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Bishop, Episcopate
(2,580 words)

1. Rise

In distinction from Jewish Christianity, whose leaders were the 12 apostles and local elders (Acts 11:30; 15:2, 4, 22–23, etc.), the Pauline churches gradually developed a constant leadership consisting of bishops and deacons (Phil. 1:1). In secular Greek the term for bishop (episkopos) denoted the work of supervision or administration. Bishops, then, exercised administrative oversight over congregational life. A later stage finds reflection in Acts 20:…

Cite this page
Hein, Martin, Jung, Hans-Gernot and VanElderen, Marlin, “Bishop, Episcopate”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 21 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_B313>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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