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Is Pastor an Office or Gift? Sneak Preview (Rough Draft)

November 8, 2021

Ephesians 4:7-13 – “According to the Measure of Christ’s Gift . . . He Gave Gifts . . . And Some as Pastors and Teachers”

There is a distinction in the NT between “offices” and “gifts” – specifically, in the Pauline epistles. However, many have attempted to conflate the terms “office” and “gift” together. One of the passages in the NT that has been used by commentators and others to conflate the terms “office” and “gift” is Eph 4:7-13 – specifically, verse 11. Therefore, to have the issue brought to light whether there is biblical warrant for pastor to be identified as an office in the NT – the intended meaning from the apostle Paul must be drawn out from the passage. The approach of this writer is the self-affirmational rule from Scripture called the literal grammatical-historical approach to draw out from the Scripture the author’s intended meaning. The literal grammatical-historical approach identifies “the laws of grammar and literary form, the facts of history, and the framework of context.”[1] Likewise, the book of Ephesians has a specific theme, purpose and occasion. Theme, purpose and occasion are all features that contribute to the framework of context and these features cannot be ignored. Likewise, the rules of Greek grammar must be examined to identify the author’s intended meaning. On the other hand, it is disingenuous to redact and revise the facts of history concerning the book of Ephesians. Therefore, it is imperative to employ Scripture’s self-affirmational rule – namely, the literal grammatical-historical approach to determine from the author if the term pastor found in Eph 4:11 is to be understood as an “office” or as a “gift.”  

The Theme of Ephesians

The theme of the book of Ephesians is the position and purpose of the church in/with Christ as the head.  There are two major theological themes from the book of Ephesians – namely, the Christian’s position “in Christ,” hence, the epistle to the Ephesians is Christological, as well as the manifold wisdom of God made known through the church, hence the epistle to the Ephesians is ecclesiological. Concerning the Christian’s position of union in Christ there is the sound doctrine of election (cf. 1:4); the sound doctrine of predestination (cf. 1:5, 11), the sound doctrine of divine sonship (cf. 1:5, 14), the sound doctrine of the atonement (cf. 1:7; 2:13; 5:25, 29-32), and the sound doctrine of the eternal security of the saints (cf. 1:13-14). Therefore, the epistle to the Ephesians is soteriological. The word “will” (θέλμα) was used no less than seven times in Ephesians [the doctrine of the will of God (cf. Eph 1:1; 1:5; 1:9; 1:11; 5:17; 6:6) contrariwise to the will of the flesh (cf. 2:3)]. The word “mystery” (μυστήριον) was used no less than six times in Ephesians (cf. 1:9; 3:3, 4, 9; 5:32; 6:19). The prepositional phrase “in the heavenly places” (ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις) was used no less than five times in Ephesians and as a prepositional phrase is only found in Ephesians (cf. 1:3; 1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12). The “church” was used no less than nine times in Ephesians (cf. 1:22, 3:10, 21; 5:23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 32). The “body” was used no less than nine times in Ephesians referring to the church (cf. 1:23; 2:16; 3:6; 4:4, 12, 16 x 2; 5:23, 30). “Saints” was used no less than nine times in Ephesians (cf. 1:1, 15, 18; 2:19; 3:8, 18; 4:12; 5:3; 6:18). Due to the frequency of the terms “church,” “body,” and “saints,” it can be honestly determined that the apostle Paul intended the epistle to the Ephesians to comprehensively reflect an ecclesiological theme.[2] 

