Answering Your Letters: What is Your Tagline About?

Dear Jim,

I don’t read Latin but I’ve found out what your tagline says- ‘Shepherds feed, they don’t rule’.  Is that correct?  And where’s it from?

Thank you,



Tom, you’re right on the mark.  It’s a quote from Zwingli’s Apolegeticus Archeteles (Z I, 319).  Here’s the full context in which it occurs:

61. Ut placet id verbi: Regere ecclesiam dei, quod actorum 20. unde huc translatum est, pro pascere interpres posuit non sine sententię iniuria. Sic enim loquitur Ephesiorum episcopis Paulus [Act. 20. 28]: Cavete igitur et vobis ipsis et toti gregi, in quo spiritus sanctus vos posuit speculatores, ut pascatis ecclesiam dei quam proprio sanguine acquisivit. Ecce gregem, ecce speculatores, ecce concionem pascendam non regendam, ecce concionem non hominis sed dei, quod eam proprio sanguine invenerit. Quid tam arrogans verbum usurpastis? Pastores pascunt, non regunt.

Translated-  How this word “to rule” the Church of God pleases you! In Acts 20, whence you quoted it, some commentators put it in for “to feed,” with damage to the sense. For Paul speaks thus to the bishops of the Ephesians, “Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” [Acts 20:28]. Here you have the flock, the overseers, the congregation to be fed, not ruled, the congregation, not of man, but of God, because he won it by his blood. Why do ye use such an arrogant word? Shepherds, or feeders, feed, not rule.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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2 Responses to Answering Your Letters: What is Your Tagline About?

  1. Acidri says:

    Your blog roll has dropped to just seven names from twenty. Where did the rest go?


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