Home      SC Sess Notes: Herm 3

Hermeneutics - Marking




General principles:  Obvious elements of the two texts (Rom. 16:17; II Thess. 3:14-15).

·        Both letters were the written objective standard by which the marked person was to be judged.  There was no question as to what the person was being “marked” for.

·        The letters represented the doctrine or teaching of the apostle, not just a personal rapport with him.  He did not say “mark” anyone who disagrees with me on a personal level, but the teaching.

·        We can derive from this text the principle that marking must have an objective Biblical and identifiable reason that all can associate with.  This is not hearsay, innuendo, or personality rapport.

·        Other corollary Scriptures would lead us to conclude that there is a progression of discipline that must be honored before a person can be marked (Mt. 18:15-17; Gal. 6:1-2; I Tim. 5:17-19, etc.).

·        The marked person therefore must have an objective Biblical standard to identify with in order for them to repent and be restored.  Apart from this, are they repenting to God for violating His Word or to man for not honoring his personality?


Do you agree or disagree with these conclusions?  If not, please state why and support with Scripture.

Answer: Agree



·        “Mark” – observe or watch them which cause divisions.  It would have to be the nature of sin that would keep us from receiving the Word of God.

·        Need to determine the explanation that the word “mark” (Ps. 130:3 – who would stand?).  Context specifically relate to the doctrine of the Deity of Christ, the Finished Work, grace of God, the revelation Paul had.  Roms. 16; 2 Thess. 3; 1 Tim. 5:20.  The marking process was done by the apostle only. For the NT church, this becomes crucial.  Make sure this is never done indiscriminately and casually instead of going through Mt. 18 principle.



1.      What is the process for marking a person for discipline with regard to: 1)Individuals; 2) Leaders; and 3) Overseeing pastors, based on the interpretation of Matt. 18:15-17; gal. 6:1-2; I Tim. 5:17-19?  Are there other texts that may supersede these texts?  Should this process be consistent to all within the church, or should individuals and leaders be treated differently from overseeing pastors?


Answer comments:

·        Yes.  It should be the same for individuals, leaders, and overseeing pastors. No favoritism because of seniority or vice versa.  It should be consistent to all members.

·        Process – go alone; instruct, not destroy; restore; if no repentance – 2 eye witnesses (Deut. 19;15-20; 17:6-7).  Witnesses are scrutinized for their accuracy.  After that, if no repentance, then to go before all- the whole of the church (or 1 Tim. 5:20-21- just the elders?).  No texts in the NT supersede these.  Everyone should be treated the same.

·        3 categories to be dealt with the same.  1 Tim. 5:1 – rebuke not an elder; contrast – 2 Tim. 4:3.  1 Tim. 5:17-20 – they that sin, rebuke before all that others may fear.  Two interpretations – elder that sins rebuked before all or those that receive & perpetrate the accusation.



2.      Does the “table of organization” provide for exceptions to this process?

Answer: Unanimously, No.


3.      What is the ultimate goal of “marking”?


Answer comments:

  • Gal. 6:1-5 – for the restoration of the person.  Rom. 16:17-18 – more for the protection of the Body. 
  • Protecting the Body from heresy.
  • For the individual to be restored and to protect the local assembly.
  • To gain a brother (Mt. 18:15; restoration – Gal. 6:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; by allowing the HS to work conviction & repentance by a corporate unanimity (1 Cor. 5:9-11); 2 Cor. 2:8-11 – so devil does not gain advantage.  Luke 15.  Never to alienate; not count as an enemy – 2 Thes.; never before following the process.



4.      When should marking become public?  At what point in the process of discipline is marking the answer?


Answer comments:

  • After due process-Mt. 18:15-17; at the point where others are being affected by unrestrained individuals.
  • 1 Cor. 5 – marking v. disciplining; ex-communicating; not to company with them; 1 Cor. 5:11, 13, Jude 4; Gal. 2:4, 11.



5.      Should “marking” ever be done in private sessions, raps, conversations, etc.?

Answer: Unanimously, No.



6.      Based on the discussion above, do you agree that there should be a formalized system (i.e., board, committee of elders, etc.) that oversees the process of “marking” a pastor?  Should this process be objectively based and explicit for all other leaders to acknowledge and understand?


Answer comments:

·        Yes. Put on an objective standard.

·        Clearly define it.

·        There needs to be some degree of representation so everyone feels comfortable with the Board.  This process should be decided with great care.



·        Do everything to prevent someone from being injured.

·        Use a process.

·        If a decision is made that the “whole church” should enforce or act upon that decision.

·        Objectiveness with representation.



·        Marking is not disciplinary.  It is carefulness, discerning, and then it could lead to discipline.

·        People who mark must follow the process or they need to be corrected.

·        Rom. 16 – a specific word to mark; 2 Thes. 13-14 – discipline of a brother is very clear.  Doctrine of marking can be based only on Rom. And not Thes.  Apostle himself specifically marked people who were teaching false doctrine—not to discipline them, but to stay away from them.  Note the person, remove him, cut him off if necessary but it is for the purpose of restoration of that brother.

·        Pure hermeneutic of “marking” has to be looked at in the consistency of church discipline, not dealing with a heretic.  Roms. 16 – Paul was addressing the corruption of teaching which would affect the church.  Everything else in the context of discipline is laid out in a process.  Marking has become very vague because it can be used as a means of bypassing healthy church discipline.  It is convenient to mention his name, sow suspicion, but never to go to him alone to clarify his position.  Marking term has been randomly used.

·        NKJ translation – Roms. 16:17 is not translated “mark” but “note.”  2 key words – “walk” – this is not isolated incident but a lifestyle; “doctrine” – should be the basis for marking or noting.  1 Tim. 5:1 – “elder” is translated an “older man”.  Advanced in age, not just a ruler in the church.

·        I don’t believe the Bible teaches marking except by the Apostle to someone who was going against what he was teaching.  I think you can note, but not mark.  Heresy that is detrimental or drawing others out of the Body.

·        God’s nature is to cover.  Prov. 17:9.  We must have the right attitude in dealing with things.  It is observing to protect the soul.  It must be with the  attitude of not making a judgment.  (Jn 12:47-48)  The Word will judge us.  We cannot except John 7:24 – righteous judgment.  Cover people so they can be healed.  Roms. 14:4.