What does Episcopacy mean in the Bible?

Dictionary

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Episcopacy
That form of church government in which diocesan bishops are established as distinct from and superior to priests or presbyters. The controversy respecting episcopacy commenced soon after the reformation;; and has been agitated with great warmth, between the Episcopalians on the one side, and the Presbyterians and Independents on the other. Among the Protestant churches abroad, those which were reformed by Luther and his associates are in general episcopai: whilst such as follow the doctrines of Calvin, have for the most part thrown off the order of bishops as one of the corruptions of popery. In England, however, the controversy has been considered as of greater importance than on the continent. It has been strenuously maintained by one party, that the episcopal order is essential to the constitution of the church; and by others, that it is a pernicious encroachment on the rights of men, for which there is no authority in Scripture. We will just briefly state their arguments. I. Episcopacy, arguments for.
1. Some argue that the nature of the office which the apostles bore was such, that the edification of the church would require they should have some successors in those ministrations which are not common to Gospel ministers.
2. That Timothy and Titus were bishops of Ephesus and Crete, whose business it was to exercise such extraordinary acts of jurisdiction as are now claimed by diocesan bishops, 1 Timothy 1:3 . Tim. 3: 19, 22. 2 Timothy 2:2 . Titus 1:5 . &c. Titus 3:10 .
3. Some have argued from the mention of angels, 1:e. as they understand it, of diocesan bishops, in the seven churches of Asia, particularly the angel of Ephesus, though there were many ministers employed in it long before the date of that epistle, Acts 20:17 ; Acts 18:1-28 :
4. It is urged that some of the churches which were formed in large cities during the lives of the apostles, and especially that at Jerusalem, consisted of such vast numbers as could not possibly assemble at one place.
5. That in the writers who succeeded the inspired penmen, there is a multiplied and concurring evidence to prove the apostolic institution of episcopacy.
II. Episcopacy, arguments against.
1. To the above it is answered, that, as the office of the apostles was such as to require extraordinary and miraculous endowments for the discharge of many parts of it; it is impossible that they can have any successors in those services who are not empowered for the execution of them as the apostles themselves were; and it is maintained, that so far as ordination, confirmation, and excommunication, may be performed without miraculous gifts, there is nothing in them but what seems to suit the pastoral office in general.
2. That Timothy and Titus had not a stated residence in these churches, but only visited them for a time, 2 Timothy 4:9 ; 2 Timothy 4:13 . Titus 3:12 . It also appears, from other places in which the journeys of Timothy and Titus are mentioned, that they were a kind of itinerant officers, called evangelists, who were assistants to the apostles; for there is great reason to believe the first epistle to Timothy was written prior to those from Rome in the time of Paul's imprisonment, as some think the second was also. To which we may add, that it seems probable, at least, that they had very extraordinary gifts to furnish them for their superior offices, 1 Timothy 4:14 . Ephesians 4:11 . 2 Timothy 4:5 . And though Timothy was with Paul when he took his leave of the elders of Ephesus (Acts 20:1-38 :) the apostle gives not the least hint of any extraordinary power with which he was invested, nor says one word to engage their obedience to him; which is a very strong presumption that no such relation did subsist, or was to take place.
3. As to the angels of the seven churches in Asia, it is certain that, for any thing which appears in our Lord's epistles to them (Revelation 2:3 :) they might be no more than the pastors of single congregations with their proper assistants.
4. To the fourth argument it is answered,
1. That the word may only signify great numbers, and may not be intended to express that there were several times ten thousand, in an exact and literal sense: compare Luke, ch. 12: ver. 1. (Greek.)
2. That no sufficient proof is brought from Scripture of there being such numbers of people in any particular place as this supposes; for the myriads of believing Jews spoken of in the preceding text, as well as the numbers mentioned, Acts 2:41 . Acts 4:4 , might very probably be those who were gathered together at those great feasts from distant places, of which few might have their stated residence in that city.
See Acts, ch. 8: ver. 1-3. If the number were so great as the objection supposes, there might be, for any thing which appears in Scripture, several bishops in the same city, as there are among those who do not allow of diocesan episcopacy, several co-ordinate pastors, overseers, or bishops: and though Eusebius does indeed pretend to give us a catalogue of the bishops of Jerusalem, it is to be remembered how the Christians had been dispersed from thence for a considerable time, at and after the Roman war, and removed into other parts, which must necessarily very much increase the uncertainty which Eusebius himself owns there was, as to the succession of bishops in most of the ancient sees.
5. As to the ancient writers, it is observed, that though Clemens Romanus recommends to the Corinthians the example of the Jewish church, where the high priest, ordinary priest, and Levites knew and observed their respective offices, yet he never mentions presbyters and bishops as distinct, nor refers the contending Corinthians to any one ecclesiastical head as the centre of unity, which he would probably have done if there had been any diocesan bishops among them; nay, he seems evidently to speak of presbyters as exercising the episcopal office.
