Questions and Concepts of Administration in the first Christian Communities

Term Paper, 2003

17 Pages, Grade: 63 of 75

Free online reading

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ
2.1 Paul’s self-understanding as ἀπόστολος
2.2 Paul’s understanding of ἐκκλησίᾳ

3 Charismatic Leadership or Apostolic Succession?
3.1 Deacons & Priests
3.2 Bishops
3.3 The Diversity of Gifts
3.3.1 Apostles
3.3.2 Prophets
3.3.3 Teachers
3.3.4 Leaders or Administrators
3.3.5 Other Functions

4 Women in the Church
4.1 Christian Women and married Couples - συνεργούς [..] ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ
4.1.1 Phoebe
4.1.2 Priscilla and Aquila
4.1.3 Andronicus and Junia
4.2 Christian House-Communities under social influence
4.3 The Revision trough the Authors of the Deutero-Pauline Writings

5 Conclusion

6 Bibliography

1 Introduction

Administration and Leadership of Christian Communities were big challenges for the first Christian Communities. Throughout the years the questions of headship developed and led to the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church nowadays. This paper will look on the roots of organizing “parish”-life as it is mentioned in the Pauline Writings. It will show, that the Pauline communities offer a lot of different kinds of ministry to imitate even today.

In a first step a brief overview on Paul’s self-understanding as an apostle and his ideas about the church will be presented. The first main part will examine, starting from the present hierarchy of ministries, the different gifts and models of administration shown in the Pauline Letters. A second main focus will be on the status of women which is found in direct and indirect ways in Paul’s Letters. The conclusion will critically evaluate the results of the research.

The basic elements for this research are the seven undisputed letters of Paul. These are the so called Proto-Pauline Writings (1 Thess, 1+2 Cor, Gal, Rom, Phil und Phlm). After the death of Paul arose several so called Deutero-Pauline Writings (Col, Eph, 2 Thess, Past [1.2 Tim, Tit]). The limitation to the undisputed letters in this research excludes other important Writings of the New Testament. But referring to the framework of the course and facing the wealth of the documents giving information about administration in the early church, it can be justified to examine only the letters which are undisputed written by Paul. Just in cases where an important deviation or contradiction to other writings of the New Testament occurs, the appropriate text will be mentioned. The research uses at any time the Greek original text to do justice to the wealth of meanings of important passages.

2 Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ

2.1 Paul’s self-understanding as ἀπόστολος

In all of his letters Paul calls himself an apostle. He describes his own mission in exemplary way in Rom 1:1 where he calls himself παῦλος δοῦλος χριστοῦ ἰησοῦ, κλητὸς ἀπόστολος, ἀφωρισμένος εἰς εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ. His mission is to preach the good news because he was “called to be an apostle” as “a servant of Jesus Christ”. He received grace and his ministry as an apostle directly from Jesus Christ (Rom 1:4-5, ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ (…) δι' οὗ ἐλάβομεν χάριν καὶ ἀποστολὴν). He relates to his conversion in 32 (35?) A.D.[1].

His importance as an apostle is obvious when we look at the many passages in his letters where he calls the Christians to imitate him. This demand cannot found elsewhere in the New Testament[2]. For example in Phil 3:17 we read like in many other passages: συμμιμηταί μου γίνεσθε, ἀδελφοί, καὶ σκοπεῖτε τοὺς οὕτω περιπατοῦντας καθὼς ἔχετε τύπον ἡμᾶς. Thus it is important to accept the gospel the way “he” preached it. He addresses his demand to the churches he founded. His personal testimony as “imitatio Christi” should help the believers to follow Christ. With his apostolic authority it is his task to live as an authentic representative of Christ within the communities. His claim to be an apostle is important to understand the instructions and recommendations he gives to the churches.

2.2 Paul’s understanding of ἐκκλησίᾳ

The image of the church shown in the Pauline Writings is not a finished one, but develops as an answer to inquiries and special situations in the communities. Paul, who felt destined from Christ to the mission of the pagans (Gal 2:8), founded on its mission-journeys many Christian Communities, e.g. in Corinth or in Ephesus (cf. Acts 18:1-11; 19:1-20). In his letters he names both, the local communities (cf. 1 Cor 1:1) and the small house-communities (cf. Rom 16:5) ἐκκλησίᾳ. But he uses it also in a more super-ordinate understanding (cf. 1 Cor 10.36). For Paul the church is the body of Christ - καθάπερ γὰρ τὸ σῶμα ἕν ἐστιν καὶ μέλη πολλὰ ἔχει, πάντα δὲ τὰ μέλη τοῦ σώματος πολλὰ ὄντα ἕν ἐστιν σῶμα, οὕτως καὶ ὁ χριστός (vgl.1 Cor 12:12-27). The sending of the Holy Spirit plays a very substantial role for the church, because only the Holy Spirit connects the church to a community (cf. 2 Cor 13:13). Simultaneously the Holy Spirit gives various gifts (cf. 1 Cor 12:4-11).

