Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pastoral Wages in the Early Church

Does anyone know of any writings from the early church or of any secondary literature about wages, salaries, or remuneration for those dedicated to ministerial service in early Christianity? Several NT passages obviously come to mind "the worker is worth his wage" (Lk. 10.17; 1 Tim. 5.18), Paul's apostolic right to receive financial aid (1 Corinthians 9), and "double-portion" (1 Tim. 5.17) etc., but does anyone know of anything else?


Rick said...

Hi Mike.

Didache 11-13 has some information; not quite wages though. Some is warnings against teachers who ask for certain remuneration. Didache 13 is probably the closest (in the Didache) for what it seems you're looking for.

Rick Brannan

Gerald said...


I was reading through Calvin's Institutes last night and he has a section discussing the wages of bishops and pastors in the early church. He quotes from Clement and others. I don't have my copy with me, but I'm fairly certain it was somewhere around pages 1060-1070 in the Battles and McNeill edition.


Erlend said...

Alexander Strauch's "Biblical Eldership" and Collin Bulley's "Priesthood of Some Believers: Developments from the General to the Special Priesthood in the Christian Literature of the First Three Centuries" both deal at varying length with it and I think Benjamin Merkle's "Elder and Overseer: One Office in the Early Church" touches on it briefly.

Flint Cowboy said...

I've been wondering about patronage as financial support for Christian ministers in the early church. I am pretty ignorant of patristics, what I know comes from classical sources, esp Mycenas as a patron of Horace and Virgil. He set them up with a small farm and place to work, perhaps a stipend.

I wonder whether some churches might have followed this pattern, rather than taking up collections and having a regular "salary" after our model.

Was the relationship of Jerome and Paula of this type?