The Purpose of Ephesians

The distinct purpose of Ephesians was explicitly indicated in 3:9-11.[3] The reason this was the purpose of Ephesians was because the author used the word πρόθεσις (prothesis). The English word “purpose” (e.g. thesis statement) is translated from the Greek word πρόθεσις (prothesis) in 3:11 which reads, “This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (cf. 1:11). God eternally purposed to save some (cf. 1:9, 11) in Christ, establish Christ as head of the church (cf. 1:22) and to reveal to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places (cf. 3:10; 6:12) the manifold wisdom of God (i.e. the manifold wisdom is the grammatical subject of 3:10-11). The purpose was to crush the rulers and authorities under Christ’s feet (cf. 1:22) thus providing victory for the church in Christ and access to the armor of God to stand firm against the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. In Christ, the church has victory over the enmity in the heavenly places (cf. 1:3; 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12) as well as victory over the ethnic enmity of discrimination between Jews and Gentiles on the earth (cf. 2:11-19). It is the logical sequence and quantity of the author’s emphasis in Ephesians that one is to draw from in order to accurately determine the purpose of the book. The issue of God versus satan is found in 1:22– namely “and He put all things in subjection under His feet” (cf. Gen 3:15; Ps 110:1) and Eph 2:1-10– namely, God taking those He saved from walking “the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” and children of wrath as the rest (2:1-3) to a position of being raised up with Christ and seated in the heavenly places in Christ (cf. 2:6). Thus, saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, not works of the law (cf. 2:8-10).

The Occasion of Ephesians

The epistle to the Ephesians had a specific occasion – that was, the reconciliation of ethnic Israelites and ethnic gentiles together only by the means of the reconciliation of those ethnic Israelites and ethnic gentiles to God through the Person, cross work, death and resurrection from the dead of the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, the internal evidence from Ephesians explicitly identified this occasion (cf. 2:11-19). The explicit context and means of the reconciliation to God through the Person and work of Christ was “and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity” (2:16). God redeemed individual persons through Christ alone from distinct ethnic groups of people (cf. 1:7; 2:13). Individually redeemed persons make up the one church in Christ (cf. 1:22; 2:15-19; 5:23; 32). The church is the body of Christ (cf. 4:12), God’s household (cf. 2:19). Therefore, the occasion of the epistle to the Ephesians was that there was a dividing wall of hostility and enmity between Jews and Gentiles according to the flesh, but Christ had now broken down the dividing wall (i.e. ethnic discrimination and legalism) and God had established the headship of Christ over the church as both the church’s reconciliation to God and those in the church’s reconciliation to one another.

Immediate Context of Ephesians 4:1-16

Ephesians 4:1-16 contains the only two occurrences in the NT of one of the Greek words for unity – that is, ἑνότης (4:3, 13).[4] The unification of ethnic Israelites and ethnic Gentiles into “one new man”[5] is the body of Christ.[6] Because of the new position in Christ, unity must exist among believers in Christ and unity must be preserved not invented (4:3) – therefore, a church is a unified preserved body based on God’s purpose in the church age. God’s purpose in the unified preserved body of Christ is to bring all of the individual members of the body of Christ to the unity of the faith (4:12-16). Only God’s power accomplishes this through the ministry of gifted believers who Christ gives to the church.[7] That is the purpose in Christ distributing gifts to each believer (4:7). If it can be determined from the author’s intended meaning that the term “pastor” from 4:11 was intended by the author to be understood as a “gift” and not an “office,” then modern evangelicalism might learn that when the term “pastor” is redefined as an “office” it hinders true biblical unity. If it can be determined from the author’s intended meaning that the term “pastor” from 4:11 was intended by the author to be understood as a “gift” and not an “office,” then modern evangelicalism might learn that when the term “pastor” is redefined to mean an “office” it hinders true biblical ethnic reconciliation. Moreover, if it can be determined from the author’s intended meaning that the term “pastor” from 4:11 was intended by the author to be understood as a “gift” and not an “office,” then modern evangelicalism might learn that when the term “pastor” is redefined to mean an “office” it is an attempt to hinder God’s eternal purpose statement to the universe. Finally, if it can be determined from the author’s intended meaning that the term “pastor” from 4:11 was intended by the author to be understood as a “gift” and not an “office,” then modern evangelicalism might learn that when the term “pastor” is redefined to mean an “office” it is an attempt to hinder the fullness of the theological themes that Ephesians teaches from being accurately represented.

