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Reference: Church Government


1. The general development seems fairly clear, though its later stages fall beyond NT times. The Apostles were founders of churches, and therefore regulated and supervised the first arrangements; then were added sundry local and unlocal rulers; then the unlocal died out, and the local settled down into the three permanent classes of bishops, elders, and deacons. The chief disputed questions concern the origin of the local ministry, its relation to the other, and the time and manner in which it settled down under the government of (monarchical) bishops.

2. Twice over St. Paul gives something like a list of the chief persons of the Church. In 1Co 12:28 he counts up

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