Ephesians 4:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,

New Living Translation
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.

English Standard Version
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

Berean Study Bible
And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,

Berean Literal Bible
And He gave some indeed to be apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers,

New American Standard Bible
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

King James Bible
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,

International Standard Version
And it is he who gifted some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, and still others to be pastors and teachers,

NET Bible
It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

New Heart English Bible
He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he gave some who are Apostles and some who are Prophets and some who are Evangelists and some who are Pastors and some who are Teachers,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts [to his church].

New American Standard 1977
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers,

King James 2000 Bible
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

American King James Version
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

American Standard Version
And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors,

Darby Bible Translation
and he has given some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers,

English Revised Version
And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Webster's Bible Translation
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Weymouth New Testament
And He Himself appointed some to be Apostles, some to be Prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers,

World English Bible
He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers;

Young's Literal Translation
and He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as proclaimers of good news, and some as shepherds and teachers,
Study Bible
Unity in the Body
10He who descended is the very one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things. 11And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,…
Cross References
Jeremiah 3:15
"Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.

Acts 13:1
In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (a childhood companion of Herod the tetrarch), and Saul.

Acts 21:8
Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea, and we went to stay at the home of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven.

1 Corinthians 12:4
There are different gifts, but the same Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:28
And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, and those with gifts of healing, helping, administration, and various tongues.

Ephesians 4:8
This is why it says: "When He ascended on high, He led captives away, and gave gifts to men."
Treasury of Scripture

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;


Ephesians 4:8 Why he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, …

Ephesians 2:20 And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus …

Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it …

Romans 10:14,15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and …

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, …

Jude 1:17 But, beloved, remember you the words which were spoken before of …

Revelation 18:20 Rejoice over her, you heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets; …

Revelation 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the …


Acts 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came …

2 Timothy 4:5 But watch you in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an …


2 Chronicles 15:3 Now for a long season Israel has been without the true God, and without …

Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to my heart, which shall feed …

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: …

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets …

Romans 12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching;

1 Corinthians 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers …

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time you ought to be teachers…

1 Peter 5:1-3 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and …

(11) He gave.--In the original "He" is emphatic--He and He alone, as the ascended Head of humanity. The word "gave," instead of the more obvious word set, or appointed (used in 1Corinthians 12:28), is, of course, suggested by Ephesians 4:8. They who are ministers of His gifts are themselves gifts from Him to the Church.

Some, apostles; and some, prophets . . .--With this passage we must compare 1Corinthians 12:28, "God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings," &c.; and, perhaps, Romans 12:6-8, "Having then gifts . . . whether prophecy . . . or ministry . . . or teaching . . . or exhortation . . .," although this last passage is lass formally apposite. In all three cases there is the same general idea, first of the one body, and then of the one Spirit, guiding and animating it through various ministries. The parallel between this passage and the passage in 1 Cor. is very close; for in the latter all that follows the words "after that" may be put aside, as describing, not special offices or ministries, but special gifts. We have, therefore, in both, "first apostles, secondly prophets." Then come, in the earlier Epistle, "teachers;" and this class, in our own later Epistle, is subdivided into "evangelists" and "pastors," both being teachers--the one in conversion of those still aliens from Christ, the other in edification of those already brought into His flock.

Some, apostles.--The name "apostles" is certainly used here in its technical and restricted sense, as applying to the Twelve, whom "the Apostle" of God Himself (Hebrews 3:1) named as His Apostles (Luke 6:13), and with whom St. Paul claims equality (see 1Corinthians 9:1; 1Corinthians 15:9-11; Galatians 1:1) on the ground of his own special mission and revelation from the same Lord. It is, indeed, used in a wider sense; sometimes with words distinctly implying a derivation and human mission, as in 2Corinthians 8:23, "apostles (or, messengers) of the churches;" Philippians 2:25, "Epaphroditus, your apostle (or, messenger);" sometimes without such qualification, as in 2Corinthians 11:5; 2Corinthians 11:13; 2Corinthians 12:11-12; 1Thessalonians 2:7; and, perhaps, Romans 16:7. But such use is rare, and cannot be applied to a passage like this, which is distinctive of a special and primary class. In direct charge from the Lord, universal scope of mission, special inspiration and power of miracle, which are "the signs of an apostle" (2Corinthians 12:12), the Apostles, properly so called, stood out in office absolutely unique and supreme. What was said of the first age of the Church is true of all ages--"of the rest durst no man join himself unto them" (Acts 5:13).

Some, prophets.--For the nature and function of prophecy in the Church, see the detailed treatment of the subject by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 14. It is sufficient here to note (1) that from very early times the "prophets" are mentioned as a separate class (see Acts 11:27; Acts 15:32; Acts 21:10), distinguished from teachers (Acts 13:1), and that, in this Epistle especially, they are spoken of, in connection with the Apostles, as receiving the revealed mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 3:5), and being (or, laying) "the foundation of the Church;" (2) that their office, like the Apostolate, is clearly extraordinary, distinct from the ordinary and permanent teaching of the evangelists and pastors, and, probably, best described by the two phrases so constantly applied to the prophets of the Old Testament--"the word of the Lord came to me;" "the Spirit of the Lord was upon me." As all God's extraordinary gifts and workings are closely correlated with His ordinary laws of operation, so in this case the apostolic and prophetic offices gradually melt away into the regular functions of government and teaching, belonging in all times to the ministry of the Church.

