A quote from the Lutheran scholar, David Chytraeus, on how elders have always been elders,
Now the fact that, afterward, ministers were distinguished from one another by degrees–this was a human contrivance for the sake of order. Jerome, in his letter to Evangelus, addresses this matter at length, arguing that priests and bishops are the same office; and that though afterward one was chosen to be above the rest, this was done to avoid schism, ‘Wherever there is a bishop, whether he be at Rome or at Engubium or at Constantinople or at Rhegium or at Alexandria or at Thanis, his dignity is one and his priesthood is one. Neither the abundance of riches nor the lowliness of poverty makes him more or less a bishop; all alike are the successor of the apostles.’David Chytraeus, quoted in Reformed Commentary on 1 Corinthians
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