Pastor

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Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [1]

Pastor, Shepherd

A well-known office of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost delights to set forth Jesus under this lovely character in all his word. Sometimes he represents him as the Great Shepherd, ( Hebrews 13:20) —and sometimes he calls him the Good Shepherd, which giveth his life for the sheep, ( John 10:11) —and by his servant the prophet Zechariah, he calls him JEHOVAH'S Shepherd, ( Zechariah 13:7) —and by Peter, the Chief Shepherd, holding him forth to the under pastors of his flock as a glorious pattern for them to follow, assuring them that when the Chief Shepherd shall appear "they shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." ( 1 Peter 5:4) And to distinguish him from every other, and as the only Shepherd of Jehovah to whom the flock is given, and who alone was, and is, able to purchase it with his blood, and to preserve it by his power, by his servant the prophet Ezekiel, he is expressly called the one Shepherd; "I will set up one Shepherd over them, and he shall feed them." ( Ezekiel 34:23)

The Holy Ghost hath not only thus delighted to mark the sweet features of his character, but hath given the several features also of his office. "He shall feed his flock" (saith the Lord, by the prophet Isaiah,  Isaiah 40:11) "like a shepherd." And how is that? Surely, from a knowledge of their persons, their wants, their desires, their abilities, Jesus graciously makes suitable provision for every one, and for all. It is his flock the church, both from the Father's gift, his own purchase, the conquests of his grace, and the voluntary willingness of his people in the day of his power. "He calleth his own sheep by name:" they shall all pass (saith the Holy Ghost, by the prophet Jeremiah,  Jeremiah 33:13) "under the hands of him that telleth them." Hence, from a knowledge of their number, their persons, their wants, and necessities, it is impossible that one can be overlooked, forgotten, neglected, or lost. He saith himself, "My sheep shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." Oh, the precious office and character of the Lord Jesus as the Pastor and Shepherd of his people! He feeds, he protects, he heals, he watches over, restores when wandering, and gathers them out from all places whither they have wandered in the cloudy and dark day, and leads them in the paths of righteousness, for his name's sake.

Jesus hath his under pastors also, by whom he feeds and directs his flock; hence the Lord, by Jeremiah, promised,"I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which, shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." ( Jeremiah 3:15) And a whole chapter is spent by the prophet Ezekiel, ( Ezekiel 34:1-31, in reproving the evil pastors who abused their office, and fed themselves of the flock, and not their people. Sometimes princes and governors are called pastors; thus David is said to have been taken from the sheepfold to be ruler over the Lord's people Israel. ( 2 Samuel 7:8)

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [2]

Literally a shepherd; figuratively a stated minister appointed to watch over and instruct a congregation. Of the qualifications of ministers we have already made some remarks under that article; but the following, taken from the works of a spiritual and useful writer, we hope, will not be found superfluous. Jesus Christ's description of an evangelical pastor,  Matthew 24:45 , includes two things, faithfulness and prudence. "If a minister be faithful, he deceives not others; and if he be prudent, he is not apt to be deceived himself. His prudence suffers not deceivers easily to impose upon him; and his faithfulness will not suffer him knowingly to impose upon his people. His prudence will enable him to discern, and his faithfulness oblige him to distribute wholesome food to his flock. But more particularly,

1. "Ministerial faithfulness includes pure and spiritual aims and intentions for God,  Philippians 2:20-21 .

2. Personal sincerity, or integrity of heart,  Nehemiah 9:8 .  1 Corinthians 2:12 .

3. Diligence in the discharge of duty,  Matthew 25:21 .  1 Timothy 5:21 .

5. An unshaken constancy and perseverance to the end,  Revelation 2:10 . But the Lord's servants must not only be faithful, but prudent, discreet, and wise. Fidelity and honesty make a good Christian; but the addition of prudence to fidelity makes a good steward. Faithfulness will fix the eye upon the right end; but it is prudence must direct to the proper means of attaining it.

The use of prudence to a minister is unspeakably great: it not only gives clearness and perspicacity to the mind, by freeing it from passions and corporeal impressions, enabling it thereby to apprehend what is best to be done, but enables it in its deliberations about the means to make choice of the most apt and proper; and directs the application of them in the fittest season, without precipitation by too much haste, or hazard by too tedious delay. 2. "Prudence will direct us to lay a good foundation of knowledge in our people's souls by catechising and instructing them in the principles of Christianity, without which we labour in vain.

2. Ministerial prudence discovers itself in the choice of such subjects as the needs of our people's souls do most require and call for.

3. It will not only direct us in the choice of our subjects, but of the language, too, in which we dress and deliver them to our people.

4. It will show us of what great use our own affections are for the moving of others; and will therefore advise us, that, if ever we expect the truths we preach should operate upon the hearts of others, we must first have them impressed on our own hearts,  Philippians 3:18 .

5. It will direct us to be careful, by the strictness and gravity of our deportment, to maintain our esteem in the consciences of our people.

6. It will excite us to seek a blessing from God upon our studies and labours, as knowing all our ministerial success entirely depends thereupon."  1 Corinthians 3:7 .

