The Ministry Leadership Gifts from a Messianic Jewish Perspective

The Ministry Leadership Gifts from a Messianic Jewish Perspective

Introduction

 The ministry leadership gifts found in Ephesians chapter four are often understood and applied to modern-church government from a post-Nicaea (A.D. 325) perspective. However, the apostles and early believers would have understood the leadership model of Ephesians four from a Jewish perspective, and most certainly would have patterned leadership and congregational liturgies after their cultural understandings. In essence, early Messianic Judaism would have established congregational governments patterned after the concepts of shepherds (elders) and post-exilic leaders (priestly families still available after the destruction of the first temple, synagogue leaders, and rabbis) instead of Hellenistic patterns.

The dilemma, however, was for Jewish leaders like the Apostle Paul and the Jerusalem Council to establish a religious government that was inclusive to both Jews and non-Jews. At the same time, they had to recognize God’s calling for non-Jews to join in on the commonwealth of Israel without undergoing forced conversions to the known Judaisms at that time. Furthermore, considering leadership models, one cannot ignore the Hellenistic influences, which were replete among Judaism and even towards the apostle Paul who was more so under Roman rule by being born in Tarsus. However, one must not dismiss the apostle’s Jewish upbringing like many other Jewish families in the Diaspora, which is often the case among Christian scholarship. Although Roman ruled and influenced by Hellenism, his family remained Jewish. Paul’s credentials attest to his Jewish rearing, including being chosen by Rabbi Gamaliel as one of his disciples and being trained in Jerusalem as a Pharisee. His list of credentials are impressive: “circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel; from the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the Torah, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting Messiah’s community; as for Torah righteousness, found blameless” (Philippians 3:5-6).[1] Therefore, it is a logical presumption that Paul established congregations across the Roman world with that Jewish perspective in mind, not necessarily the possible Hellenistic influences.

The new challenge for the Apostle Paul and others, then, was how to create a form of religious government, which allowed for the observance of the Torah to a culture of people who were ignorant to the Torah and, for the most part, to the beliefs of the Jewish people. Essentially, the leaders within the messianic movement had to form a government where polytheism was eradicated and monotheism was practiced by faith under the lordship of a Jewish messiah in a Roman-ruled world. Thankfully, the Jewish believers were up for the challenge because they believed, rather, they accepted their responsibilities within the greater calling that all the nations of the earth would be blessed, and that Jesus (Yeshua) was not only the Messiah to the Jewish people but the Messiah to all the nations under the New Covenant (Psalm 45:18[17]).

Looking at the surface to New Testament government established by the apostles and the Jerusalem Council, it is evident that newly formed congregations remained within the scope of already established Jewish patterns. For example, the early believers remained faithful to temple cult practices (daily prayers, holy days, etc.) (Acts 2:42ff; 3:1), worshiped with fellow Jews in local synagogues and homes (Acts 5:42), gathered for weekly Havdalah services, which separated the Sabbath from the remainder of the week (Acts 20:7-12), collected tzedakah (charity) for the weekly distribution of food to the poor (Acts 6:1-7, et al.), remained kosher to the times (Acts 15), and listened to the teachings of the Torah (Acts 2:42). These are all in line with the traditions of Judaism during antiquity, and they remained that way for many years if not for several centuries among the Jewish believers. However, below the surface, the leadership model of Ephesians four emerges: “He Himself gave some to be shlichim [apostles], some as prophets, some as proclaimers of the Good News, and some as shepherds and teachers—to equip the kedoshim [holy ones] for the work of service, for building up the body of Messiah” (Ephesians 4:11-12). Thus, questions now arise as to why and how these leadership gifts emerged within the apparent Jewish congregational model: Primarily, were they already conceived in the Jewish leadership model of synagogues and rabbis, or were they created out of necessity, similar to that of Jethro’s advice to Moses (Exodus 18:14ff)?

This paper will primarily concern itself with modern messianic congregations and its leadership model for such congregations; however, modern churches will also have to concern themselves with similar questions. Is the typical pattern of one pastor per congregation the preferred model? Does a plurality of leaders make more sense? And, if so, then does a church take on a more modern approach by mimicking any successful multi-leader church? Regardless, the model for leadership as outlined in the books of Acts and Ephesians must work for both messianic congregations and modern churches, because the evidence seen in those books (et al.) has already attested to its success among Jews and Gentiles during antiquity. Therefore, a closer look at how the leadership gifts in Ephesians works within the established perimeters of messianic congregations is where this paper rests. Furthermore, due to limited space, this paper will not encompass a conclusive approach to this leadership model, but will, hopefully, start the discussion anew and help formulate healthier congregations throughout the world’s messianic communities.