See sec. 39: of his epistle.
2. As for Irenxus, it does not appear that he made any distinction between bishops and presbyters. He does indeed mention the succession of bishops from the apostles, which is reconcileable with the supposition of their being parochial, nor altogether irreconcileable with the supposition of joint pastors in those churches.
3. It is allowed that Ignatius in many places distinguishes between bishops and presbyters, and requires obedience to bishops from the whole church, but as he often supposes each of the churches to which he wrote to meet in one place, and represents them as breaking one loaf, and surrounding one altar, and charges the bishop to know all his flock by name, it is most evident that he much speak of a parochial and not a diocesan bishop.
4. Polycarp exhorts the Christians at Philippi to be subject to the presbyters and deacons, but says not one word about any bishop.
5. Justin Martyr speaks of the president, but then he represents him as being present at every administration of the eucharist, which he also mentions as always making a part of their public worship; so that the bishop here must have only been the pastor of one congregation.
6. Tertullian speaks of approved elders; but there is nothing said of them that proves a diocesan, since all he says might be applied to a parochial bishop.
7. Though Clemens Alexandrinus speaks of bishops, priests, and deacons, yet it cannot be inferred from hence that the bishops of whom he speaks were any thing more than parochial.
8. Origen speaks distinctly of bishops and presbyters, but unites them both, as it seems, under the common name of priests, saying nothing of the power of bishops as extending beyond one congregation, and rather insinuates the contrary, when he speaks of offenders as brought before the whole church to be judged by it.
9. The apostolic constitutions frequently distinguish between bishops and presbyters; but these constitutions cannot be depended on, as they are supposed to be a forgery of the fourth century.
10. It is allowed that in succeeding ages, the difference between bishops and presbyters came to be more and more magnified, and various churches came under the care of the same bishop: nevertheless, Jerom does expressly speak of bishops and presbyters as of the same order; and Gregory Nazianzen speaks of the great and affecting distinction made between ministers in prerogative of place, and other tyrannical privileges (as he calls them, ) as a lamentable and destructive thing. III. Episcopacy, how introduced.
It is easy to apprehend how episcopacy, as it was in the primitive church, with those alterations which it afterwards received, might be gradually introduced. The apostles seem to have taught chiefly in large cities; they settled ministers there, who, preaching in country villages, or smaller towns, increased the number of converts: it would have been most reasonable that those new converts, which lay at a considerable distance from the large towns, should, when they grew numerous, have formed themselves into distinct churches, under the care of their proper pastors or bishops, independently of any of their neighbours; but the reverence which would naturally be paid to men who had conversed with the apostles, and perhaps some desire of influence and dominion, from which the hearts of very good men might not be entirely free, and which early began to work, (John 3:1-36 . 2 Thessalonians 2:7 , ) might easily lay a foundation for such a subordination in the ministers of new erected churches to those which were more ancient; and much more easily might the superiority of a pastor to his assistant presbyters increase, till it at length came to that great difference which we own was early made, and probably soon carried to an excess.
And if there were that degree of degeneracy in the church, and defection from the purity and vigour of religion, which the learned Vitringa supposes to have happened between the time of Nero and Trajan, it would be less surprising that those evil principles, which occasioned episcopal, and at length the papal usurpation, should before that time exert some considerable influence. IV. Episcopacy, reduced, plan of. Archbishop Usher projected a plan for the reduction of episcopacy, by which he would have moderated it in such a manner as to have brought it very near the Presbyterian government of the Scotch church; the weekly parochial vestry answering to their church session; the monthly synod to be held by the Chorepiscopi answering to their presbyteries; the diocesan synod to their provincial, and the national to their general, assembly. The meeting of the dean and chapter, practised in the church of England, is but a faint shadow of the second, the ecclesiastical court of the third, and the convocation of the fourth. Bingham's Origines Ecclesiasticae; Stillingfleet's Origines Sacra; Boyse and Howe on Epis.; Benson's Dissertation concerning the first Set. of the Christian Church; King's Const. of the Church; Doddridge's Lectures, lect. 196; Clarkson and Dr. Maurice on Episcopacy; Enc. Brit.
