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Document Type



Biblical Studies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Ethics in Religion | History of Religions of Eastern Origins | History of Religions of Western Origin | Other Religion | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Published in the Michigan Theological Journal, 2.2 (1991) 126-137.


In spite of disagreement over what constitutes the biblical form of local church government, it is still normally assumed that all churches should have the same governmental structure and that the qualifications for a particular leadership position should be the same . . Such an approach pours all the major structure and qualification passages to the same mold, ignoring significant evidence for “flexibility” in regard to churches at different stages of growth. Particularly suggestive are variations between the supposed “twin” passages: 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9. Careful consideration of the similarities and differences leads to the conclusion that it is preferable to allow for a moderate level of sensitive structural flexibility while still maintaining proper scriptural fidelity.