Quick Facts

  • Pronunciation: tä’s-sō
  • Strongs Concordance: #G5021
    • to put in order, to station
      • to place in a certain order, to arrange, to assign a place, to appoint
        • to assign (appoint) a thing to one
      • to appoint, ordain, order
        • to appoint on one’s own responsibility or authority
        • to appoint mutually, i.e. agree upon
  • Appears 7 times in 7 verses in the New Testament
  • Common translations
    • “appointed” (2x)
    • “designated” (1x)
    • “determined” (1x)
    • “devoted” (1x)
    • “established” (1x)
    • “set” (1x)

 Where and how tassō is used in the New Testament

  1. Matthew 28:16 NASB – “But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.”

  2. Acts 13:48 NASB – “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”

  3. Acts 15:2 NASB – “And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this  issue.”

  4. Acts 22:10 NASB – “”And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.’”

  5. Acts 28:23 NASB – “When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from  both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.”

  6. Romans 13:1 NASB – “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

  7. 1 Corinthians 16:15 NASB – “Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints),”

My observations and perspective

Ironically, the only example of the idea of determination or appointing is the PEOPLE determining what their leaders (Paul and Barnabas) should do about a matter (Acts 15:2). This is quite the opposite of hierarchical authority. In another example (Acts 28:23), the Jewish leaders appoint a time to meet with Paul. Once again, no hierarchical authority being demonstrated in the local church where men were appointed by God over others.
Romans 13:1 makes is clear that there is no authority except that which is established by God. The context is civil authority, not local church authority. People simply cannot just stand up and announce themselves to be appointed unto authority. Even convincing a group of such is insufficient. They can however appoint themselves (devote in 1 Cor. 16:15) to the ministry to the saints. Ministry to the saints is quite a different posture than authority over the saints.

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