Biblical Presbyterian Eldership

In the book of Deuteronomy, it is emphasised how the Elders represent the people as a whole.   For there, the Elders of one city extradite murderers fleeing from their own flock — and bring them back for appropriate punishment at the hands of the local Judges.20    Thus arose the popularly-appointed political Judges — originally selected probably from the ranks of the Eldership itself.   The Elders too initially co-operated in the juridical execution of the various kinds of judgment — even when appealed from local to broader Courts.21   Yet later, with the growing specialisation of the political functions of the Judges, the Elders apparently began to centre their rule on more specifically ecclesiastical matters.   Yet no time did they withdraw their influence from the extra-ecclesiastical areas of life.22