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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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The chief church of a diocese; a church wherein is a bishop's see. The word comes from "chair;" the name seems to have taken its rise from the manner of sitting in the ancient churches of assemblies of private Christians. In these the council, 1:e. the elders and priests, were called Presbyterium; at their head was the bishop, who held the place of chairman, Cathedralis or Cathedraticus; and the presbyters, who sat on either side, also called by the ancient fathers Assessores Episcoporum. The episcopal authority did not reside in the bishop alone, but in all the presbytery, whereof the bishop was president. A cathedral, therefore, originally was different from what it is now; the Christians, till the time of Constantine, having no liberty to build any temple. By their churches they only meant assemblies; and by cathedrals, nothing more than consistories.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Cathedral'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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