—Bible churches were just popping up all over the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (Houston, too) and baby boomers were all getting just into that mid-30s to early 40s age. So there were many congregations that just didn’t have anybody who was much older. Now we have the opposite problem. We don’t have a lot of people who are much younger.
So elder primarily emphasizes spiritual maturity. Bishop, the function of the office. He’s to oversee the congregation. Then the pastor, the role and responsibility, which is to feed the sheep.
And as we looked at these illustrations from the Old Testament, this primarily emphasizes taking them to pasture—to feed them, to provide food and water and nourishment. So that’s brought over in terms of the nourishment factor in the church.
But it also has a certain element of leadership—taking them to where the good feed is. They are the ones who lead the congregation.
Then that brings us to Ephesians 4:11. And Ephesians 4:11 must be understood in context. So we’re going to start off just reading the context, making a couple comments on Ephesians 4:8–10 before we get into and identify the main issues here.
Ephesians 4:8 is a quote from Psalm 68:18. Notice this statement here: “Therefore, He says…”
Who’s the He? The He refers to God. Psalm 68. Who wrote Psalm 68? David is the human author, but God the Holy Spirit identifies Who the divine author is, that God is the ultimate author. Just these little things like that mean a lot.
“Therefore He says: ‘When He …” That’s not clear from the Old Testament, but there it refers to God.
But here it’s going to be applied to Jesus. So it’s another passage that emphasizes the deity of Christ, where you take a passage in the Old Testament that clearly focuses on Yahweh as the He and then it is applied here to Jesus. So that indicates the full deity of Jesus.
“‘When He ascended on high’ [which happens forty days after the after the Resurrection.] (Now this, ‘He ascended’—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)” Verses 9 and 10 are just parenthetical to the main thought.
The main thought is at the end of Ephesians 4:8, “and [He] gave gifts to men.”
Then that’s picked up in Ephesians 4:11, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers…” Now, one question always arises here.
If you count them—you have apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers—those are the five nouns. So, are we talking about five gifts? Or are we talking about five people? Or are we talking about four gifts? Just how do we enumerate this?
So here are the questions that people ask. I’ve been asked, recently, questions about this. In pursuing the commentaries, it’s just really a spread of opinions.
Now these are well read, thought out, scholarly opinions—but there’s still a spread. So the questions are:
- Do these refer to spiritual gifts or gifted men?
What happens is, that in a number commentaries they’ll slide back and forth between those terms without clearly defining either one or talking about how the concept of spiritual gifts relates to a spiritually gifted person.? So, which is it? And then some think it refers to the office.
Another question is,
- Is this a list of four or five spiritual gifts?
It looks like you have five nouns there, so those are five spiritual gifts. But then we hear a lot of people (our church included) refer to the last grouping, pastors and teachers, as the pastor-teacher. And there’s a lot of debate over that.
Is that an accurate translation and understanding of what is stated there, and why? That gets complex, and I’m going to try to make it real simple.
But I think we need to go through this for a couple of different reasons. One is that we have some pretty educated people who listen, and they asked really detailed questions. Sometimes there’s a lot of misinformation here—on both sides of the issue. I’ll go through that.
So these are some of the basic questions that we have to ask and as such, we have to look at this particular passage.
The main question is—middle to the bottom of the slide—are pastors and teachers two separate gifts? Are they one gift, where it’s a combination? Or is it one person with two gifts?
It probably never occurred to many of you that to ask those questions, but that’s how you get into clarity here.
One of the questions that should come up if this is two gifts, pastor and teacher… We know from Romans 13 that teaching is an independent gift, but this is the only place where the noun pastor is used.
So that brings up the question: Is pastor ever mentioned as an independent gift? By that I mean one that is not tightly associated or grouped with another gift.
And if pastor is a gift that is different from teaching, how does it differ?
Remember, as we looked at the shepherding metaphor from the Old Testament and as it’s applied to Jesus and how it’s used in the Gospels and New Testament, the shepherd leads, guides, feeds. How does he guide? How does he lead?
Primarily, he leads through the Word. Primarily, he guides through the Word. He feeds—that is clearly the teaching or instruction of the Word. He brings security to people from the enemies who teach false teaching, and that is done through teaching the Word. He restores—the Word has a restorative value. God restores us, protects us, and corrects us.
