Wb has been busy this past week in dealing with Roman viewpoints. Here is a post in relation to one such viewpoint concerning the leadership of the Church. Historically, while the Roman Bishop at times sought to make himself the head of the Church, he was rebuffed by his peers. Victor I tried it, as did Stephen, but it was not until Damasus that the title of ‘pontiff’ was assumed. Of course, historically speaking, Alexandria had the first pope. But, beyond that, there is a need to examine more on church leadership:
I wrote, “Where does Bible say God established a special priesthood for the churches that is separate from the priesthood of the believers?”
He responded, “It doesn’t have to. But at the time of the founding of the church, there were bishops, the apostles, and believers. The apostles were clearly separate. The priests, again, are nothing more than the shepherd of their flock.”
It is not clear that bishop is a separate office than elder, see discussion below. I’d have added deacon (and possibly deaconess, depending on your translation) to your list. The apostles were essentially church planting missionaries who helped the local churches keep pointed towards Christ and using what God had written. But the elders led the local churches. There is no evidence of the elders being part of a universal hierarchy. The elders and deacons came from the local assembly. History shows elders would come together to discuss issues of doctrine.
Read the rest at the link above.