The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia - Episcopacy
The name given to that form of Church government inwhich Bishops are the Chief Pastors with Priests and Deacons underthem. The word is derived from the Greek Episcopos, meaningoverseer; Bishop being the Anglicized form of the Greek word.Much controversy has been held in regard to Church government, asif the form was a matter of uncertainty, or not clearly revealed.The question can only be decided by first regarding Christianityas an institution, as the Kingdom of God, and then inquiring whetherthis Institution, founded by our Lord, has been characterized alwaysby the same thing. In regard to Church government we find thatthe Church as an institution was always governed by Bishops, and thatfor 1500 years after Christ no Christian people recognized any otherMinistry but that of Bishops, Priests and Deacons. Since theReformation the controversy has come up and various theories,especially Presbyterian and Congregationalist, have been advanced.But even now the question of Church government may be consideredas a matter of fact rather than of theory. If we take the wholeChristian world of to-day, we find that the number of Christiansis in round numbers five hundred millions. Of this number onlyone hundred million are non-Episcopal, so that we may concludefrom the universal acceptance of Episcopacy before the Reformationand from the large preponderance of adherents to this form of Churchgovernment at this present time,—from these facts we may safelyconclude that Episcopacy is in accordance with the mind of theMaster. This, at least, is the conclusion of the best scholarshipof the day, both Episcopal and non-Episcopal. For example, anon-Episcopal divine has set forth his conclusions in the followingstatement: "The Apostles embodied the Episcopal element into theconstitution of the Church, and from their days to the time of theReformation, or for fifteen hundred years, there was no other formof Church government anywhere to be found. Wheresoever there wereChristians there were also Bishops; and often where Christiansdiffered in other points of doctrine or custom, and made schismsand divisions in the Church, yet did they all remain unanimous inthis, in retaining Bishops." So also, the historian Gibbongives his conclusion as follows: "'No Church without a Bishop' hasbeen a fact well as a maxim since the time of Tertullian andIrenaeus; after we have passed over the difficulties of the firstcentury, we find the Episcopal government established, till itwas interrupted by the republican genius of the Swiss and Germanreformers." (See MINISTRY, THE.)
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Episcopacy
Is a true sacrament, in which by the Sacrament of Orders, i.e.,by consecration, there is conferred the fullness of the priesthood. It therefore completes and perfects the sacerdotal power, and thus is an order distinct from the priesthood; it confers power to ordain and consecrate, to administer confirmation, to consecrate things destined for Divine worship, and with legitimate jurisdiction to rule a portion of the Church - called a diocese under the Roman pontiff.
Webster's Dictionary - Episcopacy
(n.) Government of the church by bishops; church government by three distinct orders of ministers - bishops, priests, and deacons - of whom the bishops have an authority superior and of a different kind.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Episcopacy
DIOCEAN. The number of Christians in most of the primitive churches was at first small: they could easily, when not prevented by persecution, assemble together; and they thus formed one church or congregation; for, in Scripture, the term church is never used in the more modern acceptation of the word, but is employed to denote either the whole church of Christ, or a number of disciples meeting for the celebration of divine worship. The converts, however, rapidly increased; and when they could no longer meet in one place, other places would be prepared for them. But, connected as they still were with the parent church, they would choose from its presbyters their own pastors, and view themselves as under the inspection of the president and the presbytery, by whom the affairs of the church had been previously conducted. The pastors would thus remain members of the presbytery, as they had formerly been, and would look up to that one of their number who had been accustomed to preside among them. They were, in fact, for a considerable time, considered as one with the original church: the bishop sent to them the elements of the Lord's Supper as the pledge of unity; and we find it asserted by ancient writers, that there was one altar and one bishop. There were in this way gradually established, first in the towns or cities in which the Apostles had called men to the truth, and then in the contiguous district of country, several congregations: in these pastors officiated, who were authorized by the bishop and presbytery, whose superintendence was extended, so that parochial episcopacy was insensibly but naturally changed into diocesan episcopacy; many of the presbyters sent out by the bishop residing at their churches, but nevertheless composing part of his council, and being summoned to meet with him upon important occasions. This enlargement of the field of inspection rendered the particular superintendence of the bishop more requisite; and was the means both of adding to his influence, and of his being regarded as permanently raised above his brethren.
2. The ministers who were sent to the recently erected churches had probably different powers, according to the numbers to whom they were to officiate, the situation of the churches in respect of the original church, and the tranquillity or persecution which was their lot. In the immediate neighbourhood of the bishop, and where one person was sufficient, he would merely perform the duties that had been assigned to him previous to his mission; but the same reasons that led the Apostles to plant several presbyters in the churches which they founded might render it expedient that more than one, sometimes that a considerable number, should be attached to the newly-formed congregations; more particularly when the number attending was large, and when there was the prospect of their still farther increasing. In such cases, it appears that the bishop gave to one of the presbyters sent, and did so for the same reasons that had at first created inequality among the pastors, more extensive powers than were entrusted to the rest, and made him his representative, authorizing him to preside over the others, and to discharge those parts of the ministerial office which, in his own church, he reserved for himself. When this happened, the person so distinguished was termed choro-episcopus: he was more than a presbyter, but he was inferior to the bishop, acted by his directions, and could be controlled by him in the exercise of the privileges which had been granted. Such subordinate bishops continued for a considerable time; but it might, from the beginning, have been foreseen that they would soon aspire to an equality with the original bishops; and they were at length suppressed, under the pretence that, by multiplying the higher order in places of little consequence, the church would detract from the respectability of that order, and lessen the reverence with which it should be regarded.