All of these come through—primarily—the study of the Word.
So the question is … If you’re going to say that there’s a gift of pastor that is not the same as gift of teacher, you have to be able to describe how it really differs.
Nobody asks those questions. Therefore, nobody that I ran across really tries to answer them. In a few places you find some elementary attempts, but not really well done.
We get some guidance from Scripture here. Because Ephesians 4:12, after we have these lists of the spiritual gifts—and I think they are spiritual gifts that God has given to the church—They are given for a purpose.
Ephesians 4:12 says that they are “for the equipping of the saints [that’s every believer in the congregation] for the work of ministry ...”
So the primary purpose is to equip the saints for two things. First of all, to do the work of ministry. Ministry is serving God and serving others.
It’s not just an endgame of collecting a lot of knowledge and information about theology and doctrine and the Bible, but it ultimately is to prepare us and strengthen us so that we can all serve in terms of our own spiritual gifts within the body of Christ.
“… for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying [that is, for the maturing or the building up] of the body of Christ …” Now, the word that is translated equipping is an interesting word. It is a compound word in the Greek.
The root is ARTIZO, which means basically this idea of training, preparation, equipping. But it’s intensified with the preposition KATA, so it has the idea of training or equipping people. The Oxford English Dictionary defines training as, “teach a person a skill or type of behaviour through regular practice and instruction.”
Regular is more than once a week, okay? I just have put that in there. Regular.
You don’t learn a skill by doing it once a week. You develop a skill and habit patterns by doing it every day.
We have a couple of other good verses. 2 Timothy 3:16–17, [paraphrased] All Scripture is breathed out by God. That’s the meaning of the Greek, THEOPNEUSTOS, for inspiration: breathed out by God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine [teaching ]…” That’s what doctrine is: it’s just instruction or teaching.
So, first of all, there’s the giving of information, or instruction, or teaching.
“…for reproof...” Well when we hear God’s instruction, we’re reproved. We hear God say, “You’re not doing it right.”
That doesn’t go well today, because there’s a lot of people who just don’t want to hear from anybody who says that when they’re living life the way they want to, that it might be wrong. But that’s what the Scriptures do. They tell us where we are wrong—where our thinking is wrong, where our opinions are wrong, and where our lifestyle is wrong.
“… for correction ...” It tells us the way we should go. Not only that you’re doing X, Y, and Z and that’s wrong, but you need to be doing A, B, and C because that’s right.
“… for instruction in righteousness …” That is living a life that is consistent with the character of God.
“… [for the purpose] that the man of God [that is, the believer who is growing] may be complete [will be fully prepared] …”
“… thoroughly equipped …” And this is another word. This is also built on ARTIZO. It’s EXARTISMOS. KATARTISMOS was the first word. This is EXARTISMOS.
It’s EX plus the root, and it means to be completely equipped, which has the idea of supplying someone with everything they need for a purpose. Our purpose is to grow and mature spiritually and to serve God and to glorify Him in every aspect of our life.
So we take that, we go back, and we see that that’s what the purpose of the gifts is. And the gift of apostle and prophet were temporary gifts at the beginning of the Church Age. Then you have evangelists.
Most people think that the gift of evangelism is to go do evangelism. That may be a secondary aspect of someone who has a gift of evangelism, but what this passage says is the primary ministry of the person with the gift of evangelism is to train others in the body of Christ to do evangelism. They are to equip the saints.
We always think of that in reference to the pastor and teacher, but this, the text says, is also for the evangelist. “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry …”
Let’s go back to our passage [Ephesians 4:11]. We get into the passage here, and it describes these five nouns: apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers. Now, I’ve underlined the word some there, because that is an attempt to translate a couple of words that are in the Greek that don’t really mean that, but that’s trying to get to the sense of the grammar.
So we have this phrase. Notice that there’s a “some” before apostles, there’s a “some” before prophets, there’s a “some” before evangelists, and there’s a “some” before pastors—but no “some” before teachers.
