Q. What does it mean when it talks about “the laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (1 Timothy 4:14)? What is the presbytery?
A. The “presbytery” is simply “the elders,” referred to in other places as “the bishops” or “the shepherds.” They were appointed by the apostles or someone that the apostles delegated, such as Timothy and Titus, with the responsibility of taking care of the spiritual well-being of the people of God. It is also called “the oversight” (1 Peter 5:2).
With Timothy, the gift itself was imparted through laying on of Paul’s hands. “…the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6). However, in our verse we learn that the elders also had fellowship with Timothy in the use of his gift and the work the Lord had called him to. It is important when we take up any service for Christ, that we do it in fellowship with our brethren.
The laying on of hands in the early church was a confirmation of fellowship and agreement, such as in Act 13:1-3. “…And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away” (verse 3).
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