Form Of Presbyterial Church-Government
Teacher Or Doctor
The scripture doth hold out the name and title of teacher, as well as of the pastor.
Who is also a minister of the word, as well as the pastor, and hath power of administration of the sacraments.
The Lord having given different gifts, and divers exercises according to these gifts, in the ministry of the word; though these different gifts may meet in, and accordingly be exercised by, one and the same minister; yet, where be several ministers in the same congregation, they may be designed to several employments, according to the different gifts in which each of them doth most excel. And he that doth more excel in exposition of scripture, in teaching sound doctrine, and in convincing gainsayers, than he doth in application, and is accordingly employed therein, may be called a teacher, or doctor, (the places alleged by the notation of the word do prove the proposition.) Nevertheless, where is but one minister in a particular congregation, he is to perform, as far as he is able, the whole work of the ministry.
A teacher, or doctor, is of most excellent use in schools and universities; as of old in the schools of the prophets, and at Jerusalem, where Gamaliel and others taught as doctors.
Question 1.—Does the Scripture hold out the name and title of teacher, as well as of the pastor?
Answer.—Yes. Acts 13:1. There is a distinction both of gift and office between the pastor and teacher. The distinction between gifts is held out in these considerations: 1.) Pastors (ποιμένας-poimenas) are those gifted to feed (ποιμάνατε-poimanate) the flock (ποίμνιον-poimnion), 1 Pet. 5:2, 3. Teachers (διδασκάλους-didaskalous) are those gifted to bring sound doctrine (διδασκαλίᾳ-didaskalia), Rom. 12:7; 2 Tim. 4:3; Tit. 1:9; 2:1. 2.) Pastors (ποιμένας) are those reflecting Jesus Christ’s office of Shepherd (ποιμένα-poimena) over his flock, Mark 14:27; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 2:25, for Christ is the Chief Shepherd (ἀρχιποίμενος-archipoimenos), 1 Pet. 5:4. Teachers (διδασκάλους) are those reflecting Jesus Christ’s office of Teacher (Διδάσκαλε-Didaskale), John 1:38; 8:4; and we know there he is the only Teacher by way of pre-eminence, Matt. 23:8. 3.) Thus pastors are called to the office of exhortation and comfort, Rom. 12:8; Tit. 1:9 (unlike false shepherds, Zech. 10:2); because even the Lord himself so shepherds his flock, Jer. 31:10, 13; so, too, we see the examples of the apostles, 1 Tim. 2:1; 1 Pet. 5:1. However, teachers are called to convince and convict by doctrine, Tit. 1:9; Rom. 12:7 (unlike false teachers, 2 Tim. 4:3); because even so the Lord teaches (διδάξωσιν-didaxosin) his people, Heb. 8:10-12; (also, John 6:45; 1 Cor. 2:13; διδακτοὶ [didaktoi]; διδακτοῖς [didaktois]). 4.) Scripture itself speaks of this distinction in several places, 1 Cor. 12:28, 29; Eph. 4:11.
Question 2.—Is he also a minister of the Word, as well as the pastor, and has he power of the administration of the sacraments?
Answer.—Yes. Eph. 4:11. That there is a distinction of office is clear; however, that the doctor or teacher may minister the sacraments appears in the following reasons: 1.) Those offices who are appointed for the edifying of the saints, the work of the ministry, &c, may minister the sacraments, Eph. 4:11-13; 4:3-5. But teachers are so appointed, Ergo.2.) Scripture only differences them in the manner of teaching, 1 Cor. 12:8; Rom. 12:7, 8. 3.) They that preach, or prophesy, ex officio, may baptize, Matt. 28:19, 20.
Question 3.—Has the Lord given different gifts, and divers exercises according to these gifts, in the ministry of the word?
Answer.—Yes. Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:1, 4-7. Though these offices have much affinity and even connection; nonetheless they were different. No one indeed could exhort, except by doctrine: yet he who teaches is not therefore endued with the qualification to exhort. But no one prophesies or teaches or exhorts, without at the same time ministering. But it is enough if we preserve that distinction which we find to be in God’s gifts, and which we know to be adapted to produce order in the Church.
Question 4.—May these different gifts meet in, and accordingly be exercised by, one and the same minister?