Some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.--In these two phrases (corresponding to the simple word "teachers" in 1Corinthians 12:28) we find described the two-fold office of the regular ministry of the Church--first, to preach the gospel to the heathen or the unconverted, and next, to fulfil our Lord's pastoral charge (John 21:15-17) of feeding and shepherding those who are already His sheep. It is clear that the same person may be invested with the two offices, as Timothy, when in pastoral charge at Ephesus, is bidden "to do the work of an evangelist" (2Timothy 4:5); and that in some degree the two offices must always be united, for the evangelist, like the apostle, is generally called upon to organise and "confirm the churches" (Acts 14:22-23; Acts 15:41), and the pastor must always find men unconverted, to whom he must be an evangelist. But the two elements of duty will co-exist in different proportions in different persons. Some were then, and are now, especially called to be "evangelists"--that is, as is shown by the career of Philip, to whom the name is first given (Acts 21:8), to be, under the apostolic guidance, missionaries to the unconverted; others to be "pastors and teachers," feeding now with "pure milk of the word," now with "solid meat" (see 1Corinthians 3:2, and Hebrews 5:12), those already gathered into the fold, and exercising over them the pastoral authority solemnly committed by our Lord to His ministers. Yet both can discharge only under limitation the functions which in the Apostles were practically unlimited.

On the question whether this celebrated passage describes the regular orders or the functions, ordinary and extraordinary, of the ministry, we may fairly say that while no doubt the very genius of the passage points to the latter alternative, yet the ultimate appeal must be made to history. It is clear, from the nature of the case, that none could inherit the direct and universal commission from Christ held by the Apostles; it is certain historically that the supernatural gifts of prophecy and miracle passed away; it is hardly less indisputable that the two functions of evangelism and pastorate were always shared among the three orders of bishops, priests, and deacons after the close of the Apostolic age.

Verse 11. - And he gave some (to be) apostles. Coming back to the diversity of gifts (ver. 7), He enumerates some of these, as Christ (αὐτὸς, he, emphatic) bestowed them. The organization of the Church is not a mere human arrangement; its officers are of Divine appointment. The first gift is, his apostles. It is not meant that he gave to some the gifts needed to constitute them apostles, though that is true; but that, having qualified some to be apostles, he gave them to the Church. An apostle had his commission direct from Christ (Matthew 10:5); he possessed supernatural gifts (Matthew 10:8); it was necessary for him to have seen the Lord (Acts 1:22); his diocese was the whole world (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15). The apostles were the constituent body of the Church - they had all necessary gifts for setting it up, and as all Christian history has testified, they were a marvelous gift of Christ to his Church. And some, prophets. Next to the apostles in point of value, as gifts to the Church, having supernatural knowledge of God's will present and future (Acts 21:11). Prophets were indispensable before the New Testament was given as the Church's infallible guide to the will of God, but not apparently necessary after the will of God was fully recorded. And some, evangelists. The nature of this office is known only from the meaning of the term and the work of those who bore the designation (Acts 21:8; 2 Timothy 4:5) - persons not attached to a particular congregation, but who went about preaching the glad tidings, and otherwise building up the Church, but without the full powers of apostles. And some, pastors and teachers. The more ordinary settled ministers of congregations, called pastors, because they watched over the flock, trying to lead all in right ways; and teachers, because they communicated Divine knowledge. Some have thought that each expression denotes a separate office, but, coupled as they are together, it is better to regard them as indicating two functions of one office (see 1 Timothy 5:17; Acts 13:1). And he gave some apostles,.... That is, he gave them gifts by which they were qualified to be apostles; who were such as were immediately called by Christ, and had their doctrine from him, and their commission to preach it; and were peculiarly and infallibly guided by the Spirit of God, and had a power to work miracles for the confirmation of their doctrine; and had authority to go everywhere and preach the Gospel, and plant churches, and were not confined to anyone particular place or church; this was the first and chief office in the church, and of an extraordinary kind, and is now ceased; and though the apostles were before Christ's ascension, yet they had not received till then the fulness of the Spirit, and his extraordinary gifts to fit them for their office; nor did they enter upon the discharge of it in its large extent till that time; for they were not only to bear witness of Christ in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, but in the uttermost parts of the earth:

and some prophets; by whom are meant, not private members of churches, who may all prophesy or teach in a private way; nor ordinary ministers of the word; but extraordinary ones, who had a peculiar gift of interpreting the Scriptures, the prophecies of the Old Testament, and of foretelling things to come; such were Agabus and others in the church of Antioch, Acts 11:27

and some evangelists; by whom are designed, not so much the writers of the Gospels, as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, some of which were also apostles; as preachers of the Gospel, and who yet were distinct from the ordinary ministers of it; they were below the apostles, and yet above pastors and teachers; they were the companions of the apostles, and assistants to them, and subserved them in their work; such were Philip, Luke, Titus, Timothy, and others; these were not fixed and stated ministers in anyone place, as the following officers be, but were sent here and there as the apostles thought fit:

and some pastors and teachers, or doctors; these may be thought to differ, but not so much on account of the place where they perform their work, the one in the church, the other in the school; nor on account of the different subject of their ministry, the one attending to practical, the other to doctrinal points; but whereas the pastors are the shepherds of the flock, the overseers of it, and the same with the bishops and elders, and the teachers may be the gifted brethren in the church, assistants to the pastors, bare ministers of the word; so the difference lies here, that the one has the oversight, and care, and charge of the church, and the other not; the one can administer all ordinances, the other not; the one is fixed and tied to some certain church, the other not: though I rather think they intend one and the same office, and that the word "teachers" is only explanative of the figurative word "pastors" or shepherds; and the rather because if the apostle had designed distinct officers, he would have used the same form of speaking as before; and have expressed himself thus, "and some pastors, and some teachers"; whereas he does not make such a distribution here as there; though the Syriac version reads this clause distributively as the others; and among the Jews there were the singular men or wise men, and the disciples of the wise men, who were their companions and assistants; and it is asked (y),

"who is a singular man? and who is a disciple? a singular man is everyone that is fit to be appointed a pastor or governor of a congregation; and a disciple is one, that when he is questioned about any point in his doctrine, gives an answer:''

wherefore if these two, pastors and teachers, are different, it might be thought there is some reference to this distinction, and that pastors answer to the wise men, and teachers to their disciples or assistants; and so Kimchi in Jeremiah 3:15 interprets the pastors there of , "the pastors of Israel", which shall be with the King Messiah, as is said in Micah 5:5 and undoubtedly Gospel ministers are meant: from the whole it may be observed, that as there have been various officers and offices in the Gospel dispensation, various gifts have been bestowed; and these are the gifts of Christ, which he has received for men, and gives unto them; and hence it appears that the work of the ministry is not an human invention, but the appointment of Christ, for which he fits and qualifies, and therefore to be regarded; and that they only are the ministers of Christ, whom he makes ministers of the New Testament, and not whom men or themselves make and appoint.

(y) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 10. 2.11. Greek, emphatical. "Himself" by His supreme power. "It is He that gave," etc.

gave some, apostles—Translate, "some to be apostles, and some to be prophets," etc. The men who filled the office, no less than the office itself, were a divine gift [Eadie]. Ministers did not give themselves. Compare with the list here, 1Co 12:10, 28. As the apostles, prophets, and evangelists were special and extraordinary ministers, so "pastors and teachers" are the ordinary stated ministers of a particular flock, including, probably, the bishops, presbyters, and deacons. Evangelists were itinerant preachers like our missionaries, as Philip the deacon (Ac 21:8); as contrasted with stationary "pastors and teachers" (2Ti 4:5). The evangelist founded the Church; the teacher built it up in the faith already received. The "pastor" had the outward rule and guidance of the Church: the bishop. As to revelation, the "evangelist" testified infallibly of the past; the "prophet," infallibly of the future. The prophet derived all from the Spirit; the evangelist, in the special case of the Four, recorded matter of fact, cognizable to the senses, under the Spirit's guidance. No one form of Church polity as permanently unalterable is laid down in the New Testament though the apostolical order of bishops, or presbyters, and deacons, superintended by higher overseers (called bishops after the apostolic times), has the highest sanction of primitive usage. In the case of the Jews, a fixed model of hierarchy and ceremonial unalterably bound the people, most minutely detailed in the law. In the New Testament, the absence of minute directions for Church government and ceremonies, shows that a fixed model was not designed; the general rule is obligatory as to ceremonies, "Let all things be done decently and in order" (compare Article XXXIV, Church of England); and that a succession of ministers be provided, not self-called, but "called to the work by men who have public authority given unto them in the congregation, to call and send ministers into the Lord's vineyard" [Article XXIII]. That the "pastors" here were the bishops and presbyters of the Church, is evident from Ac 20:28; 1Pe 5:1, 2, where the bishops' and presbyters' office is said to be "to feed" the flock. The term, "shepherd" or "pastor," is used of guiding and governing and not merely instructing, whence it is applied to kings, rather than prophets or priests (Eze 34:23; Jer 23:4). Compare the names of princes compounded of "pharnas," Hebrew, "pastor," Holophernes, Tis-saphernes (compare Isa 44:28).4:7-16 Unto every believer is given some gift of grace, for their mutual help. All is given as seems best to Christ to bestow upon every one. He received for them, that he might give to them, a large measure of gifts and graces; particularly the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not a mere head knowledge, or bare acknowledging Christ to be the Son of God, but such as brings trust and obedience. There is a fulness in Christ, and a measure of that fulness given in the counsel of God to every believer; but we never come to the perfect measure till we come to heaven. God's children are growing, as long as they are in this world; and the Christian's growth tends to the glory of Christ. The more a man finds himself drawn out to improve in his station, and according to his measure, all that he has received, to the spiritual good of others, he may the more certainly believe that he has the grace of sincere love and charity rooted in his heart.
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