Immediate Context of Ephesians 4:7-13

Ephesians 4:7-13 is about the means of preserving the unity of faith by the use of various gifts to the church.[8] Eph 4:7-8 presents a description of the giving of gifts when the text reads, “But to each one of us the grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Therefore, it says having ascended on high He led captive captivity gave gifts to men.” The text does not read here in Ephesians that He gave “offices” to men, but instead the text reads that He gave “gifts” to men. Therefore, the descriptive emphasis concerning the author’s intended meaning from 4:7-13 concerns “gifts” not “offices.” What is more, the Greek preposition κατα is found in 4:7 together with a noun in the accusative case, namely μέτρον (i.e. measure). When the Greek preposition κατα is together with a noun in the accusative case it has the sense to mean standard (i.e. according to).[9] The standard denotes that Christ gives each believer a gift but also determines the amount of the gift, hence the term measure.[10] Therefore, to redefine the emphasis that 4:7-13 (particularly 4:11) puts on “gifts” to put the emphasis on “offices” is a different standard than the measure of the gift of Christ (because an office is not measured in an amount of the office, one either has the qualifications for that office or they do not – the emphasis is the quality of the officer). In the NT offices are qualified by lists of qualifications (e.g. Acts 1:21-26; 1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9). There is no list of qualifications for people to have to receive a gift from what is described from Eph 4:7-13. On the other hand, gift giving from the Lord is all of grace – “But to each one of us grace was given” (4:7a). What is more, instead of prerequisite qualifications that are attached to offices – concerning gifts, here in 4:7 there is mentioned a quantitative measure. The term μέτρον (measure) found from 4:7 has the sense to mean a quantity within a limit to which Christ has apportioned.[11] This is in continuity with Rom 12:3, which reads, “to each as God measured out the measure of faith” (see Rom 12:6).  

The standard from Ephesians 4:7-13 is the measure of the gift of Christ. The standard for the qualifications for “offices” is not in 4:7-13 but is found in other places in the NT (i.e. Acts 1:21-26; 1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9). Likewise, the emphasis found from Eph 4:7-13 is on the distribution of “gifts,” not the distribution of “offices.” There is no “thesis” versus “anti-thesis” that exists among Pauline literary corpus concerning these features. There is no need for the Tübigen historical critical “synthesis” model. In dealing with this dilemma, some commentators have inquired whether ministry is to be understood in terms of office or function.[12] On the other hand, the controversy occurs when one has conflated the terms “office” and “gift” into a synthesis to argue that such interchangeableness exists among terms when they are distinct in the NT. Not every believer is given an office but every believer in Christ is given a gift or gifts.[13] In this case, the interchangeable orientation position versus the position that argues a distinction between the term “office” and the term “gift” cannot be based on circumstantial evidence but must be determined from exegesis. Simply put, the term used in 4:7 is from the Greek term δωρεά which is translated into English “gift.”[14] What is more, from 4:8 the text reads “ἔδωκεν δόματα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις” – literally, “gave gifts to men.” The term from 4:8 is from the Greek term δόμα, translated in English “gifts.” The term from 4:8, namely, “gifts” as a noun is plural and is related to δωρεά from 4:7 because both terms – that is, δωρεά and δόμα find their etymology from the Greek verb δίδωμι which has the sense “to give.”[15] The gifts that Christ gives to believers come from Christ because there are two genitives found in the phrase “the measure of the gift of Christ.” The second genitive is a genitive of source – namely, “gift of Christ” meaning that each believer has received from Christ (i.e. the source) a measure of a gift to be used in a particular function in the body.[16] However, the term “ἐπισκοπή” – namely, “office, position or overseership” (cf. Acts 1:20; 1 Tim 3:1) or the term “ἱερατεία” – that is, “office” are not used in Eph 4:7-13.  Concerning 4:8 “therefore, it says, having gone up on high He led captive captivity and gave gifts to men” Christ has the only right to give gifts to believers because He has proven His victory over the devil, sin and death (cf. Col 2:15). Therefore, Christ having gone up on high to the highest in victory gives gifts to those who He redeemed in His penal-substitutionary atonement. Believers are no longer in bondage but are associated with their victorious Redeemer who in turn gives them gifts to use in ministry to build the church (cf. Matt 16:18). Concerning the inception of the church, the church has been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone (cf. Eph 2:20). In building up of the body of Christ as it is growing there certainly includes men occupying offices in the church age as defined by the NT (e.g. 1 Tim 3; Titus 1:5-9). In Eph 4:7-8 every believer is included in this building up of the body by using the gift or gifts given them by Christ for ministry, it is not only for those who occupy offices.  In summary, the emphasis on 4:7-13, particularly introduced in verses 7-8, is on the distribution of gifts not the distribution of offices.

