This chapter explores Ambrosiaster's attitudes toward ecclesiastical hierarchies. His work does not accurately describe all the nuances of over three centuries of change and development in church hierarchy. The likelihood that he himself was a presbyter gives an added piquancy to his promotion of presbyters as co-bishops. But he did have a fairly acute sense of the difference between ministry in the contemporary and in the earlier church. It is particularly striking, then, that he was able to present the process of change as culminating in the most desirable situation, and so to defend spiritedly the monarchical episcopacy which he knew. His awareness that the current church hierarchy was not ‘authentic’ was happily reconciled with the patterns of the Old and New Testaments.
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