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exhorted to do was simply that of a "person who, being attached to no particular church, was sent by the apostle as was necessary, either for the purpose of founding new churches, or of confirming those which were already established." 45
(c) Titus was not bishop of Crete.
Like Timothy, Titus was an evangelist. He received similar instructions and performed similar labors. Like Timothy, he also travelled too much for a stationary prelate. From Syria we trace him to Jerusalem; thence to Corinth; thence to Macedonia; back again to Corinth; thence to Crete; thence to Dalmatia; and whether he ever returned to Crete is wholly uncertain. He was left at Crete, therefore, not as bishop of that diocese, but as an assistant of the apostle, to establish the churches, and to continue the work which the apostle had begun. "After Paul had laid the foundation of the Christian church in Crete," says Neander, "he left Titus behind, to complete the organization of the churches, to confirm the new converts in purity of doctrine, and to counterwork the influence of the false teachers." 46
From all this there appears to be no scriptural foundation for considering either Timothy, established as bishop of Ephesus, or Titus, of Crete. Dr. Whitby, himself a zealous advocate of Episcopacy, assures us that he could find nothing in any writer of the first three centuries concerning the Episcopate of Timothy and Titus; nor any intimation that they bore that name. "Certain it is," says Campbell, also, "that in the first three centuries, neither Timothy nor Titus is styled bishop by any writer." He journeyed much with Paul, and was left in Crete, like Timothy at Ephesus, to render, in behalf of the apostles, a similar service to the churches on that island.
45 Beausobre, quoted by Mant and d'Ogly, on Acts 21; 8.
Of the same general character, also, was Silvanus, 1 Thess. 1: 1. 2 Thess. 1: 1. Comp. 1 Pet. 5: 12; and Mark, Col. 4: 10. 1 Pet. 5: 13; and Clemens, Phil. 4: 3, and several others. Silas is first the travelling companion of Paul and Barnabas in Asia Minor; then of Paul, in his second missionary tour through Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Achaia; and, at a later period, the companion of Peter in the Parthian empire. Mark, also, was first the.companion of Paul and Barnabas; then, after their separation, of Barnabas in Cyprus; and afterwards of Peter in the Parthian empire; and from thence he accompanied him to Rome.
No one of the apostles, therefore, nor Timothy, nor Titus, nor any of the evangelists, acted in the capacity of bishop of any church or diocese. In neither has this higher grade any representation; nor has the prelatical doctrine of Episcopal supremacy and apostolical succession the least foundation in Scripture.47
(d) The angel of the church in the apocalyptic epistles was not a bishop.
On this subject, we shall present the reader with the exposition of several distinguished scholars, and submit it to him, whether this phraseology supports the prelatical claims of Episcopacy. The views of Neander are briefly given in his Introduction.48
By the kindness of Prof. Stuart, we here offer the following exposition from his unpublished commentary on Revelation:
"The seven angels have given occasion to much speculation and diversity of opinion. Are they teachers, bishops, overseers? or is some other office designated by the word äɣɣɛlos, angel, here ?
"1. Old Testament usage; viz., the later Hebrew employ the word ayyeλos, to designate a prophet. Hag. 1: 13, also a priest. Mal. 2: 7, and Ecc. 5: 6. As priests, in 48 Page 21.
