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Who Were the First Christians?Dismantling the Urban Thesis$
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Thomas A. Robinson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190620547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190620547.001.0001

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The Country Bishop

The Country Bishop

(p.198) 9 The Country Bishop
Who Were the First Christians?

Thomas A. Robinson

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the office of chorepiscopos (country bishop). The term first appears in the early 300s and its significance has been debated. One view is that the term was used to diminish the rights of bishops who were serving in smaller settlements, in spite of the fact that these individuals had been recognized as full bishops and functioned as such in the centuries before. The other view is that the office represents the first foray of Christianity into the countryside and the office holder is an appointee of the urban bishop and a subordinate to him. The deference shown to the holders of these offices speaks against the latter view. Thus, the appearance of the office or the term should not be used as evidence that Christianity had no presence in rural areas prior to this time.

Keywords:   chorepiscopos, country bishops, urban bishop, rural areas, rights of bishops

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