See Flavel's Character of an Evangelical Pastor, in the second Volume of his Works, p. 763, fol. ed. and books under article Ministry

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

 Ephesians 4:8-11 states that pastors and teachers were among the risen Christ’s gifts to the church. The grammatical link between the two words in the original language indicates that they refer to the same people, pastor-teachers.

Another point that is clearer in the original language than in English is the connection between the words ‘pastor’, ‘shepherd’ and ‘flock’. All come from the same Greek root. A pastor, or shepherd, is one who leads and cares for God’s flock, the church ( John 21:15-17;  Acts 20:28-29;  1 Peter 5:1-4). In referring to leaders of God’s people as shepherds, the New Testament writers were following a well established Old Testament usage of the word ( Numbers 27:17;  Isaiah 63:11;  Jeremiah 50:6; see Shepherd ). But whereas the shepherd-leaders of Israel were often concerned only for themselves ( Ezekiel 34:2-6), the Christian’s example of a shepherd-leader, Jesus Christ, gave himself for the flock ( Matthew 9:36;  Matthew 10:6;  John 10:1-15;  1 Peter 5:1-4).

One reason why pastors must also be teachers is that their means of feeding the flock is the teaching of the Word ( Acts 20:28; see TEACHER). Some may move from place to place, spending periods of varying lengths in different churches ( Acts 11:25-26;  Acts 20:31). Others may be settled residents of particular localities, and most likely be elders in their local churches ( Acts 20:28-32;  Colossians 4:12-13). Elders must have pastoring abilities ( 1 Peter 5:1-4) and teaching abilities ( 1 Timothy 3:2). Their leadership and care of the church involves feeding it on teaching that is wholesome and protecting it from teaching that is harmful ( Acts 20:29;  1 Timothy 1:3-7;  1 Timothy 6:3-21;  Titus 1:9; see Elder ).

It is not the duty of the pastor-teachers to carry out all the service of God in the church. They must not encourage the Christians to be totally dependent on them. On the contrary they should use their God-given gifts in such a way that all the Christians are better equipped to carry out God’s service and better able to understand Christian teaching. In this way individual Christians will grow to spiritual maturity and the church as a whole will be built up ( Ephesians 4:11-16; cf.  Ezekiel 34:2-6).

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography [4]

Pastor (1). This name is connected with traditions of the Roman church which though accepted as historical by Baronius and other writers including Cardinal Wiseman (Fabiola p. 189) must be rejected as mythical. These traditions relate to the origin of two of the oldest of the Roman tituli those of St. Pudentiana and St. Praxedis which still give titles to cardinals and the former of which claims to be the most ancient church in the world. The story is that Peter when at Rome dwelt in the house of the senator Pudens in the vicus Patricius and there held divine service his altar being then the only one at Rome. Pudens is evidently intended as the same who is mentioned 2Ti_4:21. His mother's name is said to have been Priscilla and it is plainly intended to identify her with the lady who gave to an ancient cemetery at Rome its name. The story relates that Pudens on the death of his wife converted his house into a church and put it under the charge of the priest Pastor from whom it was known us "titulus Pastoris." This titulus is named in more than one document but in all the name may have been derived from the story. Thus in the Acts of Nemesius pope Stephen is said to have held a baptism there (Baronius a.d. 257 n. 23). Our story relates that the baptistery had been placed there by pope Pius I. who often exercised the episcopal functions in this church. Here the two daughters of Pudens Pudentiana and Praxedis having given all their goods to the poor dedicated themselves to the service of God. This church under the name of Ecclesia Pudentiana is mentioned in an inscription of a.d. 384 and there are epitaphs of priests tituli Pudentis of a.d. 489 and 528 (de Rossi Bull. 1867 n. 60; 1883 p. 107). The original authority for the story appears to be a letter purporting to be written by Pastor to Timothy (see Boll AA. SS. May 19 iv. 299). He informs Timothy of the death of his brother Novatus who during his illness had been visited by Praxedis then the only surviving sisters. He obtains Timothy's consent to the application of the property of Novatus to religious uses according to the direction of Praxedis; and baths possessed by Novatus in the vicus Lateritius are converted into a second titulus now known as of St. Praxedis. This titulus is mentioned in an epitaph of a.d. 491 (de Rossi Bull. 1882 p. 65); and priests of both tituli sign in the Roman council of 499. On this letter are founded false letters of pope Pius I. to Justus of Vienna given in Baronius (Ann. 166 i.) a forgery later than the Isodorian Decretals. Those who maintain the genuineness of the letter of Pastor are met by the chronological difficulty of connecting Pudens with both St. Paul and Pius I. It has been argued that such longevity is not impossible; and it has been suggested that Praxedis and Pudentiana were not grand-daughters of Pudens. But the spuriousness of the whole story has been abundantly shown by Tillemont (ii. 286 615).

[G.S.]

