- (Gr. episkopos) Overseer
. A bishop is the leader of a local community of Christians. In the New Testament there is no clear distinction between the offices of bishop and elder (presbyter), both of which function as leaders of the community. However, by the mid- to late first century, the Church began to reserve the title bishop for the men of spiritual qualification who were consecrated to follow the Apostles in their office of oversight (1 Tim.; Acts 1:15 26; 14:23; 1 Tim. 3:1-7).