I’ve never published two separate blog series at the same time. But, that’s what seems to be happening this week… although by accident.
Yesterday, I asked if you would be willing to describe/define what you think the NT authors meant by the spiritual gifts / spiritually gifted persons that they called apostles, prophets, evangelists, etc. (See my post “http://www.alanknox.net/2012/07/apostle-prophet-evangelist-pastor-teacher-servant-helper-etc-wh-and-what-are-they/”) I once read a commentary on Ephesians in which the author of the commentary spent twelve pages (yes, 12 pages) defining each of the spiritual gifts listed in Ephesians 4:11. (That’s over 2 pages per word that Paul used to describe the spiritual gifted individuals.)
My good friend Art left several good comments on that post (that I link to above). But, I want to point out these statements in particular:
I still can’t find enough in scripture to distinguish too neatly between apostles, prophets, and evangelists. I once thought I did, and had pages in support of the differentiation. But it all hinges (as far as I’ve been able to piece together) on too small a thread in scripture.
Maybe God didn’t have in mind that we create neat definitions for each “gift” of the Spirit, administration of the Lord, and operation from God.
I’ve reached a similar conclusion in the past. The authors of Scripture used terms such as “apostle,” “prophet,” “evangelist,” etc. but they never defined those terms for their readers. They never told them exactly what those spiritually gifted people did or did not do as it related to those terms.
Why do you think the authors of the New Testament chose not to define what they meant by those terms as they related to spiritual gifts and spiritually gifted people?