are the twenty-four elders?
Rev. Bill Lee-Warner & Rev. Charles Cooper
175 references to "elders" in the Bible. One hundred and
sixteen of those references are in the O.T. leaving fifty-nine in
the N.T. The vast majority of the references in both testaments
refer to the elders of Israel, the elders of the congregation of
Israel. In other words, the leaders of the people.
In the N.T.,
the gospels and Acts have a similar meaning. Beginning with Acts
11:30 and jumping to 1 Timothy 5:17, the primary usage of the term
refers to the leaders of a local church. In the book of Revelation
there are eleven references, each of which refer to the twenty-four
elders that surround the throne of God.
has arisen as to who these twenty-four elders are: (1) a leader
from each of the 12 tribes of Israel plus each of the 12 apostles,
(2) twenty-four godly men from throughout biblical history and,
(3) a special class of angels.
identification seems to be that the twenty-four elders are a special
group of beings that are always in view when the throne of God is
in view. What they do, other than worship God, we do not know. Why
they are there, we do not know. Who they are, we are never told,
other than that they are elders and from common usage throughout
the Bible, they function in some capacity as spiritual leaders.
we should leave their identification as it is given in the Scripture: