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Old Society, New BeliefReligious transformation of China and Rome, ca. 1st-6th Centuries$
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Mu-chou Poo, H. A. Drake, and Lisa Raphals

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190278359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190278359.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 November 2019

Roman Allotment and the Selection of Bishops

Roman Allotment and the Selection of Bishops

(p.129) 8 Roman Allotment and the Selection of Bishops
Old Society, New Belief

Roberta Stewart

Oxford University Press

Acts 1: 23–26 describes the selection of Matthias to replace Judas; use of an allotment to select a priest had Jewish, apostolic precedents. Commentators reference Biblical authorities and precedents for a divinely affirmed allotment. The appointment of Christian bishops in the third century CE, however, shows a popular election procedure. This chapter first considers the Christian turn away from allotment to select priests and examines allotment from the Republican into the imperial period, including Roman contexts in the first–fourth centuries CE; second, it summarizes what Christians said about allotment and particularly Matthias’s appointment by lot in the early centuries CE when Christians developed the office of the bishop and there was little evidence for the actual appointment of bishops. How Christian thinkers wrote about allotment and its use in appointing bishops allows us to track Christian appropriation or translation of ancient, classical religious practice.

Keywords:   Roman allotment, bishop selection, Roman priests, religious appropriation, biblical tradition

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