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originally posted by: whereislogic
Like many people who once objected to any change in the Geneva Bible, many persons today object to any change in the King James Bible. They oppose modern translations perhaps as vigorously as the King James Version itself was once opposed.
originally posted by: whereislogic
King James set forth certain rules of procedure. These the translators followed. One of those rules was that “the old Ecclesiastical words [were] to be kept.” Thus the translators were bound to follow the Bishop’s Bible in using certain ecclesiastical words, whether or not these words represented an accurate translation of the original Bible. For example, the ecclesiastical word “bishop” appears in the King James Version, although the original word, correctly translated, merely means “overseer.”
Clergy and Laity
“All you are brothers,” Jesus had said to his disciples. “Your Leader is one, the Christ.” (Matt. 23:8, 10) So there was no clergy class within Christian congregations of the first century. As spirit-anointed brothers of Christ, all the early Christians had the prospect of being heavenly priests with Christ. (1 Pet. 1:3, 4; 2:5, 9) As to organization, each congregation was supervised by a body of overseers, or spiritual elders.* All the elders had equal authority, and not one of them was authorized to ‘lord it over’ the flock in their care. (Acts 20:17; Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:2, 3) However, as the apostasy unfolded, things began to change—quickly.
Among the earliest deviations was a separation between the terms “overseer” (Gr., e·piʹsko·pos) and “older man,” or “elder” (Gr., pre·sbyʹte·ros), so that they were no longer used to refer to the same position of responsibility. Just a decade or so after the death of the apostle John, Ignatius, “bishop” of Antioch, in his letter to the Smyrnaeans, wrote: “See that you all follow the bishop [overseer], as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery [body of older men] as if it were the Apostles.” Ignatius thus advocated that each congregation be supervised by one bishop,* or overseer, who was to be recognized as distinct from, and having greater authority than, the presbyters, or older men.
How, though, did this separation come about? Augustus Neander, in his book The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries, explains what happened: “In the second century . . . , the standing office of president of the presbyters must have been formed, to whom, inasmuch as he had especially the oversight of every thing, was the name of [e·piʹsko·pos] given, and he was thereby distinguished from the rest of the presbyters.”
The groundwork was thus laid for a clergy class gradually to emerge. About a century later, Cyprian, “bishop” of Carthage, North Africa, was a strong advocate of authority of the bishops—as a group separate from the presbyters (later known as priests*), the deacons, and the laity. But he did not favor the primacy of one bishop over the others.*
As bishops and presbyters ascended the hierarchical ladder, they left below it the rest of the believers in the congregation. This resulted in a separation between clergy (those taking the lead) and laity (the passive body of believers). Explains McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia: “From the time of Cyprian [who died about 258 C.E.], the father of the hierarchical system, the distinction of clergy and laity became prominent, and very soon was universally admitted. Indeed, from the third century onward, the term clerus . . . was almost exclusively applied to the ministry to distinguish it from the laity. As the Roman hierarchy was developed, the clergy came to be not merely a distinct order . . . but also to be recognised as the only priesthood.”
Thus, within 150 years or so of the death of the last of the apostles, two significant organizational changes found their way into the congregation: first, the separation between the bishop and the presbyters, with the bishop occupying the top rung of the hierarchical ladder; second, the separation between the clergy and the laity. Instead of all spirit-begotten believers forming “a royal priesthood,” the clergy were now “recognised as the only priesthood.”*—1 Pet. 2:9.
Such changes marked a defection from the Scriptural method of governing the congregations in apostolic days. Organizational changes, though, were not the only consequences of the apostasy.
Pagan Teachings Infiltrate
In the Scriptures the terms “overseer” and “older man,” or “elder,” refer to the same position. (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5, 7) “Older man” indicates the mature qualities of the one so appointed, and “overseer” the responsibility inherent in the appointment—watching over the interests of those persons entrusted to one’s care.
The English word “bishop” derives from the Greek term e·piʹsko·pos (“overseer”) as follows: from Middle English bisshop, from Old English bisceop, from Vulgar Latin biscopus, variant of Late Latin episcopus, from Greek e·piʹsko·pos.
The English word “priest” derives from pre·sbyʹte·ros (“older man,” or “elder”) as follows: from Middle English pre(e)st, from Old English prēost, from Vulgar Latin prester, contracted from Late Latin presbyter, from Greek pre·sbyʹte·ros.
In time the bishop of Rome, claiming to be a successor of Peter, was thought of as the supreme bishop and pope.—See Mankind’s Search for God, 1990, pages 270-2.
Interestingly, Dr. Neander observes: “The false conclusion was drawn, that as there had been in the Old Testament a visible priesthood joined to a particular class of men, there must also be the same in the New [Testament] . . . The false comparison of the Christian priesthood with the Jewish furthered again the rise of episcopacy above the office of presbyters.”—The History of the Christian Religion and Church, translated by Henry John Rose, Second Edition, New York, 1848, p. 111.