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The Presbyterian Government of the Apostolic Church

The apostolic church was governed by presbyteries, i.e., elders (presbyters) in their official and associated capacity. In the New Testament history of the apostolic church we see three kinds of presbyteries: congregational presbyteries, or sessions of local churches; regional presbyteries, which are referred to today simply as presbyteries; and synodical presbyteries, or general assemblies. (Synod comes from the Greek word, sunode, meaning "convening" or "coming together.") These three types of presbyteries in the Christian church were modeled after the Jewish system of church government with its three ecclesiastical courts: the Sanhedrin, corresponding to the synodical presbytery, the Presbytery, corresponding to the regional presbytery, and the Synagogue, with its rulers, corresponding to the session in the local congregation.