“They appointed elders for them in every church"
Some New Testament Texts: Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; Ephesians 4:11; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:5; Titus 1:5-9.
XIV.1DIDACHE: Elect therefore for yourselves bishops and deacons who are worthy of the Lord, men who are meek, not lovers of money, true, and tested. For they minister to you the service of the prophets and teachers. Do not look down on them, for they are your honored men along with the prophets and teachers. (15)
2CLEMENT OF ROME: The apostles were delivered the gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent from God. Christ therefore is from God and the apostles are from Christ. They both then came in good order by the will of God. When they received his comands and were frilly convinced by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and had full faith in the word of God, they went forth in the confidence that the Holy Spirit gives preaching the gospel that the kingdom of God is about to come. They preached district by district and city by city and appointed their first converts, after testing them by the Spirit, as bishops and deacons of those who were going to believe. . . . For thus the Scripture says somewhere, “I will appoint their bishops in righteousness and their deacons in faith.” . . .
Our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife concerning the name of the episcopate. For this cause and having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those we mentioned above and afterward gave the rule that if they died other tested men should succeed to their ministry. The men therefore who have been appointed by the apostles and afterward by other eminent men with the consent of the whole church and who have ministered unblameably to the flock of Christ humbly, quietly, and unselfishly, men who have been well testified to for many years by all, these men we do not consider it just to expel from their ministry. For it will be no small sin to us if we cast out from the episcopate those who have offered the gifts unblameably and holily. Blessed are those elders who have died previously and had a fruitful and perfect departure. They have no fear that someone remove them from their established place. For we see that you have removed some who have conducted themselves well from the ministry which has been unblameably honored by them. (42, 44)
3HERMAS, SHEPHERD: The old woman came and asked me if I had already given the book to the elders. I replied that I had not given it. “That is all right,” she said, “for I have words to add. When I have finished all the words, they shall be made known by you to all the elect. You shall write therefore two books and you shall send one to Clement and one to Grapte. Clement then shall send it to the cities abroad, for that is his duty. Grapte shall admonish the widows and orphans. But you shall read it for this city with the elders who preside over the church.” (Visions 2.4.2-3=8.2-3)
4The stones which are square, white, and fit into their joints are the apostles, bishops, teachers, and deacons who walked according to the holiness of God and did the work of overseeing, teaching, and serving the elect of God purely and piously. Some have fallen asleep, but some are still alive. They always agreed among themselves, had peace among themselves, and listened to one another. (Ibid. 3.5.1=13.1)
5He showed me men sitting on a bench and another man sitting on a chair, and he said, “Do you see those seated on the bench?” “Yes, sir,” I said. “These,” he said, “are faithful, and the one sitting on the chair is a false prophet.” (Mandate 11.1=43.1)
6POLYCARP: Likewise the deacons are to be unblameable before his righteousness as servants of God and Christ and not of people. They are not to be slanderers, double tongued, nor lovers of money, but self controlled in all things, compassionate, attentive, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who became the servant of all. . . . Wherefore it is necessary that. . . you be subject to the elders and deacons as to God and Christ. . . .
