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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Various Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part Two)

Don Stewart :: Is Pastor/Teacher One Gift or Two?

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Is Pastor/Teacher One Gift or Two?

The Various Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part Two) – Question 3

There is some question as to whether the gift of pastor/teacher is one spiritual gift or two. The Apostle Paul wrote the following to the Ephesians about pastor/teacher.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11 NKJV).

Some translations render the last part of the verse, “and some to be pastor/teachers.”

Many assume that pastor and teacher are the same gift – they are not two separate gifts. Those who hold this view believe that this is the only dual gift among the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, all pastors would be teachers and all teachers would be pastors.

The Argument from Greek Grammar

Some attempt to support this position by appealing to Greek grammar. Both nouns in the Greek are governed by only one article. Therefore it is assumed that they both refer to the same thing. Consequently the two nouns are interchangeable.

This View Is Not Grammatically Correct

However, this view does not seem to be grammatically correct. While the same article in Greek governs both nouns they are both “plural” nouns.

When we find this same construction other places in the Greek New Testament these two groups are not interchangeable. One group is a part, or subset, of a larger group. In this case, pastors are a part of a larger group: teachers.

Therefore, this makes it grammatical unlikely that they refer to the same thing.

Pastor and Teacher Are Linked Closely but They Are Not the Same Gift

While the Apostle Paul is linking the two closely together, it is better to regard pastors as a subset of part of a larger group, teachers. In other words, all pastors are teachers, but not all teachers are pastors.

Summary – Question 3
Is Pastor/teacher One Gift or Two?

Paul wrote to the Ephesians about the gift of pastor/teacher. The spiritual gift is often assumed to be one gift rather than two.

One of the arguments in favor of this view is grammatical. Since both nouns are governed by one article in the Greek text it is assumed that they refer to the same thing. Thus, pastor and teacher are assumed to be interchangeable terms.

However, the grammatical argument actually seems to speak against them referring to the same group. This particular Greek construction is not speaking of the same things when plural nouns are in view as we find them here. Thus, it is better to say that a pastor is a different gift or office than that of a teacher.

Consequently, it is proper to conclude that all pastors are teachers but not all teachers are pastors.

Can Women Have the Gift of Pastor? ← Prior Section
What Is the Gift of Teaching? Next Section →
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