Out of the twofold grew the threefold ministry, so that each local church was governed by one episcopus surrounded by a council of presbyters.
Thus St Ignatius in writing to the Romans never refers to any presiding bishop, and somewhat earlier Clement of Rome in his epistles to the Corinthians uses the terms presbyter and episcopus interchangeably.
Muller, has been generally accepted by modern archaeologists; and it is a strong point in its favour that the bishop of Orvieto in 595 signs himself episcopus civitatis Bulsiniensis (Gregor.
In all of them the king is recognized to be the summus episcopus or supreme authority in all ecclesiastical matters, but in Norway and Sweden his power is somewhat limited by that of parliament.
Mensurius had held moderate views as to the treatment of the traditores, and accordingly a strong fanatical party had formed itself in Carthage in opposition to him, headed by a wealthy and influential widow named Lucilla, and countenanced by Secundus of Tigisis, episcopus primae sedis in Numidia.
The obscure town Libertum (inferred from the title Episcopus Libertinensis in connexion with the synod of Carthage, A.D.
The third stage of the development of the office is marked by the rise of the single episcopus as the head of the individual church (see Bishop; Episcopacy).
There is strong proof that presbyter and episcopus are two names for the same office.
Thus while the emperor, as king of Prussia, is summus episcopus of the Prussian Evangelical Church, as emperor he enjoys no such ecclesiastical headship. In the several states the relations of church and state differ fundamentally according as these states are Protestant or Catholic. In the latter these relations are regulated either by concordats between the governments and the Holy See, or by bulls of circumscription issued by the pope after negotiation.
It has indeed been maintained by eminent scholars, chiefly by Hatch and Harnack, that the word episcopus was given originally to the chief officer of a club or a confraternity, so that the episcopus was a financial officer, whereas the presbyters regulated the discipline.