The meaning of Christ giving the gifts because of His ascension was defined by Paul in Eph 4:9-10 through the description of the all encompassing dominion that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only did Christ ascend to the highest realm but He also had descended into the lower regions of the earth. His descent preceded His ascent. The phrase “the lower parts of the earth” describe the portion of the earth, namely the low-lying parts – that is, in the grave not Hades.[17] His ascent “above the heavens” (v. 10) is the location where Christ ministers at present during the church age, the duration of time between His ascension and His second coming. Christ is above all the heavens at the right hand of God the Father (cf. Acts 7:56; Eph 1:21; Phil 2:9; Heb 4:14; 7:26). Christ’s ministry during the church age at present includes the unmerited bestowal of grace gifts (cf. Eph 4:7 – 8, 11). Since Christ is above all the heavens and also sovereign over the universe (cf. Eph 1:22; Col 1:17-18), the phrase “in order that he might fill all things” (Eph 4:10), revealed that Christ fills the universe and the proclamation of His truth and love fills the universe by the persons Christ has given gifts according to the measure of His gift (cf. 3:1-11; 4:7). This proclamation is according to God’s eternal purpose that the wisdom of God is made known through the church to angelic beings in the heavenly places (cf. 3:10-11). The purpose of gifted persons given to the church to use their Christ given gifts is to prepare believers for the work of the ministry for building up the body of Christ (cf. 4:12).[18] Because of what Christ has accomplished and His position as head over the church, only Christ has the authority to give gifts. Treason to the Lordship of Christ occurs when men or women misidentify or misapply that such and such a person has a gift (or conflate the terms “office” and “gift” together as one interchangeable entity outside the context of the Word of God) – when indeed such and such a person that they have misdiagnosed in fact is not the beneficiary of a gift or gifts given from Christ. Real God given gifts unify with one another in support because they recognize their heavenly pattern – contrariwise, faux gifts are designed to cause disunity and division among truly gifted men (cf. 1 Cor 7:7; 12:25).  The breadth to the seriousness of getting this right is an understatement. Any redefinition or misapplication of these features compromises the mission of the church and as such will result in deception and immaturity (cf. Eph 4:14-15). Nevertheless, because Christ fills all things in the sense of His sovereign relationship over the entire creation and His sovereign position to have the only right to give gifts – gifted persons in the church can use their gifts with success against the extinguishing efforts from the world and pseudo-gifted professors who are not possessors.          

Christ fills the church, and Christ is Sovereign over the world. This has to do with the power of what Christ accomplished on the cross and that power being bestowed to the church so that the church would fulfill its ministry. The Apostle Paul established from Eph 4:7 – 10 that only Christ has the authority to give gifts because the definition of Christ giving the gifts is inseparably constrained to the dominion of Christ over all authority.[19] Therefore, a person cannot have a gift or gifts unless Christ has authorized and given a gift or gifts to that person. But when a person does have a gift or gifts given them by the Lord Jesus Christ and when the gift or gifts are performed – the truth of the Gospel goes forth without being snuffed by the quenching attempts from the world to put out the fire.