Answer.—Yes. 2 Tim. 4:2. Though these gifts be different, as is proved, 1 Cor. 12:8; yet may this does not prove that these gifts are incompatible with each other or that they may not be given to one man, 1 Cor. 14:3. So, too, note that it pertained to Titus, as an evangelist, to be gifted in the lower offices, which he was accordingly to exercise, Tit. 1:9.
Question 5.—Where there are several ministers in the same congregation, may they be designed to several employments, according to the different gifts in which each of them doth most excel?
Answer.—Yes. 1 Cor. 12:1, 4-7. The symmetry of the Church consists, so to speak, of a manifold unity, that is, when the variety of gifts is directed to the same object, as in music there are different sounds, but suited to each other with such an adaptation, as to produce concord. Hence, it is befitting that there should be a distinction of gifts as well as of offices, and yet all harmonize in one. Paul, accordingly, in the 12th chapter of Romans, commends this variety, that no one may, by rashly intruding himself into another’s place, confound the distinction which the Lord has established. Hence, he orders every one to be contented with his own gifts, and cultivate the particular department that has been assigned to him, Rom. 12:6-8. The Lord hath so divided his manifold graces, that no one is to be content with one thing and with his own gifts, but every one has need of the help and aid of his brother. Furthermore, it is not lawful for those who are engaged in teaching to do anything else, but faithfully to deliver to others, as from hand to hand, the doctrine received from God; for he forbids any one to go forth, except he who is instructed in God’s word, and who proclaims infallible oracles as it were from his mouth, 1 Pet. 4:10, 11.
Question 6.—May he that does more excel in exposition of scripture, in teaching sound doctrine, and in convincing gainsayers, than he doth in application, and is accordingly employed therein, be called a teacher, or doctor?
Answer.—Yes. Eph. 4:11. Though it is true that no one can be a pastor unless he teaches (as we proved under the office of pastor), yet for all that, the teachers have a separate responsibility of their own, James 3:1 (“masters”—διδάσκαλοι [didaskaloi]—“teachers”), which is to expound the Scripture that there may always be a good and sound understanding of it, and that the same may have its force and continue in the church, so that heresies and false opinions may not spread, but that the faith may abide firm and sure above all things. To that end served the teachers, 2 Tim. 4:2, 3. So, to the pastor is given the word of wisdom (σοφίας), for the direction of practice, to the teacher, the word of knowledge (γνώσεως), for the direction of judgment, 1 Cor. 12:8. Therefore in the old Church of the Jews there were their “teachers of the law” (νομοδιδάσκαλοι [nomodidaskaloi], Luke 5:17; 1 Tim. 1:7; as Gamaliel, who was a νομοδιδάσκαλος [nomodidaskalos], Acts 5:34), men that had skill in interpreting the text read, and others that had a gift of exhortation, Acts 13:15 compared with Acts 15:21 (where Moses is “being read” (ἀνάγνωσιν-anagnosin) by the preachers, the term “being read” indicates the function of the teacher (ἀναγινωσκόμενος-anaginoskomenos).
Question 7.—Where there is but one minister in a particular congregation, is he to perform, as far as he is able, the whole work of the ministry?
Answer.—Yes. 2 Tim. 4:2. This is proved by the following reasons: 1.) Those officers given for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, are to perform that work to the best of their several abilities to make full proof of their ministries, 2 Tim. 4:5. But pastors and teachers are so given, Eph. 4:11, 12, Ergo. 2.) Those ministers who are gifted, though they be alone in particular congregations, yet are they to seek to perform the whole work of the ministry, 1 Tim. 6:2; Tit. 1:9.
Question 8.—Is a teacher, or doctor, of most excellent use in schools and universities; as of old in the schools of the prophets, and at Jerusalem, where Gamaliel and others taught as doctors?
Answer.—Yes. 2 Kings 2:3; 4:1, 38; 6:1; Acts 5:34. The chief difference in the manner of teaching in the teacher, or doctor, being to lay down sound doctrine and convince gainsayers, 2 Tim. 4:2, 3, and instructing in the direction of correct judgment, 1 Cor. 12:8, schools being the most convenient place for contending and disputing, Acts 19:9, and instructing them that would minister, 1 Tim. 4:11, 13; 2 Tim. 2:2; it would appear that the teacher or doctor has most excellent use in schools and universities.
 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11.
 Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:1, 4-7.
 1 Cor. 14:3; 2 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 1:9.
 Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:1, 4-7; 1 Pet. 4:10, 11.
 2 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 1:9; 1 Tim. 6:2.