the weblog of Alan Knox

The bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons, oh my!

Posted by on Sep 13, 2007 in church history, elders, office | 21 comments

I’m studying Ignatius of Antioch for a research project in my Theological Foundations seminar. Ignatius was the bishop of Antioch who was killed in Rome around 107 AD. As he was being transported from Antioch to Rome, he penned seven letters: six letters to the churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Rome, Philadelphia, and Smyrna, and one letter to Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna. Within these letters, Ignatius addressed several areas that are typically included within the scope of ecclesiology. Specifically, he discussed the sacraments and place of the bishop, the presbyters (elders), and the deacons within the church of each city.

Within Ignatius’ letters, there are several passages that deal with the bishop. He always uses this title in the singular when referring to the bishop of a church. Here are a few of the passages:

I urge [you], make every effort to do everything in the harmony of God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God, and the presbyters (elders) [presiding] in the place of the council of apostles, and the deacons who are precious to me having been entrusted with the service of Jesus Christ. (Ignatius to the Mangesians 6:1)

It is necessary, as you are doing, for you to do nothing apart from the bishop, but to be submissive also to the presbyters (elders) as to the apostles of Jesus Christ. (Ignatius to the Trallians 2:2)

Similarly, let all regard (respect) the deacons as Jesus Christ and the bishop as being in the place of the Father, then the presbyters (elders) as the council of God and as the assembly of the apostles. (Ignatius to the Trallians 3:1)

Make every effort to have one eucharist, for there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and one cup for the unity of his blood, one altar, as there is one bishop along with the presbyters (elders) and deacons. (Ignatius to the Philippians 4:1)

Let all of you follow the bishop as Jesus Christ [followed] the Father, and [follow] the presbyters (elders) as the apostles, then respect the deacons as the commandment of God. (Ignatius to the Smyrneans 8:1)

The reason that these passages are interesting to me is that they are not consistent with some of the other early Christian writings – even those writings from the same time period.

For example, Ignatius wrote one of his letters to Polycarp, who Ignatius recognizes as the Bishop of Smyrna. In his letter to the church at Smyrna, Ignatius tells the church to “follow the bishop as Jesus Christ followed the Father.” When writing to Polycarp, Ignatius instructs Polycarp to tell the church in Smyrna the same thing (Ignatius to Polycarp 5:2; 6:1)

However, when Polycarp writes a letter to the church in Philippi only a few years later, Polycarp does not even mention a “bishop”. Instead, Polycarp tells the Philippians to be subject to “the presbyters (elders) and deacons” (Polycarp to the Philippians 5:3).

In the Didache, another document written at about the same time, presbyters (elders) are not mentioned. Instead, the Didache instructs believers to appoint “bishops (plural) and deacons”. In an interesting twist, the Didache associates “bishops and deacons” with “prophets and teachers”, but the two groups do not seem to be synonymous:

Therefore, choose for yourselves, bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men [who are] gentle, and not lovers of money, and truthful and proved; for they also serve you the service of prophets and teachers. Therefore, do not disregard them, for they are honored among you, together with the prophets and teachers. (Didache 15:1-2)

The Didache mentions others types of travelling apostles and prophets (not to be confused with the original apostles of the New Testament nor the prophets of the Old testament) that seem to be distinct from the “bishops and deacons” and also the “prophets and teachers”. (Didache 11-13)

Why is this interesting to me? I think it shows that the early church struggled with some of the same questions that we struggle with today? Questions such as 1) What is the nature of Christian leadership? 2) Are there specific roles within the church that are distinct from gifting? 3) How should leadership within the church structure itself? 4) How should believers interact with those who they have recognized as leaders?

Ignatius seems to have answered these questions differently than Polycarp. And, the Didache seems to be different from both. Interestingly, in most of Ignatius’ letters he spells out what it means to follow the way of Jesus Christ, and he does not include the bishop, the presbyters, nor the deacons in any of those instructions.

