Is “Pastor and Teacher” One Gift or Two?
Ephesians Lesson #146
April 24, 2022
Dr. Robert L. Dean, Jr.
“Father, we thank You for this opportunity to study Your Word today, to be refreshed in our thinking about why we come to church, what the significance of our congregational meeting is as we assemble together in order to worship You and to study Your Word.
“And the significance of this for our spiritual life as our Lord prayed the night before He went to the cross, ‘Father, sanctify them in truth. Thy Word is truth.’ It is Your Word that You use to mature us and to teach us the truth, so that we may live in a way that honors and glorifies You and think in a way that is reflective of the thinking of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Father, as we study today, help us to understand the significance of what we’re studying for our own spiritual life and the importance that we should place upon the meeting of the church coming together to study Your Word. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”
We are looking at the last few words in Ephesians 4:11, the phrase “pastor and teacher.” Just exactly what does that mean? You will hear people say that there are five gifts listed here in this passage. Others will say there are four. Some will emphasize that these are gifted leaders, gifted men, and not spiritual gifts.
There just seems to be a lot of confusion here, some do not understand how to interpret and understand this phrase. And even those that come close to it often do it on a wrong basis because of their failure to properly understand the underlying Greek in the passage.
This is an extremely important passage for us to study and message to comprehend because this is the foundation for our philosophy of ministry here at West Houston Bible Church and many other solid biblically based churches.
Often, I’ll have people ask me questions about churches; or they listen regularly, but they think they should be involved in a local church, which is true, but then they go from church to church.
They say, “But their doctrinal statement is okay.” Well, sometimes doctrinal statements are fairly short and abbreviated, and they’re okay, but they don’t really get into any of the significant details that challenge churches in this generation.
That is usually because those issues are part of what we call “the philosophy of ministry.” Any number of churches have the identical doctrinal statement, but what they do on Sunday morning, or in Bible class, is vastly different from one another.
That has to do with where they think the priorities in Scripture are, and with their philosophy of ministry. Much heresy actually gets promoted in a lot of churches because they have a nonbiblical philosophy of ministry. This is so important to understand, and you rarely see anybody going into detail on this in a lot of these churches.
We often find, when talking about pastors, the role of pastors and what a pastor is supposed to be, a lot of divergent opinions. People have many strange ideas about what a pastor is supposed to do.
I had a relative who thought that I was nothing more than a social worker. I have had others that have many other ideas. Facetiously … a few weeks ago, I read some things that people expect of a pastor. They expect him to be out visiting the people all week and always in his office, and there’s a lot of truth to that in a lot of congregations.
You will sometimes hear people comment on the fact that something was very pastoral. Others will say, “That pastor is more of a pastor than he is a teacher.” Others will say, “He’s more of a teacher than he is a pastor.” Others focus on pastoral preaching from the pulpit as opposed to teaching.
In other denominations, many ethnic denominations, someone is a good pastor because they do home visits, and they’re involved politically in the local city council. They get involved in social causes and they’re visiting the sick.
In fact, in many denominations their understanding and expectations of a pastor are not Bible based at all, they’re just based on sociology, and that has nothing to do with the Bible.
We need to answer this question some more today, “What Does the Bible Say about Pastors?”
Our passage, Ephesians 4:11–12, “And He Himself—referring to Christ—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, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
This is really the mission statement for the philosophy of ministry of every church and is sadly ignored.
Recently we looked at “What the Bible Teaches about Shepherds (Pastors).” The word that is used to translate “pastor” is the Greek for shepherd. A pastor is a shepherd of people rather than a shepherd of literal sheep. Congregations are analogous to a flock of sheep.
That’s not a compliment. Sheep are some of the dumbest animals on the planet. Just look at how the assembly of Israel function in the Old Testament, both in terms of false shepherds, as well as in terms of being a great illustration of how dumb sheep are.
We concluded by looking at various passages in the Old Testament related to shepherds—as it’s analogous to either “the Lord is my shepherd” or the leaders of Israel who were called shepherds—that the role of the shepherd is to lead, to guide, to feed the people with knowledge and understanding, to heal those wounded by sin, to teach and provide security, to restore the scattered, to seek the lost, to protect, and to correct.
