02.01.04 Elder. There are several definitions for the term elder, (presbuteros 4245) and there are corresponding variations of the Greek term,
- The older of two persons.
- A person who is advanced in age.
- The head of a tribe or clan.
- In the first century, every village had a group of elders who functioned as a judicial body, had general administrative duties, and represented the village to their Roman overlords. It was also their responsibility to insure that all villagers remained faithful to the teachings of Moses. Theologically, they were more aligned with the Pharisees and their Oral Law than with the Sadducees. However, within the sect of Pharisees there were two schools of theology, the School of Hillel and the School of Shammai, who held opposing views of application of the Oral and Mosaic Laws.
. Vine, “Elder, Eldest.” Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary. 2:191.
. See 03.05.11.
. Shepherd, “Elder in the New Testament.” 2:73-75.