I think it would be beneficial for all believers to read the Apostolic Father, as long as they learn to read critically. Before beginning a study of the early Christian writings, we must answer another question (for ourselves): Where will I find authority – in the texts of Scripture or in the early understandings of those texts?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 9-13-2007

    The following excerpt is a Bible-based approach to explaining the oneness of the office referred as the following: elders, bishops, pastors or presbyters. I’d also recommend F.W. Mattox’s book, The Eternal Kingdom. He discusses Ignatius obvious doctrinal departure over the matter. Alan, your attention to this historical/biblical detail is commendable. Few care to give it consideration. One thing is sure: the apostles weren’t confused when applying these terms. They spoke and wrote by Inspiration. When it comes down to it, the assortment of titles for the same office is merely due to the variation of responsibilities and nature of the office; ie. “Elder” refers to the age of the one in the office. “Bishop” refers to him as a superintendent. “Pastor” (or, shepherd) refers to his oversight of the flock.

    *Borrowed from

    Elder, Bishop, Pastor, or Presbyter?
    Finally, questions often arise about the many names that the Bible uses to reference elders, which include “elder”, “bishop”, “pastor”, and “presbyter”. Many denominations and churches practice having an “overseeing preacher” who shepherds the flock and is called a “pastor”. Other denominations select someone to rule over the elders within a district and call him a “bishop”. Some may continue building an elaborate hierarchy, creating offices that are not even found in the Bible at all, such as cardinal, pope, etc. However, the confusion can be resolved by returning to the Bible as a standard and implementing offices that are found only in the Bible and charging them with their proper Biblical mission and work. Given this goal, let us consider, “What does the standard say?”

    When we compile all of the verses that use these references, we learn that the Bible actually uses all of these words interchangeably – they refer to one and the same office! Please note the following examples of this synonymous use:

    Bishop = Elder
    “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you – if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless …” Titus 1:5-7

    Elder = Overseer (Bishop) = Shepherd
    “From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. And when they had come to him, he said to them: … ‘Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.’ ” Acts 20:17, 28

    The word for overseer is actually the same word that is translated “bishop” in other places. Please also see I Peter 5:1-5 for similar usage.

    So, why all of the different names? Well, each name actually indicated something about either the character of the elder or his responsibilities. The word “elder” indicating his relative age and the maturity that should have come with it. “Overseers” denotes the responsibility to “oversee” and watch out for the congregation, and it comes from the Greek word episkopos which is also translated “bishop” in many places (I Timothy 3:2).

    What about “pastor” and “presbyter”? To answer this question we have to look back to our list of all the spiritual offices found in Ephesians4:11: apostles, prophets, evangelists,pastors, and teachers . We have already discussed the offices of apostle and evangelist. Prophets are those who were not apostles but taught the gospel through inspiration, revealing the mind of God. Teachers also taught the gospel, but without the benefit of direct inspiration. This leaves only one office to assign between our two remaining offices of elder and deacon. We may eliminate “deacon” from this assignment, because the context of Ephesians 4:11 details the spiritual offices that were bestowed upon the church to promote its spiritual growth. Since the office of deacon is more of a physically centered office (Acts 6:1-4), it is understandably not included in the list found in. Although it is not considered a spiritual office or role, it is still considered as an office (Philippians 1:2; I Timothy 3:8-13).

    Therefore, “pastors” (used only this one time here in the entire Bible) should be considered synonymous with the office of elder. This is reinforced by looking at the original word for pastor, which was poimen. This word meant “a shepherd” and was identical to the words for “shepherd” in other passages for elders that commanded them to “shepherd, or tend the flock of God” (except the other passages are the verb form of the same word – Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:1-5 ). The Greek word for “presbytery”, found only once in I Timothy 4:14, meant “a body of elders”. Therefore, one member of this body of elders could be called a “presbyter”, although this label is never found in the New Testament.

    Consequently, the words “bishop”, “elder”, “pastor”, and “presbyter” all refer to the same office.

  2. 9-13-2007


    I agree with the author of this article. From my citations of Ignatius, he did not agree with us.


  3. 9-14-2007

    “Where will I find authority – in the texts of Scripture or in the early understandings of those texts?”

