Greek Pronunciation [eh PIHS kah pahs]

HCSB Translation: overseer

Uses in the NT: 5


“For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it”
(Titus 1:7-9)


By the time of the NT, episkopos already enjoyed a long history of usage, referring to deities or community officials, rulers, or leaders.  In the NT, however, the term takes on a clearly religious overtone, appearing as a title meaning an overseer (apparently synonymous with presbuteros [elder]; Act. 20:28; Tit. 1:7).  In the early church, the Holy Spirit commissioned each overseer through apostolic selection and appointment (Act. 14:23, 20:28; Tit. 1:7).  The overseer held a vital service role within the congregation (1 Tim. 3:1).  This necessitated high moral standards and management skills (1 Tim. 3:2- 7; Tit. 1:7- 9).  Several overseers were responsible for shepherding and managing the affairs of their local congregation (Act. 20:28; Php. 1:1; Tit. 1:7).  Jesus, to whom belongs the church, is the “shepherd and guardian” par excellence (1 Pet. 2:25).


Word Studies courtesy of the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible. Used with permissions from B&H Publishing Group, A Division of LifeWay Christian Resources.