Which moment is St. Paul's life corresponds to episcopal ordination?


#1

I can’t put my hands on anything, but I’m pretty sure theologians must have speculated on the subject.


#2

St Paul was not a bishop.


#3

St. Paul was a Bishop. He ordained Timothy.

2 Timothy 1:1-11

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of Goda for the promise of life in Christ Jesus,*
2 to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did,* as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.
4* I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy,
5 as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you.
6 For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God* that you have through the imposition of my hands.
7 For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.
8 So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,* nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.
9* He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,
10 but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
11* for which I was appointed preacher and apostlei and teacher.


#4

Some will argue that the Apostles (of which, Paul certainly was one) were not bishops, technically, but that they appointed the first bishops. Others tend to think of the Apostles as the first bishops and refer to them as such.

My opinion (as a non-theologian) on Paul’s ordination: IF it was necessary, my thought is that it took place here:

So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit.”
-Acts 9:17

This, of course, is only problematic if we think that this is an anointing OR we get wrapped up in the fact that Paul was baptized after this event. It’s not immediately clear when his name changed from Saul to Paul, but that could also be an argument in favor of this moment being the ordination.


#5

I might be wrong, but I’d say he was ordained by Christ Himself on the road to Damascus. I don’t know of any place where we see one of the original apostles laying on of hands and making him an apostle like they did when they elected St Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot. The opening passage of the letter to the Galatians seems to support that.

“Paul an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead”


#6

The Apostles, both the 12 and St. Paul, received their apostolic authority directly from the Lord Himself, and thus did not need to be ordained by men. At least that is my understanding. The 12 and St. Paul both had the authority to ordain other men to share in their apostolic mission, the first generation of bishops, by the laying on of hands. St. Timothy and St. Titus are examples of bishops ordained directly by St. Paul.


#7

In the Acts of the Apostles (14:23) Saints Paul and Barnabas “appointed presbyters (=priests) for them in every church.” Paul and Barnabas were bishops who had received at ordination the power to ordain others. In Greek the words used were presbyteros for priest, elder, presbyter, and episcopos for bishop, overseer, supervisor, or guardian. By the time of St Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107) he speaks of the bishop as one who has “acquired his ministry, not from himself, nor through men”, and that he is to be regarded “as the Lord Himself.” (Ep. Ad Philad., 1; Ephes. 6).

St. Ignatius was the third bishop of Antioch and was martyred in Rome in approximately 107 A.D. His letter comes from about 96 A.D. Even at this early date, the threefold hierarchy of bishops, priests (presbyters in Greek), and deacons is present and the practice of celebrating the Holy Eucharist is clearly a long-established practice.

“The substance of the record contained in the Ignatian epistles is this:
While the Christian communities of this period (c.100-110) have many presbyters and deacons, they have only one bishop….there are bishops and the faithful are to obey both the bishops and the presbyters.” The New Biblical Theorists, Msgr George A Kelly, Servant Books, 1983, p 78].


#8

I’d guess when he went to Jerusalem to meet with the Apostles and Peter.


#9

I think that Abu and others have answered this quite well for you…

Is there a specific reason why you are asking? Clearly, from both Scriptures and Tradition, St. Paul was a critical figure in the formation of the early Church. He demonstrated authority time and again. And his authority was clearly elevated above ‘congregational member’. Are you being challenged by someone to ‘prove’ St. Paul was a ‘bishop’ as a means of somehow diminishing Church authority? Or is this a hypothetical question? Or is it just something you were curious about? If you could provide us with some additional information as to the ‘why’ you are asking, it would be useful for us to properly frame our responses.

Peace in Christ


#10

It occurred in Acts 13:

at Acts 13:
1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.


#11

After the event of Act13, does Paul and Barnabas go to their first missionary mission.

Paul was ordained in Acts 13.


#12

You could also argue for Acts 11:22-26: [BIBLEDRB]The news about them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas [to go] to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.[/BIBLEDRB]

That is, Barnabas is appointed by the Twelve, the authorities in Jerusalem, and he in turn recruits Saul/Paul and “ordains” him to the ministry. But between this point and Acts 13 Paul would have been recognized, likely by some sort of ordination.

The “modern” details of ordination may not have been worked out quite this early, but they soon would have been–Paul ordaining Timothy and Titus by laying on of hands, and certainly by about 120 Ignatius of Antioch knows the modern form of the clergy.


#13

If St Paul was a bishop why don’t today’s bishops have the same abilities the Apostles had? I haven’t heard any reports of someone being healed by the shadow of a passing bishop. Also, which city was St Paul bishop of?


#14

Here’s the text of Acts 11:22-26, which seems to have vanished along the way to posting:

The news about them [the Church in Antioch] reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas [to go] to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.


#15

All Apostles are bishops. All bishops are not apostles.

Where is it required for a bishop to be over a certain city?


#16

No Apostles were bishops. I’m trying to figure out where everybody got the idea that they were. :shrug:

Name one bishop that’s not the bishop “of” somewhere?


#17

I’ve always been partial to the idea that the Apostles did not need baptism, confirmation, or ordination. Who is it that acts in those sacraments? Jesus Christ. Who is it that the Apostles interacted with? Jesus Christ. On the note of confirmation, obviously the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was the direct experience rather than anointing or laying on of hands as we experience.

The Apostles all directly experienced Jesus Christ and thus didn’t have need of a sacrament (outside of the Eucharist, some form of confession, & last rites).


#18

The Apostles were ordained at the Last Supper, quite clearly as Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Holy Orders. They surely enjoyed the fullness of sacerdotal ministry through his appointment. While in the time of the apostles, the three ranks of Holy Orders were not clearly defined as they were later, the Apostles may not have been exclusively called episkopoi in their lifetimes, but it is doctrine that they were the first true bishops. This can be seen as bishops today are referred to as “Apostles” who share in the same ministry as the first ones ordained by Christ.

If they Apostles were not bishops, then what do you suppose that they were, and where did Apostolic Succession arise from if the line was broken immediately between Christ and the first true bishops?


#19

Well they were Apostles of course! Who says anything was broken? The Apostles were Apostles. They ordained bishops where they traveled. A bishop is a overseer of a particular community. The Apostles were sent to plant the Church.


#20

It is pointless to speculate whether the Apostles needed the sacraments. Nobody really needs sacraments, because God is not bound by them. But for our good and our salvation, Jesus instituted sacraments by very clear and unambiguous actions documented in Scripture. It is undisputed that He ordained the Twelve Apostles at the Last Supper and thereby instituted the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Yes, it was a direct encounter by Jesus Christ, who followed matter, form and intent to institute a sacramental reality for the rest of human history. We evoke the memory of Jesus every time we perform a sacrament as instituted by Him. This is part of the definition of sacrament. It would not be a sacrament without His institution.


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