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Study Resources :: Dictionaries :: Elder, Eldest

Dictionaries :: Elder, Eldest

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Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
A-1 Adjective Strong's Number: g4245 Greek: presbuteros

Elder, Eldest:

an adjective, the comparative degree of presbus, "an old man, an elder," is used

(a) of age, whether of the "elder" of two persons, Luk 15:25, or more, Jhn 8:9, "the eldest;" or of a person advanced in life, a senior, Act 2:17; in Hbr 11:2, the "elders" are the forefathers in Israel; so in Mat 15:2; Mar 7:3, 5; the feminine of the adjective is used of "elder" women in the churches, 1Ti 5:2, not in respect of position but in seniority of age;

(b) of rank or positions of responsibility,

(1) among Gentiles, as in the Sept. of Gen 50:7; Num 22:7;

(2) in the Jewish nation, firstly, those who were the heads or leaders of the tribes and families, as of the seventy who assisted Moses, Num 11:16; Deu 27:1, and those assembled by Solomon; secondly, members of the Sanhedrin, consisting of the chief priests, "elders" and scribes, learned in Jewish law, e.g., Mat 16:21; 26:47; thirdly, those who managed public affairs in the various cities, Luk 7:3;

(3) in the Christian churches, those who, being raised up and qualified by the work of the Holy Spirit, were appointed to have the spiritual care of, and to exercise oversight over, the churches. To these the term "bishops," episkopoi, or "overseers," is applied (see Acts 20, ver. 17 with ver. 28, and Tts 1:5, 7), the latter term indicating the nature of their work, presbuteroi their maturity of spirtual experience. The Divine arrangement seen throughout the NT was for a plurality of these to be appointed in each church, Act 14:23; 20:17; Phl 1:1; 1Ti 5:17; Tts 1:5. The duty of "elders" is described by the verb episkopeo. They were appointed according as they had given evidence of fulfilling the Divine qualifications, Tts 1:6-9; cp. 1Ti 3:1-7; 1Pe 5:2;

(4) the twenty-four "elders" enthroned in heaven around the throne of God, Rev 4:4, 10; 5:5-14; 7:11, 13; 11:16; 14:3; 19:4. The number twenty-four is representative of earthly conditions. The word "elder" is nowhere applied to angels.
See OLD.

A-2 Adjective Strong's Number: g4850 Greek: sumpresbuteros

Elder, Eldest:

"a fellow-elder" (sun, "with"), is used in 1Pe 5:1.

A-3 Adjective Strong's Number: g3185 Greek: meizon

Elder, Eldest:

"greater," the comparative degree of megas, "great," is used of age, and translated "elder" in Rom 9:12, with reference to Esau and Jacob.

B-1 Noun Strong's Number: g4244 Greek: presbuterion

Elder, Eldest:

"an assembly of aged men," denotes

(a) the Council or Senate among the Jews, Luk 22:66; Act 22:5;

(b) the "elders" or bishops in a local church, 1Ti 4:14, "the presbytery." For their functions see A, No. 1, (3).


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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