English grammar doesn’t work the way Greek grammar did. But they’re trying to convey this: that there’s something in the Greek that identifies each category in a list. But that which identifies the last category is only used one time, and there are two nouns that follow it, which indicates they are grouped together by this some. Just hold onto that. We’ll get into the details in a minute.
The issue that has come up is, that the noun “pastors” and the noun “teachers” are governed in the Greek by one article. I’ve got an example from some other Scripture. If I were talking and I were to say, “the God and the Savior”—“the” in English is a definite article.
So you have a definite article before God and a definite article before Savior, and that would indicate, probably two different people. But several times in Scripture—at least two verses [Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1]—we have the phrase “the God and Savior,” which references one Person. And in the Greek we look at this. There are approximately eighty times when you have this kind of structure in the grammar.
Now I want you to notice. When you have this, the two nouns are not synonyms—they refer to the same person.
It’s really important to understand that. A lot of times when this is taught, that gets lost. It’s the idea there, if somebody is misusing this rule, then what they would say is that God and Savior are synonyms. God equals Savior.
But that’s not what this is saying. It is saying that these two separate nouns both refer to the same Person.
Now we’ll have this slide later on, but what I’m showing here is that in the Greek this word some in the English is translated first by this word MEN and then, following it, it’s translated by this word DE. And you have three uses of DE. Now this is called a—are you ready for this? This is called a MEN-DE construction. (How creative.)
But it’s amazing how few people—grammarians—really get into the nuts and bolts of this particular issue. And I think this is the most important issue grammatically here. We’ll come back to this in a minute. But what this says is it separates out these particular categories.
For example, in the parable of the sower [Mark 4:3–20], the seed is sown, and the seed produces. And the fourth seed produces “… some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” That “some” represents this kind of a list.
Most of the time in this phrase when you have a MEN-DE, it’s just on the one hand this, but on the other hand that.
I didn’t even learn that much in Greek because this usually isn’t even translated. But its significance is, that when you have more than one DE, it’s identifying each different category in a list.
What that means is that the way this is structured, apostles is a category, prophet is a category, evangelist is a category, and pastor and teacher are tied together as the same category.
The other thing that comes along … is that this first word, TOUS, is an article in the Greek, “the”. You only have one [DE] before a noun (POIMENAS). Then you have a conjunction “and” (KAI), and then you have another noun (DIDASKOLOUS).
When you have this kind of a construction (where it’s article, noun, conjunction, noun), the two nouns refer to the same person, the same thing. That is called the Granville Sharp Rule.
Now we’re going to talk a lot about the Granville Sharp Rule. But you’re going to say, “Well, what does that mean, Granville Sharp?
Well, that was his name. Granville Sharp was quite an interesting individual. I thought I’d just point out a few things about him. Because in this age of snowflake men and girlie men, we don’t have men like this anymore. You had a lot of men like this in his generation, and he was significant.
I’m reading this from the published version of Dan Wallace’s doctoral dissertation called Granville Sharp’s Canon (that means rule) and Its Kin: Semantics and Significance. And there’s no biography that I’ve ever run across of Granville Sharp, so I learned some things reading this. I’ve read other things about Granville Sharp, but this is interesting.
Dan Wallace states, “Granville Sharp led a life characterized by a blend of piety, social conscience, scholarship, and Christian grace.” Now, the first thing that comes to your mind is, this guy must’ve gone to school a lot. Wrong. This guy just wanted to learn.
He was born in 1735 in England. He came from a family that was well educated, well taught. His grandfather was the Archbishop of York. His father, Dr. Thomas Sharp, was well educated.
Granville was the third son. The first son gets most of the goodies, the second son gets almost all the rest. And the third son? Well, he almost has to fend for himself. And that’s pretty much the way it was with Granville.
Eventually in life, his older brothers really made it possible for him to do what he did. One of his brothers was an engineer/inventor, and the other one was a surgeon. And they both made a lot of money, which helped to support him in his endeavors later on.
When he was fourteen years old, he was apprenticed to a London linen draper. So he just had a minimal education. He had no training whatsoever in language or linguistics and had not learned any other language.
But he was hungry for knowledge. He was a believer.
By 1758 both of his parents had died, so he got a job in the Ordinance Office. You know what an ordinance is, that’s making munitions. So he’s working for the Ordinance Office in the government and was a clerk there.