The Ministry Leadership Gifts from a Messianic Jewish Perspective

During the second Temple period, rabbis were already beginning to receive primary recognition for being teachers of the Torah with the leading rabbis of the Pharisaical sect enacting oral traditions (oral laws) as binding halakhic[2] rulings for the common Jewish person’s observance. And, although other rabbinical sects denied the authority of the Oral Law (Sadducees and Essenes of Qumran), the Pharisees had the favor of the majority of the Judean people.[3] The Sadducees rejected the Oral Traditions, and argued solely for the written, recognized canon of the Jewish people at the time.[4] The Essenes rejected the temple and its ruling bodies completely—that of the Pharisees and Sadducees, collectively, the Sanhedrin—believing that those bodies were bought by Rome.[5] As such, the Essenes saw themselves as the only viable sect of God’s people; thus, they considered themselves the “Sons of Zadok” (The high priest of King David), and followed the teachings of the “Teacher of Righteousness,” whose identity has never been established among modern scholarship, despite the attempts to do so.[6]

The gospel accounts reveal that Yeshua recognized the established Jewish hierarchy and the established temple; he recognized the rabbis and their beliefs; he submitted to the ruling Sanhedrin; he observed the temple rites and customs of the day; and, he recognized the seat of authority in which the rabbis sat.[7] The majority of the time he taught in public places and oftentimes corrected the misinterpretations behind the leading schools of Jewish thought, which reveals that he was well versed in the oral traditions despite his disagreements with many of those interpretations. Furthermore, Yeshua was well educated and respected as a rabbi among the ruling rabbis, which reveals that he was not simply a carpenter with elementary training in the Torah until his bar mitzvah,[8] like he is so often depicted; rather, he grew in both stature and wisdom and obtained favor with both God and men (Luke 2:52). Therefore, he was a learned man of the Torah, the culture, and the common practices of the Judean people.

Prior to establishing the ideal leadership model for messianic congregations, however, the character and role of a leader needs to be addressed. Although, the New Testament presents the character of the leader, this model neglects the role of an elder for by which the Tanakh gives many examples. 1 Timothy gives a clear picture of what the character of a leader is. It states:

An overseer, then, must be beyond criticism—the husband of one wife, clear-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine, not violent but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money, managing his own household well, keeping his children under control with all respectfulness. (But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s community?) He must not be a new believer or he may become puffed up and fall into the same judgment as the devil. Furthermore, he must have a good reputation with those outside, so that he will not fall into disgrace and the devil’s trap.

Shammashim [Servants-Deacons] likewise must be dignified, not double-speaking, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. Also, let them first be tested—then let those who are blameless serve as shammashim. Women likewise must be dignified, not backbiting; clear-minded, trustworthy in every respect. Let shammashim be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who have served well as shammashim gain for themselves a good standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Messiah Yeshua (1 Timothy 3:2-13, et al.).

Even though there are other New Testament passages which speaks to the office of an overseer, and do not need to be referenced at this time, there are two primary passages, which give insight into the role or the work of an overseer; simply, he shepherds the flock of God. The first passage is seen when the Apostle Paul calls for a meeting of the elders of the Ephesus congregation and then instructs them to, “take care of yourselves and all the flock of which the Ruach ha-Kodesh has made you overseers, to shepherd the community of God—which He obtained with the blood of His own” (Acts 20:28). The second passage is found in 1 Peter where Peter not only identifies with them as a fellow elder but also as a witness and fellow partaker of the glory about to be revealed; thus, he instructs them to: “shepherd God’s flock among you. Watch over it not under compulsion but willingly before God, nor for dishonest gain but eagerly. Don’t lord it over those apportioned to you, but become examples to the flock. When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:2-4).

