ESV - 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
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The only adjective used to describe the church in English in that passage is "every." However, when you look up the meanings of Bible words in the original Greek or Hebrew, they sometimes have a somewhat different meaning simply because literal translation from one language to another isn't always perfect. Languages are not merely words, but they express ideas, traditions, and ways of thinking, which greatly differ from culture to culture and make literal translation challenging. The original word in Greek which we see translated as "every" or "in every" in Acts 14:23 seems to denote a flowing of authority from the greater to the lesser, much like oil was poured out onto the heads of leaders for anointing in the Old and New Testament. This makes sense when we read this word in the greater context of this passage, which is about the appointing of elders in "every church." You can easily look up the original meanings of Bible words using the study tools that eBible offers, as well as other online tools. Happy studying!
Paul, Barnabas, Titus, and evidently Timothy are recorded as taking part in appointing persons as “older men” in the congregations. (Ac 14:21-23; 1Ti 5:22; Tit 1:5) There is no record of such appointments by the congregations independently. In relating Paul and Barnabas’ revisiting of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, Acts 14:23 states that “they appointed older men [Gr., khei·ro·to·ne′san·tes] for them in each congregation” (“in each of these churches they appointed elders,” JB; “they had appointed elders for them in every church,” RS). Regarding the meaning of the Greek verb khei·ro·to·ne′o, the following remark is found in The Acts of the Apostles, by F. F. Bruce (1970, p. 286): “Although the etymological sense of [khei·ro·to·ne′o] is ‘to elect by show of hands’, it came to be used in the sense ‘designate’, ‘appoint’: cf. the same word with prefix [pro, “before”] in x. 41.” Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, after first giving common definitions to khei·ro·to·ne′o, says: “later, generally, appoint, . . . appoint to an office in the Church.” (Revised by H. Jones, Oxford, 1968, p. 1986) Likewise, Parkhurst’s Greek and English Lexicon to the New Testament (London, 1845, p. 673) says: “With an accusative following, to appoint or constitute to an office, though without suffrages or votes.” The office to which these Christian men were appointed was that of “older man,” or elder, without any supporting votes by others stretching forth their hands.
"Every" is the adjective in the verse. However, one should consider the word 'them'. The elders were appointed for the believers in the churches that Paul had had founded. Thus 'them' is the believers in Paul's churches. Elders were a logical choice to send first since they would lead and offer the other offices afterwards. Every church would have to have a leader.
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