Apostolic Succession

Apostolic Succession
   "The fundamental principle of the Christian Ministry is, that it is derived from our Blessed Lord Himself, from whom it is perpetuated by Episcopal Ordination," and just this is what is meant by Apostolic Succession. The Apostolic Succession is simply the evidence of the fact that the Christian Ministry has never failed to exist since the time when our Lord commissioned it and sent it forth. It is often called the doctrine of the Apostolic Succession, but it is more of a fact than a doctrine; a fact substantiated by the history of the Church, as much so as the succession of the Kings and Queens of England is a fact known of all men acquainted with the history of the English nation. For this reason we have the statement in the Preface to the Ordinal: "It is evident unto all men diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient Authors, that from the Apostles' time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church, -- Bishops, Priests and Deacons." The Christian Church has not been left without its records; its history is as well marked on the pages of history as that of any other kingdom or organization.
   See Episcopacy; Episcopate; Bishop, also Ministry

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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  • apostolic succession — n. the doctrine that the religious authority and mission conferred by Jesus on Saint Peter and the other Apostles have come down through an unbroken succession of bishops …   English World dictionary

  • apostolic succession — Rom. Cath. Ch., Orth. Ch., Anglican Ch. the unbroken line of succession beginning with the apostles and perpetuated through bishops, considered essential for orders and sacraments to be valid. [1830 40] * * * In Christianity, the doctrine that… …   Universalium

  • apostolic succession —    This term (from the Greek apostolos, meaning messenger, and the Latin succedere, meaning to follow ) refers to the continuous line of bishops who have succeeded to the ministry of the Apostles. Though some privileges of the Apostles,… …   Glossary of theological terms

  • Apostolic Succession — The spiritual authority conferred by the laying on of hands in ordination of the church clergy through a lineal succession of bishops down from the apostles …   Dictionary of church terms

  • apostolic succession — apostol′ic succes′sion n. the unbroken line of succession beginning with the apostles and perpetuated through bishops, considered essential for orders and sacraments to be valid in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox Churches •… …   From formal English to slang

  • apostolic succession — noun : the succession or descent believed to be uninterrupted from the apostles and perpetuated by successive ordinations of bishops, held (as by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Eastern Orthodox) to be necessary for valid administration of the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION —    the derivation of episcopal power in an unbroken line from the Apostles, a qualification believed by High Churchmen to be essential to the discharge of episcopal functions and the transmission of promised divine grace …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION —    the theory developed by ROMAN CATHOLIC theologians that theological ORTHODOXY is preserved through an unbroken line of BISHOPS who derive their AUTHORITY from CHRIST …   Concise dictionary of Religion

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