1Timothy discusses qualifications for elders. But given the fact that there were elders there when Paul visited in Acts 20, isn't it possible that there was a problem with the existing elders, as opposed to the need to appoint them? Given all the problems Timothy was asked to deal with by Paul, it would seem the elders had not kept the charge to guard the flock. Apart from the very unlikely possibility that all the elders had died, it seems likely the elders in Ephesus had not lived up to their calling. Your thoughts? -- James Hamann
I agree. The eldership had already been installed--many years before, in fact. But from within their own number, as Paul predicted, false teachers had risen up. Some of the elders had gone bad. I do agree with your observation about the situation of 1 Timothy compared to that of Titus. 1 Timothy 3 gives qualifications -- a sort of filter to be applied to the existing (not just future) eldership. Titus reflects a less developed situation.
The person who first pointed this out to me was my brother, Steve, in a lesson he delivered in Cincinnati in 2003. I do not know why it eluded me all these years. Yes, I think you are right.
This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2005. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.