Pastors and Teachers – One and the Same Spiritual Gift or Two Distinct Gifts?

In Ephesians 4:11 the subject is Christ who performed the action “gave” and what Christ gave is the direct objects – namely, the gifts. There is no copula “to be” or “is” verb governing the direct objects in 4:11. The gifts mentioned from 4:11 are the gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (all these nouns are accusative in case, masculine in gender and plural in number). The text reads in wooden English (i.e. literally word for word translation from the Greek into English and in the same Greek order) the following–, “And He gave the indeed apostles the and prophets the and evangelists the and pastors and teachers.” The reason why it is helpful to look at this verse in the wooden English translation is to observe the word order of the exegetical features. For example, the first three nouns, namely, apostles, prophets, and evangelists have in Greek each a definite article preceding them. The last two nouns, namely pastors and teachers share one definite article together.[20] With pastors and teachers there is only one article with both plural nouns. Because of this, the major controversy with 4:11 in modern evangelicalism is whether “pastors and teachers” designate one spiritual gift or two.[21]

The exact same grammatical construction is found in Eph 2:20 where two plural nouns share one definite article, namely, “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.”[22] Chrysostom (c. 347 – 407) argued that apostles and prophets identified from 2:20 are distinct yet blended together to show the union in the body, like a building with all its parts in solidarity.[23]  John Calvin (c. 1509 – 1564) made a distinction between apostles and prophets but claimed that they share the article to show that they had the same goal and one and the same object was promoted by both.[24] The Pulpit Commentary contributor for Ephesians W. G. Blaikie (c. 1820 – 1899) argued a distinction between apostles and prophets as two distinct offices.[25] R. H. C. Lenski (c. 1864 – 1936) argued that the one article makes the apostles and prophets one class but not that the apostles and prophets are the same office or gift.[26] Harold Hoehner (c. 1935-2009) understood that the one article for both nouns in 2:20 does not identify the apostles and prophets as one and the same persons.[27] John MacArthur (b. 1939)  argued that apostles and prophets mentioned in 2:20 are distinct offices from one another when he wrote “these are New Testament prophets, as indicated by the facts that they are listed after the apostles and are part of the building of the church of Jesus Christ.”[28] However, even though he made a distinction between apostles and prophets as being distinct offices, MacArthur interpreted pastors and teachers as two functions of a single office of leadership in the church.[29]

Concerning the phrase “and the pastors and teachers” from Eph 4:11 – scholars have debated this for almost the entire church age.[30] One position argues the construction refers to pastors and teachers as one and the same gift and the other position argues that the construction refers to two distinct gifts.[31] Some scholars place the emphasis on the nouns being gifted persons and debate whether pastors and teachers represent two gifted persons or one person with a combination of two gifts.[32] Those who favor the “one and the same gift” position or the “one person with a combination of two gifts” position argue that the Greek conjunction “and” placed in-between pastors and teachers is explicative and has the sense to mean “pastors ‘that is’ teachers.”[33] On the other hand, some argue that the one article was used to designate these two gifts as functioning in a local church as distinguished from the “itinerate ministry” gifts listed earlier in the list.[34] Hoehner argued, just as seen in 2:20 where there is one article for apostles and prophets, that also in 4:11 one article used for both plural nouns does not mean the same identity but does indicate that they are distinct yet treated for a unified purpose. The following chart is a visual summary of the differing positions concerning the pastors and teachers from Eph 4:11:

Chart: Differing Positions concerning the Pastors and Teachers from Ephesians 4:11

Position 1 – One and the same gift. One gift because the two nouns share the same article; i.e. “pastor-teacher means “pastor, that is, teacher.”