And the elders are to be compassionate, showing mercy to all, turning back those who have strayed, looking after all the weak, not neglecting widows or orphan or poor. But “providing always for that which is good before God and others,” they are to abstain from all wrath, partiality, and unjust judgment, and are to be far from all love of money, not quickly believing bad reports, not relentless in judgment, knowing that “all are debtors of sin.” (Philippians 5.2,3; 6.1)
7IGNATIUS: Give heed to the bishop in order that God may also to you. I am devoted to those who are submissive to the bishop, presbyters, and deacons, and may I have a part with them in God. (Polycarp 6)
8Likewise all are to respect the deacons as Jesus Christ, even as the bishop is a type of the Father, and the presbyters are as the council of God and as the college of apostles. Apart from these it is not called a church. (Trallians 3)
9All of you follow the bishop, as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as the apostles, and respect the deacons as the commandment of God. No one should do anything which pertains to the church without the bishop. (Smyrnaeans 8)
10IRENAEUS: When we make appeal to the tradition that is from the apostles, which is preserved in the churches by the successions of elders, they oppose tradition and say that they are wiser not only than the elders but also than the apostles and have discovered the genuine truth. (Against Heresies 3.2.2)
11We are in a position to make an accounting of those who were appointed as bishops in the churches by the apostles and of their successors. (Ibid. 3.1)
12Wherefore it is necessary to obey those who are the elders in the church, who possess the succession from the apostles, as we have shown, and who with the succession to the episcopate received the trustworthy gift of the truth according to the pleasure of the Father. (Ibid. 4.26.2)
13For all those heretics are very much later than the bishops to whom the apostles committed the churches. (Ibid. 5.20.1)
14CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA: Innumerable such commands have been written in the holy books with reference to chosen persons, some to presbyters, some to bishops and deacons, others to widows. (Instructor 18.104.22.168)
15It is possible even now for those who have exercised themselves in the Lord’s commandments and have lived perfectly and knowingly according to the Gospel to be enrolled in the elect body of the apostles. Such a person is truly a presbyter of the church and a true deacon of the will of God, if he do and teach the things of the Lord. He has not been ordained by men, nor regarded righteous because a presbyter, but enrolled in the presbyterate because righteous. . . . The grades here in the church, of bishops, presbyters, deacons, are in my opinion imitations of the angelic glory. (Miscellanies 22.214.171.124-2 and 107.2)
16Indeed Paul altogether accepts the man who is husband of one wife, whether he be presbyter, deacon, or layman, if he conducts his marriage unblameably. (Ibid. 126.96.36.199)
17Similarly also in the church the elders preserve the most excellent part and the deacons the ministerial. (Ibid. 188.8.131.52)
18When after the death of the tyrant John removed from the island of Patmos to Ephesus, he used to journey by request to the neighboring districts of the Gentiles, in some places to appoint bishops, in others to regulate whole churches, in others to set among the clergy some one man, it may be, of those indicated by the Spirit . . . . When this bishop accepted the trust and made every promise, the apostle once again solemnly charged and adjured him in the same words. After that he departed to Ephesus; but the presbyter took home the youth who had been handed over to him, and brought him up. (Who Is the Rich Man that Is Saved? 42)
19TERTULLIAN: Their [heretics’] ordinations are thoughtless, capricious, changeable. At one time they put novices in office, at another time men who are bound to some secular employment, at another time men who have apostatized from us. . . . Nowhere is advancement easier than in the camp of rebels. . . . And so today one man is their bishop, tomorrow another; today he is a deacon who tomorrow is a reader; today he is a presbyter who tomorrow is a layman. For even on laymen do they impose the duties of priesthood. (Prescription of Heretics 41.6-8)
20Are not even we laics priests? It is written, “He has made us a kingdom also, and priests to his God and Father.” The authority of the church and the honor for those dedicated to God through the seating of them in the order has established the difference between the order and the people. Accordingly, where there is no session of the ecclesiastical order, you offer, you baptize, and you are priest alone for yourself. Where indeed there are three, there is a church, although they are laics. (Exhortation to Chastity 7.3)
21APOSTOLIC CHURCH ORDER: The deacons, doers of good works, searching about everywhere day and night, neither despising the poor nor regarding the person of the rich, shall acknowledge the oppressed, and not exclude him from a share in the collections of the congregation, but compel those having possessions to lay up for good works, in consideration of the words of our teacher. ‘Ye saw me hungry, and did not feed me;’ for those who have been deacons of good report and blameless purchase to themselves the pastorate. (22)1
