Difference Between Bishop and Pastor

Religion in general is quite a confusing term. If used in the wrong context, it could lead to breakouts or worse situations for the world.


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Each people have their way of believing a power above themselves and these beliefs are often termed as religion.

Christianity is the religion that is based teachings of Jesus. The church was the people go for praying is usually managed by different people who fulfils the duties of a church.

The word often used for them are bishop and pastor. Since they are always used in similar contexts they are thought to be the same.

Bishop vs Pastor

The difference between Bishop and Pastor is that the responsibilities of bishops are not only limited to the management of the congregation but also includes the people who are bound by it. Pastors are asked to only look after the congregation.

Bishop vs Pastor

The word ‘bishop’ was initially used for those who were highly educated and respected and often took on the roles of the church management. Now bishops are the ordained or consecrated leaders of Christian clergy.

The word ‘pastor’ was initially used for the ones who spread the message of God to the people and told them the right ways to follow the Almighty’s footsteps. Now pastors are the ordained leaders of a Christian congregation.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBishopPastor
OriginEnglish derivative of the Greek term ‘episkosos’Latin term ‘pastor’ and the Latin verb ‘pascere’
HistoryThey were first used for the ones who were highly educated or respectedIt was used constantly to refer to the ones who spread God’s message and was God’s shepherd.
MeaningThey are ordained or consecrated leader of the Christian clergy They are an ordeal leader of the Christian community
TypeThey are a type of ordained ministerThey are a type of ordained leader
ResponsibilitiesThey have various responsibilities along with maintaining the congregationIt is only to look after the congregation
GenderThey are always menDepending on the church and their preference they can be a man or a woman
Relation to ChristianityAlong with the Christian church, they also take responsibilities in others like the Catholic church, etc.They are related to only the Christian church.

What is Bishop?

Bishops are the ordained ministers of a congregation who have taken up the duties and responsibilities of the particular church. They look after the congregation, the people bound by the congregation and also the priests and sisters who live within the congregation.

These responsibilities are given to the bishops because of the hierarchy. Bishops are not contained within Christian churches.

They are also the same for Roman Catholics, Old and New Catholics, Oriental Orthodox and many other churches. In some churches, they are also considered as the chief pastors.


What is Pastor?

Pastors are the ordained leaders of the congregation. They are derived from the Latin word ‘pastor’ that means shepherds and are also related to the Latin verb ‘pascere’ which means to herd a flock.

Pastors can be both men and women depending on the church and their preferences. They are not required to be men like in the case of bishops.

Pastors are also the term that is used for the priests of a Christian church.

Like the meaning of the word, pastors are required to act like shepherds who care for their flock. This also requires teaching them the right and wrong ways of following the word of God.

pastor 1

Main Differences Between Bishop and Pastor

  1. The terms have different origins. Bishop is from the Greek word ‘episkosos’ whereas Pastor has a Latin origin. It comes from the Latin noun ‘pastor’ or the verb ‘pascere’.
  2. The term bishop was first used for those who were highly respected or educated but later was used for the ones who took the responsibility of the church duties. Whereas the term pastor was always used for the ones who spread God’s message to the people and were often also seen as God’s shepherd.
  3. Pastors are the ordained leaders of the Christian congregation while bishops are ordained and consecrated leaders of the Christian clergy. They perform different duties.
  4. Bishops are considered to be a type of ordained ministers as they look after the people and their needs whereas pastors are considered as a type of ordained leader as they only have to spread god’s message to the people.
  5. Bishops have a lot of responsibilities from managing the congregation to the priests and the people within the church and the region of the congregation. The pastors have only one duty and that is to look after the congregation.
  6. Bishops are preferred to be men whereas there are no gender specifications for a pastor. They can be either a man or a woman depending on the church preferences.
  7. Pastors are found only in Christian churches. They do not take the responsibilities or duties of any other churches. But the bishops look after many types of churches ranging from Roman Catholic to the Church in the East.
Difference Between Bishop and Pastor


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Adc8SEdFyhgC&oi=fnd&pg=PA77&dq=bishops+and+pastors&ots=t8h-atEh7O&sig=lVe1OFUCO8_SGsbtrOsZ1mWf56Y
  2. https://churchlaw.ixtheo.de/Record/562697659/Description
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