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Difference Between Pastor and Reverend

Difference Between Pastor and Reverend

Pastor Paul Enenche

Pastor vs. Reverend

People often get confused about how to call the leader of their spiritual activities – should it be “pastor,” or should it be “reverend”? Most church community followers often make the mistake of interchanging these two religious titles, as they seem to be synonymous. This is perfectly understandable as these two labels have their similarities. Note, though, that a “pastor” and a “reverend” also have some differences between them.

According to the dictionary, a pastor is defined as a minister or a priest in charge of a church. He may also be a person giving spiritual care to a group of believers. On the other hand, “reverend” refers to a title or an initial for anyone who is a member of the clergy.
Both a pastor and a reverend may be influential to the church. As leaders, they may act as teachers, and they may be given opportunities to deliver Sunday sermons and give studies to children and adults on the different teachings of the Bible.

In addition to this, these leaders are expected to make themselves as presentable as possible as a role model to the community and set examples on how to live a life centered on the teachings of the Bible. They are also responsible for doing deeds intended for the accomplishment and growth of the Church’s views, goals, and principles.

As the chiefs of the spiritual community, they may serve as counselors who give sound advice to their congregants depending on the situation — whether it’s a husband-wife problem or teenage difficulties. Pastors and reverends, at the same time, should be servants and help the needy and disadvantaged through fundraisers or simply with words of encouragement.

The differences between a pastor and a reverend, nonetheless, can be drawn by looking at the function of these labels when they are attached to a certain name.

“Pastor” is addressed to a noun, or specifically a person – the leader or minister of a church. On the other hand, “reverend,” according to the dictionary, is an adjective, addressed to an honorable person who is worthy of being revered. It is used as a title of respect applied or prefixed to the name of a member of a clergy or a religious order.

Difference Between Pastor and Reverend-1

Reverend Kuan Pui LEUNG William

“Pastor” is a function or occupation, while “reverend” is an honorable title. For example, Smith, the minister of the church, can be called “Pastor Smith” if you are referring to his position as the leader of the church, but you can also call him “Reverend Smith” if you are addressing him with respect and honor, the same as “Honorable Smith.” Summing it up, you can call him “Reverend Pastor Smith.”

Even some religious groups wonder why people call their pastors reverends when even the Bible claims that the word “reverend” is used only once:
Psalm 111:9
“He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and reverend is his name.”

But one theory from the church about the use of “reverend” instead of “pastor” originated and was used widely. The word “reverend” mentioned in the Bible refers to the name of God. Thus, to give honor to pastors being one of the persons closest to God, they are called reverends.

However, English grammar disregards the use of the word “reverend” as a stand-alone noun, whether it is singular or plural, though it can be accepted in informal languages.

Summary:

1.“Pastor” is a noun. A pastor is the minister or priest in charge of a church. He is a person providing spiritual care to a number of people.
2.“Reverend” is an adjective. It is a title prefixed to a member of a religious order. It refers to the characteristics of a clergy.
3.Using “reverend” as a stand-alone noun is improper, though it is accepted in some informal language uses.


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  • 40 Comments

    1. I believe, in general practice, if the person in question is your church’s pastor, you use the title “Pastor”; however, if this same individual takes a call to another church, you then begin referring to that same individual as “Reverend”. Make sense?

      If called to YOUR church: Pastor
      If called to THEIR church: Reverend

      Of course, this is all academic. In practice, the title is whatever is desired by the individual, the setting, and the culture.

      • I think its safer to obey the bible. God is the reverend not any wordly man

      • So normal for non-believers to use mans interpretation from a dictionary instead of God’s word “The Bible” The word “Pastor” means “Teacher” The word “Reverend” appears once in the King James Bible in Psalms
        Psa 111:9
        He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant forever: holy and reverend is his name.
        Reverend should only be used when speaking of the “High Priest” who is “Jesus Christ”not Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. It’s like calling a man “Holy” it’s a disgusting way of elevating yourself to God’s level. In the book of Acts we are called to be “Ministers”, “Servants” and “Teachers”once we leave our bodies than God will glorify us and new titles and crowns will be handed out.

      • Please explain the Work of

        1. Apostles
        2. Prophets
        3. Pastors
        4. Evangelists
        5. Teachers
        6. Reverends
        7. Bishops
        8. Missionarys

        Please clear it.

    2. We are only suppose to reverence to God Almighty. Not man.

      • If this is true, then we should call NO man Father, because Jesus said not to “Call No Man, Father, for you have ONE Faher, and He is in heaven(Matt 23:9). And, we should be very careful how we use the WORD to debate our theology.

