Though a common word in the traditional language of the church, ‘ordain’ is not common in the Bible. It is not present at all in most modern versions. The word usually means ‘appoint’, as for example when Jesus appointed apostles (Mark 3:13-14; John 15:16; see APOSTLE), and the apostles appointed church leaders (Acts 6:3,6; 14:23; see DEACON; ELDER). People were not to make such appointments hastily. They had to have confidence that those appointed possessed the God-given gifts for the tasks, and they expressed that confidence through the ceremony of laying on hands (Acts 6:6; 1 Tim 4:14; 5:22; see LAYING ON OF HANDS).

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