47 Comp. Rothe, Anfänge, 1, p. 305, seq.
the appropriate sense of the word, did not exist in the Christian churches (for they had no Mosaic ritual of sacrifices and oblations), so we must compare yyɛlos here with , prophet, in Hag. 1: 13. Пgoñτaι, prophets, there were in the Christian church. See 1 Cor. 12: 28. Acts 13: 1. 1 Cor. 14: 29, 32, 37. Eph. 2:20. 3: 5. 4: 11. Taken in this sense, the word designates here the leading teacher in the Asiatic churches. The nature of the case would seem to indicate a leader here, else why should he be especially addressed as the representative of the whole body in each of the Christian churches? But,
"2. Another exposition has been given. Vitringa49 has compared the ayyelos of the apocalypse with the way nhự of the Jewish synagogues, which means legatus ecclesiae [the representative or delegate of the church], and compares well with ayyelos exxhnoías [angel of the church], as to the form of the phrase. The office of the individual thus named was to superintend and conduct the worship of the synagogue; i. e., he recited prayers, and read the Scriptures, or invited others to perform these duties; he called on the priests to pronounce the final benediction, in case he himself was not a priest; he proclaimed the sacred feasts, and, in a word, he superintended the whole concerns of religious worship, and evidently took the lead in them himself. He was a προεστώς, or an ἐπίσκοπος [a superintendent or overseer], and also a didáσzalos, teacher, in a greater or less degree. Comp. John 3: 10. The best account of his office is in Schoettgen, Horae Heb., p. 1089, seq., who has pointed out some errors and deficiencies of Vitringa. The nature of the case shows that the superior officer is, in this instance, and should be, addressed. He is probably called the angel of the church, in conformity to
49 De Vet. Synagoga., p. 910, seq. As an interpretation of the Hebrew phrase, the English reader may read, as often as it occurs, the ruler of the synagogue.
the Hebrew Chaldee by (possibly in reference to Hag. 1: 13, or Mal. 2: 7), and may be called legatus ecclesiae, because he is delegatus ab ecclesia [delegated by the church], in order that he may render their public devotions to God, and superintend their social worship. Exactly the limits of the office and its specific duties neither the word, ayyelos, explains, nor does the context give us any particular information.”
The learned Origen affirms, that the angels of the churches were the noоεσtores, the presiding presbyters, the same of whom Justin, Tertullian, and Clemens Alexandrinus speak, in the extracts which are given below, in their order.50
The exposition given below is from the learned Dr. Delitzsh, of Leipsic, the associate of Dr. Fürst, in preparing his Hebrew Concordance. The writer himself is a man of profound erudition in all that relates to Hebrew and Rabbinical literature, who, by our particular desire, furnished the article for us in a late visit to that city.
“The ἄγγελοι τῆς ἐκκλησίας, angels of the churches, are the bishops; or, what in my opinion is the same in the apostolical churches, the presbyters of the churches. The expression, like many others in the New Testament, is derived from the synagogue, which may be regarded as the parent source of the Christian church, having remained essentially unchanged for a long time after the overthrow of the temple service. The office of the as no corresponds entirely with that of bishop or presbyter of the apostolical churches.
"1. The 3 nhw bears this name as the delegatus ecclesiae, the delegate of the church, who was elected by them to exercise and enjoy the privileges and prerogatives of a presiding officer in their assemblies. It was his duty
Προεστώτας τινὰς τῶν εκκλησιῶν ἀγγέλους λέγεσθαι παρὰ τῷ Ιωαννῃ ἐν τῇ ἀποκαταλύψει.-De Orat., § 34.
to pray in the name of the assembly, to lead in the reading of the Scriptures, to blow the trumpet, the D on the opening of a new year; and, in the absence of those who belonged to the priesthood, the D2, to pronounce the Aaronitic benediction. So far as the performance of this rite is concerned, the priests themselves are the . The original passages are given by Schoettgen.51 So high and important was the office of this 1 h, and so nearly did it correspond with that of bishop or presbyter, that the name of the former might be applied to the latter. "The signification of the term may also be learned from the Aramaean term, the . This officer of the synagogue, the 3 h, was regarded as bringing before God the prayers of the people, which were considered as their spiritual offering. It appears from the Jerusalem Talmud, that when one was invited to ascend the pulpit to offer public prayers, the language of the invitation was, not Come and pray,' but 'Come hither, and present our
"The office of the as n did not, indeed, include the duty of a public teacher; for the office of public preaching was not established as a permanent institution, but had its origin within the period of the Christian dispensation.
"I have thus shown that the appellation, angel of the church, was used to designate the presiding officer of the Christian church, with particular reference to the sho of the synagogue. Still, as a name of an office, the angel of the church may have a meaning somewhat higher. Such a meaning it may have, with reference, retrospectively, to the of the Old Testament.53 So that the angel of the church may, at the same time, denote the
51 Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae ad Apoc., 1, p. 1089, seq.
52 Berachot, c. 4, f. 206. Comp. Zunz, Die gottesdienstlichen Vorträge der Juden.
53 Comp. Malachi 2: 7, and Haggai 1: 13.