We get that from looking at Psalm 23 and a number of passages in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
Isaiah 40:11, “He—God is the pattern of the shepherd, ‘the Lord is my shepherd,’ Psalm 23:1. He sets the standard, not sociological textbooks, not various polls taken among Christians, not any of these ideas that are not biblical—will feed His flock like a shepherd.”
The primary focus of what a shepherd does is provide nourishment. Literal shepherds take them to good pastures; a good leader feeds the people with knowledge.
“He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.”
A shepherd feeds, meaning to tend, and it relates to providing nourishment.
The nourishment is described in Deuteronomy 8:3, “… that He might know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”
For the Christian, the focus is always on the Word of God. That is the source of our spiritual nourishment. This is why Jesus prayed in John 17, “Father, sanctify them in truth—or by means of truth,—thy word is truth.” He defines what truth is. It is what’s in God’s Word, and that is the means that God uses to mature us.
Then from the Old Testament we went to the New Testament.
We saw that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. He is related thereby to God the Father who is “the Lord is my shepherd” of Psalm 23:1, and human pastors are “under-shepherds.”
Peter, who was taught a valuable lesson by the Lord which we studied in the previous lesson in John 21, talks to his recipients in 1 Peter 2:25, “For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
“Shepherd” is the same word used to describe the human leader of the congregation in Ephesians 4:11. Literally, it means a shepherd of sheep, but figuratively, it refers to a leader of people or leader of a congregation.
Overseer is the Greek EPISKOPOS, where we get our word “Episcopalian,” and it is usually translated as either “overseer” or in the King James it was translated as “bishop.”
What’s important here is that you have two nouns, shepherd and overseer. You only have one article in the Greek that governs both of these nouns. They fit the pattern of the Granville Sharp rule, which we will discuss a little later, and shows that these both refer to the same person.
It’s the Lord Jesus Christ, but it connects these ideas of being a pastor and being an overseer. They are connected together. If not identical, they are co-relevant to each other. You don’t have one without the other.
In Acts 20:17 and Acts 20:28, Paul had returned from the end of his third missionary journey. He wanted to speak to and teach and encourage the pastors of the congregations in Ephesus. Ephesus was an extremely large city.
Some people have said there is only one church in each locality. Well, that misses the point of how the word “church” is used. Even as a singular it refers to numerous congregations, even within a region.
Acts 20:17, “From Miletus Paul sent to Ephesus—Miletus was right on the coast—and called the elders of the church.”
What’s important here is they’re identified in this passage as elders. This is the word PRESBUTEROS. It’s often translated as elder. It is the word from which we get Presbytery. It has an emphasis on those who are older, those who are mature.
This group that comes to meet him are in this passage identified by the noun “elder.”
In Acts 20:28, he is addressing them, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers—he is talking to those he has identified as elders, and now he calls them overseers, that’s the noun, bishops—to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
The verb POIMAINO, which is related to the noun for pastor, is an infinitive of purpose, that the purpose for the elder and the same as bishop. Elder/bishop is the same person. What’s their job? Their purpose is to feed the sheep, to shepherd the church of God.
Primarily we have this verb “to shepherd,” and we only have the noun in Ephesians 4:11.
You have the office of elder. The term emphasizes his spiritual maturity, Titus 1:56 and Acts 20:17.
The word bishop or overseer (EPISKOPOS) emphasizes the authority and the oversight function of the office of elder. It is used as a synonym in Titus 1:5, EPISKOPOS. In Titus 1:6 the same group is called PRESBUTEROS (elders).
The word for pastor, POIMENOS, a noun, emphasizing the role and responsibility of the elder/overseer.
In Acts 20:28 and 1 Peter 5:1, the verb is used to describe their work.
1 Peter 5:1, “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder—PRESBUTEROS.”
1 Peter 5:2, the command, “Shepherd—or feed—the flock of God.”
This is the same verb that is used in John 21:15-17, which we studied a couple of weeks ago, where Jesus told Peter, “Feed the flock, feed the sheep; tend the lambs, if you love Me.” That’s the role and responsibility.
These three terms basically refer to the identity and the role and responsibility of the same person. That’s very important.
The role of the pastor, therefore, is to lead, to guide, to feed with the Word of God, protect, and correct. All of this is accomplished through the teaching of the Word of God. Pastors are to instruct on how to think, how to live, how to make biblically wise choices, and how to trust God.
