Wednesday, 7 October 2015
The Phenomenon of the Rabbinate
The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited,
John Howard Yoder, SCM Press, 2003, page 171
Yoder's third unique mark of Diaspora Judaism is:
the phenomenon of the rabbinate; a non-sacerdotal, non-hierarchical, non-violent leadership elite whose power is not civil but intellectual validated by their identification with the Torah.
These were the elders or leaders of the first churches; non-stipendiary, volunteers who guided the flock in their particular community or group of communities. Guided by the Spirit and steeped in learning and tradition - unlike, perhaps, the leaders o the emergent churches today - these leaders were uniquely placed to provide a gentle but firm hand on the rudder.