During some recent study concerning 1 Timothy 4:14, I discovered some interesting ideas about the nature of “laying on of hands”. 1 Timothy 4:14 reads, “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.” This verse caused me to do some extra searching for the truth concerning this apostolic practice. From the search there seems to be about three common uses of this phrase. There is the “laying on of hands” for healing, there is the “laying on of hands” for commissioning, and there is the “laying on of hands” for imparting the Holy Spirit. Typically, we believe in the church that only the Apostles had the authority to impart the Holy Spirit’s miraculous gifts on another human being. This doctrine is found in Acts 8. It seems in the text that it is the Apostles that have the ability to impart the Spirit to disciples. And I guess we typically take these verses as limiting the role of others in regards to “laying on of hands” to impart the Holy Spirit. It is commonly stated that Apostles could give the gift of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous sense, but those who received this miraculous outpouring could then not impart the gift to someone else. This view seemed legitimate to me. It was only over after studying the issue for awhile that I accidentally happened upon Acts 9:17 “And Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’” I was simply checking a reference for the healing use of “laying on of hands” when it appeared that Ananias laid hands on Paul for him to “be filled with the Holy Spirit.” This verse seemed to cause some confusion. Now it could possibly be argued that the fulfillment of the “filling of the Holy Spirit” is Ananias informing Paul that he must be baptized. But there seems to be a conjunction of “and” that attaches the healing and the imparting of the Spirit. Anyway, I would love some help in this doctrine. What is going on in these texts?
- More About “Laying on of Hands”
- Personality and Doctrine
- Judgments Over Doctrine
- Denominational Spirituality
- Missio Dei through the Holy Spirit