- Created by: Erin W
- Created on: 17-04-19 15:52
- In the New Testament Jesus did not create a specific pattern of leadership for the Church
- "The Church appeared as a spiritual fellowship under the immediate direction of the Apostles." - Lightfoot.
- Acts displays a gradual development of Chruch government e.g. Peter's designation as the first bishop.
- Pauline literature shows us that both a charismatic and official ministry existed at the same time.
- In general the NT shows a move from charismatic to ordered ministry.
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- 1 Clement - first text to develop the twofold ministry of bishops and deacons and the idea of apostolic succession.
- Didache - reports tension between the settled clergy and the itinerant preachers - shows nature of Church Government was becoming more rigid.
- Ignatius - developed monoepiscopacy - threefold ministry of Bishop, Presbyter, and Deacon which emphasised the role of Bishop - "Follow you Bishop as Jesus Christ followed the Father" (Ignatius)
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- In the 2C the role of the bishop was enhanced further with the clear establishment of the threefold ministry.
- Tertullian expounded the principle of apostolic succession.
- He argued that Bishops were the direct successors of the Apostles that founded the Churches.
- To support this he produced lists of bishops tracing their origins back to the original 12.
- The role of women in ministry was diminished.
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- Irenaeus also wrote lists of apostolic succession against the Gnostics.
- He believed it meant that the teaching of the Church was consistent with the teaching passed on to the first Apostles from Christ.
- His episcopacy was diocesan - a Bishop in charge of a number of Churches
- He used the term Bishop and presbyter interchangably - shows there was no clear distinction between the two.
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- Cyprian - bishop of Carthage and important theologian.
- His writing De Unite lead the Church to be more hierarchical and institutional.
- "Ignatius of the West" - emphasised the importance of Bishops.
- He believe the Bishop was sovereign within his own diocese.
- Although he had a dispute with Stephen over the issue of heretical baptism "he felt himself to be senior and more experienced" (Lietzmann)
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- The nature of the Church Government became "gradually less charismatic and more institutional" (Barclay).
- The biggest change was the role of the Bishop:
- Ignatius - as the focus of Church unity.
- Irenaeus and Tertullian - as the guardian of apostolic succession.
- Cyprian - as the representative of Christ's authority.
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