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Re: tc-list First Church Buildings

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  • Matt McGill
    Please forgive my words if they seem a bit foolish. Most of the postings to this list are over my head, I have an interest in Biblical Studies, so normally I
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 25, 1998
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      Please forgive my words if they seem a bit foolish. Most of the postings to
      this list are over my head, I have an interest in Biblical Studies, so normally
      I just read.

      I'm not sure I agree with the statements "the words are here used in precisely
      (apparently) the way we would . . . This distinction between the "church" and
      the "home" seems to preclude the period of "house/home churches"; rather, it
      seems to reflect the understanding of a time when the "church" was a distinct
      place (and not a "home/house"), where people went for services; the
      "home/house" was elsewhere."

      Venton's claim that these word are used "the way we would" assumes everyone
      goes to a different building for "Church." While this is certainly the norm, it
      is definitely not universal. When I was a little boy, I'd visit my Aunt every
      summer for a few weeks. Sunday mornings she'd wake me up saying, "It's time to
      get up, and get ready for church." The first time she said this, you could
      imagine my surprise as the church was at her house! This was their custom, and
      they always met in a member's house.

      At the risk of placing my experience upon Paul's (?) writing: Why must these
      two different words refer to two different physical settings.

      We see the picture of the early church in Acts as meeting in homes. If this was
      a common practice, then why can't the specific use of two different words refer
      to two different "social settings?"

      I guess my question is this: I agree that there is a "strict distinction" made
      between these two words, but what is the true nature of that difference? To
      leap from that assumption to define that difference as two different physical
      places seems to go beyond the text of 1 Cor 14:34-35.

      However, when one reads the account in Acts 18:7-11, you find that "Crispus,
      the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of
      the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized." (18:8). It does not
      seem that the building used for the synagogue (18:4) became a "church" building
      (note a new synagogue ruler in 18:17, was he the replacement for Crispus?) But
      even the synagogue could have met in a person's house . . . but this doesn't
      seem likely to me, because the Jewish population of Corinth was big enough that
      they probably built a place for worship.

      Also: Paul spent at least a year and a half in Corinth (18:11,18), perhaps he
      gathered enough followers who build or converted a building into a "church."

      Anyhow, thanks for listening to my thoughts,
      Matt McGill
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