        • So true, father is used by the catholic priest. I grew up in a Pentecostal church. I heard; Reverend, Pastor, and Elder being called as their spiritual leaders. Also Apostles, and Bishops. The word of God says that a Bishop is the husband of one wife. Yet there are many of women that are called Bishop. When I was ordained under the Baptist church my title is Reverend. If I was ordained under the Pentecostal movement I would be an Elder. Titles titles titles! I sure dont want anyone reverending me as God. I humble myself before God almighty to reverance Him.

      • Amen to that also

    3. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.-ps 111:9
      Reverend is God only not any man to be revered. If you call any man reverend then we are idolators.

      Pastor is an Elder or shepherd or overseer or bishop of local church. 1 Tim 3:1,2; 1Pet 5:1

      • If you will notice in Psalms 111:9 “…and reverend is his name.,” the word, reverend, is not capitalized so, it is not a name. If they were stating His name is reverend, then it would be capitalized. The word reverend is not capitalized in any of the bibles that use that word. This is just stating that His name, what ever it may be, indicates honor and respect. You are taking the word “reverend” out of context. Now, Keep reading.

        God’s real name was revealed to the only person He thought to be worthy of knowing, that was Abraham. It is stated God’s name is 70 letters long and no one knows what it is or how to pronounce it except Abraham. That is why in Hebrew, there is a shorter version spelled, (since I don’t have a Hebrew alphabet keyboard I will use the name of each Hebrew letter), yud-hey-vav-hey in place of it. Remember only Abraham was allowed to know His real name.

        In the Jewish religion, these letters, which form a word for the name of God, can not be pronounced because the vowels used to pronounce the letters are symbols below the letters only to help pronounce words. However, because one of the letters has two vowels, one below and one above the letter, which is unheard of with the Hebrew language, this name of God can not be pronounced and should not try to be pronounced. This was the purpose of using two vowels with one letter. But in some religions, they pronounce the word as “Yaweh.” But that is incorrect because the one letter has two vowels and they have chosen to ignore that fact. Again, this is what makes it impossible to pronounce.

        The Hebrews, from the time of Abraham, chose to use, Adonai, Elohim, and/or HaShem (which means the name), to represent the pronunciation of the Hebrew letters I mentioned above. Hebrews, known today as Jews, of course, know God by these names when they come across the spelling mentioned above.

        Therefore, God’s name is not reverend in the Psalm 111:9, “… and reverend is his name.” It is actually stating, … holy and honored, and respected is His name. They were using reverend to define his name as one to be honored and respected.

        I looked up this Psalm in The Holy Bible, New King James Version and it is worded, “He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is his name.

        They did not use reverend, instead awesome was used to describe His name. This goes to prove that the word “reverend” as used in the Hebrew bible is defining God’s name as holy, honored, and respected is His name.

        Only Abraham knew his true name and it was not reverend. Will we ever know His name? Perhaps the only way we will know is when we enter His kingdom. As it stands now, His name is, God, Adonai, Elohim, HaShem, El Shaddai, Allah, Khuda, Parvardigar, and many more.

        • Cindy,thank you for clarity and distinguishment of the context of this scripture. I wanted to ask you, have you ever heard of the Hebrew name for Jesus being Yahawashi? I have a YouTube video that seems very educational and interesting on this topic and how Yaweh is even a transliteration of Yahawashi. If you’re interested. I would love anothers informed opinion/view of it

          • As far as all my research and studying went through out the Years, passages ARE Being changed, as well as titles and Names which is Blasphemy, for instance just one of many is The Lion laying down with The Lamb, Isaiah 11:6) This is how I remember the verse in Isaiah 11:6. But it now says; The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them., This when I was a child Never was! There was even a pictorial in my childhood Bible depicting a Lion laying down with a Lamb , ” NOT a Wolf” also The changing of The Wording of The Lord’s Prayer, I was Also Taught through the Hebrew Book , That God Has 72 Names The Hebrew preferred The Title “Yahweh” and Christ Jesus is refereed to in Hebrew as “Yeshua” but I’ve never seen nor Heard that Translation, Which Doesn’t mean it’s not so , Perhaps I am Ignorant to it being so, Or Perhaps the’ve changed there wording once again, Hope that Helps , Grace be with You. ✝️

        • I agree….good and logical explanation.

        • Thank you Cindy. Very informative and brings the matter to a near conclusion. Awesome, Reverend could just be synonyms emphasizing how we ought to pay maximum and unrepentant respect to the name of God. Fortunate enough the Bible hasn’t dictated explicitly nor implicitly that Reverend is exclusively addressed to God and its use being blasphemous.

        • Very detailed and educative. Thank you Cindy

        • Well I’ll go with that not your word but Truth in your study of The of Yah.

      • Should a Person be installed in order to be a pastor?? Should a Pastor have a building??

