The Real Ecclesia

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Zenas, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Zenas

    Zenas
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    On another thread, Bound takes issue with Agnus Dei about his ideas concerning the liturgy. He goes on to suggest that Agnus would not have been happy in the early church as it existed during the first 300 years. Then he suggests that the real ecclesia met in people's homes. My question for this thread is what did the real ecclesia look like in the early church? I will start with the issue of whether they met in homes or in more public places. I have always understood that they met in people's homes but have not found anything to corroborate this. In fact, the only thing that comes to mind is 1 Corinthians 11:22 where Paul says, "Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink?" This suggests the church at Corinth was not meeting in a home. Can anyone point to commentary that would resolve this issue? Also (and this is something Agnus may want comment on), what did the early church service (liturgy for Agnus) look like?

    Moderators, if this should be in the history forum, feel free to move it.
     
  2. Jerome

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    Scripture says some churches met in homes.

    Acts 12:12
    And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

    Romans 16:3-5
    Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.

    I Corinthians 16:19
    Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

    Colossians 4:15
    Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

    Philemon 1-2
    Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
     
  3. Jim1999

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    Churches were wherevr the people could gather. They met in houses, on rooftops, in fields and even in synagogues at times.

    There is no doctrine supporting the idea of church-houses to-day. We have more convenient places to gather for worship.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. DHK

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    Acts 20:7-9 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
    8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.
    9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
    --possibly a large house

    Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
    Acts 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

    Romans 16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:
    Romans 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

    1 Corinthians 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

    Philemon 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
     
  5. Matt Black

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    I would take issue with Bound's claim that Agnus would not have been happy in the first three centuries of the Church due to lack of liturgy. Christianity arose from within Judaism, which is and was highly liturgical; the early liturgical records we have for the Church show striking similarities with contemporary Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican liturgies
     
  6. Zenas

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    Jerome and DHK, thanks for those cites. I think Jim1999 probably has it right, that the early Christians met wherever they could find a place. So, what did a church service look like, sound like, smell like in those days?
     
  7. bound

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    I would argue the early Church was 'nothing' like what we find in many Basilicas established by Constantine after the Edict of Milan... the early ecclesia were 'the People' not 'the Basilica, Priests, Gold Braziers, Incense, etc'... it was "the People in the hope of a Promise". The Kingdom of heaven is 'in you'... not in the Basilicas...
     
  8. Matt Black

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    I would refer you to the Liturgy of James the Brother of the Lord, c.60AD which, though it contains many later interpolations, the Eucharistic Prayer is one of the more original features, and it is that which I set out below; compare it with our present Anglicac, Catholic and Orthodox Eucharistic Prayers and I think it’s fair to say that there are some striking similarities, at least as far as structure and basic content are concerned (NB ‘priest’ here is simply an Anglicisation of ‘presbyteros’ in the Greek):



    [tbc]

     
  9. Matt Black

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    continued from the Liturgy...
     
  10. Thinkingstuff

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    I always wondered about early christian use of liturgy. It seem Judaism from which Christianity sprang was a liturgical religion and I would suppose that no matter where "services" were held such as homes there would be liturgical implimentation. Strange that the term for liturgy is used in the NT. So I would gather there was a form of liturgy used in the very infant church.
     
  11. bound

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    My guess is that you know I am quiet familiar with this Liturgy. The extents we have of it are old but they date well after 300 AD. We have 'no evidence' of a Christian 'liturgy' outside of Justin Martyr's outline and every single Sunday worship service lines up with that outline.

    You are projecting 'High Gentile Liturgical Traditions' into the early Church. St. Paul came to 'preach'... to turn souls to the Lord in the hope of that Promise given. Were there some formality to those early services... sure and the singing of Psalms after the Judaic practice but if you think it was anything like the Imperial Liturgical Traditions that were instituted in the Roman Empire you are fooling yourself. You might want to look at the Ethiopian Churches to get a glimpse of the the early Church. Do they share some common elements with Modern Orthodoxy? Sure but they are far more Judaic then Pagan. Their Liturgies are in circles around the altar table and the Ark of the Covenant not facing East. There is no 'holy of holies' reconstructed as in the Imperial Tradition and it's much less structured after the Greek Mystery Religions of the day of Constantine.
     
  12. Matt Black

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    I would disagree that the only extants we have are post-300AD; most of the MSS granted come from c.400AD but there are elements preserved in Hippolytus*, which puts it a century or so before the Constantinian Settlement.

    [ETA - you also forgot about the Didache, which may well predate the Gospels]

    [ETA #2 - *via the Didascalia Apostolorum, which dates from c.250AD in the Syriac and preserves the earlier sections of Hippolytus' Apostolic Tradition/Constitution dealing with Eucharistic liturgy (I agree that other sections of Hippolytus' AT/C can only be dated to c.400AD); I'll repreduce the relevant sections of the Didascalia in my next post]
     
    #12 Matt Black, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
  13. bound

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    Do you're research. You will not find an extant of this Liturgy post-300 AD but like I said Justin Martyr is clearly outlining a structure to the early Church Liturgy and we all can easily lay claim to be following that.

    I haven't forgotten. Just remember the promise and hope in the Lord. All this other stuff is helpful or harmful as it draws one to or causes one to stray from that which we have in Jesus Christ.
     
  14. Matt Black

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    (From the Didascalia Apostolorum, Book 7:



    (This is basically an expansion of the Didache's Eucharistic liturgy, with further borrowings from Jewish liturgical material)
     
  15. Matt Black

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    From the DA, Book 8:

    (TBC)
     
  16. Matt Black

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    DA, Book 8, continued:

    (attributed to Hippolytus)
     
  17. Matt Black

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    Yes but see the DA - 250AD
    Interesting that you mention Justin, since he is on record as saying:

    Since Justin clearly refers here to the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and since you claim that you can lay claim to be following that, then it follows that you believ in the Real Presence?



     
  18. bound

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    You will not get a big argument out of me regarding the mystery of the Lord's Supper. :laugh:

    But don't ask me to define it.
     
  19. Matt Black

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    Indeed; as a good Anglican, my view on it is more Orthodox than Catholic!:laugh:
     
  20. bound

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    With that said could we agree that 'the real ecclesia' is the People of God and not simply an institutional body or tradition?
     

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