    Perhaps the writings of these early Christians could help us read the scriptures in new light. However, the quotations you’ve listed are hard to reconcile with scripture and for me only serve to show how quickly we can depart from Christ’s message. Did Ignatius have access to the gospels and epistles or only a few of them?

    Jesus intended that we develop the Father’s character, not that we usurp his authority in the lives of other believers. I know I’m overly sensitive because of where I am in my walk with God, but quotes like this give me the shivers (“…with the bishop presiding in the place of God,”). Thank God the Mosaic priesthood has been put away and we are all brothers and sisters with one Father and one Lord. I will gladly honor a brother or sister for their wisdom, character and service whether or not they are recognized for what they are – an elder. However the days in which I will give honor to a title or position irrespective of the character or service of the person in that “office” are rapidly coming to a close.
    Alan, I’m sorry for the mini-rant, but I think this reveals something else that is more on-topic. Namely, I have come to trust my own understanding of scripture above that of Ignatius or even our current generation of spiritual leaders. If I can’t reconcile a teaching with scripture I have learned to dismiss that teaching – regardless of how estemed and prominent the preacher may be.

  4. 9-14-2007

    “Where will I find authority – in the texts of Scripture or in the early understandings of those texts?”

    “Namely, I have come to trust my own understanding of scripture above that of Ignatius or even our current generation of spiritual leaders.”

    Wow, Brent I am sorry but I find this a really scarey proposition on your part. It is exactly this attitude — that we are each our own god when interpreting sctipure — that has led to the total chaos we have today in understanding what the scriptures have to say.

    I know that my own understanding is full of my own culural and personal biases. If I want to understand scripture I look to the testimoney of Christians across the ages for wisdom. In this we can find the eternal truth that transcends culture or person. But until we respect other’s wisdom more then our own we will never escape our own prejudice.

  5. 9-14-2007


    I don’t really see any necessary confusion from these texts.

    Igantius assumes that the normal situation is to have one bishop per area. However, when writing to the church at Philipi he doesn’t say that they have a bishop just that this is the norm. They may not have had a bishop at that time which may be why Polycarp did not mention one.

    As for the didache mentioning appointing bishops plural how do you know whether they were appointing more then one bishop to one area or appointing one bishop each for several areas? I would use Igantius’ much clearer writing to interpret what the Didache is saying and say that the latter is the case.

    I hate to say this but I think that you are reading your own ideas (I think it shows that the early church struggled with some of the same questions that we struggle with today?) into the texts and not truly trying to reconcile them.

  6. 9-14-2007

    The Church Fathers have long held a fascination for me. One question I am going to ask Jesus when I get to Heaven is, what happened in the gap between the writing of the final pages of the NT canon, and what we begin reading about in the writings of the early Church Fathers? How could things get so jumbled in such a short amount of time?

    One of the best articulations on this comes from Beresford Job in his “Early Church Fathers” series. By the time John the Apostle dies in the late 90’s AD, to the writings of Clement around the same time period, there is a shift in leadership structures that doesn’t appear in Canonical writings of the NT.

    It would seem the church has taken more of its cues from the early church fathers, than we do from the NT itself. The whole early church fathers is truly a fascinating subject for me personally.

    Anyway, good post on what is to me an interesting subject.

  7. 9-14-2007


    I hope more younger people take your advice re the church fathers, especially regarding careful, critical reading.
    Cade’s response, as well as that of Guy, are much appreciated.
    The only historical figures who can be truly relied upon are those whom God inspired to write the 66 books of the Scriptures.

  8. 9-14-2007


    Actually, I enjoyed your “mini-rant”. Though some disagree, I think it is wise to weigh the writings of any man against Scripture. And when we weight what someone says against Scripture, we should always see Scripture come out on top.

    C Grace,

    Yes, we bring presuppositions into any text, whether it is the text of Scripture or the text of the apostolic fathers. I admit that I have presuppositions. I hope you will admit the same. For example, when the Didache says to choose “bishops and deacons”, you suggest that this could be a single bishop in many different areas. Would you suggest the same for deacons? One deacon for each area? If not, why not? This would seem to be consistent with your understanding of choosing bishops.