Dduring this time he taught himself Greek and Hebrew. So that by the time that he was approximately twenty five years of age, he wrote a book dealing with Old Testament textual criticism.
He read a paper written by the foremost Hebrew scholar of the day, named Benjamin Kennicott, who was about to publish a Hebrew Bible, listing all the Hebrew variants. But the way he did would have been obscure for a reader to understand.
So Granville Sharp, who’s got no formal education whatsoever, went to him and convinced him that the way to do it was to put the text from the best manuscript in the Hebrew Bible—and then his footnotes put in the alternate readings. That format is followed to this day.
So here’s this guy who’s untrained, he’s just a hard worker, he has taught himself Greek and Hebrew to a level of high proficiency, and he convinces the foremost Hebrew scholar the right way to set up his Bible. So, that’s just phenomenal.
He wrote a number of significant books. But one of the most significant had to do with what his real passion was in life, and that was in defeating slavery and the slave trade. He was involved in a number of different cases involving slaves and setting them free. Ultimately, he was responsible for ending slavery in England.
He worked with William Wilberforce whose name is most associated with ending the slave trade, but Granville died in 1813. It wasn’t until the 1830s that the law ending the slave trade was passed. He was vitally instrumental in that.
He wrote several treatises on government and the role of government, especially in relation to understanding issues on slavery. And he had a lot of correspondence, and became friends through correspondence, with men like Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams.
He also had a lot of correspondence with John Wesley, William Wilberforce, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and General Lafayette in France, among many others. So he had quite an arena of influence.
His writings were extremely influential on the Founding Fathers of America. When Benjamin Franklin came to England in the summer of 1774, Sharp gave him 250 copies of a tract he had written called “A Declaration of the people’s natural right to a share in the legislature, which is the fundamental principle of the British constitution of state.” Franklin sent it back to Boston, and they printed 7,000 copies which were sold out almost immediately. And it’s interesting.
But a lot of the verbiage—a lot of the words, a lot of the phrases—that are in that tract showed up in the Declaration of Independence. You can’t draw a straight line connection, but it was extremely influential.
So he is instrumental in ending slavery in England and ending the slave trade. He also wrote a number of works on Greek grammar. Now I don’t have a copy, because that would be pretty expensive to have a copy of his original work—but somebody Xeroxed this. Tom Wright [in the congregation] a number of years ago Xeroxed this sixty five pages called, “Remarks on the uses of the definitive article in the Greek text of the New Testament; containing many new proofs of the divinity of Christ, from passages, which are wrongly translated in the common English version.” (They never had short titles back then.) So that’s it. Well, well documented.
Now, we’re going to get into the rule in just a minute. This has been controversial because, like I said, it’s been abused and it has been misused by many pastors who should have known better.
When I went to seminary, one of my classmates was a guy by the name of Dan Wallace. Dan is very, very bright. Dan had already had four years at Biola, where he majored in Greek. So he came into Dallas Theological Seminary with more knowledge of Greek than the average Th.M. who graduates from Dallas.
Dan was doing advanced Ph.D. level study in Greek while the rest of us were just trying to figure out the alphabet and how it worked. At that time he had already started to specialize for his master’s thesis and later his dissertation. I can’t remember which one was which at this point, but it was on Granville Sharp’s Rule.
I remember one time when I was in probably my third year at Dallas, we used to have what they called brown bag lunches. This would be set up in one of the big auditoriums that was about two times the size of this church’s auditorium—maybe a little more. Everyone would bring their lunch in a brown paper bag, and we would sit there, eat our lunch, and balance our tablets. (I don’t mean like an iPad, I mean like a legal-size tablet.) We would try to scribble down as many notes as we could while we were listening to a professor talk about some specific issue.
So Dan did a workshop one lunch on the Granville Sharp Rule. That was the first time I really began to understand that there were some problems, some issues, some misunderstandings and difficulties with the Granville Sharp Rule. He pointed out in his analysis that almost every person who tries to argue that pastor and teacher refer to the same person does so on the basis of the Granville Sharp Rule—and they’re wrong. They’re dead wrong.
Granville Sharp (we’ll look at it in a minute) does not apply. The problem is that Dan never addresses the MEN-DE.
