International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Hands; Imposition, Laying on of
In the New Testament Jesus laid hands on the little children (Matthew 19:13 , Matthew 19:15 parallel Mark 10:16 ) and on the sick (Matthew 9:18; Mark 6:5 , etc.), and the apostles laid hands on those whom they baptized that they might receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17 , Acts 8:19; Acts 19:6 ), and in healing (Acts 12:17 ). Specially the imposition of hands was used in the setting apart of persons to a particular office or work in the church. This is noticed as taking place in the appointment of the Seven (Acts 6:6 ), in the sending out of Barnabas and Saul (Acts 13:3 ), at the ordination of Timothy (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6 ), but though not directly mentioned, it seems likely that it accompanied all acts of ordination of presbyters and deacons (compare 1 Timothy 5:22; Hebrews 6:2 ). The presbyters could hardly convey what they had not themselves received (1 Timothy 1:14 ). Here again the fundamental idea is communication. The act of laying on of hands was accompanied by prayer (Acts 6:6; Acts 8:15; Acts 13:3 ), and the blessing sought was imparted by God Himself. No ground is afforded by this symbolical action for a sacrament of "Orders." See SACRIFICE; MINISTRY; ORDINATION .
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