For me there is a difference between discussion and arguing. I have, in the past, had the stamina for arguing, but have found that the mental and emotional energy that it takes is more costly than the benefits it seems to provide.
For me discussion includes benefit for both sides, so now I am pretty quick to withdraw once it feels like, to me, that arguing is replacing discussing. The benefit I have gained, thus far, from discussing this subject of eldership with you, Jac, is that the intensity of interest in who has authority, and that there must be recognition of authority (which - to me - sounds like saying who gets to be the boss) is very strong. Perhaps you represent a large group of people for whom this is a central issue, and your interest in organic church is tempered, perhaps, by what you see as a lack of authority given to certain people. It's what it sounds like, to me, anyway. After reading the Newsweek article I noted that there is a movement towards starting churches in homes which might, perhaps, match something of what you had been suggesting to Bart earlier in this forum.
I did not get, from your previous post, that you were positing Jesus as a fellow foot soldier as your main point. The way you reached that particular rebuttal to what I had been saying seemed rather circuitous to me, and more along the lines of argumentative by using a straw man of your own to make what I said appear ridiculous. It seemed like a rhetorical question. That's how it seemed to me.
So I did respond, but in too oblique a way, it seems.
The answer is of course no. Jesus is not a fellow foot soldier. I do not believe that Paul was drawing the parallel of husband to Christ that you drew, in terms of authority, but rather in terms of sacrificial love. The husband is not to the wife as Christ is to the church in terms of holy authority. The husband is to the wife as Christ is to the church in terms of holy love. That's the word Paul was working with, the word "love." Not the word "rule."
I believe that Paul's parallel, in this passage, was how the husband is to love his wife. I believe that what Paul was talking about was blockbuster in his day, and yet completely scriptural according to what we would call the Old Testament today. Paul was certainly capable of talking about ruling authority, but instead he chose to talk about love. Though there is no direct parallel drawn from husband/wife relationship to elder/church relationship, I believe that this would be good teaching to elders in terms of how they are to be with the church. On the other hand, I agree with Viola that elders are not made by men with seminary teaching. Elders are formed by God and recognized by people.
As to the parsing of words, for example "over" and "among," this is where every person must rely upon a scholar for help, and the scholars themselves do not agree. I just don't have the stamina for it any more. However, point well taken, I can list the scholars I go to for help, as their names also help the reader to understand where I am coming from if the reader is familiar with the scholars I go to for help. Thank you for that.
I would not argue that elders are without authority among the members of Christ's body. I said it that way on purpose. Prophets also have authority. In their own way, givers and helpers have authority too, as do teacher/pastors. Defining "authority," then, is important. What I am hearing, and perhaps wrongly, is this concept that there is a group among the body who rule the body. I do not agree that this would be true, if that's the position taken. I believe that Christ alone rules as the invisible but very present and active member of every gathering of believers. He gives, by His Spirit, a portion for each member to share and calls upon all the other members to both benefit from, and cooperate with, each person as they share their portion.