We do this through teaching the Scripture and that’s the focal point. Because it is the Word of God that is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword; it is not my words. It is the Word of God that is alive and powerful.
We continue looking at what the Bible teaches about feeding the sheep.
In John 20:15–17 Jesus told Peter to “feed My sheep, to tend My lambs.”
- Whose responsibility is it to do the feeding and the tending? Peter, representing pastors and apostles.
- Whose sheep are they? Christ’s sheep.
Matthew 16:18, Jesus told Peter, “I will build My church.”
- Whose church is it? It’s Christ’s church; He is the Head of the church.
The conclusion from this is that the pastor is held accountable for feeding the sheep, but Jesus is the One who will build His church.
Sadly today, we have churches who’ve hired pastors to be the CEO and administrator of the church, with a philosophy of ministry where he is responsible for building the church through all kinds of sociological, psychological, and business models rather than the model of the church.
In churches today the pastor’s job is to build the church, and it’s the laypeople who are responsible for feeding the sheep. Because they have it backwards, they are fake churches. You don’t go to these churches. It doesn’t matter how entertaining they are. It doesn’t matter what a wonderful personality they have in the pulpit. What matters is whether you are being fed.
It’s the responsibility of the sheep to go to the feed and to be fed on the Word and to choose a pastor and select a church that has a philosophy of ministry based upon the biblical model that they are to learn the Word and internalize it, so that they can be transformed by the Word into the image of Christ.
Peter learned that lesson well, for he concludes his second epistle, 2 Peter 3:18, “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever.”
Our role is to grow in grace and knowledge. It’s not apart from knowledge. Knowledge isn’t the end result. The end result is spiritual growth and spiritual maturity.
From our passage, we previously looked at the three gifted individuals: apostles, prophets, and evangelists.
We saw that apostles and prophets were temporary gifts for the first century and were no longer functioning by the end of the first century. They are also spiritual gifts, and they were no longer given as spiritual gifts by the end of the first century.
Evangelists are those who primarily are responsible for equipping the saints to do the work of ministry, which is evangelism. They do evangelism, but their primary mission is to train the rest of us who aren’t gifted in evangelism to do evangelism. Because we’re all responsible for evangelizing and witnessing and explaining the gospel to those who are in our surroundings.
Looking at this passage, we have to understand some of the Greek behind it. I will to try to break it down so that you who don’t know Greek can understand this grammar. It’s pretty simple, and the people have done a great job of trying to translate this in a way that they can indicate it in the English.
Part of the problem that we have is that some of this is not ever translated. There are Greek words that indicate the structure, but you don’t translate those words. But they’ve attempted to show the significance of it by translating with the word “some.”
What “some” does is indicates that this is a listing of people. It could be a listing of various other things, but here it is a listing of people. See, they only have the English word “some” four times. Now we have to drill down a little bit on this and see what that means.
I have inserted the Greek words in English that “some” translates.
In the first clause, “And He gave some as apostles ...”
The word MEN there introduces the fact that you’re going to expect a list. We call this a “MEN … DE construction.” MEN introduces it. “Some” is a translation now of this little Greek word DE, a conjunction. Sometimes it’s translated “and,” sometimes it’s translated “but,” sometimes it’s translated some other ways.
But this construction indicates that this is a list. It’s introduced, then you start seeing “MEN,” and you have to see if there’s a DE after it. If there is you know it’s a list, and so you have to translate it accordingly.
There is a DE before prophets, a DE before evangelists, and a DE before pastors, but there’s no DE before teachers. That’s very important. Why doesn’t that set teacher apart the same as the others in the list?
The Greek has these phrases. On the left column: TOUS, TOUS, TOUS, and TOUS, the definite article in Greek. Technically, it’s just called an article because there’s no indefinite article. The conjunctions here indicate the list, then you have the nouns. But there’s not another DE before this last noun, and that is highly significant.
In this last phrase is an article, then the conjunction DE, then a plural noun, the word and the conjunction “and,” but there is nothing repeated before this last plural noun. It’s very important to understand that. There’s not a technical rule per se on this but identifying this is really important in the grammar.
About 100 years ago, there was an extremely significant Greek grammarian, who is Southern Baptist named A.T. Robertson. He wrote a Greek grammar book, which I have back in the back, and it’s about 3 to 4 inches thick. It’s the most exhaustive Greek grammar. And he’s one of the few Greek grammarians who identifies that this is what’s significant about this verse, is the way it is constructed here. That’s the issue.
