Ordination and Laying on Hands


Sorry for not being up-to-date; I know topics like this one get discussed here all the time, but:

Do we have scriptural references (such as in Acts or something) that show that the early church ordained its priests by the laying on of hands, or is this only from Tradition? I was confused because I know this is the form for Confirmation, I don’t think I was totally aware that it was also the form for Ordination. Thanks.


Hi, CollegeKid! :wave: Here’s an idea that will help familiarize you with the Scriptural roots of this: Read the Book of Acts (it’s not very long) and then come back and tell us how many people had hands laid on them and what it was for at different times.


1Tim4 is one of the many:

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.


The appointment or ordination of the seven deacons in Acts 6:6 involved the laying on of hands.

The appointment or ordination of Barnabas and Saul as evangelists in Acts 13:3 involved the laying on of hands.

A connection seems to be made between the appointment or ordination of presbyters and the laying on of hands in 1 Timothy 5:17-22. There Paul, while discussing the topic of presbyters, advises Timothy not to be too hasty in the laying on of hands lest in doing so he participate in the other man’s sins. However, the laying on of hands in this case may instead refer to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


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