    Similarly, is it possible to explain away the differences between these texts? Possibly. But, I hope that you can also see that these texts are different: “The bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons” is different than “the bishops and the deacons” which is also different than “the presbyters and the deacons”.

    Could it be that in explaining these differences you are also reading your ideas into these texts by trying to reconcile them?


    I think there are two dangerous extremes: 1) ignoring the church fathers and 2) holding the church fathers as authoritative. I try to find a balance between the two.

    I have not read that series by Beresford Job. Thank you for pointing it out to us.

    Aussie John,

    I was going to ask if you were old enough to remember these guys that I wrote about, but I decided that would be in poor taste. 😉

    I agree that a careful, critical reading of the church fathers can be very beneficial to any follower of Jesus Christ.


  9. 9-14-2007

    Oh! Alan,

    I can see that you are a very discerning fellow, but, how could you disclose my secret?

    As I can no longer hide the fact, I must tell you that I was speaking with my old mate Papias the other day and he said,”I will not hesitate to add also for you to my interpretations what I formerly learned with care from the Presbyters and have carefully stored in memory, giving assurance of its truth. For I did not take pleasure as the many do in those who speak much, but in those who teach what is true, nor in those who relate foreign precepts, but in those who relate the precepts which were given by the Lord to the faith and came down from the Truth itself. And also if any follower of the Presbyters happened to come, I would inquire for the sayings of the Presbyters, what Andrew said, or what Peter said, or what Philip or what Thomas or James or what John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples, and for the things which other of the Lord’s disciples, and for the things which Aristion and the Presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, were saying. For I considered that I should not get so much advantage from matter in books as from the voice which yet lives and remains.”

    Eusebius reckoned that Papias had spoken of the Gospels thusly,”Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lord’s sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements. Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could.”

    I suspect you already know that Irenaeus said that my mate,Papias, was “a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, a man of primitive times”.

    I suppose it had to come out sooner or later.

  10. 9-14-2007

    Aussie John,

    Thank you for the eyewitness testimony! 🙂


  11. 9-15-2007

    Here are Beresford Job’s “Traditions” .mp3s for free download. They are very intriguing to listen to. They caused no small stir amongst our elders:

    Scroll down to “The ‘Traditions of the Elders’ series is now available FREE in MP3 format” and click on it. It should take you to

    Alan, I’d appreciate your thoughts after taking the time to listen to them.

  12. 9-15-2007


    Thank you for the link. I will not have to time to listen to the mp3 files today. Perhaps I’ll be able to listen to some of them tomorrow. However, from my reading of the early church fathers, I agree with Beresford Job’s conclusion that most of our traditional beliefs and practices about the church come from the apostolic fathers instead of from Scripture.


  13. 9-15-2007


    “Could it be that in explaining these differences you are also reading your ideas into these texts by trying to reconcile them?”

    Certainly. I admit it 🙂 See the last paragraph of my previous comment.

    Actually I was not trying to say that either my presentation nor yours was right, just that there were valid alternatives to what you proposed.

    In all of this we pray, we research and in the end we are left never being sure what is right. In this God makes certain that our faith remains in Him and not in our own knowledge.

  14. 9-15-2007

    C Grace,

    As long as we can both recognize the presuppositions that we bring to these texts, then I think we should be able to discuss them. Thank you for this comment.


  15. 9-17-2007

    c grace,

    Thank you for your word of caution. Because of my current situation I am probably projecting a more critical spirit and less humble spirit than I would like. I suspect that is what you are picking up on. In that I have taken your rebuke to heart.

    Now concerning our source of authority: Everything we know about Jesus comes from one of three sources – the Bible, personal experience and tradition (which includes what others teach us as well as our unspoken religious culture). While ideally these three should agree, they do not always do so. How we live out our walk with God is greatly influenced by the relative weight we give to each of these three sources.

    I trust the testimony of Jesus and the apostles as written in the New Testament above that of my own spiritual experiences or tradition. I always compare what I believe God is telling me with the Bible, and I always compare what my pastor and other teachers tell me with the Bible. I don’t think doing so is presumptuous or makes me a god. Rather I rely on the same Holy Spirit who inspired the scriptures to help me to understand and live them. I follow the good example of the Berrien’s who checked Paul’s testimony against the scripture before accepting it.