For Paul the church fulfils herself in the individual communities. The universal church lives in the commonality and the solidarity of the individual local churches. This solidarity shows up also in the Collection for Jerusalem (cf. Gal 2:10), which is not only an act of humanity, but also an act of solidarity and responsibility within the church. Likewise the Eucharist is an important connecting element (cf. 1 Cor 10:17); through the bread “the sharing of the body of Christ”, the many parts become a new whole one.

A super-ordinate structure cannot be recognized in the Pauline communities. Paul notices his authority as a leader of the churches, e.g. in Corinth, while travelling by his letters. He took position to existing problems (cf. 1 Cor 5:1-13; 6:1-11). The last power on decision is with him - due to his appointment as an Apostle (Rom 1:5). He gives a part of the responsibility to his co-workers (cf. Rom 16:1-16).

3 Charismatic Leadership or Apostolic Succession?

Starting from the three kinds of ministry we have in the Roman Catholic Church today, namely deacon, priest and bishop, one can look for the historical roots of the ministries in Paul’s letters. After having examined the structures of administration Paul founded in his parishes, we can even look for different kinds of ministry nowadays. Other historical or scriptural roots will not be examined because of the focus of this research which is Paul and his writings.

Beside and temporally before, there have been different kinds of services in the early Christian Communities than the three ministries of deacon, priest and bishop. Referring to the Pauline Letters an apostolic succession can not be proved, but we don’t find a concept which is contrary to the one of succession[3].

3.1 Deacons & Priests

The word deacon has its origin in the Greek word διάκονος, which means servant, assistant and deacon (all meanings in a male and a female way). The first time deacons are mentioned in the early Christian writings is in Phil 1:1. Paul addresses his letter τοῖς ἁγίοις ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν φιλίπποις σὺν ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις. Beside this mentioning Paul does not describe the function or tasks of a deacon.[4] But they had special functions in the community – they had caring, managing and leading tasks.[5] They were not ahead or over the community, but a part of the community.

The word priest comes from the Greek word πρεσβύτερος which means elder or leader in the Jewish understanding. Paul himself does never speak about the ministry of a priest.

3.2 Bishops

In the same letter where Paul mentions the deacon he even speaks about the bishops. (cf. 3.1 Deacons & Priests). The word bishop has its origin in the word ἐπίσκοπος which means guard, watcher or later bishop. In the beginning it was the task of the ἐπίσκοπος to watch over matters of finance, buildings or administration; thus practical things. Later their tasks were enlarged and even spiritual leadership became a task of the bishop. How the first bishops have been appointed and how they passed their ministry on to their successors is not known. But it is very likely that they were members of the community and elected by that[6].

3.3 The Diversity of Gifts

As we see, Paul didn’t establish this kind of hierarchical ministry. Paul was original a member of the community in Antioch. We know that in Antioch a fixed leadership was never established. This is Paul’s background for his founding’s of Christian communities. Now different kinds of ministry in the Church shall be examined, which occurs in the lists of gifts in Rom 12:6-8, 1 Cor 12:8-10, 28-30 and Eph 4:11[7].

3.3.1 Apostles

The work of apostles is not a function within the local Christian community. We don’t find one or more apostles as resident leaders of every local church. The “apostles” mentioned in Phil 2:25 and 2 Cor 8:23 are envoys acting outside their church.[8]

3.3.2 Prophets

Paul placed the function of the Prophets next to that of the apostle. This shows the importance of this function in the church. Paul presupposes the existence of prophets in Corinth (1 Cor 12:28, 14:1-5, 27-33) Thessalonica (1 Thess 5:20) and Rome (Rom 12:6)[9]. Their function was a form of preaching and exhortation of unusual depth as is manifested by fruits: upbuilding, encouragement, consolation (οἰκοδομὴν καὶ παράκλησιν καὶ παραμυθίαν, 1 Cor 14:3), conviction and disclosure (φανερωσις, 14:24)[10].

