Are Bishops in the Bible? A Biblical Defense of Episcopal Government (Part 1)


Most serious Christians would venture to say that the issue of Church polity like any area should be first approached with the Bible as the ultimate authority. Agreed.

In this video, Father Steve Macias introduces the first chapter of Bishop Ray Sutton’s unpublished book “Captains and Courts.”

Download the PDF here:

From the First Century, key disciples of the Apostles, such as Ignatius (A.D. 50-120) and Irenaeus (A.D.150), speak of the Episcopal structure as the system of government handed down by the Apostles. This form of government was not challenged in Eastern or Western Churches until the Sixteenth Century, meaning the Bible was consistently applied pretty much the same way when it came to polity in East and West. Such a fact should not be thought of as a minor observation, considering how few issues in the history of Church of which this could be said, not even the very doctrine of salvation. This confirming historical fact should not be taken lightly.

We should remember that Biblical Christianity is not traditionless. Scripture produced its own traditions, and so the Scriptural traditions are invaluable in all studies of the church. But first, we must approach the issue of Church government with the final authority, the Word of God, leading us to a basic interpretative question.

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Steve Macias
Father Steve Macias is an Anglican priest in California's Silicon Valley. He is the Headmaster of Canterbury Christian School, Rector of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, and Archdeacon of the West Coast for the Anglican Churches of America. He is married to Sarah and the father to Athanasius, Anselm, Assumpta, Basil and Zoe. His professional work consulting with political campaigns, leading nonprofit organizations, and in the California State Capitol has been recognized by The Los Angeles Times, National Review Magazine, Our Sunday Visitor, The Chalcedon Foundation, and numerous online and print publications. You can reach him on twitter @stevemacias.