Black apostolic dating
Within these churches, bishops are seen as those who possess the full priesthood and can ordain clergy – including another bishop.
Early sources are unclear but various groups of Christian communities may have had the bishop surrounded by a group or college functioning as leaders of the local churches."Therefore as the Lord did nothing without the Father, [being united with Him], either by Himself or by the Apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and the presbyters." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 7:1."Be obedient to the bishop and to one another, as Jesus Christ was to the Father [according to the flesh], and as the Apostles were to Christ and to the Father, that there may be union both of flesh and of spirit." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 13:2.In 391, Theodosius I decreed that any land that had been confiscated from the church by Roman authorities be returned.The most usual term for the geographic area of a bishop's authority and ministry, the diocese, began as part of the structure of the Roman Empire under Diocletian.
One who has been ordained deacon, priest, and then bishop is understood to hold the fullness of the (ministerial) priesthood, given responsibility by Christ to govern, teach and sanctify the Body of Christ, members of the Faithful.