The Acts represent the first, the Pastoral Epistles the second stage of the apostolic church polity. Baur (Die sogenannten Pastoralbriefe des Ap. Paulus, 1835), Holtzmann (Die Pastoralbriefe, 1880, pp.190 sqq.), and others, who deny the Pauline authorship of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, date the organization laid down there from the post-apostolic age, but it belongs to the period from a.d.60-70. The Epistles to the Corinthians (1 Cor.12:28) and to the Ephesians (4:11), and the Apocalyptic Epistles (Rev.2 and 3) contain important hints on the church offices.
Comp. the Didache, and the Epp. of Clement and Ignatius.
II. General Works.
Comp. in part the works quoted in ch. IX. (especially Vitringa), and the respective sections in the |Histories of the Apostolic Age| by Neander Thiersch (pp.73, 150, 281), Lechler, Lange, and Schaff, (Amer. ed, pp.495-545).
III. Separate Works.
Episcopal and Presbyterian writers during the seventeenth century, and more recently, have paid most attention to this chapter, generally with a view of defending their theory of church polity.
Richard Hooker (called |the Judicious,| moderate Anglican, d.1600): Ecclesiastical Polity, 1594, and often since, best edition by Keble, 1836, in 4 vols. A standard work for Episcopal churchmen,
Jos. Bingham (Anglican, d.1668): Origines Ecclesiasticae; or, The Antiquities of the Christian Church, first published 1710-22, in 10 vols.8vo, and often since, Books; II.-IV. Still an important work.
Thomas Cartwright (the father of English Presbyterianism, d.1603). Directory o
Church Government anciently contended for, written in 1583, published by authority of the Long Parliament in 1644.
In the controversy during the Long Parliament and the Westminster Assembly, Bishop Hall and Archbishop Ussher were the most learned champions of episcopacy; while the five Smectymnians (so called from their famous tract Smectymnuus, 1641, in reply to Hall), i.e., StephenMarshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow,were the most prominent Presbyterians trying to |demonstrate the parity of bishops and presbyters in Scripture, and the antiquity of ruling elders.| See alsoA Vindication of the Presbyterian Government and Ministry, London, 1650, and Jus Divinum Ministerii Evangelici, or the Divine Right of the Gospel Ministry, London, 1654, both published by the Provincial Assembly of London. These books have only historical interest.
Samuel Miller (Presbyterian d.1850): Letters concerning the Constitution and Order of the Christian Ministry, 2d ed., Philadelphia, 1830.
James P. Wilson (Presbyterian): The Primitive Government of Christian Churches. Philadelphia, 1833 (a learned and able work).
Joh. Adam Möhler (Rom. Cath., d.1848): Die Einheit der Kirche, oder das Princip des Katholicismus, dargestellt im Geiste der Kirchenvater der drei ersten Jahrhunderte. Tübingen, 1825 (new ed.1844). More important for the post-apostolic age.
Rich. Rothe (d.1866): Die Anfänge der christlichen Kirche u. ihrer Verfassung, vol. I. Wittenb., 1837, pp.141 sqq. A Protestant counterpart of Möhler's treatise, exceedingly able, learned, and acute, but wrong on the question of church and state, and partly also on the origin of the episcopate, which he traces back to the apostolic age.
F. Chr. Baur: Ueber den Ursprung des Episcopates in der christl. Kirche. Tübingen, 1838. Against Rothe.
William Palmer (Anglo-Catholic): A Treatise on the Church of Christ. London, 1838, 2 vols., 3d ed., 1841. Amer. ed., with notes, by Bishop Whittingham, New York, 1841.
W. Löhe (Luth.): Die N. T. lichen Aemter u. ihr Verhältniss zur Gemeinde. Nürnb.1848. Also: Drei Bücher von der Kirche, 1845.
Fr. Delitzsch (Luth.): Vier Bücher von der Kirche. Leipz., 1847.
J. Köstlin (Luth.): Das Wesen der Kirche nach Lehre und Geschiche des N. T., Gotha, 1854; 2d ed.1872.
Samuel Davidson (Independent): The Ecclesiastical Polity of the New Testament. London, 1848; 2d ed.1854.