Thus, the work of an overseer is to first recognize that the sheep (God’s flock) was bought with the Chief Shepherd’s blood; therefore, the sheep do not belong to the under shepherd, but to the Chief Shepherd, Yeshua. Therefore, an under shepherd is one who serves the people at the request and will of the Chief Shepherd, not on his own authority but God’s. The under shepherd must take heed to the heavy responsibility that he has been given; he is not to be a controlling shepherd, but a training shepherd (Ephesians 4:11). Second, under shepherds are to set good examples for the sheep, not out of compulsion but out of an eagerness to serve. In doing so, the elders of the flock of God partake in the glory about to be revealed and are fellow witnesses to that fact. The under shepherds, then, are not to instruct only, but set outward examples of excellence in serving the flock.

Shepherds in the Tanakh were the way of the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses, being raised in royalty, had to be groomed as a shepherd under the authority of his father-in-law for forty years before he was entrusted by God to care for the flock of Israel. Shepherds were the first to see the Messiah after hearing the herald of angels’s praises. God’s heart is bent toward the shepherd, because only shepherds in return will have hearts for the sheep of God. Shepherds understand that they have to serve (service) the sheep with many provisions for the sheep to thrive and survive; therefore, what better personality types to govern the work of congregational leadership but shepherds.

According to Jeremiah, God makes a promise to his people by saying, “. . . and I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:14-15). It is not enough that a person desires to be in leadership, but that he is willing to be used as a servant so that God will establish him as a shepherd. The apostle Paul makes this clear when he writes to Timothy, “If any man aspires to the office of overseer [shepherd, pastor, elder, bishop, church leader, etc], he desires a good work” (1 Timothy 3:1b). This good work can also be translated as a noble task. It is good and noble because it is not for those who want the elite status or the pay or the recognition; rather, for those whom must set examples for those entrusted to them.

In his book, Shepherds after My own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible, Timothy S. Laniak states, regarding the promise of shepherds in Jeremiah, “This short promise also speaks of a capacity to care for God’s flock with self-sacrificing diligence and compassion. It is not just ‘heart’, [sic] however, but ‘after my own heart’ that matters. A good shepherd is one who sees what the Owner sees and does what the Owner does. He is a follower before he is a leader. He is a leader because he is a follower.”[9] Laniak further states, “The shepherds whom God judges in the Bible are those who forget that the people in their care are not their own.[10] Therefore, shepherds are the ideal personalities for biblical leaders from both the Old and New Testament perspectives.

Shepherds protect their sheep from wolves, which according to the Gospel of John 10:1-21, are false shepherds—not the devil—but false shepherds. Therefore, shepherds must work together in ministry to guard the sheep and make sure they are protected from false teachers, doctrines, and worldly influences. This is where the categories of shepherds come to fruition regarding the leadership gifts in Ephesians chapter four. Not only are shepherds (pastors) responsible for the protection of the sheep, but they are called to serve through utilizing their gifts, which brings to light the need for more than the standard, Western church model of one pastor or one congregational leader or one messianic rabbi. Even then, it is debatable labeling the leaders or pastors as senior, associate, or the like; rather, the biblical model seems appropriate for the task to simply call them elders (shepherds or pastors as well).

Out of the five under shepherds called to train and equip the body of believers (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) (Ephesians 4:11), although all are elders, one is doubly anointed or pointed out as an “elder-shepherd.” Meaning, that although this person is an elder he is more so an elder-shepherd or pastor, having a strong, leading desire to shepherd the flock of God under his care. In his book, Effective Keys to Successful Leadership: Wisdom and insight for God’s Set Man and the Ministry Leadership Team, Frank Damazio refers to this person as the Set Man.[11]

Damazio defines this Set Man as:

A helmsman who stands in his leadership position to direct and manage the church in all areas of spiritual life and vision. He steers the ship according to his God-given gift to lead, his biblical knowledge of the God-given vision and his proven character. He has the ability to raise up leaders and work in a team-like manner in order to equip the church for their God-given task. The Set Man is the senior pastor of the local church, or the key leader in any organization.[12]

As this Set Man works with the other elders they form what is modernly called the, local congregational (church) government; therefore, this “form of church government clearly established in Scripture is theocratic in nature.[13] Thus, Damazio adds:

It is not autocratic, governed by one man. It is not bureaucratic, governed by a few. It is not democratic, governed by the people. In a theocracy, God chooses, calls, and equips certain persons to be leaders and rulers for His people. He delegates a measure of authority to them, according to His will. New Testament local church leaders are identified as elders.[14]

However, denominations have taken the place of local congregational governments by already having certain polities in place, which do the governing over the local congregation. For example, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (ICFG) is a pastor-led organization with the Set Man or Senior Pastor as the main leader of the local congregation. He is not required by the ICFG bylaws to establish elders but he may do so if he chooses; even then, the elders merely play an advisory role.[15] He may also hire supporting staff and leaders for ministerial tasks, but the senior pastor is the only one specifically held responsible for the local church at the denominational level. If issues were to arise between the elders and the pastor, the pastor can simply dismiss the elders and continue on in ministry. However, the caveat to this government is that one person may feel he is the only one who can hear from God to lead the local congregation; albeit, an elder or the senior pastor.

Therefore, denominations can appear to take on the role of a modern Sanhedrin, but rarely are their roles designed to do so; rather, they, too, take on an advisory role only dealing with major church issues. Typically, they are called in to help orchestrate pastoral searches, church discipline, and other issues like finances, but they are removed from spear-heading any local ministry decisions, which rests on the shoulders of the pastor; typically, one pastor.

On the other hand, there are organizations more so in-line with the biblical model such as Tikkun International, which exists to be a modern-type of Sanhedrin for messianic congregations and messianic ministries which are not governed by denominations. Their overview of ministry states, “Tikkun International is a Messianic Jewish umbrella organization for an apostolic network of leaders, congregations and ministries in covenantal relationship for mutual accountability, support and equipping to extend the Kingdom of God in America, Israel, and throughout the world.[16] Thus, they form a group of emissaries or apostolic ministers for the care of globally-scattered messianic congregations.

Again, regarding local congregations, elders are merely what the Tanakh describes as shepherds. Therefore, the idea that the five-fold ministry for local messianic synagogues has to be made up of super-leaders from super-Bible-colleges is a misnomer; rather, it should be made up of super-servants who qualify accordingly, but nevertheless, servants first, then knowledgeable students of the Scriptures. Furthermore, super-servants (elders) or ministerial department heads (eldership roles) listed in Ephesians must be made up of qualified, servant-shepherds according to the litmus test outlined in 1 Timothy, and then function within those ministry gifts listed in Ephesians: apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral, and able to teach. This is vital for any healthy gathering of God’s people regardless of whether these leaders are called shepherds, rabbis, pastors, bishops, etc.

Where the modern-day congregational structure has been misled, is that it looks to tradition first and then biblical mandate. For example, most congregations are led by a pastor or a messianic rabbi and most synagogues have a ruling rabbi. The average pastorate lasts approximately 3.6 years while the average rabbinate lasts 8 years.[17] Although the differences between tenures may simply be contractual processes, the reality is that profession and tradition guide the shepherds of most congregations. Pastors are usually appointed or voted in while rabbis are typically chosen and then given a contract to sign with different timeframes. Pastors and rabbis are typically discouraged after their tenures if they are the sole ministers of their congregations, which, in turn, leave discouraged parishioners.

Oftentimes, in their letters, when the apostles addressed the leaders of any congregation, they always greeted a plurality of elders or shepherds. Furthermore, they would, at times, call out elders that were causing trouble and hardships or were teaching false doctrines, (e.g., 1 Timothy 1:3-7). Additionally, New Testament passages seem to refrain from addressing just one leader per congregation; but rather, it addresses several within a congregation and charges them with watchful shepherding.

Answering the previously mentioned questions as to why and how these leadership gifts in the Ephesians model emerged into New Testament congregational governments are: Yes to both. Yes, these leadership models were primarily conceived in the Jewish leadership model of synagogues and rabbis, and yes, they were they created out of necessity, similar to that of Jethro’s advice to Moses. What seemed easy for the Jewish people’s way of thinking—elders, priests, Levities, and rabbis—seemed strange to a culture of people who considered being servants in worship to a deity substandard to human dignity. Despite the common “worship” of polytheistic gods, the Greek culture would not have succumbed to the servant-hood of the gods in the same way the Jews would have subjected themselves to YHWH of the Tanakh. In his book regarding slaves or redeemed slaves (servants), Don N. Howell states:

The Greeks placed great value on personal autonomy, that is, freedom from subjection to the will of someone or something outside of oneself. Plato, Aristotle, the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, and Philo all employ the doulos [doulos, slave]- group in a derogatory sense, as the forfeiture of opportunity for self-determination that is at the heart of meaningful existence. To be subject to the will of another is to be stripped of one’s dignity and is thus a condition that is contemptible.[18]

Understanding that the Greeks used two distinct words: one word for slaves (doulos), and another word for servants (diakonos) will bring illumination as to why the Jewish authors of the Septuagint used therapon or doulos instead of diakonos (the New Testament usage of the word servant) when describing Moses and King David as the servants of the Lord (Joshua 1:2; 1 Kings 11:13). The Jewish authors understood that serving YHWH was not compared to being slaves as they were forcefully employed to do so in Egypt under the Pharaohs, but it was a privilege to serve YHWH or it was their free-will duty to be a slave in the sense of a beloved servant.

During the second temple period, the Jews saw themselves as redeemed slaves while the Greeks saw a distinction between being a slave, a house-servant, or a freedman able to choose. This, in no way, dismisses the fact that there were slaves in the Greco-Roman culture and that they did not believe in the usage of them. Indeed, they believed in using slaves for all sorts of manual labor; however, the idea of what a slave was in the Greco-Roman world was viewed differently among the Jewish people during the same period. Therefore, when considering the ministry gifts of Ephesians four, one has to consider the cultural differences to completely understand that being a servant for the Lord in service to his people was not only a privilege and a duty, but a responsibility. The antithesis to this privilege is, of course, having an earned status where leaders are expected to be the elite rather than the lowly, serving humbly as under shepherds to the greater Shepherd, God and ultimately his son.

CONCLUSION

The leadership model found in Ephesians chapter four is not only the desired model but it is the essential model for local messianic congregations; frankly, the health of the congregation depends on this model being established at the local level. Without such a model, the congregation is partially equipped despite attempts from rabbis and pastors claiming several callings in two or more categories of being an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor, or a teacher. The five-fold-ministry model emerged prior to the birth of the Jewish believers in and throughout the scattered synagogues of antiquity, and then continued as the preferred model for Jewish believers, even after gentiles were installed into those existing congregations.

These leaders should consist of servant-elders first, and then qualified-elders according to the litmus test in 1 Timothy. These elders were also knowledgeable, and Torah equipped, which would have been the standard for many Jewish believers because of their culture in raising up and training disciples. The Jewish people considered study in the Torah the greatest of all endeavors to fulfill the commandments; however, Jewish believers also understood the necessity for servant-leaders, because they recognized the hypocrisy of the non-believing Pharisees and Sadducees, witnessing the Messiah’s disapproval with their abuse of authority over the common people (Matthew 12:1-14).

Elders in the local congregation are responsible for the culture of Messiah in and out of the synagogue; thus, their roles are vital for the health of the growing messianic community. Apostolic-elders are responsible for the approach to the commandments and how they are observed according to their customs among the Jewish people as believers in the Jewish Messiah (halakhot). Prophetic-elders are responsible for the reality of the Scriptures and the presence of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) within the ministry of the local congregation and how they apply to everyday life for the individual as well as the whole community. Evangelistic-elders are responsible for training and equipping the believers to carry out the gospel message to the all the people, Jew and Gentile. Pastoral-elders care and feed the sheep with love, prayer, comfort, and discipline; making sure all the sheep are being cared for. And, although all of these roles are to be defined in elders, this shepherd-elder, more so than the rest, has a heart for the sheep like that of God for his people. Finally, the teaching-elders are responsible for all aspects of teaching. Their focus is assuring that the Torah of both the Tanakh and New Covenant as New Covenant believers and its application to modern-day hermeneutics is carried out to both children and adults. Again, these ministries are a must in the local messianic congregation.

Collectively, these elders are respectfully accountable to one another as they are further accountable to the overall Jewish community, locally and nationally. Furthermore, ministries like Tikkun International give the local congregation a place for accountability through all of these ministries in a Sanhedrin-style approach, offering qualified apostolic ministers to help care for the local congregation in more than an advisory role. This “Sanhedrin” group actually confronts, discusses, interprets, and applies proper halakhic methods and mandates, albeit, prayerfully and carefully under the guidance of the Ruach HaKodesh for messianic worship. This is not unlike the Jerusalem Council in the book of Acts (15:1-35). This method of ministerial approach differs from denominations, which are oftentimes inventors of smaller, clone-like churches holding to the doctrinal stances of the greater denomination. If the denomination, for example, forbids speaking in tongues, then the organizational congregations hold to the same doctrine, unless, of course, they are no longer a part of that denomination.

