SPECIAL TOPIC: ELDER
1. used of the angels of God who make up the angelic council (cf. Isa. 24:23). This same terminology is used of the angelic creatures of Revelation (cf. 4:4,10; 5:5,6,8,11,14; 7:11,13; 11:16; 14:3; 19:4).
2. used of tribal leaders (zaqen) in the OT (cf. Exod. 3:16; Num. 11:16). Later in the NT this term is applied to a group of leaders from Jerusalem who made up the high court of the Jews, the Sanhedrin (cf. Matt. 21:23; 26:57). In Jesus' day this seventy-member body was controlled by a corrupt priesthood.
3. used of the local leaders of a NT church. It was one of three synonymous terms (pastor, overseer, and elder cf. Titus 1:5,7; Acts 20:17,28). Peter and John use it to include themselves in the leadership group (cf. 1 Peter 5:1; 2 John 1; 3 John 1).
4. used of older men in the church, not necessarily the leadership (cf. 1 Tim. 5:1; Titus 2:2).
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