Many episkopoi in one church

Let’s assume for the moment that episokopos in the Greek New Testament means “bishop.”  Things get really interesting in the following passages:

Acts 20:28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you [a]overseers [bishops], to shepherd the church of God which He [b]purchased [c]with His own blood.

Phil. 1:1:

Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the [a]saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, [b]including the overseers [bishops] and deacons:

In these two passages Paul is speaking to specific, local churches. I can grant for a moment that the Ephesian elders represented a multitude of churches in the Ephesian area.  Perhaps.  You still have many bishops within one church-area.

Advertisements

About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
This entry was posted in church and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Many episkopoi in one church

  1. cal says:

    This is only problematic if one ascribes to the canon that there is one bishop per city, but the Eastern Orthodox have already violated that, and functionally set in stone, with the American case. In other cases, an episkopos would serve a collective of presbyteroi, a pastor of pastors. And, theoretically, there could be multiple episkopoi. I don’t see the division, enshrined in tradition, between presbyteroi and episkopoi as nothing, and Presbyterians, Congregationalists and otherwise will have to justify the dual term if they are referring to the same thing.

    What do episcopal commentators say about this passage?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s