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.

2 thoughts on “Many episkopoi in one church

  1. 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?


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