"This is an important, very well organized, clearly argued book." Église et Théologie
"This book is a good historical overview of the consensus which has shaped much of our thinking about leadership within churches..." EARL (John Hopkins)
"...highly instructive, well documented and very well written....an important contribution to the study of the relationship of Hellenistic synagogue and Church in agenda and organization. The identification of this relationship is a valuable addition to the debate on office in the early Church." Enrique Nardoni, Theological Studies
"...lucid and accessible...an original contribution to the age-old and ongoing controversy concerning leadership structures in the initial Christian communities." Priests and People
"Professor Burtchaell has written an important book on the origins of ordained ministries....a pleasure to read, even at its most challenging." Gerard S. Sloyan, Worship
"In this learned and significant study James Burtchaell, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, challenges the long standing and often reiterated Protestant 'consensus' positing a discontinuity between church and synagogue." E. Glenn Hinson, Church History
"Burtchaell's reading of the history of the debate is...convincing....he correctly challenges the idea that ritual and structure are alien to true religion, suggesting that true religion is also found in the institutional expressions of community, even in Christianity." James C. Hanges, Critical Review
This important work engages with a long historical debate: were the earliest Christians under the direction of ordained ministers, or under the influence of inspired laypeople?