This suggested messianic approach to New Testament leadership or government argued in this paper will challenge many, if not most, patterned models found in both messianic Jewish congregations and Christian churches. However, it is one that can be considered a balanced approach for both Jew and non-Jew to worship and learn together while remaining distinct in cultural differences, and yet unified in similarities to their faith: having one God as one redeemed people, Jew and Greek. The key to this approach, then, is how the ministry gifts function at the local level and the greater levels respectively. Changing from traditional methods to biblical methods can become overwhelming; however, the more traditional approach continues to offer status quo ministries and burnt-out leaders. And, although, the limited space available in a small term paper cannot be an exhaustive work on the subject, it can facilitate a dialogue among Messianic and Christian leaders for a better, more biblical model to congregational leadership. Simply doing a Google search on “Christian denominations,” one will discover that by mid-2013, based on current trends, there will be approximately forty-four thousand Christian denominations worldwide.[19] This trend should concern every leader of God’s kingdom. Denominations are not the answer. Proper, biblical leadership as servants first, then working in harmony and submission towards one another is what the world needs.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

REFERENCE WORKS

Messianic Jewish Shared Heritage Bible, JPS-TLV. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 2012.

Neusner, Jacob., general editor. The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1st Edition, 2011.

Neusner, Jacob. The Mishnah: A New Translation, electronic edition. New Haven, CT; London, England: Yale University Press, 1988.

Soukhanov, Anne H., executive editor, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, s.v. “halakhah,” electronic edition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co, 2011-2013.

Whiston, William. The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, electronic edition, includes index. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1987. Antiquities XVIII, i 2, i 5.

BOOKS

Damazio, Frank. Effective Keys to Successful Leadership: Wisdom and Insight for God’s Set Man and the Ministry Leadership Team. Portland, OR: City Bible Publishing, 1993.

Howell Jr., Don N. Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003.

Laniak, Timothy S. Shepherds after My own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible, New Studies in Biblical Theology 20. Downers Grove, IL: Apollos, InterVarsity Press, 2006.

Levy, Raphael. “’First Dead Sea Scroll’: Found in Egypt Fifty Years Before the Qumran Discoveries,” in Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls: A Reader from the Biblical Archaeology Review, Shanks, Hershel, ed. New York, NY: Vintage Books, A Division of Random House, Inc., 1992.

Vermes, Geza. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. London, England: Penguin Classics, revised edition, 2004.

WEBSITES

TikkunInternational.org, “About Us.” Overview [article on-line]; available from, http://tikkuninternational.org/aboutus.php; Internet; accessed 3 September 2013.

Churchmusictoday.wordpress,com, Three Point Six: The Tenure of Ministry, Part One of Two [article on-line]; available from, http://churchmusictoday.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/three-point-six-the-tenure-of-ministry-part-one-of-two/; Internet; accessed 20 August 2013.

Foursquare.org, Handbook for the Operation of Foursquare Churches, “16.1 Local Church Officers,” s.v. “D. Other Officers and Offices-Appointed (Bylaws, Article 16.2),” [article on-line]; available from, http://www.foursquare.org/handbook/english.pdf; Internet; accessed 4 September 2013.

Gordonconwell.edu, “Documents,” Status of Global Mission, 2013, in the Context of AD 1800-2025 [article on-line]; available from, http://www.gordonconwell.edu/resources/documents/StatusOfGlobalMission.pdf; Internet; accessed 4 Spetember 2013.


                [1]Messianic Jewish Shared Heritage Bible, JPS-TLV (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 2012). All Scriptural quotations will be used from the MJSHB unless otherwise noted. Furthermore, because this Bible uses the Jewish Publication Society’s numbering system in its version of the Old Testament, this paper will follow that system; however, the Christian numbering system will be in brackets if there are any discrepancies.

                [2]The, American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, executive editor

Anne H. Soukhanov, s.v. “halakhah,” electronic edition (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co, 2011-2013) defines halakhah as: The legal part of Talmudic literature, and interpretation of the laws of the Scriptures. No page is given.

