It’s good to hear back from you after a long time! I’m glad you found the time to write such a detailed response.
Since your post covered so many points and so many Scriptures, I’m not going to try to respond to every assertion you made. I’m just going to address a few of your main statements and try to show where I think you’re going wrong in your interpretation. There is a different font for when I’m quoting you, and bold font in the paragraphs when I’m responding specifically to something you say.
"Let us first view Ephesians 4:11. Scripture clearly defines what their purpose is. It is to lead in the Unity of Faith. Nothing else is mentioned Unity of Faith is a status of the soul in gaining unity of life with the Lord, as a single Body Of Christ. And we also can apply biblical numerology with the number 5 which is grace so it is a favor upon us to help us in gaining at unity each one of us in our life with the Lord. Again to emphasize nothing about what the body of Christ is to do specifically and nothing specifically of how each of those offices would fulfill their commission."
Where do you get your definition of “unity of faith” as “a status of the soul in gaining unity of life with the Lord”? That’s nowhere in the text. And you can’t just apply biblical numerology whenever a number is used, as if every occurrence of “five” means God is talking about grace. The Scripture may be talking about grace in using the number five, but it must be clearly demonstrated in the text itself, in the words themselves, rather than reading in “grace” to the appearance of a number. That is called eisegesis rather than exegesis, as is defining “unity of the faith” the way you did. This sort of thing doesn’t bode well for the accuracy of the rest of your interpreting, unfortunately!
"Romans 11:13 is the first description of what an apostle does. An emissary creating connections that do not yet exist."
Again, where do you get your definition of apostle from, as “an emissary creating connections that do not yet exist”? That definition cannot be sustained by looking at the Greek, or by looking at the usage of the word in context. Romans 11:13 isn’t the first description of what an apostle does in the New Testament, either, since that verse doesn’t describe what an apostle does, and since the work of an apostle is described in Mark 6:7-13.
I would say here that one of the main problems I see with your approach to texts is that you are pulling out verses that are scattered around the New Testament, instead of digging into them and examining their grammar and logic to discern their teaching.
You address prophets in your response as well, but I’m not going to discuss prophets here, since that is a debated topic that isn’t nearly as clear as the issue of who elders and overseers are, or whether or not the office of apostle has ceased.
"Elders in The Old Testament were generally tribal leaders. Positional leaders over others. Any other reference is about age in. This continues into the Gospels. Acts 11:30 is the first mention of ‘elders’ that were of a New Testament view. The New Testament view of elder stays until 22:5 when Old Testament usage is used for the Jewish leaders to the end of Acts.
"Elders - older wiser leaders to help guide the ‘tribe’, committed to each a type of group - like a local congregation. No specific authoritative capability based on the title but one is listened to and an influencer. and allowed to be there by defacto admission to the leader’s group."
Again, where do you get the fact that elders were tribal leaders or positional leaders in the Old Testament, and move that into the New Testament in your definition? And it is not true that elders had “no specific authoritative capability,” since Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:17, "Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” (This also supports my claim that elders, overseers, and pastors are the same office, since to “rule” is the function of an overseer, and to “labor in preaching and teaching” is to “shepherd the flock of God” [1 Pet 5:2], which is the function of a pastor/shepherd.)
"Overseers - they would be designated and appointed leaders with authoritative responsibility."
Your definition of overseers is good, since it is supported by Scripture (“designated and appointed,” Titus 1:5, 7; “authoritative responsibility,” Titus 1:7, 9).
"These 2 titles are used without ever being singled out (except for qualifications) lie the 5Fold ministry roles. They also get mentioned often in story lines and points of receiving instruction. The 5fold ministry does not get definitions of what they are as gifts to The Body of Christ, except apostles and prophets. They have a clear mandate, which is to provide more for the Body of Jesus Christ to build upon. With the lack of definition via e·lucidation in Scripture, the only clear way would be by the definitions found in Bible Dictionaries and Lexicons."
It actually isn’t true that the titles “elder” and "overseer” aren’t singled out. Did you examine the verses I quoted? You need to interact with my points and show me where I am wrong, because the only possible interpretation I can see, based on careful exegesis of texts in their context, is that elder and overseer must be the same office. We don’t need to turn to dictionaries and lexicons here.
"[N]ever is there ever a transference of elders and overseers with any 5fold ministry. So they are discreet and different."
I’m not sure why you emphasize the “fivefold ministry” so much; the fact that they aren’t used transferrably in reference to bringing others to the unity of faith is irrelevant. They are clearly used interchangeably in passages I quoted in my earlier post.
