Greek for ‘elder’, a Christian leader, probably modelled on the synagogue precedent. Each Church had a group of presbyters, as also at Qumran, and Paul and Barnabas appointed them in every Church they founded (Acts 14: 23). In due course, one of the group enjoyed a pre‐eminence. In some cases the ‘elder’ is also known as a ‘bishop’ (Titus 1: 5–9). See ministry.