The Bible

Bible Usage:


  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: No

Strongs Concordance:


Easton's Bible Dictionary

An overseer. In apostolic times, it is quite manifest that there was no difference as to order between bishops and elders or presbyters (Acts 20:17-28; 1 Peter 5:1, 2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3). The term bishop is never once used to denote a different office from that of elder or presbyter. These different names are simply titles of the same office, "bishop" designating the function, namely, that of oversight, and "presbyter" the dignity appertaining to the office. Christ is figuratively called "the bishop [episcopos] of souls" (1 Peter 2:25).

Naves Topical Index

Smith's Bible Dictionary

The word originally signified an "overseer" or spiritual superintendent. The titles bishop and elder, or presbyter, were essentially equivalent. Bishop is from the Greek, and denotes one who exercises the function of overseeing. Presbyter was derived from the office in the synagogue. Of the order in which the first elders or bishops were appointed, as of the occasion which led to the institution of the office, we have no record. The duties of the bishop-elders appear to have been as follows:

  1. General superintendence over the spiritual well-being of the flock. (1 Peter 5:2)
  2. The work of teaching, both publicly and privately. (1 Thessalonians 5:12; Titus 1:9; 1 Timothy 5:17)
  3. The work of visiting the sick, (James 5:14)
  4. Among other acts of charity, that of receiving strangers occupied a conspicuous place. (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8) Peter calls Christ "the shepherd and bishop of your souls." (1 Peter 2:25)

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BISH'OP, noun [Latin episcopus; Gr. of, over, and inspector, or visitor; to view, or inspect; whence, to visit; also, to view. This Greek and Latin word accompanied the introduction of christianity into the west and north of Europe.]

1. An overseer; a spiritual superintendent, ruler or director; applied to Christ.

Ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned to the shepherd and bishop of your souls. 1. Pet.2.

2. In the primitive church, a spiritual overseer; an elder or presbyter; one who had the pastoral care of a church.

The same persons are in this chapter called elders or presbyters, and overseers or bishops. Scott, Comm. Acts 20:1.

Till the churches were multiplied, the bishops and presbyters were the same. Ib. Philippians 1:1. 1. Tim.3.1. Titus 1:7.

Both the Greek and Latin fathers do, with one consent, declare, that bishops were called presbyters, and presbyters bishops, in apostolic times, the name being then common.

3. In the Greek, Latin, and some Protestant churches, a prelate, or person consecrated for the spiritual government and direction of a diocese. In Great Britain, bishops are nominated by the king, who, upon request of the dean and chapter, for leave to elect a bishop sends a conge d'elire, or license to elect, with a letter missive, nominating the person whom he would have chosen. The election, by the chapter, must be made within twelve days, or the king has a right to appoint whom he pleases. Bishops are consecrated by an archbishop, with two assistant bishops. A bishop must be thirty years of age; and all bishops, except the bishop of Man, are peers of the realm.

By the canons of the Protestant Episcopal church in the United States, no diocese or state shall proceed to the election of a bishop unless there are at least six officiating presbyters residing therein, who shall be qualified, according to the canons, to vote for a bishop; a majority of whom at least must concur in the election. But the conventions of two or more dioceses, or states, having together nine or more such presbyters, may join in the election of a bishop A convention is composed of the clergy, and a lay delegation, consisting of one or more members from each parish. In every state, the bishop is to be chosen according to such rules as the convention of that state shall ordain. The mode of election, in most or all of the states, is by a concurrent vote of the clergy and laity, in convention, each body voting separately. Before a bishop can be consecrated, he must receive a testimonial of approbation from the General Convention of the church; or if that is not in session, from a majority of the standing committee in the several dioceses. The mode of consecrating bishops and ordaining priests and deacons differs not essentially from the practice in England.

BISHOP,noun A cant word for a mixture of wine, oranges, and sugar.

BISHOP, verb transitive to confirm; to admit solemnly into the church.

1. Among horse-dealers, to use arts to make an old horse look like a young one, or to give a good appearance to a bad horse.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BISH'OPLIKE, adjective Resembling a bishop; belonging to a bishop.

Smith's Bible Dictionary

the district over which the jurisdiction of a bishop extended. (Acts 1:20; 1 Timothy 3:1)

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BISH'OPRIC,noun [bishop and ric, jurisdiction.]

1. A diocese; the district over which the jurisdiction of bishop extends. in England, are twenty-four bishoprics, besides that of Sodor and Man; in Ireland, eighteen.

2. The charge of instructing and governing in spiritual concerns; office. Acts 1:20.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BISH'OPSWEED, noun [bishop and used.] A genus of plants, with the generic name Ammi.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BISH'OPSWORT, noun A plant.