3. The different congregations or churches which were established in various cities and the adjoining districts were in so far independent of each other, that the bishops and presbyters of each had the rule of their particular church, and of the churches which had sprung from it, and were entitled, by their own authority, to make such regulations as appeared to them to be requisite; and this species of independence continued for a considerable time, every bishop presiding in his congregation, and afterward in his diocess. There was, however, always a common tie by which they were united. Neighbouring churches, actuated by ardent zeal for the interests of divine truth, consulted together upon the best mode of promoting it. We know that the Apostolic churches were enjoined to communicate to other bodies the epistles which they had received; and while persecution continued, it was natural for all who were exposed to it to consider by what means its fury could be avoided.
4. After the bishops were established as superior to presbyters, when any meeting was held respecting religion, or the administration of the church, it was chiefly composed of this higher order, and the president of the synod or council was elected from their number. These meetings were generally assembled in the metropolis, or principal city of the district; and hence the bishop of this city, being frequently called to preside, came, at length, to be regarded as entitled to do so: thus acquiring a superiority over the other bishops, just as they had acquired superiority over the inferior clergy. He was, in consequence, distinguished by a particular name, being denominated, from the city in which he presided, a metropolitan.

Sentence search

Government, Church - (See Episcopacy
Prelatism - ) Prelacy; Episcopacy
Episcopy - ) Episcopacy
Episcopalianism - ) The doctrine and usages of Episcopalians; Episcopacy
Metropolitan - ...
See articles BISHOP, Episcopacy
Archiepiscopacy - ) That form of Episcopacy in which the chief power is in the hands of archbishops
Pseudo - A combining form or prefix signifying false, counterfeit, pretended, spurious; as, pseudo-apostle, a false apostle; pseudo-clergy, false or spurious clergy; pseudo-episcopacy, pseudo-form, pseudo-martyr, pseudo-philosopher
Spanish College - Founded in 1893 through the efforts of Pope Leo XIII, the Episcopacy, the royal family, and others in Spain
Aerians - ...
See Episcopacy
Superintendent - An ecclesiastical superior in several reformed churches where Episcopacy is not admitted, particularly among the Lutherans in Germany, and the Calvinists in some other places
Holy Orders - (See BISHOP,EPISCOPACY, DEACON, MINISTER, PRIEST
Bishop - ...
See Episcopacy. ...
See Episcopacy
Arpotyrites - " The Artotyrites admitted women, to the priesthood and Episcopacy; and Epiphanius tells us that it was a common thing to see seven girls at once enter into their church robed in white, and holding a torch in their hands; where they wept and bewailed the wretchedness of human nature, and the miseries of this life
Felix of Nola, Saint - Refusing the Episcopacy of Nola which the citizens urged upon him, he continued his duties as auxiliary; he devoted himself to the poor, among whom he distributed his inheritance
Nola, Felix of, Saint - Refusing the Episcopacy of Nola which the citizens urged upon him, he continued his duties as auxiliary; he devoted himself to the poor, among whom he distributed his inheritance
High Church Party - Members of the Church of England who stress the authority and claims of the Episcopacy and priesthood, maintain a sacerdotal view of the Sacraments and give a high place to those points of doctrine, discipline, and ritual which distinguish the Anglican Church from other forms of Protestantism
Presbyterians English - The appellation Presbyterian in England is appropriated to a body of dissenters, who have not any attachment to the Scotch mode of church government any more than to Episcopacy among us; and therefore the term Presbyterian is here improperly applied
Callo, Saint - He declined the abbacy of Luxeuil and the Episcopacy of Constance
Chelleh, Saint - He declined the abbacy of Luxeuil and the Episcopacy of Constance
Gilianus, Saint - He declined the abbacy of Luxeuil and the Episcopacy of Constance
Gall, Saint - He declined the abbacy of Luxeuil and the Episcopacy of Constance
Apostolicity - It implies Apostolicity of mission, that is, Christ's Church is a moral body, possessing the mission entrusted by Him to His Apostles of baptizing and teaching all men in His name and transmitted through them and their lawful successors in the Episcopacy in an unbroken chain to their present representatives
Isidore of Seville, Saint - During his Episcopacy he devoted his energies to promoting science, establishing schools and convents, and welding into a homogeneous nation the various peoples composing the Hispano-Gothic kingdom
Seville, Isidore of, Saint - During his Episcopacy he devoted his energies to promoting science, establishing schools and convents, and welding into a homogeneous nation the various peoples composing the Hispano-Gothic kingdom
Succession Uninterrupted - (...
