Monday, December 31, 2012

Receiving a pastor in the name of a pastor

According to The New Interpreter’s Bible, the phrase εἰς ὄνομα προφήτου found in Matthew 10:41 is a Semitic expression that means “because one is a prophet.”  Wesley’s Notes gives a similar definition— “That is, because he is such.”

Hence the NIV translates Matthew 10:41—“Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward.”

The definition of εἰς ὄνομα προφήτου from Joseph Henry Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament is more expansive and thought-provoking-- “By a usage chiefly Hebraistic the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is roused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i. e. for one's rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds, etc.; thus, εἰς ὄνομα προφήτου, out of regard for . . . . the name of prophet which he bears, equivalent to because he is a prophet” (

What, I wonder, is roused in the mind by the name “pastor”?  When a congregation receives you in the name of a pastor what do you hope is being raised in their minds?  What would you like them to receive with open arms and enthusiasm?  What pastoral reward will the hospitable congregation also receive?  What would you add to Thayer’s list?

rank—ordained elder
authority—to serve the mission of the Church and lead members to do the same
interests—Wesleyan spirituality
pleasure—Koine Greek
command—planning worship, preaching and writing
excellences—finishing what I start
deeds—a book and an app
etc.—ongoing research on Greek testament and today’s means of grace especially advocacy as a work of mercy and pastoral leadership as a prudential means

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