The coherent pattern of leadership reflected in the unique attributes of the shepherd / flock motif within the Miletus Speech (Acts 20:17–38), 1 Peter 5:1–11, and John 21:15–19

Karakey, Gustavo Martin (2018) The coherent pattern of leadership reflected in the unique attributes of the shepherd / flock motif within the Miletus Speech (Acts 20:17–38), 1 Peter 5:1–11, and John 21:15–19. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / London School of Theology.

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Abstract

The principle aim of this study is to discern how the Miletus Speech (Acts 20:17–38), Peter’s exhortation to the elders (1 Peter 5:1–11) and Jesus’ post-resurrection discourse with Peter (John 21:15–19) utilized the shepherd / flock motif to arrive at their common portrait of early church leadership. A secondary aim is to describe the characteristic elements of this common portrait.

Research on the shepherd / flock motif in the above passages has focused on three main lines of inquiry: 1) the OT antecedents for this leadership metaphor; 2) the literary use of the shepherd image in one or more of the gospels; 3) the literary use of the shepherd / flock motif within each work. There remains a need for an in-depth comparison of these three works. Specifically, can we identify a coherent pattern of leadership using the shepherd / flock motif that transcends each work? What does this pattern reveal about the way the early church understood various aspects of leadership? How do often neglected topics like the relationship between the shepherd / elder / bishop terminology (in two of our passages) and the importance of “the flock” fit into the early church’s larger leadership conception?

This thesis analyzes the appropriation of the shepherd / flock motif in the Miletus Speech (Acts 20:17–38), 1 Peter 5:1–11 and John 21:15–19 and argues that they are the culminating statements in a coherent pattern of sustained biblical reflection on early Christian leadership. Furthermore, this coherent pattern was consciously transmitted to the nascent Christian communities via the shepherd / flock motif and is rooted in five unique attributes of this motif: 1) a connection to important events in biblical salvation history where shepherd leaders are prominent; 2) the connection to Jesus’ ministry as both suffering shepherd and sacrificial lamb, which becomes the ultimate example of Christian leadership; 3) the importance of the people of God, “the flock”, to the conception of early church leadership; 4) the predatory language of the metaphor which speaks to the vulnerability of God’s people and the need to protect them from spiritual attacks; 5) specific responsibilities for church leaders that are inherent to the shepherd / flock motif.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > London School of Theology
Item ID: 26485
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2019 08:12
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 14:00
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26485

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