See Episcopacy. Howe's Episcopacy, p
Oliver Plunket - During his Episcopacy he convened a national council, 1670, a provincial synod, 1678, defended the rights of his see against Dublin, and promoted Catholic education
Maurus, Rabanus, Blessed - During his Episcopacy he held three important synods
Hermas - Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen attribute to him "The Shepherd," supposed by some to have been written in the Episcopacy of Clement I; others deny Hermas of Romans 16 to be the author
Rabanus Maurus, Blessed - During his Episcopacy he held three important synods
Methodist Bodies - " In America the church government emphasized the superintendency, which was a form of Episcopacy
Basil the Great, Saint - His Episcopacy was distinguished by the many reforms he effected among clergy and laity, and for his fearlessness in defending the Church
Saint Andrews And Edinburgh, Scotland, Archdiocese - Suffragen dioceses include ...
Aberdeen, Scotland
Argyll and the Isles, Scotland
Dunkeld, Scotland
Galloway, Scotland
Notable bishops include ...
William Lamberton, during whose Episcopacy the cathedral was consecrated (1318)
Henry Wardlaw, founder of the University of Saint Andrews (1411)
See also ...
Catholic-Hierarchy
Episcopacy - The controversy respecting Episcopacy commenced soon after the reformation;; and has been agitated with great warmth, between the Episcopalians on the one side, and the Presbyterians and Independents on the other. Episcopacy, arguments for. That in the writers who succeeded the inspired penmen, there is a multiplied and concurring evidence to prove the apostolic institution of Episcopacy. Episcopacy, arguments against. If the number were so great as the objection supposes, there might be, for any thing which appears in Scripture, several bishops in the same city, as there are among those who do not allow of diocesan Episcopacy, several co-ordinate pastors, overseers, or bishops: and though Eusebius does indeed pretend to give us a catalogue of the bishops of Jerusalem, it is to be remembered how the Christians had been dispersed from thence for a considerable time, at and after the Roman war, and removed into other parts, which must necessarily very much increase the uncertainty which Eusebius himself owns there was, as to the succession of bishops in most of the ancient sees. Episcopacy, how introduced. ...
It is easy to apprehend how Episcopacy, as it was in the primitive church, with those alterations which it afterwards received, might be gradually introduced. Episcopacy, reduced, plan of. Archbishop Usher projected a plan for the reduction of Episcopacy, by which he would have moderated it in such a manner as to have brought it very near the Presbyterian government of the Scotch church; the weekly parochial vestry answering to their church session; the monthly synod to be held by the Chorepiscopi answering to their presbyteries; the diocesan synod to their provincial, and the national to their general, assembly. Maurice on Episcopacy; Enc
Disestablishment of the Anglican Church - The movement in England itself has been strengthened by controversies resulting from the book, "Foundations," 1912, which displayed a trend towards doctrinal indifference; the Church of England Assembly (Power) Act, 1919, which secured greater freedom for the Episcopacy
Confirmation - Clark's Essay on Confirmation; Wood on ditto; How's Episcopacy
Anglican Church, Disestablishment of the - The movement in England itself has been strengthened by controversies resulting from the book, "Foundations," 1912, which displayed a trend towards doctrinal indifference; the Church of England Assembly (Power) Act, 1919, which secured greater freedom for the Episcopacy
Reformed Episcopal Church - Its government is in accord with the Protestant Episcopal Church, but Episcopacy is regarded as "an ancient and desirable form of church government rather than as of divine right
Episcopacy - Of this number onlyone hundred million are non-Episcopal, so that we may concludefrom the universal acceptance of Episcopacy before the Reformationand from the large preponderance of adherents to this form of Churchgovernment at this present time,—from these facts we may safelyconclude that Episcopacy is in accordance with the mind of theMaster
Leo the Great, Pope Saint - To gain this end he established the vicariates of Arles, as the center of the Gallican Episcopacy; and Thessalonica, as the center of Eastern Illyria
Leo i, Pope Saint - To gain this end he established the vicariates of Arles, as the center of the Gallican Episcopacy; and Thessalonica, as the center of Eastern Illyria
Leo ix, Pope Saint - As pope he sought to centralize the Episcopacy and began at his first synod at Rome when he attacked simony and clerical incontinence
Apostolic Fathers - (See Episcopacy;EPISCOPATE; BISHOP, also MINISTRY),...