22ORIGEN: Consider . . . cities where Christians are not yet found, some one arrives and begins to teach, labors, instructs, leads to the faith, and finally becomes himself the ruler and bishop for those whom he taught. (Homily on Numbers 11.4)
23Some Christians, therefore, have made it their work to travel around not only to cities but also to villages and country houses in order to make others pious toward God. And one would not say that they did this on account of money, when they would not even accept their sustenance. (Against Celsus 3.9)
24EUSEBIUS: And many more besides these were well known in those days who take the first place in the succession of the apostles. They being pious disciples of such great men built upon the foundations of the churches which had been laid in every place by the apostles. They spread the Gospel more and more widely and scattered the saving seeds of the kingdom of heaven far and near throughout the whole world. . . . Then setting out on their journey they performed the work of evangelists, being zealous to preach to those who had not yet heard the word of faith and to deliver to them the written form of the divine Gospels. When they only laid the foundations of the faith in foreign places, they appointed others as pastors and entrusted to them the care of those recently brought in and they themselves went on again to other countries and peoples with the grace and cooperation of God It is impossible for us to record by name all those in the first succession after the apostles who became pastors or evangelists in the churches throughout the world. (Church History 3.37)
25For there were yet many evangelists of the word at that time [after the mid-second century]. . . one of whom was Pantaenus. (Ibid. 5.10.2)
The Didache describes the time of transition from an itinerant, inspired ministry of apostles (missionaries ?), prophets, and teachers to a local ministry, chosen by the community, of bishops and deacons. The traveling prophets and teachers spoke the word of the Lord and conducted the public worship. Provision is made in the Didache for a prophet or teacher to settle in the community and be supported for his ministry by offerings of first fruits as the priests of the Old Testament had been (chs. 11-13; see quotation on p. 220). The local uninspired men (XIV.1) now succeed to the honor (including support) of these men and to their public ministry of teaching and conduct of worship.
The combination “bishops and deacons” was a more common one than “elders and deacons.” Overseer and servant made a more natural pair; the natural contrast to elder was “younger.” Nevertheless, the terms bishop and elder appear to have been used interchangeably in early post-apostolic Christianity, even as they appear in the New Testament. Several sources indicate the existence of a plurality in a local church, which was also true of the elders in Jewish communities in New Testament times (XIV.1, 2, 3, 6).2
The Letter of Clement of Rome was written to deal with a certain disturbance in the church at Corinth. The Corinthian church had deposed some of its elders, unjustly in the view of the Roman church. After discussing the virtues of faithfulness, repentance, hospitality, obedience, and humility and the sins of strife, jealously, and rebellion, all with appropriate Old Testament texts and examples, the author comes in chapter forty to treat specifically of the Corinthian situation. In chapters forty to forty-four he lays down the principle that church order is divine. Then follows a section warning against opposition to the righteous (45-48) and exhorting to love (49-50) and concluded with a practical application–submit to the elders or depart (51-58).
The passages of present interest (XIV.2) are introduced with reference to Old Testament regulations about the times, places, and personnel of worship (X.1). It is characteristic of Clement to take examples from the past and move to a present application. His point is summarized in the statement: The high priest, the priests, the Levites, and the laymen each have their proper functions. Clement is talking about the Old Testament. If he has a direct analogy to the church in mind, Christ is the high priest for him (36.1; 61.3; 64), so the bishops would be the priests and deacons would be the Levites. But this may be overdrawing his analogy. The main point is obeying God’s order. Clement does use priestly language in reference to the Christian ministry at worship. The word we have translated “ministry” (XIV.1, 2) is a word used in the Old Testament for priestly services. The sacrifices of the Christian ministry are praise and thanksgiving, worship as a whole (see Ch. X). People, however, not only use words, but words use them, and by the time of Cyprian in the third century the language of priesthood was no longer an Old Testament analogy but an established designation for officers in the church. Clement affords the first use in Christian literature of the language of “laity” in contrast to ministers. In the Bible “the people” (laos, from which laity is derived) is a noble concept, “the people of God,” and refers to the whole of God’s elect. As God’s elect, all participated in the “priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5, 9). Someone has observed that the organizational history of the second and third centuries, therefore, is not the story of the emergence of the priesthood but the emergence of a distinct laity not exercising a priestly ministry (cf. XIV.20).