"Apostles and prophets have a very strong inference while the work Jesus did was indeed finished on the cross it is not finished with His Resurrection. They are to keep building on the foundation of The Rock, Jesus Christ. ... [I]n all verbs and adverbs, nowhere is there any terminal end indicated or specified. With lack of dates or events or seasons, there is nothing to support any role or position specified in The New Testament fading away at all."
Yes, the work of the apostles continued after the resurrection, and there is no verse that teaches that apostleship will end. However, it is clear from the verses I referenced in my post, in Theological Discussions, “Has the office of apostle ceased?" that there cannot be apostles today. No-one alive today is an eyewitness of the risen Christ. Here is what I said there: "Can anyone today claim that God has chosen him, that Jesus has personally appointed him to be an apostle, and that he has seen the risen and glorified Jesus with his own eyes? Anyone can make such claims, of course, but that is a far cry from verifying them. Such claims would have to be substantiated by miracles, exorcisms, and healings. And where are these things found? I answer: nowhere. The original apostles actually did heal diseases (see Acts 3:1-10, 12-16 for one example), unlike the fraudulent claims of modern-day hucksters like Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland."
How would you respond to my interpretation of Scripture? For instance, how would you answer the question, “Can a person encounter the resurrected Christ in person today?”
"And in my research I have done so far I found really interesting the translations usage of ‘pastor’ We in the western culture churches for hundreds of years emphasize pastors. And we have pastors of pastors. But that word in all major translations outside of Eph 4:11 appears zero times. So if the scholars for English translations in reading Greek felt pastors have such an important role for The Body of Christ, I would expect to see that reflected more than zero times."
As far as the word “pastors” goes, translators have almost nothing to do with how many times it appears. This is because they can’t translate a word that doesn’t mean “pastor” as “pastor.” And since the Greek word for pastor hardly appears in the NT, scholars won’t translate it more than it appears!
However, the idea behind the word pastor does appear more than once. The idea behind the noun translated “pastor” has to do with shepherding. For example, the noun “pastors” in the KJV is translated “shepherds” in the ESV in Ephesians 4:11. And it is used to describe literal shepherds in Luke 2:8, for example. So when a verb from the same root is used to describe the act of shepherding, it makes sense that the office of “pastor” is referred to. For example, in 1 Peter 5:1-2, Peter exhorts “the elders among you” to “shepherd the flock of God.” And then he tells them to do that in this manner: “exercising oversight,” thus using a related verb to the noun translated “overseer” in the NT. Could it be any clearer that these three offices are synonymous? Interpreting Scriptures in context and comparing them together necessarily and inevitably leads to this as the only possible conclusion that is faithful to Scripture: the office of elder, pastor, and overseer is one and the same.
"So in summary, no office has died out directly in Scripture nor shown they will. The 3 offices you have in the title are distinct. One is not another. Nowhere it that detailed."
No, the offices cannot be distinct. Again, you cannot study the passages I showed you and still assert this. That is indeed detailed clearly in the NT. I challenge you to address my claims from the Scriptures I used. For example, look at the terms in 1 Peter 5:1-2, as well as the nouns “elders” and “overseers” in Acts 20:17, 28, and please explain how elder and overseer are not synonymous in that text. I am willing to be corrected if my view can be shown to be inconsistent with passages of Scripture, interpreted in context according to grammar and logic.
To conclude, we must exegete the Scriptures by studying their grammar, their context, comparing Scripture with Scripture, and not by taking one passage as supreme to others (like the “fivefold ministry”) to overturn the clear exegesis of other passages. This is not rightly dividing the word of truth. This is what Biblearc exists to help you do: interpret verses grammatically and logically in context. To put it bluntly, in your post, you are not doing that.
Quoting Spurgeon is not the same thing as quoting the Bible, of course, but he explains what I’m saying so eloquently I need to include it: "We cannot expect to deliver much of the teaching of Holy Scripture by picking out verse by verse, and holding these up at random. The process resembles that of showing a house by exhibiting separate bricks. It would be an astounding absurdity if our friends used our private letters in this fashion, and interpreted them by short sentences disconnected and taken away from the context. Such expositors would make us out to say in every letter all we ever thought of, and a great many things besides far enough from our minds; while the real intent of our epistles would probably escape attention” (C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students: Commenting and Commentaries; Lectures Addressed to the Students of the Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle., vol. 4 (New York: Sheldon & Company, 1876), 43).
Let us interact with specific Scriptures now, in our continuing conversation, sticking with exegesis of individual passages and verses. I urge you again, respond to my exegesis of 1 Peter 5:1-2 and Acts 20:17 and 28, just for starters, and show me how I am wrong. This is how we can discover the truth of Scripture!