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"your godly bishop" — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 2:1.
"the bishop presiding after the likeness of God and the presbyters after the likeness of the council of the Apostles, with the deacons also who are most dear to me, having been entrusted with the diaconate of Jesus Christ" — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 6:1.
"Therefore as the Lord did nothing without the Father, [being united with Him], either by Himself or by the Apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and the presbyters." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 7:1.
For form of church government by bishops, see Episcopal polity., epískopos, "overseer", "guardian") is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
Eventually, as Christendom grew, bishops no longer directly served individual congregations.
Instead, the Metropolitan bishop (the bishop in a large city) appointed priests to minister each congregation, acting as the bishop's delegate.
In 391, Theodosius I decreed that any land that had been confiscated from the church by Roman authorities be returned.
The most usual term for the geographic area of a bishop's authority and ministry, the diocese, began as part of the structure of the Roman Empire under Diocletian.
The words bishop and ordination are used in their technical meaning by the same Clement of Alexandria.