spoken of counsellors who sat in public trials with the governor
of a province (Acts 25:12).
The Jewish councils were the Sanhedrim, or supreme council of
the nation, which had subordinate to it smaller tribunals (the
"judgment," perhaps, in Matt. 5:21, 22) in the cities of
Israel (Matt. 10:17; Mark 13:9). In the time of Christ the
functions of the Sanhedrim were limited (John 16:2; 2 Cor.
11:24). In Ps. 68:27 the word "council" means simply a company
of persons. (R.V. marg., "company.")
In ecclesiastical history the word is used to denote an
assembly of pastors or bishops for the discussion and regulation
of church affairs. The first of these councils was that of the
apostles and elders at Jerusalem, of which we have a detailed
account in Acts 15.