[B-Greek] 5 fold ministry gift

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Sep 19 15:36:13 EDT 2007


On Sep 19, 2007, at 3:19 PM, Mark Frost wrote:

> Can you tell definitively from the Greek if the ministry gifts in  
> Eph 4 are five-fold (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher)  
> as is most often translated, or if the pastor and teacher are  
> actually combined (pastor/teacher) as some assert?

Yes. You can read it either way.

Presumably you're referring to Eph 4:11
11 Καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν τοὺς μὲν  
ἀποστόλους, τοὺς δὲ προφήτας, τοὺς  
δὲ εὐαγγελιστάς, τοὺς δὲ ποιμένας  
καὶ διδασκάλους,
KAI AUTO EDWKEN TOUS MEN APOSTOLOUS, TOUS DE PROFHTAS, TOUS DE  
EUAGGELISTAS, TOUS DE POIMENAS KAI DIDASKALOUS.

NET offers the following note: "Some interpreters have understood the  
phrase pastors and teachers to refer to one and the same group. This  
would mean that all pastors are teachers and that all teachers are  
pastors. This position is often taken because it is recognized that  
both nouns (i.e., pastors and teachers) are governed by one article  
in Greek. But because the nouns are plural, it is extremely unlikely  
that they refer to the same group, but only that the author is  
linking them closely together. It is better to regard the pastors as  
a subset of teachers. In other words, all pastors are teachers, but  
not all teachers are pastors."

For my part, I don't think that the NET note resolves the question in  
a manner that every reader will find convincing. I personally think  
that the author of Ephesians has at several points failed to make his  
intended meaning as clear as we might wish.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)




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