Those uses of DE are significant, because this will show that the four groups are listed as I have them here, apostle, prophet, evangelists; and pastor and teacher POIMENAS and DIDASKOLOUS are tied together because they are both controlled by this DE.
If they were seen as separate and distinct gifted people, then you the DE would be repeated, but it’s not repeated. Paul is showing that there is a tight unity between the word “pastor” and the word “teacher.” They’re not synonyms, but they must be understood as functioning together.
Two questions that must be addressed:
- Is this four or five spiritual gifts?
- Is this four or five gifted men?
I think they are gifted men. I’ve been ambiguous, I’ve gone back and forth. You find a lot of people who go back and forth, and in this study that I’ve done in the last couple of days, I’m convinced this is talking about gifted men.
What are they gifted with? Well, they’re gifted with the spiritual gift of evangelist, prophet, and apostle, but it’s focusing on the individual, the gifted person given to lead the congregation. The emphasis is on these gifted leaders.
That is why—and I’ll say this about three more times—that is why this is the only place in the Bible—did you hear me? It’s the only place in the Bible with the noun “pastor” referring to a human leader of the church.
The common practice that we’ve all developed, from the history of Christianity, is that the leader of the church is now referred primarily by this term “pastor.” But that’s not the primary term that the Bible uses; it is only used this one time for that leader. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong. You just have to understand where the emphasis is in the Scripture.
The two questions that we’re addressing:
We have to go back to what we’ve studied already in the Old Testament and in John 21, that these are the responsibilities of someone who is a shepherd in a figurative sense, the leader of a flock of God. He leads, guides, feeds, secures, restores, protects, corrects.
All of this is done through the teaching of God’s Word.
The purpose of the gifts:
Ephesians 4:12, “for the equipping—this states the purpose of these four gifted people—of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
The word translated as “equipping” in Ephesians 4:12 is KATARTISMOS. If you can see it, you will see that in the Greek transliteration I’ve underlined the center syllable ARTI, which is the root word. KATA at the beginning is a prefix from a preposition. The word means training or equipping.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of the word “training” is to teach a person a skill or a type of behavior through regular practice and instruction.
I don’t think “regular” means once a week; that’s insufficient. You’re never going to be proficient as a piano player, a trumpet player, a trombone player, or a dancer if you only practice and learn once a week. You’re going to starve to death, using the feeding analogy.
The purpose is to equip, which means to train the saints for the work of the ministry. That’s the role of pastor.
We have a great example of what Jim Myers has accomplished with the school and with the church over in Kiev, because as that congregation was scattered, what’s happening? They are starting Bible studies; they’re getting out and they’re witnessing to people.
They are doing the work of ministry, and it’s not restricted to just what they do with the meeting of the church in Kiev. They’re now in five or six different countries and still meeting online.
A similar word is used in 2 Timothy 3:16–17,
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine—teaching,—… for reproof—that is telling you you’re wrong. That’s what the pastor does, he tells you your thinking is wrong, and too many people think, ‘He’s just stepping on my toes all the time. I’m going to go someplace else where they’re going to affirm all of my wrong ideas.’ We reprove; that comes from the Scripture, not my personal opinion, but from what the Word of God says,—… for correction—that means you’re doing this wrong. I’m doing it wrong. We need to do it this way because that’s what the Word of God says,—…for instruction in righteousness—in the right way to think, the right way to behave for the purpose—…that the man of God—which refers to any person who is a believer, male or female—… may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
What is it in the passage that equips us? It’s the Word of God—nothing else! It’s not all the sociological studies you get in all the different pastoral ministries courses, and all the seminaries of the world, except Chafer, we don’t have a pastoral ministries department for this reason.
The word is EXARTIZO. The root is ARTI in the center there. This has the prefix EX, and it has the idea to supply with items needed for a purpose. It’s very close in meaning to KATARTISMOS.
Ephesians 4:12, the purpose of these gifted people is, “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry.”
Back to our main passage in Ephesians 4:11, the purpose for these four gifted people, their mission statement, is to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. People who go to a church where the pastor is not equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry are going to a fake church.
In the last phrase, the issue is that the plural noun “pastors” and the noun “teachers,” are governed by one article.
