Titus 1:5

For this cause I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:
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AD 400
Whoever loves Christ must demonstrate this in the way he treats his slaves, knowing that the Lord will require of him whatever he expects from them.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
That thou shouldst, in the cities, that is to say, bishops, as the same are called bishops in ver. 7; and, as St. Chrysostom and others observe, it is evident from this very place, that the word presbyter was then used to signify either priests or bishops. If St. Jerome here meant that bishops were only placed over priests by ecclesiastical and not by divine institution, as some have expounded his words, his singular opinion against so many others is not to be followed. (Witham) That the ordaining of priests belongs only to bishops, is evident from the Acts and from St. Paul's epistles to Timothy and Titus. It is true, St. Jerome seems to express himself as if in the primitive Church there was no great difference between priests and bishops, yet he constantly excepts giving holy orders, (ep. 85) as also confirming the baptized, by giving them the Holy Spirit by imposition of hands and holy chrism; (dial. contra Lucif. chap. iv.) which pre-eminence he attributes to bishops only. To ass...


AD 420
And lest any should in a spirit of contention argue that there must then have been more bishops than one in a single church, there is the following passage which clearly proves a bishop and a presbyter to be the same. Writing to Titus the apostle says: “For this cause I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and appoint presbyters in every city, as I had instructed you: if any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having believing children not accused of wantonness or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless as the steward of God.” … When subsequently one was chosen to preside over the rest, this was done to remedy schism and to prevent each individual from rending the church of Christ by drawing it to himself. ...


AD 420
Paul is speaking here to bishops who have the power of placing presbyters in the individual towns, so that they would hear clearly by what kind of rule correct church order should be maintained…. Originally the churches were governed by a common council of the presbyters. But after one of their number began to think that those whom he had baptized were his and not Christ’s, it was universally decreed that one of the presbyters should be elected to preside over the others, to whom the care of the whole church should pertain, that the seeds of schism might be alleviated. . ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The whole life of men in ancient times was one of action and contention; ours on the contrary is a life of indolence. They knew that they were brought into the world for this purpose, that they might labor according to the will of Him who brought them into it; but we, as if we had been placed here but to eat and drink, and lead a life of pleasure, we pay no regard to spiritual things. I speak not only of the Apostles, but of those that followed them. You see them accordingly traversing all places, and pursuing this as their only business, living altogether as in a foreign land, as those who had no city upon earth. Hear therefore what the blessed Apostle says, For this cause left I you in Crete. As if the whole world had been one house, they divided it among themselves, administering its affairs everywhere, each taking care of his several portion of it. For this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are [R.V. were] wanting. He does not command t...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Here he is speaking of episkopoi [bishops]…. He did not wish the whole island to be entrusted to one elder, but that each one should have his own charge and care, for thus he would have less labor himself, and those under his rule would receive greater attention. The teacher would not then be required to hold the presidency of many churches but was left to be occupied with one only, and to bring that into order. ...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Thence, therefore, among us the prescript is more fully and more carefully laid down, that they who are chosen into the sacerdotal order must be men of one marriage;

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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