Clement, in his argument, next established the principle of order in reference to the Christian ministry: Christ–apostles–bishops and deacons (XIV.2a). This has been cited as the first passage presenting the idea of apostolic succession. If so, it is not such according to any recognizable later form of the doctrine. There is a succession here, but it is a succession of order and of time. There is no succession of functions from Christ to the apostles or from the apostles to the bishops. If there is, it includes the deacons as well. There is in this passage apostolic institution of particular positions in the church, apostolic appointment of the first occupants of those positions, and apostolic provision for a continuation of the same form of ministry. Clement’s appeal to prophetic support for this church order is misguided. His quotation from Isaiah 60:7 was inaccurately made from memory or was taken from a text now unknown to us.
Clement next argues that it is sin to rebel against God’s order by inserting other ministers in the place of those duly chosen. Once more he begins, in chapter 43, with the Old Testament, referring to the rebellion against the priesthood of Aaron and the method of Moses in Numbers 17 to confirm the divine choice. The parallel with the Christian age, if any is intended beyond the principle of obedience to constituted authority, makes the apostles = Moses and the bishops = the prophets “testifying together to the laws laid down by Moses.” The contemporary application (XIV.2b) is that the apostles had taken advance action to establish the proper men in the ministry of the church. Besides the apostles, “other approved men” had made appointments; we may think of Timothy and Titus in the New Testament. The appointments were made with the approval of the whole congregation.3 Clement uses “bishop” and “elder” for the same men, and indicates the presence of a plurality in each church.
Hermas identifies Clement as the corresponding secretary of the Roman church (XIV.3). His evidence agrees with Clement’s about a plurality of elders or bishops in the church. The “elders preside over the church.” Although Hermas never uses bishops and elders in the same context, in the way Clement does, permitting us to decide whether they refer to the same functionaries or to different ones for him, there does not seem to be a place for the singular bishop in what he writes. The presence of such a presiding elder could be indicated by XIV.5 if it could be established that the bench was for the elders and the chair for the bishop, but Hermas calls the presiding teacher a “prophet.” Elsewhere he speaks of those with a desire for the “first places” and of “the leaders of the church who occupy the chief seats,”4 but in another passage he refers to a desire for the “chief seat.”5 When Hermas lists the functionaries of the church (XIV.4), he inserts “teachers” between bishops and deacons. Probably this is a general reference which would include evangelists and all charged with a teaching function in the church.
Second Clement (see VI.25) likewise mentions none higher than the elders in the church. They teach and exhort the assembled brethren. The author himself seems to be an official teacher.6
Polycarp (XIV.6) gives instructions concerning righteousness to various groups in the church. He moves from a general exhortation to specific groups: wives, widows, deacons, younger men, and then elders. This combination of social and age groups with specific offices is not unlike 1 Peter and the Pastorals in the New Testament. The association with age groups may account for his somewhat unusual order and somewhat unusual pairing of the term elder with deacon. There seems no doubt that an office is being considered in what he says about deacons (servants) and elders (older men). Elders are in the plural and Polycarp says nothing about a separate bishop.
Polycarp’s own writing, therefore, gives a different picture of church order from that provided by his correspondent Ignatius (XIV.7). Ignatius gives the first complete picture for a threefold ministry of bishop, elders, deacons, and he attests this order for his home church of Antioch and for the churches he addresses in Asia Minor. Indeed he can speak of “bishops who are appointed throughout the world.”7 This may be rhetorical; if not, it is no guarantee that they were the kind of bishops he describes. Only in addressing the church at Rome does Ignatius not mention a bishop; indeed in his letter to the Romans he does not discuss church order at all. This may be accidental, but it concurs with the evidence of Clement and Hermas that the Roman church still had a plurality of presbyter-bishops at the beginning of the second century. Ignatius had a great concern for unity, and he sees this unity symbolized in the single bishop in each church and preserved by obedience to him and his ministerial associates (VIII.1; IX.2; XIV.9). The declaration that apart from the threefold ministry the name of church is not given (XIV.8) is not so much a matter of the necessity of having all three kinds of officers in order to have a church as it is a declaration that a schism from the already established ministry in a given locality does not constitute a church. It is notable that Ignatius almost invariably treats the officers of a church as a whole.
