n HTS : Theological Studies - Elders as leaders in 1 Peter and the early Church




Addressing a hostile situation that called for courageous and exemplary leaders, the letter of 1 Peter employed in 5 : 1-5 a cluster of vocabulary and images (elders, overseers / exercise oversight, shepherds, flock) representing a growing coalescence of terms for leaders and their functions in the early Jesus movement. As one of the earliest witnesses to this constellation and its symbolization of community leaders as elders-pastors-overseers, the text of 1 Peter 5 : 1-5a deserves more attention than it has hitherto been accorded in the study of early Christian ministry and church order.


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