For example, in other passages the phrase “the God and Savior,” refers to Jesus Christ. This is a case using two articles. If it read “the God” and “the Savior” that would indicate two different people, creating a distinction between them.
But “the God and Savior,” in Greek—because you have one article governing two nouns linked by the conjunction “and”—equates the two in one person. It’s the one Person that is both God and Savior. That’s very important for understanding the deity of Christ.
In the last part of our verse, there is an article and two nouns linked with the conjunction “and.” Many have come to the conclusion, erroneous though it is, that this is a use of the Granville Sharp rule. Some may ask, “What’s a Granville Sharp?”
Granville Sharp was a brilliant man who lived in the latter part of the 18th century. There were so many brilliant men on both sides of the pond. In England there were men like Granville Sharp, William Wilberforce, and Edmund Burke.
Many brilliant men in England and also brilliant men, the Founding Fathers, in America. Many of these men, corresponded with each other over this period of time.
Granville Sharp was a polymath. A polymath is someone who has a comprehensive knowledge on a variety of subjects. He’s just an amazing individual. He was also an autodidact.
I used that with some pastors recently, and they asked, “What in world is that?” I said, “Break it down. You have DIDASKALOS for ‘didact,’ Greek for teaching; ‘auto’ for self. This is someone who is self-taught, who didn’t go to school.”
That’s what Granville Sharp was. The more I read about him, the more I am impressed by who he was and what he accomplished.
If you have kids or grandkids, a great summer project would be to give them assignments to do some research on some great men and women in church history, just to study these men and learn about them:
- Granville Sharp
- William Wilberforce
- Benjamin Rush, an American at this same time who was a medical doctor in Philadelphia, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a great believer.
Granville Sharp was born on November 10, 1735, and he lived until 1813. Here is his profile—on the left and again in the upper left—in the picture of these five men. This portrait is in the Portrait Gallery in London, and these five men were called “The Heroes of the Slave Trade Abolition.” Granville Sharp, Zachary McCauley. T.F. Buxton, T. Clarkson, and William Wilberforce, whose name is most often associated with the abolition of the slave trade and slavery in the British Empire. (He was preceded by Granville Sharp.)
Granville Sharp was also a musical genius, and when he would sign notes to his friends, he would just sign it G#. He was an interesting individual.
A good bit of this I got out of Dan Wallace’s doctoral dissertation, “Granville Sharp’s Canon.” That means Granville Sharp’s Rule. “Granville Sharp’s Canon and its Kin, Semantics, and Significance.”
He says that Granville Sharp led a life characterized by a blend of piety, social conscience, scholarship, and Christian grace. The first thing when you realize his accomplishments—he published a new book every year in his 30s. You would think that this guy had an incredible education, but he did not.
He was the third son born in his family. His father had a modest income but was also highly educated. Granville as the third son didn’t get much in terms of an inheritance. Usually, the first son got the lion’s share of the inheritance, and he was the one who would carry the title forward. The second son would get anything that was left over; and the third son hardly had any crumbs left on the table.
When it was time for him to get educated, he was educated just at the local school, the Durham School, but primarily he was homeschooled. Later in life his two older brothers, who were quite successful and became quite wealthy—one was an engineer and inventor, the other one was a surgeon—financially supported a lot of his academic endeavors and achievements.
When he was 14 years old, he was apprenticed to a London linen draper to learn the trade. He wasn’t educated any more beyond that, and he had no training whatsoever in languages, linguistic training, or anything else. He just knew English at that time.
He was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved to argue and debate, and he did not like to lose his debates. One of his coworkers was Socinian—that was a term that was used at that time for someone who held to Unitarian beliefs. They did not believe in the Trinity.
He wanted to debate him, but in order to do that he knew he needed to know the Greek language, so he taught himself Greek, and he became masterful in his understanding and knowledge of Greek, so that he could debate Socinians to prove the deity of Christ. A couple of these key passages where his rule applies relate to demonstrating the deity of Jesus.
He also worked with a Jewish man, so he knew he needed to know how to argue the case for Christ from the Old Testament, so he taught himself Hebrew. His knowledge of Hebrew was so great that he read a paper during this time written by the foremost Hebrew scholar of the day, a man by the name of Benjamin Kennicott, who was about to publish the Hebrew Bible. He structured it by listing all the variants to any particular word from different manuscripts.
