Under the old covenant God called priests and prophets as spiritual leaders. Later the Pharisees gave spiritual leadership. After Jesus Christ had inaugurated the new covenant, authority was given to the apostles, who in turn appointed leaders in the churches they founded.
Examples of priests as spiritual leaders1Sa 4:18 The priest Eli was described as leading Israel; 1Sa 7:5-9 Samuel acted as priest on behalf of the people; 2Ch 24:14 Jehoiada the priest influenced Joash to serve God.
Mt 2:4 officially recognised teachers of the law; Mt 16:1; Mt 21:23 At a local level, elders had social and religious authority in local councils. Nationally, they were included in the Sanhedrin; Mt 23:2; Mt 26:59
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.
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