Thursday, January 31, 2008

GREEK PREPOSITION AND OUR RELATIONSHIP TO ELDERS

The Eldership, called the "Presbytery" or the "board of Elders", is invested by God with authority to oversee and shepherd the church. The diagram (from here) shows some relevant Greek prepositions related to the topic of Elders' authority. The prepositions indicate a relationship between things and actions.
Obey your leaders (literally, 'the ones leading you', present tense) and submit to them, for they keep watch over (again, present tense verb) your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. - Heb. 13:17
In Hebrews 13:17 there are two specific verbs which the author uses to describe the relationship of the church to the spiritual leaders. The first is a command to "submit to". That verb is a compound word which means to "yield under", "under" being the preposition 18. HUPO (see under the circle). The other verb in Hebrews 13:17 is translated "the ones watching over", as in they are watching over the souls of the Christians. That word is also made of two words. The root has the idea of being "sleepless" or "keeping watch" and the preposition connected to it is 17. HUPER, or "over": So the ones you are "yielding under are the ones watching over your souls". The two prepositions, HUPO and HUPER, help us to see the relationship that the godly Shepherds have over the flock. Because God has placed upon the Shepherds a great deal of responsibility, He necessarily invested the office with sufficient authority. According to the two commands "obey" and "submit/yield under", the church must recognize that authority and permit the Elders to do their work.

As an aside, notice how 6. eis, shows direction "into" and 7. ek shows direction "out from". The preposition eis always has this prospective (looking ahead, forward) meaning as we see in Matthew 26:28 and Acts 2:38 so that Jesus blood is shed unto (prospective, with a view to) the remission of sins and baptism is for or with a view to forgiveness of sins. I have it on good authority that the preposition eis is never retrospective as in "because of" (Not even in Matthew 12:41 is it retrospective when Nineveh repented "at/eis/for" the preaching of Jonah; they repented with a view to the blessing that would come if they repented).

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