Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ordination - Evidence from the New Testament - Acts 13:3 - Part 4 of many

Acts 13:3 uses the same terminology for the laying on of hands as Acts 6:6. Preceding this practice, the Holy Spirit had instructed the believers at Antioch to aphorizô, “set apart, appoint,” Paul and Barnabas for the work to which He had called them. Therefore the first element to note in this passage is that there was a prophetic word from the Holy Spirit (v. 2). The second is that prayer and fasting was central to the event (v. 3). Third, as in the Acts 6 passage, there is ambiguity as to who laid hands on them: the prophets and teachers or the congregation.[1] Fourth, as in the passage above, the commissioning in this passage does not seem to denote any transfer of power, but could be interpreted as the creation of representatives of the church in Antioch. The return to Antioch of Paul and Barnabas to give a report to the church about the work that God had been doing through them (Acts 14:26-27) could give credence to a representative understanding of their commissioning.

[1] Culpepper, “The Biblical Basis for Ordination,” 479. For example, note that Culpepper leans toward the whole congregation while Bruce believes it is their “colleagues” who laid their hands on them (F.F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts, 246).

No comments:

Join my blog network
on Facebook