————————————————————————————————————–

Position 2 – Two distinct gifts. Granville Sharp TSKS Rule: In Eph 2:20 there is a TSKS construction where one article governs two plural nouns, namely “the apostles and prophets.” But those who hold position 1 above argue that 2:20 refers to two distinct offices. Eph 4:11 also reflects the Granville Sharp TSKS Rule where one article governs two plural nouns, namely “the pastors and teachers” in the context of gifts (cf. Eph 4:7-11).

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Position 3 – One and the same office with two functions together to define a single office of leadership in the church. The interchangeable orientation position A. i.e. “pastor – teacher = pastor, that is, teacher” The Greek word kai (and) can mean “in particular (that is) cf. (1 Tim 5:17). MSB

—————————————————————————————————————

Position 4 – Two distinct offices. The orientation position B. Problem with this view is that the context supports gifts, not offices.

—————————————————————————————————————-

However, the only position that works grammatically is that the construction refered to two distinct gifts or two different gifted persons.[35] Some who hold the position that “pastors and teachers” refer to one gift or one gifted person at least understand the context concerns the description of gifts where as others conclude that this has the sense of one office with two gifts – such a position does not make any sense grammatically by using the term office.  Calvin saw a distinction between the two but called them offices.[36]

Pastors and Teachers – Offices or Gifts?

Consequently, Eph 4:11 concerns the description of gifts that Christ has given, not the description of offices. The term ποιμήν (pastor) mentioned as a gift or to describe gifted men in 4:11 described a function with no hint of reference to an office.[37] The term διδάσκαλος (teacher) mentioned as a gift or to describe gifted persons in 4:11 described a function not an office. It is important to know that these are gifts and not offices.[38]

Conclusion

In conclusion, the immediate context to which Eph 4:11 belongs supports that pastors and teachers are gifts not offices. What is more, the grammar of 4:11 supports that pastors and teachers are two distinct gifts indicating two distinct gifted persons – although a person can have been given both of these gifts. Remarkably many in modern evangelicalism do not see this distinction from the text and therefore teach this text and apply this text wrongly not without disastrous implications.  The position a local church takes on this issue has significant implications on how ministry is conducted at that local church. For instance, if a local church takes the position that pastors and teachers are one and the same gift – let alone redefining them as an office when in fact the truth is that they are distinct gifts and not offices (or one and the same office), then ministry at that local church lacks the biblical designation of those gifts. If a local church lacks the biblical designation of those gifts then how will that local church represent and carry out the function of those gifts with clarity and be unified with the universal body (cf. 4:12-13). Different positions in competition results in disunity not unity. Therefore, it is imperative to hold the correct position. Grammatically the Author’s intended meaning reveals that pastors and teachers from 4:11 are two distinct gifts or two distinct gifted persons with the same purpose to equip the saints for ministry for building up the body, just as 2:20 grammatically shows that apostles and prophets are distinct from one another but had the same purpose concerning the foundation of the history and spread of Christianity.


[1] John D. Grassmick, Principles and Practice of Greek Exegesis (Dallas: Dallas Theological Seminary, 1974), 11.

[2] This paragraph was slightly modified from its original content source. Eric V. Powers, “Is There Any Biblical Warrant for the Doctrinal Triage?” (M.Div. Thesis, The Master’s Seminary, 2016).

[3] “And to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph 3:9-11).

[4] “ἑνότης,” BAG, 267.

[5] ἕνα καινὸν ἄνθρωπον “one new man” (Eph 2:15).

[6] “the hostility, in the flesh of Him, the law of the commandments in ordinances having annulled, so that the two He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace” (Eph 2:15).

[7] Harold W. Hoehner, Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002), 501.

[8] Hoenher rightly emphasized in his commentary that “within the body of believers, God has bestowed gifts” and the giving of these gifts were “the vital role in the maintenance of unity within this unique body,” Ibid, 521.

[9] Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 377.

[10] Hoehner, Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary, 523.

[11] “μέτρον,” BAG, 516.

