Biblical Presbyterian Eldership

These first commissioned Christians, were to pray for the sick and to spread the good news of the Gospel.   Conceivably, the appointment of "the seven" in the book of Acts may be referring to such Elders (rather than to ‘Deacons').    However, it is quite certain that Christian Elders had already been appointed over the Church in Jerusalem at least by A.D. 41 — if not much earlier, and possibly even before the death of Christ.41

Wherever the Apostles or their Preacher-Evangelists went, they appointed Sessions of Christian Elders to rule the newly-established Christian Congregations.   What could probably only have been the Presbytery of Antioch (in Syria), commissioned Barnabas and Saul as its first Foreign Missionaries.   Wherever those two went, throughout what is now called Southern Turkey, they established Congregations of Christians — and later "ordained them many Elders in every Church."   Indeed, when doctrinal disputes arose which needed resolving, Elders from the Congregations in (Syrian) Antioch — and possibly also from those in (Turkish) Cilicia — gathered in Jerusalem together with (Palestinian) Church Elders.   They all deliberated about these matters — as a General Assembly.    There, decisions were made — which would later be delivered as decrees required to be kept by the Congregations.42