In fact, he’s written a very, very good grammar called Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. It came out in 1997, and it’s well laid out. It’s much more usable than a lot of grammars, but it has some flaws. Now I don’t teach through this grammar (I’ve worked through it on my own), but I’ve talsked to Greek professors who have.
Dan has some peculiarities in his theology. He is Lordship. He has some views of the church and ecclesiology that I wouldn’t quite agree with. They’re not way off base, but I wouldn’t quite agree with him. He holds to an “already/not yet” view of the Kingdom. He is a progressive dispensationalist. He is, I think, a little unclear on how he understands some of the gifts that have ceased—at least from what some of the readings that I’ve done there. So he’s got some issues.
In talking to people like George Meisinger, John Niemelä, and some other guys who teach through his book, year after year after year, their conclusion is that he reads his theology into the grammar instead of grammar into the theology way too many times. So you have to use him very, very carefully.
Now when we get into this issue, this is an area of expertise for him. So I think, on the one hand, he is pointing out a problem, and that is that a lot of pastors have taught that pastor and teacher must be grouped together because of the Granville Sharp Rule. But that’s not the only reason I would disagree.
I have over 100 commentaries on Ephesians in my Logos Bible Software program. Plus, I probably have fifteen or twenty others in print. I have not gone through all of them. I don’t have enough time to do that, but I have skimmed through a lot of them. And I noticed that even some people he classified as arguing from Granville Sharp didn’t.
They argued on the basis of the MEN-DE and never said anything about the article or Granville Sharp to argue that this last phrase is grouped together.
But let’s get into this Granville Sharp Rule a little bit and move on down.
Granville made this observation as he read through the Scriptures that there were times when you had two nouns connected by a conjunction (like God and Savior) that had an article in front of the first noun but not in front of the second noun, and that in many of the cases both of those nouns apply to the same person.
As I read in the title of his work, that it contained “many new proofs of the divinity of Christ.” What he realized was a lot of these had to do with key passages that demonstrate that the New Testament writers understood Jesus to be fully divine. That’s really the main theological issue.
So he says, “When the copulative και connects two nouns of the same case [viz. nouns (either substantive or adjective, or participles) of personal description, respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connexion, and attributes, properties, or qualities, good or ill], if the article ὁ, or any of its cases, precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter [that is, the second noun] always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle: i.e., it denotes a farther description of the first-named person … .”
Now what’s interesting there is that he’s not saying that the two nouns (pastor and teacher) are synonyms and they mean the same thing. The rule doesn’t apply to that, but if it was correct, he would be saying those two refer to the same person, like God and Savior both refer to the Person of Jesus Christ. But he said there are exceptions.
This is what a lot of people miss and why it’s mistaught as the Granville Sharp Rule. He says, “In other words, in the TSKS [the article, noun, KAI, noun] construction, the second noun refers to the same person mentioned with the first noun when: [Three conditions have to be met.] Neither noun is impersonal. Neither is plural. [Now, in pastors and teachers they are both plural, so this doesn’t apply.] Or neither is a proper name.
Now when you have “God and Savior,” “God” in English is a proper noun. “God” in Greek was not a proper noun. We’re dealing with Greek. We’re not dealing with English.
So what that means is when you have the phrase “the God and Savior,” you have an article, then the noun God, then the conjunction and, then the noun Savior … Both God and Savior refer to the same Person.
So that is showing that Jesus is viewed as God, fully God. It’s a great argument for the deity of Christ.
But the other problem we have with what Dan has taught is that people haven’t read him well. They have said, “Oh. Well, if it’s not Granville Sharp, then they can’t be referring to the same person.” And that means you have not read your grammar clearly?
He says, “After stating the three requirements for the rule to apply, Wallace then comments: ‘When the construction meets three specific demands, then the two nouns always …’ [Remember, whenever you see the word “always”, pay attention to it.] ‘refers to the same person …’ ” A lot of people will stop there. And they don’t realize—
See, the opposite of this isn’t never. The opposite is maybe or maybe not.
He goes on to say, “ ‘When the construction does not meet these requirements, the nouns may or may not refer to the same person(s)/object(s).’ ” ~Dan Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics
See, he’s not saying that just because it’s not Granville Sharp it doesn’t mean that they don’t both apply to the same person.