    Jesus spoke to poor, uneducated people. I do not think we need a PhD in order to understand his message. Rather, we need the Holy Spirit’s power to live it. I wholeheartedly agree with you that we should compare our understanding of the scriptures with that of other believers (across the ages or across town) to make sure we are hearing the same message. However, Paul taught that if he himself or even an angel were to preach another gospel than he had already taught, that the people were not to follow it. Since the apostles themselves had to deal with false teaching we should expect no different. Is strong leadership the best defense against false teaching? Should we follow our church leaders as if they were God? That is what I heard Ignatius saying. When I “look to the testimony of Christians across the ages for wisdom” I see not only the words of their testimony, but the fruit of their testimony. Church history reveals that putting our leaders in the place of God produces some truly rotten and bitter fruit. Perhaps that’s why Jesus told us not to do it.

  16. 12-31-2007

    First of all, I commend you for even reading the letters of Ignatius. Too many people today read the writers of our own generation without even considering reading the writings of people who actually knew the apostles and could get real live commentary on the Scriptures (e.g., “What did you mean by when you said _____”).

    I think you highlight some interesting differences between various early Christian writings. However, regarding differences in the writings of Polycarp and Ignatius, it seems to me that too much is made of these differences (i.e., are they differences in emphasis or signs of deep disagreement?).

    There are several things that makes me lean this way regarding Polycarp and Ignatius.

    1) As c grace has mentioned, yours is not the only viable interpretation of these passages. Additionally, there are several facts that make it a less likely interpretation that others. A couple of these are as follows.

    A) You seem to say that Polycarp doesn’t believe in the concept of a bishop, while he is universally regarded as being himself the bishop of Smyrna. If he didn’t believe in the concept of a bishop, then wouldn’t he put that into practice in the city where he lived himself?

    B) Both Ignatius and Polycarp where disciples of St. John. Having as the source of their doctrine, the same apostle, and having been lived at the same time, it would seem unlikely to me that they would come to such stark disagreement over church structure. Was John inconsistent/defficient in training the next generation of leaders? Were they inconsistent in following his instructions?

    C) Polycarp and Ignatius seem to be good friends. Polycarp never refutes what Ignatius writes. In fact, he sends along writings from Ignatius to the Philippians, highly commending them without reservation. “Polycarp 13:2 The letters of Ignatius which were sent to us by him, and others as many as we had by us, we send unto you, according as ye gave charge; the which are subjoined to this letter; from which ye will be able to gain great advantage. For they comprise faith and endurance and every kind of edification, which pertaineth unto our Lord. Moreover concerning Ignatius himself and those that were with him, if ye have any sure tidings, certify us”

    It would seem from his sending along the letter of Ignatius to Polycarp without reservation, that he intended the Philippians to follow its instructions, even regarding fidelity to the bishop.

    I hope I don’t sound entirely pesimistic regarding your highlighting of differences between the Didache, Ignatius and Polycarp. I do find the possible reasons for these fascinating to discuss and think there may be something to the differences between the didache and Polycarp/Ignatius. However, I think that Ignatius and Polycarp have much more in common regarding their ecclesiology than is presented here.


  17. 12-31-2007


    Thank you again for the comment. I enjoy reading the apostolic fathers. However, I do not view their writings as authoritative. I do not find it strange that people who learned from the apostles might have modified or added to their teachings. I think we still see this today. Instead, I would expect this to happen. I think we see a clear picture of this in the three writings that I mentioned here. I think the difference between Ignatius (one bishop, multiple presbyters, and multiple deacons) and Polycarp (the presbyters and the deacons, without mention of a bishop) is more than a difference of emphasis. In fact, Ignatius told Polycarp and the church in Smyrna to follow his monoepiscopal pattern. Polycarp did not seem to continue that pattern, choosing instead to teach a two-part leadership structure without a bishop. Of course, once the church became more structured, Ignatius’ teachings better fit with their organization. Thus, Ignatius’ teaching concerning the bishop became more prevalent than either the Didache or the teachings of Polycarp.

