Craig Blomberg: “Not Many of You Should Become Teachers?”
“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1 TNIV).
An old line I first heard in a college education class claims that if a person can’t do anything else, at least they can teach. And if they don’t have any specific subject they can teach, they can at least teach teachers! Growing up in a family of public school teachers, I knew that to be profoundly untrue, but it obviously reflected one segment of our culture’s perception of the teaching field, perhaps fueled by personal experiences with bad teachers.
Pastors and Teachers—Ephesians 4:11 (Mondays with Mounce 10)
This passage has long engendered debate, and I doubt I will forever close that debate in this blog. But it is a good example of how Greek grammar clarifies the issues and gives us an acceptable range of meaning, after which sensitivity to the language and context make the final decisions.
Wouldn’t it be great if a knowledge of Greek solved all the mysteries of the universe, or at least answered all the questions of the New Testament? It doesn’t, and opinions to the contrary border on cult mentality.
Paul is discussing the gifts that God gives. In v 11 he says, word for word, “And he gave men the apostles de the prophets de the evangelists de the pastors and teachers. The men … de is the correlative construction “both … and … and” that often does not make it into translations because while it is gentle and smooth in Greek our correlatives are a bit rougher and more intrusive.
The question is whether “pastors and teachers” designate one spiritual gift or two.