Jim Melough

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,
that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4

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About the Author
of the Material Found In This Web Site
Jim Melough

I was born in 1924, and born again in 1944 through faith in Christ as my Savior, and since then my church affiliation has been with those known simply as “brethren,” better known in some Christian circles as Plymouth Brethren.

In order to explain how I came to write these commentaries it is necessary to explain very briefly in the following three short paragraphs, what the Bible teaches about ministry in the Church.

It is to be by those whom God has gifted as evangelists, elders, and teachers, Eph 4:11, each man’s gift gradually being recognized by the congregation as he ministers as an evangelist, teacher, or shepherd (elder, pastor, overseer).  Formal recognition is then given in the form of a letter of commendation when the man’s evangelistic ministry is found to be taking him out to the unconverted with the gospel to such an extent that it requires so much of his time as to make it difficult or impossible to continue in a regular job.  The letter simply certifies that the issuing church has recognized that the man has the gift of evangelism and is using it effectively.  It serves to identify him to other congregations with which he may be brought into contact.  He is then supported, not by a salary from the commending congregation, but by individual gifts from believers in congregations who become aware of the work he is doing in evangelism.  His ministry is itinerant, and is to the unconverted in those places to which the Holy Spirit sends him.  He has no official title, nor is he viewed as “the minister or pastor” of any of the churches with which he may become associated in the course of his evangelistic work.

It is the same with the teacher, except that his ministry is mainly to believers.  It too is itinerant, he going to teach in different congregations as the Holy Spirit directs, but like the evangelist, he has no official title, nor is he viewed as “the minister or pastor” of any of the churches.  His ministry in a church may be as brief as a single visit, or may extend for weeks or months as the need of the congregation may require, though it rarely goes beyond several weeks.

The ministry of the elders (pastors) is different from that of the evangelist and the teacher in several respects.  It is never itinerant, and does not require a letter of commendation since they minister only in one congregation, the members of which recognize them by the shepherd care they render.  It is to be noted also that there is always a plurality of elders.  Scripture knows nothing of one man functioning as the elder (pastor), nor does it know anything of a head elder.  It is extremely rare for an elder’s ministry to make it impossible for him to continue in “secular” employment, so that it is equally rare for elders to require financial support.  The principal work of the elders is not to be administrators, but to teach, the difference between their teaching and that of the teacher being that the teacher’s usually goes beyond that of the elders, not because the elders are incapable of giving in-depth teaching, but because the very nature of a healthy church requires them to devote more time to instructing new converts in the basic truths of Christianity.

About ten years after being converted I was invited to teach a small class of young people, and in a few years that work had grown to include a class every evening of the week, in areas within about thirty miles of home, with increasing invitations to speak on Lord’s day in congregations throughout New England and the greater New York and New Jersey areas.

As the Lord’s work required more and more of my time I had to reduce the hours spent in my regular job, and eventually three congregations - two in Connecticut and one in the New York area - joined in giving me a letter of commendation as a full time Bible teacher.  As time passed some of those to whom I ministered suggested that the lectures be made available in written form, with the result that the Genesis studies were issued as booklets, each one covering a chapter.  A further development of this written ministry was the publication of a monthly magazine Green Pastures which covered a wider variety of topics. 

Advancing years, however, have rendered me less capable of continuing to prepare and publish the magazine, with the result that I stopped publication in 1995.  A problem with my vocal cords was also making public speaking increasingly difficult, so now I devote my time to editing the notes compiled over the years, and putting them into the form of commentaries covering, to date, the following books of the Bible:

 Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Haggai, Acts,
1 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Revelation
Levitical Offerings and Old Testament Types of Christ

It is in response to the urging of some who have listened to the lectures, or who have read some of the material, that the notes are now being presented on the Internet, with the prayer that they may be a blessing to those who read them.

The sale of our home, and our moving to a condominium in a small retirement community, have made financial support unnecessary, for which my wife and I are very thankful to God, so readers are requested not to send gifts. 

In 2007, I transferred the copyright and responsibility for maintaining this body of work to Dennis Hill, a brother in fellowship among the Brethren in Wisconsin, who is also an evangelist and a Bible teacher.  His "tent-making" consists largely of business and technical consulting, including the development of websites, and he remains committed to the preservation of this and other's works on behalf of Lord.  We are very happy to be able to make these studies available free of charge.



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
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© 2000-2005 James Melough, ©2008 Boundless Partners