    By the way, I think it is interesting that you mentioned the apostle John as the teacher of both Ignatius and Polycarp. I wonder why John did not find it necessary to teach that there should be a single bishop in any of his letters?


  18. 1-1-2008


    I’ve know Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox. None of them consider the writings of Ignatius to carry the same authority as Scripture, if that is what you are implying. What I was referring to was a relative trustworthiness. Personally, I think somebody who learned from the mouth of the apostle John himself is a little less likely to miss the big picture on something like how the church should be organized over the next 20 years than someone today than someone (pretty much anyone) who is 1900 years removed.

    Regarding why John or Scripture in general isn’t more clear regarding church structure, I don’t believe the Bible is an instruction manual. Lots of details are left out or left less than crystal clear. Jesus himself didn’t seem to tell the apostles what to do about the uncircumcised during his life on earth, so it doesn’t surprise me that details regarding church organization are less than clear in Scripture. Also, since most of the epistles are written for encouragement and correction, the details of church structure doesn’t seem to me like the kind of thing that would get much attention. When the apostles evangelized and appointed leaders in a particular city, it seems to me that they would have communicated the detailed instructions orally when in town, instead of leaving and then writing to tell folks how things were supposed to be set up. I think Shaun Groves did a good job recently in communicating the lack of clarity that we find in Scripture regarding the details of communal worship, and I have similar thoughts on the clarity of Scripture regarding ecclesiology/hierarchy.

    One thing I’m a bit unclear on, is whether you think Polycarp was the bishop of Smyrna or whether you think he practiced what you say he taught? Would you mind clarifying that? All the historical documents that we have point to Polycarp being the bishop of Smyrna. Do you think that they are incorrect or that he did not practice what he taught?

    Honestly, your reasoning on the nature of the differences between Polycarp and Ignatius strikes me as something along the lines of a person who says that George Washington’s Aunt Sue didn’t believe that fathers should be honored and obeyed because in her *one* surviving letter to her nephew George, she only encouraged him to obey his mother and his school teachers. This idea would be even more tenuous if in the same letter, the dearly departed Aunt Sue told her nephew G.W. to read the Colossians 3 and Ephesians 6 and take them to heart. Personally, I’m not very hung up on the fact that Polycarp doesn’t emphasize the role of the bishop or even talk about it, given that he seems to be one himself and says in his one extant letter that his readers should read the letters of Ignatius that were adjoined to his own letter, with the commendation that they “comprise faith and endurance and every kind of edification, which pertaineth unto our Lord.”

    Anyway, I’m not saying that I find it absolutely impossible to fathom that your interpretation of Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippians is correct, just highly improbable. Once again, I commend you for picking up the early church fathers (Ignatius and Polycarp are much less popular than Warren/Hybels/Barna/Benedict). I also mean no disrespect by my disagreement over interpretation. I’m sure your a bright fellow who sincerely desires to follow Christ.


  19. 1-1-2008


    I do not doubt that people considered Polycarp to be the bishop of Smyrna. The question is, “Did Polycarp consider himself to be the bishop of Smyrna?” In all of his letter, Ignatius made sure that everyone knew that he was the former bishop of Antioch. Polycarp did not make the same claim for himself.

    I appreciate the interaction. I do not take any offense at all when someone disagrees with me. I know that I am wrong – probably in many cases. I enjoy reading the thoughts and opinions of other people as well.


  20. 3-28-2012

    We have the structure of elders (plural), deacons (plural), and preacher(s) on the basis of Acts 14:23; 1 Tim. 3, and Phil. 1:1 among other passages. In the Philippian letter, Epaphroditus was the preacher/minister among elders and deacons (2:25, 29). However, the lack of such qualified men would not render an assembly incapable of being a body of Christ.

  21. 3-28-2012


    Thanks for the comment. I can’t find “the preacher” in any of those passages. And, if I remember correctly, Epaphroditus was an apostle (according to Paul) sent by the Philippians to help Paul. Are you sure that you’re not reading our current structures back into Scripture?



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