ESV – Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
ASV – Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood.
WEYMOUTH – “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has placed you to take the oversight for Him and act as shepherds to the Church of God, which He has bought with His own blood.
WILLIAMS – Take care of yourselves and of the whole flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, so as to continue to be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.
Elders in the New Testament – so very important
- Paul spoke to Ephesians elders (also called bishops, presbyters, pastors and overseers).
- It was the Holy Spirit who put these men in position of responsibility; in the early church, as they were getting started, this was a miraculous endowment.
- As the church matured (Eph. 4:11-16), the Holy Spirit gave instructions pertaining to men qualified to serve in this God-ordained role (1 Tim, 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9).
- They were to shepherd, that is feed, the church that belongs to God, taking care of those souls “within,” resisting all error, making sure to pure word of God is taught by themselves and those in position of responsibility. The feeding in this context has nothing to do with physical sustenance, but spiritual.
- The church of the Lord belongs to no man, thus there is no man-made name given to the church; these came many years later.
- The Lord’s church belongs to the One who paid for it, and the price He paid was with His life (cf. Eph. 5:23, 25, 27).