John Milner - Among his works are: "Divine Rights of Episcopacy" (1791); "History of Winchester" (1798); "Ends of Religious Controversy" (1818)
Milner, John - Among his works are: "Divine Rights of Episcopacy" (1791); "History of Winchester" (1798); "Ends of Religious Controversy" (1818)
Matthew Parker - Elizabeth decided to retain an Episcopacy; hence it became necessary to devise some means of finding a bishop to consecrate the newly selected prelates
Latitudinarians - They were zealously attached to the church of England, but did not look upon Episcopacy as indispensable to the constitution of the Christian church
Ministry, the - (See Episcopacy, PASTORS and also HOLY ORDERS
Moravian Church - The Moravian Church is a modified Episcopacy in government
Unitas Fratrom - The Moravian Church is a modified Episcopacy in government
Unity of Brethren - The Moravian Church is a modified Episcopacy in government
Fenwick, Benedict Joseph - He removed the Ursulines from an unsuitable location in Boston to Charlestown, early in his Episcopacy; in 1834 the convent was destroyed at the hands of a fanatical mob
Benedict Joseph Fenwick - He removed the Ursulines from an unsuitable location in Boston to Charlestown, early in his Episcopacy; in 1834 the convent was destroyed at the hands of a fanatical mob
Bishop - " See Episcopacy
Ecclesiastical Polity - The truth, accordingly, is, that a great part of the Lutheran churches, as we shall afterward find, did introduce many deviations from that model for which their founders had expressed respect and admiration; although Episcopacy was in several places continued. Beza, who was warmly attached to presbytery, and who upon every occasion strenuously defended it, still admits that the human order of Episcopacy was useful, as long as the bishops were good; and he professes all reverence for those modern bishops who strive to imitate the primitive ones in the reformation of the church according to the word of God: adding that it was a calumny against him, and those who entertained his sentiments, to affirm, as some had done, that they wished to prescribe their form of government to all other churches. Holding this maxim, their support of Episcopacy must have proceeded from views of expediency, or, in some instances, from a conviction which prevailed very generally at this early period, that it belonged to the supreme civil magistrate to regulate the spiritual no less than the political government; an idea involving in it that no one form of ecclesiastical polity is of divine institution. " We have, indeed, a succession of testimonies from the introduction of the reformation down through the reign of Elizabeth,—testimonies given by the primates, and bishops, and theologians, who have been venerated as the luminaries of the church of England, that the divine right or institution of Episcopacy constituted no part of their faith; and this is confirmed by their correspondence with reformed divines, who did not live under the episcopal model, but who, notwithstanding, were often consulted as to the ecclesiastical arrangements which the convocation should adopt. The Lutheran church, with the exception of those branches of it established in Denmark and Sweden, has adopted a kind of intermediate constitution between Episcopacy and presbytery. It appears from the statement which has now been given, that all Protestants immediately after the reformation, while they abjured the papal supremacy, were united in holding that the mode of administering the church might be varied, some of them being attached to Episcopacy, others to presbytery; but all founding this attachment upon the judgment which they had formed as to the tendency or utility of either of these modes of government
Bishop - " (See HOLY ORDERS, Episcopacy, alsoMINISTRY)
Albany - During the Episcopacy of Bishop Francis McNeirny, the cathedral was enlarged and an apse, new sacristies, and a tower were added
Episcopacy - There were in this way gradually established, first in the towns or cities in which the Apostles had called men to the truth, and then in the contiguous district of country, several congregations: in these pastors officiated, who were authorized by the bishop and presbytery, whose superintendence was extended, so that parochial Episcopacy was insensibly but naturally changed into diocesan Episcopacy; many of the presbyters sent out by the bishop residing at their churches, but nevertheless composing part of his council, and being summoned to meet with him upon important occasions
Ministerial Call - " We must refer the reader for more on this subject to the articles CHURCH, Episcopacy, and INDEPENDENTS
Church - Episcopacy was adopted in apostolic times as the most expedient government, most resembling Jewish usages, and so causing the least stumbling-block to Jewish prejudices (Acts 4:8; Acts 24:1). This was the first specimen of apostolic local Episcopacy without the name. Episcopacy gives more of centralized unity, but when made an absolute law it tends to spiritual despotism