Ignatius appears to make exalted claims for the episcopal office. The bishop is in the place of God, but this seems to be a matter of symbolism and should not be pressed too far. There is no word about apostolic institution or apostolic succession for the position of the one bishop. Ignatius’ bishop is a congregational bishop or pastor. He functions as president of the presbytery. What is new is Ignatius’ restriction of the word bishop to a single member of the presbytery. This person has an identifiable distinctness which sets him apart from the presbyters with whom he works cooperatively. Ignatius does speak of himself as “bishop of Syria.”8 This is typical of his hyperbolic language, for Antioch was the chief church of Syria. It may be an indication that Antioch was the only church in Syria to have monepiscopacy, for a large city church would have advanced in its organization beyond that of the smaller rural churches.
Ignatius addresses Polycarp as “bishop of the church of the Smymaeans,” and Polycarp must have occupied such a position in relation to the church at Smyrna that Ignatius could identify him within his pattern of church government. When Polycarp addresses the church at Philippi, however, he identifies himself as “Polycarp and those who with him are presbyters.”8a Hence, Polycarp may not have thought of himself in the same way Ignatius did, nor have made the sharp distinction between the “chief elder” and the “college of elders” that can be read into Ignatius. At least, the absence of a singular bishop at Philippi is notable. It has been suggested that Polycarp does not refer to a bishop there because the office was temporarily vacant. For that reason the church at Philippi turned to the nearby Polycarp with a request for instruction in righteousness. Further, it is theorized that the Valens mentioned as a deposed presbyter, perhaps for the mishandling of church funds (ch. 11 of Polycarp’s letter to Philippi), had held the office of bishop.9 All of this may very well be so, but as far as the strict evidence goes we do not learn about monepiscopacy from Polycarp or about its existence at this time at Philippi.
The Ignatian pattern of one bishop and a plurality of elders and deacons spread over the churches and became the normal church order by the later second century. Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria (XIV.11, 13, 14, 15) recognize the sole bishop in a church; nevertheless they continue to call the bishop an elder. Evidently the bishop was still a “chief elder” or “president of the presbytery” and not in a wholly distinct order. This usage occurs in crucial passages. Thus, when Irenaeus is tracing the “apostolic succession” in the churches as an argument against the new doctrines of the Gnostics, he speaks of the “successions of the elders” (XIV.10). Irenaeus certainly knew the bishop as holding a distinct office from that of the presbyters. He interprets Acts 20:17, 28 as meaning that bishops from other churches in Asia besides Ephesus were present inasmuch as Paul addressed “bishops” in the plural.10 Apparently bishops could still be called elders in his time, but elders could not be called bishops. Hence, it is probably the “episcopal” member of the presbytery which Irenaeus has in mind and not all presbyters when he speaks of a succession from the apostles. With the “succession to the episcopate” a person received “the gift of the truth” (XIV.12). Some have thought of this as a gift conferred at ordination; on the other hand, the general argument of Irenaeus requires that truth itself be the gift.11 Apostolic succession for Irenaeus was from one holder of the teaching chair to the next, and with the position came the heritage or tradition of Christian doctrine from apostolic days which it was the new incumbent’s duty to proclaim and pass on.