Prophecy and its interpretation (distinguishing of spirits, διακρίσεις πνευμάτων, 1 Cor 12:10) had a place in the common worship of the congregation[11]. It was regarded as being equal to what the Torah was in the Jewish worship an interpretation: participation and knowledge. This might be the reason, why for Paul as an apostle with a Jewish background the Prophecy was so important. Was this function limited to a special group or was it exercised by any Christian on whom the gift of prophecy might fall? Scholars find different answers to this question. For the latter view passages like 1 Cor 14:1, 24, 29, 31 and the indication of 1 Thess 5:19ff are examples (ἕνα πάντες προφητεύειν, ἵνα πάντες μανθάνωσιν καὶ πάντες παρακαλῶνται).

3.3.3 Teachers

It is not that simple to distinguish the activity of the teachers from other charismatic groups[12]. But even here we can find parallels to the Jewish functions. Teachers can be compared to the Jewish scribes and rabbis. In Rom 12:7 and Gal 6:6 Paul mentioned “he who teaches” (ὁ διδάσκων, κατηχούμενος). It seems that he refers to a function performed by persons known to the readers. “They gave instruction, and delivered exhortations on seemly conduct, they received, preserved and transmitted the body of tradition in the church (…) and occupied themselves with interpreting the Holy Scriptures”[13]. Their labour will have been of particular significance for the catechumenate and the instruction of those who wished to be baptized.

3.3.4 Leaders or Administrators

In this paragraph we come close to the kinds of ministry shown in 3.1 and 3.2. But Administration is not only mentioned connected with διάκονος and ἐπίσκοπος.

In 1 Thess 5:12 and Rom 12:8 we read about “to know them which (…) are over you” (εἰδέναι τοὺς κοπιῶντας ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ προϊσταμένους ὑμῶν)[14]. 1 Cor 12:28 speaks about “administrations” (κυβερνήσεις), 1 Cor 16:16 about the subordination under Stephanans’s house and all who toil (κοπιῶντι) in the same way as this group. Phil 1:1 mentions, as we have seen in 3.1 bishops and deacons. According to Bengt Holmberg, the descriptions of different functions seem to be of roughly the same kind:

1. The group mentioned in 1 Thess 5:12 “labour” (κοπιῶντας – a verb Paul uses about work for the Lord and the Church, his own and that of others). They are “are over you in the Lord, and admonish you” (προϊσταμένους - meaning both “to care to” and “to lead”)[15].
2. The function of Stephanas and his “house” is described as being “service of the saints” (διακονίαν τοῖς ἁγίοις) and “labour“ (κοπιῶντι – 1 Cor 16:15f).
3. In 1 Cor 12 and Rom 12 the function of leading is mentioned after the function of giving material help: ἀντιλήμψεις - κυβερνήσεις in 1 Cor 12:28 and ὁ μεταδιδοὺς - ὁ προϊστάμενος in Rom 12:8.

A key word is προϊσταμενοι. Holmberg, referring to von Dobschütz, thinks about ten functions connected to this word: Give up ones house for the gathering of the community, perhaps being in charge to put right the course of the gathering, leading the prayer, reading aloud, singing, granting accommodation for travelling brothers and sisters, supporting the poor, giving money for bails, representation in the court of law and sometimes journeys in matters of the community.

3.3.5 Other Functions

The different kinds of inspired speech are remarkable in Paul’s letters. In 1 Cor 14:6 we find: speaking in tongues, in revelation, in knowledge, in prophecy, in teaching (, ἐὰν ἔλθω πρὸς ὑμᾶς γλώσσαις λαλῶν, τί ὑμᾶς ὠφελήσω, ἐὰν μὴ ὑμῖν λαλήσω ἢ ἐν ἀποκαλύψει ἢ ἐν γνώσει ἢ ἐν προφητείᾳ ἢ [ἐν] διδαχῇ). All these are not bound to special persons, if not to some of the prophets.

Probably neither the different forms of inspired speech nor miracle-working faith (cf. 1 Cor 12:9) were reserved each for a particular, permanent circle. These charismata were important for the internal functioning of the church in which they appeared, but were never seen as exclusive to raise a few people over the rest of the community.

The diversity of gifts and the variety of ministries in the first Christian churches lead us to the question of the status of women in the Pauline communities.

