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Bishop is derived from the old Anglo-Saxon word biscop which was used to translate the Greek (see The Greek Alphabet) word of the New Testament (see New Testament Fact File) that meant an overseer. In Bible History, bishops were the elders (or "presbyters") who were given the responsibility to supervise and manage local church congregations.

Bishop Biblical References To Bishops

"Paul (see Paul's Mirror) and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints [see What Is A Saint?] in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons." (Philippians 1:1 RSV)

"The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil; moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." (1 Timothy 3:1-7 RSV)

"To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father [see The Father] and Christ Jesus our Savior [see The Logos]. This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you, if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate. For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it." (Titus 1:4-9 RSV)

Fact Finder: Did Peter refer to Jesus Christ as the bishop (or overseer) of our souls?
1 Peter 2:25
See also Where Is Your Soul?

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