So Granville Sharp, who had no formal education, being self-taught in Greek and Hebrew, went to him and convinced him that the way to do it was to put the best word into the Hebrew text and then in a footnote list all of the alternate readings and the different manuscripts, which is the format that is used to this day.
This was a brilliant generation. All the men that came out of this generation on both sides of the pond are men—real men—not these snow-flaky men and gender-confused men that we have today. And they got it from their biblical Christianity. This is what the church is supposed to be producing, and Granville Sharp was a great example of that.
He was also extremely musically talented. Four of his siblings would gather almost every day, and they would play. He sang; he had a tremendous voice; some said he had the best voice in all of England. They would hold concerts; they all played instruments. He played the clarinet, oboe, kettle drums, harp, and double flute. He made the double flute himself.
All of this is so you understand that this is not some average student at Cambridge who came up with some rule. He knew the New Testament backward and forward in the Greek.
During this time in 1765, at about 30 years of age, he met a black man by the name of Jonathan Strong. Strong had been the slave of a man, David Lisle, who had beaten him and pistol whipped him, which left him close to blindness.
Sharp and his brother put them in the hospital. It took four months for him to recover from his beatings, but this led to one of his primary involvements, which is the abolition of the slave trade.
He was also very instrumental in the thinking of the American Founders. He wrote several treatises on government and the role of government, especially in relation to the issues on slavery.
He had a lot of correspondence with Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia, who is a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and John Jay, who was the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Also, with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.
He wrote a pamphlet called a “Declaration of the People’s Natural Right” to share in the legislature, which is the fundamental principle of the British Constitution of State. (They didn’t have short titles in those days.) Franklin printed 7,000 copies here in the colonies and they were sold out almost immediately. He had a tremendous influence on the thinking of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
This is quite a man! He died in 1813 at the age of 79, a couple years before they abolished the slave trade, and then it wasn’t until the 1830s that they abolished slavery.
He made this observation about Greek grammar:
“When the copulative KAI—a conjunction like “and”—connects two nouns of the same case, or of personal description, respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connexion, and attributes, properties, or qualities, good or ill, if the article HO, 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 always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle; that is, it denotes a farther description of the first named person …”
Let me break it down:
There’s an article DE, the plural noun “pastors,” the conjunction “and,” and a second plural noun “teachers.” Many say this is a Granville Sharp rule, so pastors and teachers are identical. Maybe. But that’s not how the rule reads, so we have to understand basically what it says.
In other words, you have TSKS, the scholarly way of presenting it.
“T” = the article
“S” = a substantive noun, pronoun or participle
“K” = KAI the conjunction
“S” = another substantive that doesn’t have the article in front of it.
The second noun refers to the same person mentioned with the first noun. When? Three conditions he’s stated:
1) Neither is impersonal.
2) Neither is plural.
3) Neither is a proper name.
Notice I have emphasized every time it’s “pastors” and “teachers.” They are two plural nouns. So that means the three points don’t apply. Since these two nouns are plurals, the Granville Sharp rule doesn’t apply.
It’s not like in the phrase “the God and Savior.” We capitalize “God and Savior” because we’re looking at them as proper nouns. In Greek they’re not proper nouns, so that would identify “God and Savior” as being the same person.
Dan Wallace is just brilliant in the Greek and was my classmate at Dallas Seminary. Dan already had four years of Greek at Biola before he came to Dallas Seminary. I don’t agree with him on some of his theology, but his grammar is probably the best exegetical grammar that’s been published. It came out in the mid-90s.
He tends to be Lordship, he tends towards progressive dispensations, which leaks out in a lot of places. He always has to be double checked. You always have to double check everybody. Everybody gets influenced by their theology at points.
But he makes this wonderful statement; this was his doctoral dissertation. He knows more about this probably than any living person in terms of his study of it.
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 refer to the same person. When the construction does not meet these requirements [which this one does not], the nouns may or may not refer to the same person. [You have to look at the context].”
“In Greek, when two nouns are connected by KAI [the conjunction ‘and’] and the article precedes only the first noun, there is a close connection between the two. That connection always indicates at least some sort of unity. [So there is some sort of unity between pastors and teachers, between those two nouns.] At a higher level, it may connote equality [they are equal]. At the highest level it may indicate identity.”