Clement of Alexandria can speak of “presbyters [elders], deacons, and laymen” (XIV.16) in listing the composition of the church. This accords with later traditions that at first the church at Alexandria was governed by elders, who chose a presiding member out of their number. Only under Demetrius at the beginning of the third century did the bishop attain a greater measure of control and independence in accord with the pattern elsewhere.12 Clement uses the text of 1 Timothy 3:2, 12, which has spoken about a bishop and a deacon, and refers it to a presbyter and a deacon. He apparently knows the bishop as a distinct individual, but when he gives an inclusive description of official ministries in the church (XIV.17), elders and deacons comprehend the whole. Clement has been appealed to as evidence that monepiscopacy took its rise in Asia under the auspices of the apostle John. But the form of the tradition handed down by Clement which includes the report of John appointing bishops in Asia uses the terms bishop and elder interchangeably for the same man (XIV.18). For Clement the interior spiritual life is the most important thing. He represents piety’s protest against the increasing institutionalization of the church (XIV.15).
Tertullian’s protest against the developing hierarchy and externalizing of Christianity perhaps led him into schism. The two selections from Tertullian contrast his viewpoint after he identified with the Montanists (XIV.20) with that he held while championing the viewpoint of the great church (XIV.19). He shows the emphasis on good order in the episcopally organized church at the beginning of the third century in opposition to the looseness and freedom of the Gnostic groups. His language as a Montanist shows the extent to which the clerical (referring to those in the order of the church as distinguished from the rest of the people, the “laity”) and priestly concepts of the ministry were accepted. He notes that it was the custom of the church which had made the sharp distinction between layman and clergy.13
By the time of Origen in the third century the threefold ministry of bishop, presbyters, and deacons was everywhere accepted. One statement from him (XIV.22) suggests how monepiscopacy may have arisen: the locating of an evangelist in a given community.14 The evidence of terminology discussed above on the interchange of the terms elders and bishops and the continued use of the word elder in reference to the singular bishop would argue that the single bishop arose out of the presbytery. Perhaps both views have an element of truth. A likely hypothesis is that the settling of a prophet, teacher, or evangelist in a given community (as the Didache had provided for) gave a single leading figure in a church. On the death of such figures, local presbyteries tended to produce out of their own number a “successor” to the unique leadership role played by the apostolic or inspired leader (Hermas’ references to a “prophet” and the “chair” [XIV.5] and ambition for the chief seat(s) [notes 4 and 5] may reflect a similar situation.). This development would have occurred in the late first or early second century when the last representatives of the apostolic generation and of the inspired ministry were dying out, which is the time the evidence points to for the transition to monepiscopacy in the churches.
The second-century literature is notably silent about the word “evangelist.” That the function continued is indicated by later sources (as for example XIV.23, 24, 25). The activities of evangelists on the frontiers of the Christian mission is part of the reason for their absence in the literature. Very little has survived of the story of the Christian missionary enterprise in the second century. For another thing, the men who might be recognized as evangelists or preachers are often present under another title, especially that of “teacher,” by which name such notable Christian leaders as Pantaenus (XIV.25), Justin, Clement of Alexandria, and others are known. There were “evangelists. . . and teachers”; the teachers wrote books, so we know of them, but we do not know about the evangelists. Others, for the most part, if they did not become elders or bishops themselves, saw their functions absorbed in the threefold ministry.15
All aspects of leadership which belonged to the college of elders soon were exercised by the bishop. Second-century bishops (VII.2) presided at worship (especially the Lord’s supper), gave the public teaching, administered the church’s funds (especially in benevolence and hospitality), and represented the church in correspondence. One function which the college of presbyters kept to themselves in the second century appears to have been church discipline (VII.3 and next chapter).
Less is known, in general, about the functions of deacons. A previously cited passage indicates their role as assistants at worship (VIII.4). They continued to be closely associated with the bishop as his chief assistants, especially in material affairs (XIV.21).16 The documents which lie behind the Apostolic Church Order (about 300) have been placed in the second century.17 If this is so, we have excellent evidence for the way early deacons functioned as the “eyes and ears” of the bishop in learning the needs of the congregation and then in ministering to those needs. In its present form the Apostolic Church Order shows how the office of a deacon was coming to be viewed as a stepping stone to higher “ranks” and no longer as a lifelong calling.
Campenhausen, Hans von. Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual Power in the Church of the First Three Centuries. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1969.
