Is It Right To Pay An Elder For His Services?

In 1 Timothy 5:17, 18, the Bible states: "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer is worthy of his wages."

An elder who gives of his time, effort, and energy to building up the local congregation, especially if he "labors in the word and doctrine" has the right to receive payment from the church treasury. Paul states that there is a principle of scriptural authority for this practice from Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7 (A side note: This also authorizes preachers to be elders so long as they meet the qualifications and are appointed - like Peter the apostle, prophet, preacher, elder, husband, father, etc., 1 Peter 5:1-4).

The word "honor" ( time ) is a very interesting word. Louw and Nida state that it is "compensation given for special service, with the implication that this is a way by which honor or respect may be shown - "compensation, pay, honorarium." ( "GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT BASED ON SE MANTIC DOMAINS," L&N, n.p.). It is also used in 1 Timothy 5:3 where the church is to help financially support the widows.

Yes, the Scriptures teach it is acceptable to God to pay an elder for his services.

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