- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Monday, 14 February 2011 09:32
Do the Scriptures teach that an overseer is to rule the Church?
Does “obey them that have the rule over you,” imply that we have rulers in the Church to-day?
Three words are translated “RULE” in the New Testament in reference to oversight:
(1) P0IMAINO (from POIMN, a shepherd), used by our Lord to Peter—”Feed (better, ‘shepherd’) my sheep” (John 21:16). The word in vv. 1 and 17 for “feed,” is BOSKO; but feeding, though of the first importance, is only one item of shepherding.
(2) POIMAINO also occurs in Acts 20:28 and 1 Peter 5:2, “feed the flock”; also in Matt. 2:6, “RULE”—”that shall rule (marg. feed) my people Israel.” (z) PR0I- STMI, as in 1 Timothy 3:5 “If a man know not how to RULE his own house, how shall he take care (EPIMELBOMAI) of the church of God?” This word for “take care” occurs only here and in Luke 10:34, 35, of and by “the good Samaritan.”
PROISTEMI is used too of the RULE OF THE CHURCH in 1 Timothy 5:17.
(3) HGEOMAI (from AGO, to lead), to be a leader, to rule (in New Testament this latter only in present participle), is used of Barnabas and Silas—”CHIEF MEN among the brethren” (Acts 15:22); of Joseph—”GovEiuoR over Egypt” (Acts 8:10); and in Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24 in the expression, “them that HAVE THE RULE OVER” (marg., in two latter verses, “guides,” which seems to do well).
Overseers, then, are shepherds, feeding, guiding, tending the flock; also ruling, but not inthese]fassetiye, domineering way of a Gentile king, “not as lords over God’s heritage,” but with gentle control for the good of the sheep, whom they love, because they belong to the Chief Shepherd who has entrusted them to their care (1 Peter 5:2-4), and it is for the sheep to be subject to this godly rule.