Mark 6:3, “Is this—referring to Jesus—not the carpenter, the—article—Son of Mary, and—conjunction—brother of James—no article,—Joses, Judas, and Simon?”
“Son” and “brother” refer to the same person, but “son” is not a synonym for brother. The point I’m making in these examples is that “pastor” is not a synonym for teacher, but they’re referring to the same person.
Phrases like Hebrew 3:1, “… the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus Christ,” “apostle” and “high priest” refer to the same person, but they’re not synonyms of one another.
1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ …”
He is both God and Father, referring to the First Person of the Trinity.
Matthew 27:40, “You—referring to Jesus—who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself!” It’s the same person who destroys and builds, but “destroying” and “building” are not synonyms.
Titus 2:13, “… [the] God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
There’s an article in the Greek, indicating “God” and “Savior” refer to the same Person, Jesus Christ.
Slide 41 SKIP
1. It could be when you have pastors and teachers, teachers could be the overall group, and then pastor would be a subset of that group.
2. Maybe the pastor is going to be the overall group, and you would have a subset of teachers.
This second diagram indicates that you have pastors who are not teachers. Teachers are only a subset of pastors. That’s not how you understand this phrase at all.
The top one is the correct one. Teachers—clearly listed as a spiritual gift in Scripture—teachers who teach in seminaries, teach Sunday School. They’re gifted teachers, but they are not pastor-teachers. “Pastor” is a subcategory of teachers. It tells you that a pastor teaches because he’s a subcategory of teachers, so that every pastor should teach. That’s his responsibility.
Romans 12:6–7 lists various gifts, and I just want to make the point:
1. Teaching is listed as a gift. The noun “pastor” is never listed independently as a gift.
You can’t go to Romans 12 or 1 Corinthians 12 and find “pastor” mentioned. You can’t go anywhere in the Scripture and find “pastor” listed as a spiritual gift. Here it’s a gifted person and is the only place that noun appears.
2. The overlap in meaning between the two indicates that the difference between a pastor and a teacher is in the area of leadership and guidance.
Remember our list. A pastor is a leader; he guides, he directs. A teacher does not necessarily do that, but that’s the role of the pastor. He is a leader, and how does he lead and guide? Through teaching the Word.
Wallace said, “Thus Ephesians 4:11 seems to affirm that all pastors were to be teachers.”
I would change that. All pastors are to be teachers. A so-called pastor who doesn’t teach is a fake pastor. He’s not biblical.
Harold Hoehner was the head of the Greek Department of Dallas Seminary all through the time Dan was there, says, “More likely, these two nouns refer to two characteristics of the same person who is pastoring believers [and then he adds] by comforting and guiding.”
Where do you get that? We haven’t come up with comforting in one example. Usually, that would be PARAKLETOS, the Holy Spirit. You can’t frontload your definition with what you get out of churchianity and the culture. The role of the pastor isn’t the comforter. He’s the teacher; he’s the coach, you are the team.
Slide 47 SKIPPED
A.T. Robertson, a brilliant great professor, says, “There are four groups. The titles are all in the same predicate accusative.”
He uses the same argument that I do that it’s not based on Granville Sharp, although I think there’s relevance. It’s based on the structure.
Henry Alford, another fabulous 19th-century commentator—a five-volume commentary on the Greek New Testament],—said, “… some as pastors and teachers (from these latter not being distinguished from the pastors)—In other words, it doesn’t distinguish teachers from pastors,—it would seem that the two offices were held by the same persons.”
This comment comes from Randolph Yeager, a Southern Baptist professor who has an extensive, incredible commentary series on every Greek verse of the New Testament:
“Thus we have the four God-given types of ministers provided by Christ, the exalted ‘Head over all things to His church, which is His body,’ 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 who are charged with the responsibility of shepherding the flock of God are also charged with the function of Christian Education.”
In the philosophy of ministry of all these mega-churches, the pastor is the CEO and he sloughs this off to his Christian Ed. Department and to the lay people in the church.
If you’re at some large church, (I know of some examples, in Dallas, Texas, where you have eight seminary professors in your congregation who are teaching Sunday School classes of 200–300 people each), that’s a little bit different scenario.
But it’s a weird scenario. That’s not normal in the “flyover country” of the US. In the “flyover country,” you have people who are just self-taught. They haven’t gone to Bible College or seminary. They don’t have a master’s in theology or a doctorate in theology.