It says it may apply to the same person. But it may not apply to the same person. It isn’t definitive, as such.
Then he goes on to say, “In Greek, when two nouns are connected by καί [that’s the conjunction “and”] and the article precedes only the first noun, there is a close connection between the two.”
That’s a primary sentence. When you have this kind of construction, those two nouns have a really close connection. They may not both be referring to the same person, but you can’t separate or distinguish them as if they’re two completely separate things.
And he says that most people say they’re either the same person or they are not at all, but there are two other options in between. So we have to read them closely.
“That connection always indicates at least some sort of unity [between those two nouns]. At a higher level, it may connote equality. At the highest level it may indicate identity [or they are synonyms].”
Let me give you some examples. Mark 6:3, “‘Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James …’ ” So we have two nouns, Son and brother. They are governed by the one article in front of Son—the Son. But they haven’t a conjunction between them (and, so Son and brother refer to the same Person. Jesus is both “the Son of Mary,” and He is the “brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon.”
But Son isn’t a synonym for brother. It is just saying both of those refer to the same Person.
Hebrews 3:1, “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus…” Apostle and High Priest describe the same Person, but Apostle and High Priest are not the same thing. But they both apply to the same Person.
1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ...” See, God and Father are not synonyms. But “God” applies to the First Person of the Trinity and “Father” applies to the First Person of the Trinity. They both refer to the same Person.
Now here it gets a little more sophisticated, for we have two participles that are used as nouns. “and saying, ‘You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself!’ ” They’re talking to Jesus.
See, who destroy and building are two opposite ideas but destroying and building are both being applied to the same Person. So the idea is that these two nouns in this kind of a construction apply to the same Person.
Titus 2:13, “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great …” You have an article in the Greek, so it would be the God and Savior [no article in front of Savior] Jesus Christ.
God is not a proper noun, so God and Savior both apply to Jesus Christ. Clear statement that He is deity.
2 Peter 1:1 does the same thing. Same phrase, identical in the Greek: “the God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Now, when you have pastor and teacher, two other ways that you can understand how those two nouns relate to each other is where the first group pastors is a subset of teachers. That’s what this is really saying, is that you have those who have the gift of teacher.
There are some who have something in addition to that which is connected to their gift of teaching, and that is this aspect of pastor. I would look at this as an enhancement to the teaching aspect.
Because not everybody who’s a teacher … I have heard some fabulous teachers of Scripture. I’ve heard some women who are fabulous teachers of Scripture. But they don’t have the gift of pastor-teacher to lead a congregation. And I know seminary professors who are great seminary professors—they are great teachers—but they’re not really good at leading a congregation. So that’s this example.
The second example is where group one would be the pastors, and then group two would be the subset of teachers. This is exactly what we’re going to end up with—that first example.
We have to remember that in Romans 12:6–7 there is a list of gifts there. Prophecy is listed there. “… if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; …”
But see, there’s no mention of pastor there. It’s just teaching. So teaching is clearly stated in Romans 12:6–7 to refer to a spiritual gift of teaching.
Then, second, the overlap in meaning between the two: pastor and teacher. Remember, I listed all those different things, that one of the key ideas in pastoring is basically teaching.
So that overlap in meaning between the two indicates that the difference between a pastor and teacher is in the area of leadership and guidance.
When pastor is combined in that construction it enhances teacher, so that it is adding something to the teaching that relates to being a leader, and guiding and directing a congregation. That’s what Dan Wallace says.
He says, “Thus, Ephesians 4:11 seems to affirm that all pastors were to be teachers, though not all teachers were to be pastors.” What he is affirming is: teaching operates as an independent gift. But pastor doesn’t operate as an independent gift. It always is connected with teaching.
From probably a decade or so before I went to seminary, the head of the New Testament department at Dallas Theological Seminary was a man by the name of Harold Hoehner. Harold was a wonderful man. He was a great scholar in many areas, and he headed up the doctoral department.
He also headed up the Greek Department, New Testament Department, in which Dan Wallace worked to get his masters and his Ph.D. For probably 40+ years, Harold Hoehner taught the Book of Ephesians. He died eight or nine years ago. Two or three years before he died, he published what I consider to be the most extensive (it’s thicker than Dan’s book) commentary on Ephesians.