Presbyterians - Hammond, who was a very learned divine, and a zealot for Episcopacy, that the elders whom the apostle James desires (James 5:14 . "There is nothing in Scripture upon which the Episcopalian is more ready to rest his cause than the alleged Episcopacy of Timothy and Titus, of whom the former is said to have been bishop of Ephesus, and the latter bishop of Crete; yet the Presbyterian thinks it is clear as the noon-day sun, that the presbyters of Ephesus were supreme governors, under Christ, of the Ephesian churches, at the very time that Timothy is pretended to have been their proper diocesan. ' But with what truth could this have been said, if obedience to a diocesan bishop had been any part of their duty, either at the time of the apostle's speaking, or at any future period? He foresaw that ravenous wolves would enter in among them, and that even some of themselves should arise speaking perverse things; and if, as the Episcopalians allege, diocesan Episcopacy was the remedy provided for these evils, is it not strange, passing strange, that the inspired preacher did not foresee that Timothy, who was then standing beside him, was destined to fill that important office: or, if he did foresee it, that he ommitted to recommend him to his future charge, and to give him proper instructions for the discharge of his duty? "But if Timothy was not bishop of Ephesus, what, it may be asked, was his office in that city? for that he resided there for some time, and was by the apostle invested with authority to obtain and rebuke presbyters, are facts about which all parties are agreed, and which, indeed, cannot be controverted by any reader of Paul's epistles. ' This text might lead us to suppose that Timothy was bishop of Corinth as well as of Ephesus; for it is stronger than that upon which his Episcopacy of the latter church is chiefly built. As to the church government among the Scotch Presbyterians, no one is ignorant, that, from the first dawn of the reformation among us till the aera of the revolution, there was a perpetual struggle between the court and the people, for the establishment of an episcopal or a presbyterian form: the former model of ecclesiastical polity was patronised by the house of Stuart on account of the support which it gave to the prerogatives of the crown; the latter was the favourite of the majority of the people, perhaps not so much on account of its superior claim to apostolical institution, as because the laity are mixed with the clergy in church judicatories, and the two orders, which under Episcopacy are kept so distinct, incorporated, as it were, into one body. For the other side of the question, and against Presbyterian church government, see articles BROWNISTS, CHURCH CONGREGATIONAL, Episcopacy, and INDEPENDENTS
Presbyterians - Hammond, who was a very learned divine, and a zealot for Episcopacy, that the elders whom the apostle James desires (James 5:14 . "There is nothing in Scripture upon which the Episcopalian is more ready to rest his cause than the alleged Episcopacy of Timothy and Titus, of whom the former is said to have been bishop of Ephesus, and the latter bishop of Crete; yet the Presbyterian thinks it is clear as the noon-day sun, that the presbyters of Ephesus were supreme governors, under Christ, of the Ephesian churches, at the very time that Timothy is pretended to have been their proper diocesan. ' But with what truth could this have been said, if obedience to a diocesan bishop had been any part of their duty, either at the time of the apostle's speaking, or at any future period? He foresaw that ravenous wolves would enter in among them, and that even some of themselves should arise speaking perverse things; and if, as the Episcopalians allege, diocesan Episcopacy was the remedy provided for these evils, is it not strange, passing strange, that the inspired preacher did not foresee that Timothy, who was then standing beside him, was destined to fill that important office: or, if he did foresee it, that he ommitted to recommend him to his future charge, and to give him proper instructions for the discharge of his duty? "But if Timothy was not bishop of Ephesus, what, it may be asked, was his office in that city? for that he resided there for some time, and was by the apostle invested with authority to obtain and rebuke presbyters, are facts about which all parties are agreed, and which, indeed, cannot be controverted by any reader of Paul's epistles. ' This text might lead us to suppose that Timothy was bishop of Corinth as well as of Ephesus; for it is stronger than that upon which his Episcopacy of the latter church is chiefly built. As to the church government among the Scotch Presbyterians, no one is ignorant, that, from the first dawn of the reformation among us till the aera of the revolution, there was a perpetual struggle between the court and the people, for the establishment of an episcopal or a presbyterian form: the former model of ecclesiastical polity was patronised by the house of Stuart on account of the support which it gave to the prerogatives of the crown; the latter was the favourite of the majority of the people, perhaps not so much on account of its superior claim to apostolical institution, as because the laity are mixed with the clergy in church judicatories, and the two orders, which under Episcopacy are kept so distinct, incorporated, as it were, into one body. For the other side of the question, and against Presbyterian church government, see articles BROWNISTS, CHURCH CONGREGATIONAL, Episcopacy, and INDEPENDENTS
Bishop, Elder, Presbyter - ’...