Yeager goes on, “The pastor who is not academically qualified to teach the Word can thus fulfill only one of his functions (I would disagree. I would say that you can’t really pastor if you’re not academically qualified to teach), since it is impossible to shepherd the flock of God without teaching them the Word. That crucifies 90% of the churches in this city, and yet look at all the sheep that are going there because they don’t know any better. Teaching is enjoined in the great commission Matthew 28:18–20. The evangelist makes disciples; the pastor immerses and teaches them.”
“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 (!) are not included in the list of gifts which our Lord has given to His church.”
Yeager uses “pastor/teacher.”
My comment: “Many others use pastor-teacher, which seems the best way English has to express what the MEN … DE construction is doing in establishing a unity between the two nouns (Wallace) to show that this gift of teaching differs with the addition of the “pastor” emphasis, which enhances the normal teaching gift with additional leadership abilities.”
Well, what about hyphen or slash? According to Fowler’s Modern English, there are no set rules in English for use of the hyphen.
“Compound terms are those that consist of more than one word but represent a single item or idea. They come in three styles.” thepunctuationguide.com.
“The grouping of ‘pastor’ with ‘teacher’ is to distinguish this leadership gift from the gift of teaching. The pastor is a gifted teacher, with the leadership enhancement feature.
“Thus pastor-teacher is an accurate and acceptable translation of the Greek grouping.
“The pastor, therefore, leads and guides the congregation through the teaching of the Word of God. He is not a pastor-administrator [administration is a spiritual gift], pastor-exhorter [exhortation is a spiritual gift, pastor-motivator [motivation is not a spiritual gift, pastor-facilitator, he is the pastor-teacher. [His role is to teach.] Those ‘pastors’ who do not teach therefore are false pastors.”
People often say, “Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to go back to the early church,” and I want to tell them, “You wouldn’t like it.” This is what they did. I don’t see 30 minutes of praise and worship choruses as part of what they were devoted to:
Acts 2:42, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship—by fellowship they don’t mean Christian social interaction. The next two words are appositional. That means they define what fellowship is: Fellowship for the believer is always with God. And you have two aspects to it:—to the breaking of bread—communion or the Lord’s Table—and prayer.”
That defines fellowship, not as fellowship between believers, but fellowship with God.
What were the priorities in the early church? They’re devoted to the apostles’ teaching, and they’re devoted to fellowship with God. That’s it.
“But we want to have this and we want to have that, we want to have this other thing.” That’s not what the early church did. If you want to be back to the early church, this is what the priorities are: Devotion to teaching.
We have finished up Ephesians 4:11, gotten into Ephesians 4:12, so we understand that the pastor-teacher is the leader of the congregation, and he leads through the teaching of God’s Word, and that is what makes a healthy church a healthy church. Other than that, it’s an unhealthy church or fake church.
“Father, we thank You for this opportunity to study Your Word this morning and to be able to go through the Scripture in these last four or five lessons in order to understand what the Scriptures mean when it uses the metaphor of pastor in describing the spiritual leader of a group of believers, whether Old Testament or New Testament.
“And to come to understand the priority of this position, regardless of whether we call him an elder, a bishop, an overseer, or pastor, this is a gifted individual who leads the congregation through the teaching of God’s Word.
“Father, we pray that we might come to understand that, because the flip side of that coin is that our responsibility is to be fed by the pastor-teacher, to be in Bible class, to be in church on Sunday mornings, to be listening online if we can’t be physically present, to daily be fed the Word of God so that we may grow by it. It is Your Word that provides that nourishment, being taught by somebody who understands Your Word and is a gifted leader for that purpose.
“Father, we pray that if there is anyone listening who has never trusted in Christ, still has questions about how they can have eternal life, the Scripture is very clear. The solution is what Christ did on the Cross: He died, He paid the penalty for our sins. God the Father imputed to Him or credited to Him our sins, so that He paid the legal penalty.
“The penalty is paid, so now the issue is are we going to trust Him or not? Those who do not trust Him are condemned already because they have not believed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not believing is the key. It doesn’t have anything to do with our sin, our failures, or practices or rituals or anything else. The issue is trusting in Christ, faith alone in Christ alone.
“Father, we thank You for the encouragement from Your Word today. We pray that we might further understand why we come to church, why we are here, and what its purpose is. We pray this in Christ’s name, amen.”