[12] Fung argued that the function of a gift and the office that one holds in the church are fused together into a united whole and that the gift can find expression in the office, but that the office must not be severed from the gift in the relationship between function, gift and office, specifically office and function being the aspects of a person’s ministry (in the case of someone who holds office; for which he must have the appropriate gift). However, in a general sense, Fung took exception to the view of some scholars who argue that Eph 4:11 in particular refers to office holders in the church or at least having the sense of a double reference to offices as well as gifts. Fung argued that the terminology used in connection with charismata in 1 Cor 12:4-6, together with 12:28 and 12:18, together with the explicit reference to variety of functions preceding the Romans list (i.e. Rom 12:4), and the immediate following context of Eph 4:11 with its emphasis on harmonious functioning among the body of Christ (cf. Eph 4:12-16) – all are factors that strongly favor the conclusion that the charismata (i.e. grace gifts) refer only to functions appropriate to gifts and not the office. Ronald Y. K. Fung, “Ministry in the New Testament,” 163-75.

[13]  “Now to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ” Eph 4:7. The phrase Ἑνὶ δὲ ἑκάστῳ ἡμῶν – “Now to each one of us” is in reference to each individual believer not only those holding offices. Hoehner argued based on the exegesis of 4:7 that gifts are given not only to people serving in leadership but to fellow Christians who are not in offices of leadership. Hoehner, Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary, 521.

[14] “δωρεά,” BAG, 209.

[15] “δόμα,” New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Hebrew – Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries, Robert L. Thomas, Th.D., General Editor (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 1981), 1644.

[16] Hoehner, Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary, 523.

[17] For a discussion on the location of Christ’s descent, see Doron Gladden, TBCRI “What does it mean that Christ ‘had descended into the lower parts of the earth?’” https://bcri.wordpress.com (accessed 1 August 2021).

[18] Hoehner, Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary, 547.

[19] Ephesians 4:10, specifically the phrase “so that He might fill all things” is not about the omnipresence of Christ’s physical body in the universe. The Missouri Synod Lutherans are the major proponents of the omnipresence of Christ’s physical body in the universe. They argue this in 4:10 and call their view the ubiquity of Christ’s physical body. For a definition of the Lutheran doctrine called the ubiquity of Christ’s body, see R.C.H. Lenksi, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians to the Ephesians and to the Philippians (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1963), 524 – 25.

[20] The definite articles are in bold with the nouns they modify –  Καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν τοὺς μὲν ἀποστόλους, τοὺς δὲ προφήτας, τοὺς δὲ εὐαγγελιστάς, τοὺς δὲ ποιμένας καὶ διδασκάλους. Only the last two nouns of 4:11 share the same definite article together. Moreover, there is a definite article + substantive (noun) in plural number + conjunction καί + substantive (noun) in plural number which grammarians call the TSKS construction in relationship to the Granville Sharp rule in Greek grammar [T = definite article; S = substantive (i.e. noun); K = conjunction καί (i.e. and); S = substantive (i.e. noun)]. For a discussion of the relationship between the TSKS construction in the Granville Sharp Rule and related constructions – namely, the article with multiple substantives connected by καί see Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 270-90.

[21] Bill Mounce, “Pastor’s and Teachers – Ephesians 4:11,” http://www.zondervanacademic.com, 13 October 2008, https://staging.zondervanacademic.com/blog/pastors-and-teachers-ephesians-4-11-mondays-with-mounce  (accessed 4 October 2021).

[22] “The use of a single article with multiple plural nouns indicates a single unit, but it does not necessarily mean the two nouns are identical. This same construction occurs earlier in 2:20 and joins “apostles” and “prophets,” but these are not identical gifts.” What is more, Mounce mentioned that this is the same rule that is shown in Robertson’s grammar when one article with multiple plural nouns can indicate “groups more or less distinct are treated as one for the purpose in hand.” Robertson, Grammar, 787; MHT 3:181; also see Wallace, “Semantic Range of the Article Noun-καί-Noun Plural Construction,” 82. Ibid.

