SHOULD MEN USE THE TITLE ‘REVEREND’?
“…the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. … He sent redemption unto His
people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His
name” (Psalm 111:4, 9).
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”
(I Corinthians 10:31).
The question is, ‘Is it appropriate, right, Scriptural and pleasing to the Lord for men to choose
to use the title of ‘Reverend’? Is this something that is done to the glory of God, or is it
of no consequence whether or not it is used of a man?
Each person must evaluate Scripture and decide for himself. This writing is not meant to be
critical of others, but only meant to explain why I choose not to use the title for myself.
I am no judge of what others might do. Hopefully, this short presentation will be
presented in a way that will not be offensive to anyone, but that it might help
someone to consider some things that perhaps he had not considered before.
I. The above Scripture clearly and definitely say that the LORD is to be reverenced and that
"...holy and reverend is His name."
II. The Apostle Paul is never referred to as ‘Reverend’:
(A.) “I Paul”: II Corinthians 10:1 Galatians 5:2 Ephesians 3:1 Colossians 1:23
I Thessalonians 2:18 Philemon 19
(B.) "Paul" as an inspired-of-God writer of Scripture: Roman 1:1 I Corinthians 1:1
II Corinthians 1:1 Galatians 1:1 Ephesians 1:1 Philippians 1:1 Colossians 1:1 I Thessalonians 1:1
II Thessalonians 1:1 I Timothy 1:1
II Timothy 1:1 Titus 1:1 Philemon 1
(C.) Paul, inspired of God, said he and Barnabas were men of "like passions" with those at Lystra (Acts 14:15).
He did not consider himself a man to be reverenced, or to be superior to any of them.
III. The Apostle John is never referred to as ‘Reverend’:
Revelation 1:9; Revelation 21:2; Revelation 22:8.
IV. As far as I can find, the title ‘Reverend’ is not used in Scripture when referring to any of
the Apostles of Christ, or to any of the Prophets of God, or to any man.
V. The preferred way to refer to a brother in Christ, preachers included, seemed to be to
address him as "Brother", indicating an equal relationship in Christ: (This is my preferred manner to be addressed.)
-Quartus (Romans 16:23)
-Sosthenes (I Corinthians 1:1)
-Apollos (I Corinthians 16:12)
-Timothy (II Corinthians 1:1 Colossians 1:1 I Thessalonians 3:2 Philemon 1
Hebrews 13:23 )
-Titus (II Corinthians 2:13)
-Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21 Colossians 4:7)
-Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25)
-Onesimus (Colossians 4:9 Philemon 16)
-Philemon (Philemon 7, 20)
-Silvanus (I Peter 5:12)
-Paul (II Peter 3:15)
-John (Revelation 1:9)
VI. The prophet Elijah as a man "subject to like passions" even as we are (James 5:17) did
not consider himself a man to be reverenced.
VII. Pastors are referred to as angels (in the sense of being "messengers" of God) but never
as Reverend (Revelation 2:1, 8, 12, 18 3:1, 7 14).
VIII. Other titles that seemingly should be acceptable to be used by God-called preachers:
Pastor (if he occupies this church office), Preacher, Elder or Minister. These do not exalt the man, merely addresses
him in regards to the office that the Lord called him to and one of His churches has ordained him to.
IX. I am a sinner saved by the wonderful grace and mercy of God. My own righteousnesses
are as filthy rags compared to God's holiness. I am not to be reverenced, God is to
be reverenced. My title is not to be Reverend, the LORD’s name is "holy and
reverend". It would very arrogant of me to take a title that is a title given only to the
LORD in the Scriptures.
X. Jesus forbid the title of Father to be used of man. "And call no man your father upon
the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9). It is wrong to give a
man a title such as Father_________ (I don't believe He is saying that it is wrong to call our natural father,
father. It is wrong to use it as a title for a man giving him the position that the heavenly Father only
is to occupy.) This teaches us a principle from God's Word. Certain titles are to be reserved for God
only and not to be used of anyone else. It would be blasphemous for a man to take the title of: Almighty,
Supreme One, Lord of Lords, Potentate, etc. Personally, I believe that the title of Reverend fits into
this category also.
XI. If the title Reverend is to be used by man, where is the Biblical teaching that it applies to
preachers only? Why not use the title for any godly church member? Why would it
not be used for a godly sister as well as a godly brother even if neither were
XII. Some might choose to be called Reverend perhaps in order to give the impression (in
their own minds or in the minds of others) that they are really someone great or important. Could it
be used to build up one's own ego? Some may use the title only because they are preachers and have
never really considered if it was Scriptural or not, or if it glorified God or not. Only God knows the
heart of the individual and the motive of why he would use this title.
"For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself" (Galatians 6:3).
-Preachers must be on constant guard against pride: “Not a novice, lest being lifted
up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (I Timothy 3:6).
-"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you,
not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think
soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).
-"Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed,
even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither
is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase" (I Corinthians 3:5-7).
XIII. “Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering
titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker
would soon take me away” (Job 32:21, 22).
[Titles can be used to give a sense of superiority over others. Children of God are to
be humble, not proud nor arrogant. We are never to have an attitude of superiority.
Jesus is our perfect example of being humble. Did Jesus ever use the title of
Reverend during His earthly ministry?]
What title a person may choose to be called by others is between that person and God. I
choose not to call any man Reverend, and I choose not to be called Reverend by
Where is the Biblical command or the Biblical example of any man, other than the LORD
Himself, having the title or name of Reverend? It would be just as well for a person to
use the title “Holy (insert the person’s name)” as it is to use the title of "Reverend (insert
the person’s name)” (see Psalm 111:9).
The title Reverend is so commonly used for preachers these days that probably many do not even
give it a second thought, so I do not get upset when people unknowingly use it
when speaking to me. When someone does use that title for me, I try to explain to them that
I am not to be revered, and that the title of Reverend is reserved only for the LORD, as given in Scriptures.
The question is, ‘Is it appropriate, right, Scriptural and pleasing to the Lord if men choose to
use the title of ‘Reverend’? Is this something that is done to the glory of God, or is it
of no consequence whether or not it is used of a man?
"What must I do to be saved and have everlasting life and go to heaven when I die?"
Click "How To Be Saved"