Ralph Wardlaw (Independent): Congregational Independency, in contradistinction to Episcopacy and Presbyterianism, the Church Polity of the New Testament. London, 1848.
Albert Barnes (Presbyterian, d.1870): Organization and Government of the Apostolic Church. Philadelphia, 1855.
Charles Hodge (Presbyterian, d.1878) and others: Essays on the Primitive Church Offices, reprinted from the |Princeton Review,| N. York, 1858. Also Ch. Hodge: Discussions in Church Polity. Selected from the |Princeton Review,| and arranged by W. Durant. New York, 1878.
Bishop Kaye (Episc.): Account of the External Discipline and Government of the Church of Christ in the First Three Centuries. London, 1855.
K. Lechler (Luth.): Die N. Testamentliche Lehre vom heil. Amte. Stuttgart, 1857.
Albrecht Ritschl: Die Entstehung der altkatholischen Kirche, 2d ed., thoroughly revised, Bonn, 1857 (605 pp.). Purely historical and critical.
James Bannerman (Presbyterian): The Church of Christ. A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church. Edinburgh, 1868, 2 vols.
John J. McElhinney (Episc.): The Doctrine of the Church. A Historical Monograph. Philadelphia, 1871. It begins after the apostolic age, but has a useful list of works on the doctrine of the Church from a.d.100 to 1870.
G. A. Jacob (Low Church Episc.):Ecclesiastical Polity of the New Testament: Study for the Present Crisis in the Church of England. London, 1871; 5th Amer. ed., New York (Whittaker), 1879.
J. B. Lightfoot (Evangelical Broad Church Episcop., Bishop of Durham, very learned, able, and fair): The Christian Ministry. Excuraus to his Commentary on Philippians. London, 1868, 3d ed. London, 1873, pp.179-267; also separately printed in New York (without notes), 1879.
Charles Wordsworth (High Church Episcop., Bishop of St. Andrews) The Outlines of the Christian Ministry. London, 1872.
Henry Cotherill (Bishop of Edinburgh): The Genesis of the Church. Edinburgh and London, 1872.
W. Beyschlag: Die christliche Gemeindeverfassung im Zeitalter des N. Testaments (Crowned prize essay). Harlem, 1876.
C. Weizsäcker: Die Versammlungen der ältesten Christengemeinden. In the |Jahrbücher für Deutsche Theologie,| Gotha, 1876, pp.474-530. HisApost. Zeitalter (1886), pp.606-645.
Henry M. Dexter (Congregationalist): Congregationalism.4th ed. Boston, 1876.
E. Mellor: Priesthood in the Light of the New Testament. Lond., 1876.
J. B. Paton: The Origin of the Priesthood in the Christian Church. London, 1877.
H. Weingarten: Die Umwandlung der urspranglichen christl. Gemeindeorganisation zur katholischen Kirche, in Sybel's |Histor. Zeitschrift| for 1881, pp.441-467.
Edwin Hatch (Broad Church Episcop.): The Organization of the Early Christian Churches. Bampton Lectures for 1880. Oxford and Cambridge, 1881. Discusses the post-apostolic organization (Bishops, Deacons, Presbyters, Clergy and Laity, Councils, etc.). A learned and independent work, which endeavors to show that the development of the organization of the church was gradual; that the elements of which it was composed were already existing in human society; that the form was originally a democracy and became by circumstances a monarchy; and that the Christian church has shown its vitality and its divinity by readjusting its form in successive ages. German translation by Ad. Harnack, Giessen, 1883.
P. Stanley (Broad Church Episc., d.1881): Christian Institutions, London and New York, 1881. Ch. X. on the Clergy.
Ch. Gore: The Ministry of the Church, London, 1889 (Anglo-Catholic).
Articles on theChristian Ministry by Sanday, Harnack, Milligan, Gore, Simcox, Salmon, and others, in |The Expositor,| London, 1887 and 1888.