                [3]The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, translated by William Whiston, electronic edition, includes index (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1987), Antiquities XVIII, i 2.

                [4]The Law of Moses (Genesis-Deuteronomy), the Prophets, and the Writings, commonly referred to as the Tanakh.

                [5]Josephus, XVIII, i 5.

                [6] Raphael Levy, “’First Dead Sea Scroll’: Found in Egypt Fifty Years Before the Qumran Discoveries,” in Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls: A Reader from the Biblical Archaeology Review, Hershel Shanks, ed. (New York, NY: Vintage Books, A Division of Random House, Inc., 1992), pp. 63-79.

                [7]There are recent discussions about this passage and its meaning (Matthew 23:1-4). The majority-held position is that Yeshua was endorsing the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees, while rejecting the teachings of the Sadducees. The less argued position is that the experts in the law and the Pharisees had to make legal rulings pertaining to civil matters and other binding rules like marriage, divorce, property rights, and disputes outside of the Sanhedrin’s scope. Although both positions can be supported in the Biblical texts, the latter position appears to be more in line with the other teachings in the New Testament as well as the Old Testament. See Exodus 18, specifically verses 13-16; Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17; and Nehemia Gordon, The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus: New Light on the Seat of Moses from Shem Tov’s Matthew (Hilkiah press, 2005).

                [8]Although the bar mitzvah may be different today, there was what the rabbis considered the stages of a man’s life: See Jacob Neusner, The Mishnah: A New Translation, electronic edition (New Haven, CT., and London England: Yale University Press, 1988), Pirkei Aboth 5:21 A.

                [9]Timothy S. Laniak, Shepherds after My own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible, New Studies in Biblical Theology 20 (Downers Grove, IL: Apollos, InterVarsity Press, 2006), p. 22.

                [10]Ibid.

                [11]Frank Damazio, Effective Keys to Successful Leadership: Wisdom and Insight for God’s Set Man and the Ministry Leadership Team (Portland, OR: City Bible Publishing, 1993).

                [12]Ibid, p. xv.

                [13]Ibid., p. 3.

                [14]Ibid.

                [15]International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Handbook for the Operation of Foursquare Churches, “16.1 Local Church Officers,” s.v. “D. Other Officers and Offices-Appointed (Bylaws, Article 16.2),” June, 2013 < http://www.foursquare.org/handbook/english.pdf> (4 September 2013).

                [16]Tikkun International, About Us, “Overview, <http://tikkuninternational.org/aboutus.php> (3 September 2013).

                [17]Church Music Today, “Three Point Six: The Tenure of Ministry,” (Part One of Two), by Dennis Cook, July 18, 2011 <http://churchmusictoday.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/three-point-six-the-tenure-of-ministry-part-one-of-two/> (20 August 2013).

                [18]Don N. Howell Jr., Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003), p. 11.

                [19]See <http://www.gordonconwell.edu/resources/documents/StatusOfGlobalMission.pdf> for more information.

By Adrian A. Bernal, Copy Right 2013, All Rights Reserved

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About adrianabernal

I committed my life to the Messiah, Yeshua in 1985. In 1987 I attended bible college in Dallas, TX., where I discovered my rich heritage as a Spanish Jew (Sephardic). Like most Sephardim, I was raised more Catholic than Jewish--I can thank the Spanish Inquisition for that--however, we were for the most part not a religious family. I eventually graduated and have continued on to obtain the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) in Biblical Counseling and Jewish Studies, and a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Jewish Studies with Columbia Evangelical Seminary, in Washington State. I have pastored both churches and Messianic congregations since 1993. Currently, I travel and speak at several churches, synagogues, and Messianic congregations in Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado. For the past 26 years I've engrossed myself in studies on Judaism, Messianic Judaism, and Christianity. In doing so, I have an extensive background in all three disciplines, which gives me a balanced perspective on the complete Bible, both the Tanakh (O.T) and the B'rit Chadashah (N.T.). I have been married for 25 years to my wife Jennifer, and I have three wonderful children: Nathan, Adam, and Rebekah. I am also a golf teaching professional and enjoy fellowship with my Jewish and Christian brothers and family. If you'd like me to come and speak at your place of worship, please do not hesitate to email me or call. Thank you.
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