    4. Yeah! I agree. Only one Father and Reverend. Can’t believe hardly no one recognizes the word.

    5. The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. (1Tim5:17)

      • Reverend can’t be used as a designation rather as a recognition
        No one is perfect even the ministesr of God. therefore human kind can’t live upto God standard to be mention as reverend.

    6. Then what name would you have an ordained minister use during a wedding a baptismal or a funeral Ceremony.. And don’t get me wrong I agree with you.. What if where to comment and have knowledge greater Then some in recognizing meanings in The Bible… Should we not give more information and help… Thank you and God-bless

      • I was reading my bible and i read that it is none Reverend but the Father which is in Heaven, but can not remember which book i was reading if anyone find it will you please send it to me. thank you, my email is app123q2@yahoo.com.

    7. It is better to be addressed to God only

    8. To me holy and reverend as in Psalm 111:9 really does not mean its titles or names of the Lord. It means that we have to keep God’s name holy and should give reverence to God’s name. I at all times say “it’s written in the holy Bible” and we give reverence to the word of God. Reverend is just a mere word to show respect, acknowledge and honour some one representing God to us through divine calling to help, minister, counsel, bring God’s message, performing spiritual duties like holy communion, baptism etc to those who are in their care to pastor or assigned to minister to. Similarly the ten commandment teach us to honour our parents.

    9. Pastor and priest are not interchangeable. A real pastor serves at a christian church where a priest serves at a catholic church.

    10. I wanted to no the difference between Pastor and Rev. And where is Rev camping from?

    11. “PASTOR” is an ordained church leader. A clergy.

      “REVEREND” is a senior Pastor in or of the Church.

      So, a Reverend is a Senior Pastor or Clergyman.

      Instead of “REVEREND PASTOR LEWI”,energy is saved by just referring or calling him “REVEREND LEWI”

      Locally, REVEREND position is seen as a promotion. It determines postings, salaries, status in the societal strata.

    12. Very interesting write ups and replies. Informative too!

    13. At my church we have a Pastor…But, we also have a Rev who’s a woman and she is always running everything at the church starting up mess, problems,making groupies, and talking about the members and the Pastor’s family behind their back…She’s trying to get the church to herself and her family only

      • First, It’s always best to seek the Lord first when dealing with someone in the congregation. Second, approach her directly in love and show her how her interactions conflicts with the Bible. If she continues take a brother or sister and repeat. If it still continues, the Pastor should first warn her of her behaviors conflicting with the word and read to her how she should should behave. If she refuses to repent and turn away from these behaviors the Pastor should openly rebuke her in front of the congregation. If still continues then she must leave the flock. All of this is written in the Bible although I paraphrase.

    14. A Pastor designated in the Clerical office serves a congregation it has been trained and assigned.
      A Reverend is in the same office of the pastor though it is capable of serving in other areas of the religious order assigned a pastor is stationed while the priest office of a Reverend is not always stationed though the doctrinal status of both the Pastor and Reverend must hold the same biblical doctrinal balance.

    15. I BELIEVE THAT REVEREND IS AN HONORARY TITTLE TO A DEVOTED CHILD OF GOD ,THAT HE HIMSELF HAS CALLED & PROMOTED.IN JESUS NAME. THANK YOU , MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU ALL IN ADVANCE IN JESUS NAME.

    16. Surely God is faithful,thanks to everyone who has patispated in this hot debate,have learned alot,Shollom!Cidy congrats ,Holy Spirit is using you.

    17. I prefer to be called a Minister, as a Humble Servant of The Lord our God, We that Preach the Word of God are ministering unto others , as many of the Apostles referred to themselves as Servants or Ministers of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, it’s a Humble title, and is mentioned many times throughout the KJV of The Bible by All those Spreading the Good News and Teaching the Gospel to those who knew it Not.

    18. Thank you

    19. It is very interesting at the same time depressing and worrying how we children of the most high God are trying to confuse ourselves. Does it mean we are not satisfied with what the word of God says? Is the word of God not enough for us? Do we really pray that the Holy Spirit should lead us into all truth? In Ephesians 4:11-13 the title Reverend doesn’t appear, is it education or power hunger that has made us to ignore what the Bible says? In my church the so called “Clergy” are refusing to be addressed as pastor because according to the education they’ve aquired they’ve been elevated “Reverends” pastor to them is inferior. Where are we going? Are we in church for titles? Jesus was not into titles but towels He served and saved us why are we so carried away by titles? What has gone wrong with ministries Christ gave to us? He didn’t give us titles He gave us ministries. To me the title Reverend doesn’t have any place in the body of Christ. Jesus never mentioned it even the apostles didn’t why are we so obsessed with titles. God did call us to be reversed but we were called to reverence Him alone. A donkey on which Jesus rode walked on the palm leaves and robes of men but one who was honored and revered was Jesus Christ. If we reverence God we’ll stick to what the Bible says.

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    [0]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Enenche

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