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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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A prelate consecrated for the spiritual government of a diocese. The word comes from the Saxon bishop, and that from the Greek meaning an overseer, or inspector. It is a long time since bishops have been distinguished from mere priests, or presbyters; but whether that distinction be of divine or human right; whether it was settled in the apostolic age, or introduced since, is much controverted. Churchmen in general plead for the divine right; while the Dissenters suppose that the word no where signifies more than a pastor or presbyter; the very same persons being called bishops and elders, or prebyters, Acts 20:1-38; 1 Peter 5:1; 1 Peter 5:3 . Titus 1:5; Titus 1:7 . Philippians 1:1 .

See EPISCOPACY. All the bishops of England are peers of the realm, except the bishop of Man; and as such sit and vote in the house of lords. Besides two archbishops, there are twenty-four bishops in England, exclusive of the bishop of Sodor and Man. The bishops of London, Durham, and Winchester, take the precedence of the other bishops, who rank after them according to their seniority of consecration.


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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Bishop'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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