Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897)/Council
Council : 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 Palestine (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.