Now Hoehner read everything and knows everything. I think he may have even been a reader on Dan’s dissertation, so it’s not like he’s ignorant of these things. If you’ve got the Bible Knowledge Commentary, Harold Hoehner wrote the commentary on Ephesians that’s there.
This is what Harold Hoehner says. “More likely, they [meaning these two terms pastor and teacher] refer to two characteristics of the same person ...” This is at the conclusion of him going through all the same stuff on Granville Sharp. “More likely, they refer to two characteristics of the same person who is pastoring believers (by comforting and guiding) …”
How do you comfort and guide? It’s with the Word.
“… while at the same time instructing them in God’s ways” (overseers or elders are to be able to teach; 1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9).” So, that’s very significant. He is not unfamiliar with this.
We go back to our passage and we see in this construction with the MEN-DE that what this is identifying is four groups. And that the last group connects these two nouns together, pastor and teacher.
A.T. Robertson. Here is our Greek grammar from Dan. Dan has, like, four lines related to the MEN-DE clause. Then we have A.T. Robertson’s Greek grammar. It’s a little more thorough.
He identifies at least nine different ways in which the MEN-DE construction is used—and this is small print. (I’ve got to get better glasses.) I never use these books anymore, because I’ve got everything in Logos, which is a lot more usable.
But A.T. Robertson also wrote a six-volume work called Word Pictures in the New Testament, which is a great work for non-technical people to get a little deeper into the Greek. One of the first sets of books I got when I started my library was Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament.
He says, “There are four groups (TOUS MEN, TOUS DEe three times, as the direct object of [the verb, “to give”] EDOKEN).” Four groups. Now, this guy is not some secondary figure in the study of Greek grammar. His name is huge. And he identifies four—and he never mentions the Granville Sharp Rule.
Then we have Henry Alford. That was another set I got: Alford’s Greek Testament. Alford, I think, was a mid-19th century British scholar. Regarding the phrase “some as pastors and teachers” he says, “… some as pastors and teachers (from these latter [meaning the teachers] not being distinguished from the pastors by the τοὺς δέ, it would seem that the two offices were held by the same person.” See, he, too, is looking at this MEN-DE construction.
Then, I have another work, The Renaissance New Testament. I don’t know too many people who have this. Tommy found it years ago. I found a used copy, finally, after I went to Connecticut. They came up with something called the Internet, and Amazon had a used set.
This is a guy named Randolph Yeager, Southern Baptist. There is a forward written in this. I think it is eighteen volumes that he has, where he goes through and he lists every word and every verse in the Greek, identifies its part of speech and its usage, and then he writes a commentary on it. And it’s in depth.
The forward is written by guy named Julius Mantey. Now, Julius Mantey co-authored a book on Greek grammar with another man named Dana, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament. We always called it “Dana and Mantey.” That book was the standard advanced grammar used in most every seminary for teaching advanced grammar—until Dan Wallace’s book came along.
So Julius Mantey is a significant figure, and he says that this whole set that Yeager wrote is just phenomenal. Nothing like it exists in the English language.
This is what Yeager says about it. He says, “Thus we have the four God-given types of ministers, [not five—four. And he doesn’t go to Granville Sharp] provided by Christ, the exalted ‘Head over all things to His church, which is His body’ (Ephesians 1:22, 23), and it is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, through these human agents that His fullness ‘that filleth all by means of all’ will be realized in the Body of Christ. Note that pastors (poime÷naß) who are charged with the responsibility of shepherding the flock of God are also charged with the function of Christian Education.” That is teaching.
“The pastor who is not academically qualified to teach the Word can thus fulfill only one of his functions, and is hampered even as a shepherd, since it is impossible to shepherd the flock of God without teaching them the Word. Teaching is enjoined in the great commission of Matthew 28:18–20. The evangelist makes disciples; the pastor immerses and teaches them.”
Then, I couldn’t resist adding this. He’s got some great little comments. He says, “It is notable also that deacons, treasurers, clerks, board members, trustees, stewards, custodians, choir directors, and Ladies Aid presidents, not to mention the ladies who go around in circles (!) …”
How many of y’all have been to a Methodist Church? They have women’s Bible studies which are organized in circles, so that’s what they’re called. So, he’s very funny here.