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [5]

 Ephesians 4:11 is the only passage in the NT in which ‘pastor’ occurs, although its Greek equivalent, ποιμήν, is frequent; everywhere else ποιμήν is rendered ‘shepherd.’ This exceptional translation is justified, because here only is ποιμήν used of some kind of Christian minister. It is used of Christ as ‘the great shepherd of the sheep’ ( Hebrews 13:20 from LXX_ of  Isaiah 63:11), as ‘the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls’ ( 1 Peter 2:25), and as ‘the chief Shepherd’ ( 1 Peter 5:4)-expressions suggested by Himself ( John 10:11;  John 10:14). But the metaphor is obvious, and is frequent from Homer onwards. The cognate verb ποιμαίνειν is used of tending Christian flocks; in Christ’s charge to St. Peter ( John 21:16), in St. Peter’s charge to his ‘fellow-elders’ ( 1 Peter 5:2), and in St. Paul’s charge at Miletus to the elders of the Church at Ephesus ( Acts 20:28). In  Ephesians 4:11, while ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets’ and ‘evangelists’ have each a separate article, ‘pastors and teachers’ are coupled by a common article, and probably form only one group, distinguished by being attached to particular congregations, whereas ‘apostles,’ ‘prophets,’ and ‘evangelists’ were itinerant preachers and missionaries. But ‘pastors’ and ‘teachers’ are not convertible terms; almost all ‘pastors’ would be ‘teachers,’ but not all ‘teachers’ were ‘pastors.’

Literature.-See Commentaries on  Ephesians 4:11, esp. J. A. Robinson (1903) and B. F. Westcott (1906); A. Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity2, Eng. tr._, 1908, i. 336-346.

A. Plummer.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [6]

1: Ποιμήν (Strong'S #4166 — Noun Masculine — poimen — poy-mane' )

"a shepherd, one who tends herds or flocks" (not merely one who feeds them), is used metaphorically of Christian "pastors,"  Ephesians 4:11 . "Pastors" guide as well as feed the flock; cp.  Acts 20:28 , which, with ver. 17, indicates that this was the service committed to elders (overseers or bishops); so also in  1—Peter 5:1,2 , "tend the flock ... exercising the oversight," RV; this involves tender care and vigilant superintendence. See Shepherd.

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

 Jeremiah 2:8 Jeremiah 3:15 Jeremiah 10:21 Jeremiah 12:10 Jeremiah 22:22 Jeremiah 23:1-2 Jeremiah 2:8 poimen   Ephesians 4:11 Jeremiah 23:1-4 Ezekiel 34:1-16 Luke 12:32 John 10:16 Ephesians 4:11 Ephesians 4:12-13 John 10:11 10:15 John 10:3-4 John 21:15-17

Morrish Bible Dictionary [8]

In the O.T. the word is raah, 'to feed,' and refers to those who should have succoured God's people. They, as all others, had failed; they had destroyed and scattered the sheep.   Jeremiah 2:8;  Jeremiah 3:15;  Jeremiah 12:10;  Jeremiah 17:16;  Jeremiah 22:22;  Jeremiah 23:1,2 . In the N.T. it is ποιμήν, which is applied to Christ Himself as the good Shepherd, etc. The pastor is one of the gifts in the church,  Ephesians 4:11; he is one who is gifted to help on the saints individually, enter into their trials and difficulties, and bring the word to instruct and comfort them, or to remonstrate with and counsel them if needed.

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(1): ( n.) A guardian; a keeper; specifically (Eccl.), a minister having the charge of a church and parish.

(2): ( n.) A species of starling (Pastor roseus), native of the plains of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Its head is crested and glossy greenish black, and its back is rosy. It feeds largely upon locusts.

(3): ( n.) A shepherd; one who has the care of flocks and herds.

King James Dictionary [10]

P`ASTOR, n. L. from pasco, pastum, to feed.

1. A shepherd one that has the care of flocks and herds. 2. A minister of the gospel who has the charge of a church and congregation, whose duty is to watch over the people of his charge, and instruct them in the sacred doctrines of the christian religion.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [11]

Shepherd, one whose office it is to feed and guard the flock of Christ,  Ephesians 4:11   1 Peter 5:2 . See SHEPHERD.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [12]

See Gifts Of Holy Spirit

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

pas´tẽr ( רעה , rō‛eh  ; ποιμήν , poimḗn  ; literally, a helper, or feeder of the sheep (the King James Version   Jeremiah 2:8;  Jeremiah 3:15;  Jeremiah 10:21;  Jeremiah 12:10;  Jeremiah 17:16;  Jeremiah 22:22;  Jeremiah 23:1 ,  Jeremiah 23:2 , and in  Ephesians 4:11 , the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American))): Besides the literal sense the word has now a figurative meaning and refers to the minister appointed over a congregation. This latter meaning is recognized in the translation of the King James Version. See Ministry .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

( רֹעֶה , Roch, from רָעָה , To Feed,  Jeremiah 2:8;  Jeremiah 3:15;  Jeremiah 10:21;  Jeremiah 12:10;  Jeremiah 17:16;  Jeremiah 22:22;  Jeremiah 23:1-2; Ποιμήν ,  Ephesians 4:11), A Shepherd (as elsewhere rendered). Besides this literal sense, the word is' employed figuratively in the Scriptures in somewhat the same way as it is now used to denote a stated minister appointed to watch over and instruct a congregation. (See Shepherd).

References