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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7720 elders, in the church
7720 elders, in the church

7720 elders, in the church

In the NT a group of leaders responsible for managing and teaching a local church. As the name implies, they were normally men of experience and maturity. Although women played a very significant part in early Christian ministry, there is no specific NT evidence for women as elders.

Elders in the Jerusalem church

Ac 15:4 See also Ac 11:30; Ac 15:2,6,22-23; Ac 16:4; Ac 21:18

Elders are also called “overseers”

Ac 20:28 In Ac 20:17 they are described as “elders”. Here they are “overseers”. See also Tit 1:6-7

Elders are appointed by apostles or their delegates

Ac 14:23 Here, as always in the NT, people are appointed to a joint eldership. There is no NT example of a single elder leading a church. See also Tit 1:5

Qualifications for elders

Tit 1:6-9 As in Ac 20:17,28, “elder” is here synonymous with “overseer”. See also 1Ti 3:1-7

The role of elders

As leaders 1Ti 5:17 See also 1Ti 3:5

As teachers 1Ti 5:17 See also 1Ti 3:2

As pastors and guardians against false teaching Ac 20:28-31 See also Tit 1:9; 1Pe 5:1-4

In the healing ministry Jas 5:14

The remuneration and correction of elders

See also 1Ti 5:17-20

Elders are to receive respect and submission from church members

Heb 13:17 “leaders” is an alternative term for “elders”. See also 1Th 5:12; Heb 13:7

The twenty-four elders in heaven

The elders are seated on thrones Rev 4:4 These elders may be angelic beings corresponding to the 24 orders of Levites (1Chronicles chapters 24-25) or symbolise Israel and the church (compare Rev 21:12-14). See also Rev 5:5-6; Rev 11:16; Rev 14:3

The elders worship God and the Lamb Rev 4:10-11 See also Rev 5:8-14; Rev 7:11-13; Rev 19:4

See also

4110angels
5217authority in church
7026church, leadership
7715deacons
7733leaders
7748overseers
7784shepherd
7789shepherd, church leader
7793teachers
7939ministry
8492watchfulness, leaders

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