[23] Philip Schaff, St. Chysostom Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus and Philemon, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, vol. XIII (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), 75.

[24] John Calvin, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thess., 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, Calvin’s Commentaries, vol. XXI (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989), 277-80.

[25] W. G. Blaikie, Galatians Ephesians, The Pulpit Commentary, vol. 46 (London and New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company), 67.

[26] Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians to the Ephesians and to the Philippians 450.

[27] Hoehner argued that the genitives (apostles and prophets grammatically as substantives are in the genitive case) are appositional which grammatically has the sense to mean the apostles and prophets are the historical persons who first formed the universal church. This presupposes that the two are distinct but have one purpose in hand. Hoehner, Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary, 397.

[28] John MacArthur, Ephesians, MacNTC (Chicago: Moody, 1988), 82.

[29] Even though 2:20 and 4:11 share the same Greek construction with two nouns sharing one definite article (e.g. “the apostles and prophets” 2:20 and “the pastors and teachers” 4:11) MacArthur interpreted each construction differently. MacArthur claimed that the phrase “pastors and teachers” is a single office of leadership in the church. He claimed that Greek conjunction “and” can mean “in particular” to argue that “pastors and teachers” are two functions together that define one office which he argued is synonymous with the NT office of Elder. However, if MacArthur’s claim is this is true wouldn’t that also apply to the same construction used in 2:20 for apostles and prophets as two functions together that define one office because the Greek conjunction “and” can mean “in particular?” MSB, 1763. 

[30] Hoehner, Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary, 543.

 

[31] “One interpretation sees them as one gift and point to the use of the article. It is repeated before all the other gifts, but when it gets to the last two there is only one article that governs both nouns. Grammatically, this signals a change and expects us to see that “pastors and teachers” form a unit that is set off from the preceding series . . . . the second interpretation is that “pastor” and “teacher” are somewhat distinct gifts.” Bill Mounce, “Pastor’s and Teachers – Ephesians 4:11,” http://www.zondervanacademic.com

[32] Hoehner, Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary, 543.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] “According to the exegetical work provided by Wallace, Eph 4:11 concerns the gifted leaders that Christ has given to the church for the church’s maturity. More specifically, Wallace is concerned with whether one gift or two are mentioned with the phrase ‘some now pastors and teachers.’ Wallace is concerned that many commentators have seen only one gift here, which Wallace claimed is an erroneous and misapplication of the Granville Sharp rule applied to plural constructions. Wallace further argued that with the ‘one gift’ view of pastor-teacher instead of two distinct gifts presented (i.e. pastors and teachers), there are no clear examples of nouns being used in TSKS (article-substantive-καί-substantive) construction in the sense to specify one group in an interpretation of pastor-teacher. Wallace did point out that the uniting of these two gifts by one article distinguishes them in a different grammatical observation than the other gifts given with their own definite articles, however that gives the sense that they are similar functioning gifts (e.g. ‘since elders were to be teachers,’ those who are gifted with the gift of pastors usually have a teaching capacity). However, Wallace rightly observed that not all teachers were elders and not all teachers were pastors (cf. Rom 12:7; 1 Cor 12:28-29; Heb 5:12; Jas 3:1; 2 Tim 2:2). But Wallace’s conclusion in the matter at hand was ‘Eph 4:11 seems to affirm that all pastors were to be teachers, though not all teachers were to be pastors.’ Nevertheless, Wallace exegetically proved that pastor and teacher are two distinct gifts instead of ‘one gift with two functions.’” Ibid.  

[36] Calvin, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thess., 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, 280.

[37] Hoehner, Ephesians An Exegetical Commentary, 544.

[38] Hoehner concluded in his dictum notes on Eph 4:11 there presents a problem when people confuse the gift of pastor and teacher with the office of elder or deacon because they want to exert the authority of an elder or deacon. The NT does not mix gift and office. Ibid, 547.

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