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OVERSEER. The translation of several Hebrew and Greek words, each with its distinctive meaning: Heb. pāqadh, “inspector, overseer” (Gen.39.4-Gen.39.5; 2Chr.34.12, 2Chr.34.17); menatstsehîm, “foreman” (2Chr.2.18; 2Chr.34.13); shōtēr, almost always “officer”; Greek episkopos, “bishop, overseer” (Acts.20.28).

OVERSEER ō’ vər sĭ ər, ō’ vər se er (פָּקַד, H7212, to visit, נָצַח, H5904, to be pre-eminent, שֹׁטֵר, H8854, scribe; ἐπίσκοπος, G2176, watcher).

In the NT the KJV gives “overseer” once (Acts 20:28). In this instance it is descriptive of the function of elders in the Ephesian church. The RSV in its text gives no place to “overseer,” but in its margin of Philippians 1:1 does give it as an alternative tr. for “bishop.” Both KJV and RSV might well have used “overseer” in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:7 instead of “bishop,” where the same word episkopos refers to the same church officer as in Acts 20:28 and Philippians 1:1. The same tr. might have been utilized in the reference to Christ in 1 Peter 2:25 (KJV, “Bishop”; RSV, “Guardian”).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

See Bishop.

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