“Office of a bishop” or “Overseership” in 1 Timothy 3:1 et al.?
"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." (1 Timothy 3:1, KJV)
Some well-meaning critics of the institutional church allege that the KJV translators employed High Church jargon to render επισκοπης as “office of a bishop” rather than “overseership” in order to promote the institutional hierarchy of the High Church. However, “office” simply means “work.” The Latin derivative, “officium,” means "service, duty, function, business” (Online Etymological Dictionary). The meaning of "office" as simply "work" still remains in the idiom "kind offices" (e.g. "I was served well by his kind offices”). Thus, “office of a bishop” refers to the work of a bishop – i.e. serving, teaching, overseeing, etc.
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