to the church. The imposition of hands (verse 3) is by the presbyters as representatives of the whole church. The subject in verses 2 and 3 is ?the church? ? (represented by the presbyters in this case). The church sends the missionaries to the heathen and consecrates them through its elders.?
<441524> Acts 15:24, 22, 30 ? ?the brethren appointed that Paul and Barnabas and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem...And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church and the apostles and the elders...Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas...So they...came down to Antioch; and having gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle?; <470819>2 Corinthians 8:19 ? ?who was also appointed by the churches to travel with us in the matter of this grace? ? the contribution for the poor in Jerusalem; <441423>Acts 14:23 ? ?And when they had appointed ceirotonh>santev for them elders in every church? ? the apostles announced the election of the church, as a College President confers degrees, i.e., by announcing degrees conferred upon by the Board of Trustees. To this same effect witnesses the newly discovered Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, chapter 15: ?Appoint therefore for yourselves bishops and deacons.?
The derivation of ceirotonh>santev , holding up of hands, as in a popular vote is not to be pressed any more than is the derivation of ejkklhsi>a from kale>w . The former had come to mean simply ?to appoint,? without reference to the manner of appointment, as the latter had come to mean an ?assembly,? without reference to the calling of its members by God. That the church at Antioch ?separated? Paul and Barnabas and that this was not done simply by the five persons mentioned, is shown by the fact that, when Paul and Barnabas returned from the missionary journey, they reported not to these five but to the whole church. So when the church at Antioch sent delegates to Jerusalem, the letter of the Jerusalem church is thus addressed: ?The apostles and the elders, brethren, unto the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Celica? ( <441523>Acts 15:23). The Twelve had only spiritual authority. They could advise but they did not command. Hence, they could not transmit government since they had it not. They could demand obedience only as they convinced their hearers that their word was truth. It was not they who commanded, but their Master.
Hackett Com. on Acts ? ceirotonhsantev is not to be pressed, since Paul and Barnabas constitute the persons ordaining. It may possibly indicate a concurrent appointment in accordance with the usual practice of
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