Ferguson, Everett, ed. Church, Ministry, and Organization in the Early Church Era. Studies in Early Christianity, Vol. XIII. New York: Garland, 1993.
Gore, Charles. The Church and the Ministry. New edition revised by C. H. Turner. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1919.
Hamack, Adolph von. The Constitution and Law of the Church in the First Two Centuries. London: Norgate and Williams, 1910.
Lienhard, Joseph T. Ministry. Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1984.
Lightfoot, J. B. “The Christian Ministry,” Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1953 reprint.
Telfer, W. The Office of a Bishop. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1962.
1 Quoted from A. Harnack, Sources of the Apostolic Canons, translated by L. A. Wheatley (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1895), pp. 21f.
2 For the plurality of elders, add the Christianized version of the Ascension of Isaiah 3.23f. (about A.D. 100). The Sibylline Oracles 2.264 has the combination “elders and reverend deacons.” It is difficult to decide whether the emperor Hadrian’s letter to Servianus (Vopiscus, “Life of Satuminus” 8, in Scriptores Historiae Augustae) that mentions “bishops of Christ” and “Christian presbyter” intends the same or different functionaries, but its evidence is of questionable value. The original identity of bishops and elders was known by fourth-century Christian writers–see the references in J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1953 reprint), pp. 98f.
3 Selection by the congregation is provided for in Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition 2, and was the common mode of choice in the early church. For other methods of selection, see Everett Ferguson, “Origen and the Election of Bishops,” Church History, Vol. 43 (1974), pp. 26-33.
4 Similitudes 8.7.4=73.4 and Visions 3.9.7=17.7.
5 Mandate 11.12=43.12.
6 Note also Second Clement 17.5, “Woe unto us because we were not obedient to the elders when they taught us concerning our salvation.”
7 Ephesians 3.2. The development of monepiscopacy is surveyed by E. G. Jay, “From Presbyter-Bishops to Bishops and Presbyters,” The Second Century, Vol. 1 (1981), pp. 125-162.
8 Romans 2.2.
8a Cf. the “Letter of the Corinthians to Paul” in the Acts of Paul 8.1: “Stephanus and the presbyters who are with him.”
9 Robert M. Grant, After the New Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967), pp. 53f.
10 Against Heresies 3.14.2.
11 Einar Molland, “Irenaeus of Lugdunum and the Apostolic Succession,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 1 (1950), pp. 12-28; repr. in Everett Ferguson, ed., Church, Ministry, and Organization in the Early Church Era, Studies in Early Christianity, Vol. XIII (New York: Garland, 1993), pp. 194-210. See Chapter II, note 11.
12 W. Telfer, “Episcopal Succession in Egypt,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 3 (1952), pp. 1-13.
13 Tertullian’s Montanist tract On Monogamy 12 is one of the first clearly defined uses of the word clergy.
14 The same theory is expressed later by Theodoret. See my survey of the major interpretations of the rise of monepiscopacy, “Church Order in the Sub-Apostolic Period: A Survey of Interpretations,” Restoration Quarterly, Vol. 11 (1968), pp. 225-248.
15 On the evangelistic office in the second century and the general organizational developments in the early church see my article “The Ministry of the Word in the First Two Centuries,” Restoration Quarterly, Vol. 1 (1957), pp. 21-31.
16 Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition 9. On the evidence in general see J. G. Davies, “Deacons, Deaconesses and the Minor Orders in the Patristic Period,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 14 (1963), pp. 145; repr. in Everett Ferguson, ed., Church, Ministry, and Organization in the Early Church, Studies in Early Christianity, Vol. 13 (New York: Garland, 1993), pp. 237-251; G. W. H. Lampe, “Diakonia in the Early Church,” in James I. McCord and T. H. L. Parker, eds., Service in Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966), pp. 49-64; J. M. Barnett, The Diaconate: A Full and Equal Order, rev. ed. (New York: Seabury, 1994).
17 Adolph Hamack, Sources of the Apostolic Canons (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1895), pp. 1-27, 46-53.