We now come to the final three offices noted in the epistles.
- Teachers didáskalos
- Apostles apóstolos
- Prophets prophḗtēs
- Evangelists euangelistḗs
- Pastors poimḗn
- Overseers epískopos
- Elders presbýteros
- Deacons diákonos
For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. -Acts 20:27-29
It appears that this is more of a protection role. The word, epískopos, is used five times in the epistles. In the Post-Acts epistles, it appears once in Philippians (in Paul's opening salutation) and twice in the Non-Prison epistles (once each in Titus and 1 Timothy). This is consistent with the position that these men were in place to protect the flock.
The Change in Calling
But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am [single]... But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away. But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction. -1 Cor 7:8, 29-35 (Acts Age)
But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan. -1 Tim 11-15 (Post Acts)
Post Acts the conditions changed. Widows had time to become idle busybodies. Paul, who previously wished they would stay single as he was so they would have no other concerns such as husband and children because "the time is short" and "For the form of this world is passing away," now desires they marry, have children, and manage the house.