Proestos (προεστώς), one of the names by which the early Church distinguished the teachers or preachers from the "brethren" (1Ti 5:17). Justin Martyr uses the term as synonymous with ἱεράρχης, when he speaks of the προεστώς as the person whose duty it is to consecrate the elements in the administration of the Lord's Supper (Apolog. 2, 67), a duty subsequently performed only by the bishop except in his absence. (Pepin's decree, A.D. 755, is as follows: "Nullus presbyter praesumat missas celebrare sine jussione episcopi in cujus parochia est." The Council of Arles laid similar restrictions upon deacons [canon 15].) The title Proestos was translated into Latin by Praepositus, whence the English word Provost (q.v.). See Coleman, Ancient Christianity Exemplified, p. 102 et al.; Siegel, Christ. Alterthiimer (see Index in vol. iv); Riddle, Christ. Antiquities, p. 211.

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