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The Historical Development of the Book of Church Order

Chapter 7 : Church Officers - General Classification

Paragraph 3 : Of Scriptural Authority and Titles

7-3. No one who holds office in the Church ought to usurp authority therein, or receive any official titles of spiritual preeminence, except such as are employed in the Scriptures.

[Historical Summary : The current PCA text remains unchanged from that of PCUS 1879, IV-3.]

BACKGROUND & COMPARISON:
1. PCA 1973, 7-3, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 130
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 7-3, Proposed text, p. 7
and
3. PCUS 1933, ch. VIII, § 32

and
4. PCUS 1879, IV-3

No one who holds office in the Church ought to usurp authority therein, or receive any official titles of spiritual preeminence, except such as are employed in the Scriptures.

PCUS 1869 draft, IV-3
No one who exercises office in the Church ought to usurp dominion therein, or receive any titles of spiritual preeminence or lordship; but only those titles that are employed in the word.

PCUS 1867 draft, IV-3
No one who exercises office in the church ought to usurp dominion therein, or receive any titles of spiritual eminence or lordship; but only those of minister, disciple, and servant of Christ, and such others as are employed in the word.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 46),on IV-1-3
:
34.--III. No one who holds office in the church ought to usurp authority therein, or receive any official titles of spiritual pre-eminence, except such as are employed in the Scriptures.
Titles are not forbidden that are not exact renderings of Scripture titles, provided, they attribute no functions beyond those that the Scriptures attribute ; and titles that are exact renderings of titles used in the Scriptures are forbidden to be used in super-scriptural senses.


Chapter Index [links are to Paragraph 1 in each chapter]:
FoG:
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD:
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW:
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]

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