Starting from the original identity of ‘bishop’ and ‘presbyter,’ Theodore (on 1 Timothy 3:1-8) infers that Episcopacy existed from the first. Montanism was a revolt against this official Episcopacy-an attempt to restore the charismatic ministry of the prophets, and when it failed, the triumph of Episcopacy wag complete
Bishop - The sum of the arguments amounts to this, that Episcopacy in the sense of superintendency, not in that of succession to the apostleship, has the apostolic precedent to recommend it; but no directions for the form of church government so positive and explicit as those in the Old Testament concerning the Aaronic priesthood and Levitical ministry are laid down in the New Testament as to the Christian ministry. The absence of literal, positive directions as to church government, and the statement of the broad principle, "Let all things be done unto edifying" 1 Corinthians 14:26), and the continual presence of the Holy Spirit in the church to raise up fresh agencies for fresh needs of the church, while justifying Episcopacy in its general following of the apostolic order, show us that it is not exclusively the divine platform, but that in all churches holding the essential truths of Scripture "we ought to judge those ministers lawfully called and sent, who be chosen and called to this work by men who have public authority given unto them in the congregation, to call and send ministers into the Lord's vineyard
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch - The longer recension has had few defenders, while the shorter had many and early assailants, moved especially by its support of Episcopacy. The standpoint of the epistles is perfectly consistent with the supposition that Episcopacy existing from the times of the apostles in Asia Minor and Syria and believed by the Christians there to be a divinely ordained institution, made its way gradually into other parts of the church, and that those who most valued it might yet know that it did not exist in churches to which they wrote, or not be assured that it did, and might feel it no part of their duty to enter upon a controversy concerning it. Not only is the supposition that Ignatius was introducing Episcopacy utterly out of the question, but none of the epistles bear the slightest trace of any recent introduction of it in the places in which it exists. Zahn shews that even though the development of Episcopacy were thought to have taken place through the elevation of one of a college to a presidency in those parts where it did not exist in the end of the 1st cent. to organized Episcopacy, took place, according to the testimony of all records both of Scripture and tradition, in the 30 years between the death of St. Thus all the most undoubted records of Episcopacy in the sub-apostolic age centre in the very quarters in which our epistles exhibit it, a weighty coincidence in determining their authenticity. ) If, however, the epistles had been forged to support Episcopacy, they would not have omitted an argument of such weight as the apostolical authority and succession
Episcopalians - In continuation of this primitive institution, we find Episcopacy in all corners of the church of Christ. But, though I flatter myself that I have proved Episcopacy to be an Apostolical institution, yet I readily acknowledge that there is no precept in the New Testament which commands that every church should be governed by bishops. The fundamental principle on which the Episcopacy of this church rests, is here correctly stated
Angels of the Seven Churches - ...
Many ingenious attempts have been made to employ the expression as a collateral or subsidiary proof that Episcopacy had already been established within the lifetime of the Johannine author
Culdees - It has been asserted by the friends of diocesan Episcopacy, that a bishop must always have resided at Iona for the purpose of conferring ordination
Church of England - Episcopacy was early established in this country; and it ought to be remembered, to the honour of the British bishops and clergy, that during several centuries they withstood the encroachments of the see of Rome
Joannes ii, Bishop of Jerusalem - Imbued with that tendency of Eastern church teachers which formed their chief difference from those of the Western church, he with difficulty brought himself to acquiesce in the condemnation of Origenism or to take any steps against Pelagius, with whom he was brought in contact at the close of his Episcopacy, and the presence of Jerome and other immigrants from Italy, and the anti-Origenistic vehemence of Epiphanius of Salamis and Theophilus of Alexandria, made it impossible for him to escape the reproach of laxity and even at times of heresy
Ordination - " ...
See articles Episcopacy, IMPOSITION OF HANDS, INDEPENDENTS, and MINISTERIAL CALL, in this work; James Owen's Plea for Scripture Ordination; Doddridge's Tracts, 5: 2: p
Polycarpus, Bishop of Smyrna - Some of the topics on which the Ignatian letters lay most stress are absent from that of Polycarp; in particular, Polycarp's letter is silent about Episcopacy, of which the Ignatian letters speak so much, and it has consequently been thought probable either that Episcopacy had not yet been organized at Philippi, or that the office was then vacant
Independents - ...
See CHURCH CONGREGATIONAL, and Episcopacy
Church - See Episcopacy and See PRESBYTERIANISM
Donatus And Donatism - ...
Donatus had been succeeded by Parmenian, perhaps the ablest and least prejudiced of the Donatist Episcopacy
Lutherans - The Lutherans in Germany reject both Episcopacy and Presbyterianism, but appoint superintendents for the government of the church, who preside in their consistories, when that office is not supplied by a delegate from the civil government; and they hold meetings in the different towns and villages, to inquire into the state of the congregations and the schools
Marcion, a 2nd Century Heretic - We may conclude that Episcopacy was the settled constitution of the church before the time of the Marcionite schism, else Marcion would not have adopted it in his new sect, and it seems more likely that Marcion had been consecrated to the office before the schism than that he obtained consecration afterwards, or by his own authority took the office to himself and appointed others to it, a thing unexampled in the church, of which we should surely have heard if Marcion had done it