He says that none of them are “included in the list of gifts which our Lord has given to His Church.”
Instead of the phrase pastor-teacher, Yeager uses the phrase pastor/teacher. So that’s the other question: why do we hyphenate this?
See, he does this because he understands the significance of the MEN-DE construction, and he is using this to emphasize this unity between the two nouns which Wallace clearly affirms.
When we look at the hyphen, we have to recognize that in English there are no set rules for hyphens. So I looked it up. I’ve got a couple of resource books for writing. One is called Fowler’s Modern English Usage, which primarily talks about British usage.
There’s another fine book. I got the latest edition—it’s huge—it’s almost as big as Robertson’s grammar. And it’s bigger—the pages are bigger. It’s called Garner’s Modern American Usage. It’s fabulous. This guy has really done some incredible work. He’s like a savant in grammar, and has been since he was a little kid. How many fifth-graders are writing grammars?
I thought this was interesting. This is what Fowler says about hyphens. He says, “No attempt will be made here to describe modern English usage in the matter of hyphens; its infinite variety defies description. No two dictionaries and no two sets of style rules would be found to give consistently the same advice. There is, however, one general rule …” Then he goes on and talks about it—that it’s not just used as an ornament. So, there are no set rules.
But he does make this statement: “Compound terms are those that consist of more than one word but represent a single item or idea. They come in three styles.” This is a quote from thepunctuationguide.com.
So, my conclusion? Because of the MEN-DE construction that groups these together in a very close unity, probably the hyphen is the best way we have in English to express that kind of unity. And I have found a number of pastors … In fact, I was listening to one of my former Hebrew professors on a lesson not too long ago. He would differ also on some aspects related to our tradition. He comes out of a Baptist tradition. Then when he was working on his Ph.D., he started attending Anglican churches in England and has ever since been Anglican or Episcopal. But he consistently uses the phrase pastor-teacher. He’s arguably the brightest, most intelligent grammarian that I studied under when I was at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Did everyone catch all that? Can you regurgitate that on a test? I’ve said that because this really isn’t explained well.
I’ve had questions from people, “Why do we call it pastor-teacher?” And the conclusion is that the text grammatically groups pastor and teacher together as a unit.
I think both of these terms relate to the same person, that pastor is connected to teacher here—in this particular gift—to distinguish it from the gift of teacher. There is a lot of overlap between the two, but what the term pastor or shepherd adds to just being a teacher, is this idea of leadership and guidance that is part of the gift for leading a congregation.
So my conclusion is that pastor-teacher is an accurate and acceptable translation of the Greek idea, and that pastor really should not be used independently because it can lead to the misunderstanding of the importance of teaching to that gift.
Which is why we have a lot of churches in America who have leaders in their congregations who may be good leaders, who may be good administrators, but they do not know how to teach.
In fact, one of the largest churches in America twenty years ago was a Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. It just exploded, long before Joel Osteen came on the scene. They had, at one point, 300 pastors on their staff.
A doctoral student from Northwestern University working on a degree in sociology went there, and one of the things he observed is that of these 300 pastors on staff:
a) not one of them had any formal training in Scripture or theology
b) and not one of them owned a systematic theology.
For them, pastoring involved a lot more social stuff and community stuff and many other things. Yes, there was some teaching that was going on there—but that wasn’t a priority. Whereas, the Scripture puts that [teaching] as a priority.
We’ll come back next time because the elder/bishop/pastor has qualifications, so does a deacon. We’ll look at those and begin to finalize this short study on the leadership in the church.
“Father, thank You for this opportunity to study these things and to come to understand the emphases that are in Scripture on teaching, that the role of the leaders of the church—and the leader of the church—the pastor—is to teach the congregation, to instruct them in what the Scripture means, how it impacts our thinking, and how that impacts our lives.
Father, we thank You for the clarity of Your Word and that when we dig into it and study it, we do find specificity. It is not just a lot of the general, random thoughts.
Father, we pray that You would help us to understand the significance of this. For if the leaders are to teach us, then we are to learn and apply. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”