Bible Q&A: Were Preachers Ordained in the New Testament?

Were preachers ordained in the New Testament?

The practice of ordaining religious officers as is done in denominations today originated with Catholicism when they came up with the idea of sacraments, particularly the sacrament called Holy Orders.  This is the special appointment of bishops, priests, deacons, and sub-deacons by means of a special ceremony in which those being ordained receive a special unction (anointing), which supposedly transfer to them an essence of such an exalted “spiritual” nature that they could never forfeit it.  In other words, after being ordained no personal sin could make one unfit to function in that office.  There is no special parallel to this in the New Testament.  In fact, this hierarchy system of Catholicism was patterned after the governmental structure of pagan Rome.

The closest biblical similarity is found in the scriptural practice of laying on of hands, which was done for a variety of reasons, including appointing someone to a particular office (Num. 27:18-23; Acts 6:1-6; 13:1-3; 1 Tim. 5:19-22).  However, unlike Catholic and some Protestant ordination, the New Testament doesn’t seem to record any sort of special ceremony commanded when one appoints someone to a church office via the laying on of hands, nor does it indicate that by appointing them one is granting that they would always be qualified for that office no matter what.

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