4 Women in the Church

Thinking about Paul and his descriptions and directions concerning women not only feministic theologians associate usually spontaneously chauvinistism, misogynicness and patriarchal suppression. The following chapter will show that Paul does not deserve this labelling[16]. In a very special way this chapter will show the importance of distinction between the Proto-Pauline and the Deutero-Pauline Writings.[17]

4.1 Christian Women and married Couples - συνεργούς [..] ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ

Information about ecclesiastical functions of women in the first Christian communities offers to us Paul himself in his letters. A lot of information can be found in the conclusion chapter of the Roman letter (Rom 16).

4.1.1 Phoebe

This chapter is introduced by a short recommendation letter for a woman named Phoebe (VV.1f). She lives in the port Cenchreae near Corinth and travelled in a business matter to Rome. Paul emphasizes her active efforts in the church of Cenchreae and describes her expressly as Deaconess of this church[18]. Deaconess does not just mean servant, but in a way an already structurally solidified ecclesiastical kind of ministry (cf. Phil 1:1 “τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν φιλίπποις σὺν ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακ ό νοις “). Unfortunately Paul mentions nothing concerning its contentwise arrangement, because it might be known by his readers. But as we read in 1 Tim 3:8-13 even tasks of proclamation of the faith has been a part of this ministry of a deacon.

4.1.2 Priscilla and Aquila

With Rom 16:3 begins the so called Greeting list of the Roman letter. The first greeting of the Paul applies thereby for the married couple Pricilla and Aquila, which he qualifies as “συνεργούς (co-worker) μου ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ”. According to its other linguistic usage he calls them thereby mission-colleagues who are just like him active in the proclamation of the gospel within and out of the church[19]. Thus Priscilla and her husband are functional equal to Paul in the field of proclamation. This married couple of craftsmen (cf. Acts 18:3) also offered their houses for meetings of the Christian communities of the towns where they were living (cf. Rom 16:5, cf. 1 Cor 16:19)[20]. Thus this two were for the early church and mission work of great importance. The fact that in Rom 16:3 Priscilla is mentioned before her husband against each antiquity custom (even in Acts 18:8.26 and 2 Tim 4:19), lets one even assume that she was from more importance in the community.

In Rom 16:6.12 Paul greets in particular four women, with whom he emphasizes agreeing their laborious efforts “ἐν κυρίῳ” (V.12) respectively for the community (V.6). The hard work or trouble (πολλὰ ἐκοπίασεν) could even mean community-leading tasks, like in 1 Cor 16:15-18 (κοπιῶντι) and 1 Thes 5:12-13a (κοπιῶντας). In any case this four women played in the early church not a minor role.

4.1.3 Andronicus and Junia

Beside Priscilla and Aquila Paul greets in Rom 16:7 a further married couple: Andronicus and Junia. In contrast to Priscilla and her husband he calls however these two particularly apostle (ἀποστόλοις) of the first hour with a high reputation. The term apostle is here equivalent to missionary. But for Paul the order of proclamation by the resurrected Christ belongs constitutive to the status of an apostle (cf. 1 Cor 9:1 and 15:5-10).

Thus referring to Rom 16:7 it is testified by the scripture that such a status of an apostle was not only reserved for men. When reading different translations of the Bible one will often find Junias instead of Junia - the name of a man instead of a woman. This is a phenomenon of a literary transformation. But the male name Junias is neither in the antique literature nor other historical documents of this time mentioned. Against it, the female form Junia is broadly testified. It is not necessary to spread out the whole exegetical discussion about this name in this paper[21]. For the further examination we will assume that the original Pauline letter meant Junia, the wife of Andronicus.

Another issue is to show, that this passage really mentions an apostle in the fullness of our understanding. The authors M. H. Burer and D B. Wallace are pleading seriously to interpret ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις not as “prominent/ outstanding among the apostles” but in the sense of “well-known to” the apostles of the church in Jerusalem)[22]. Andronicus and Junia belonged therefore not to the community of the apostles. Now it is not to be denied that the Greek formulation can have also the sense favoured by Burer and Wallace. That this interpretation of Rom 16:7 has to be philologically almost compelling can not be proofed in a scientific and exegetic concluding way.

How should one explain under this condition that Greek speaking fathers of the church as a native speaker read this Greek text in the understanding which is rejected by Burer and Wallace (outstanding under the apostles)? Besides this understanding of the text fits smoothly into the context in contrast to the translation by Burer and Wallace. Paul characterizes Andronicus and Junia in Rom 16:7 even quadruple. Through individual characterisations of the couple and himself he establishes references between them. The first two characterisations emphasize things in common between Paul on the one hand, as well as Andronicus and Junia on the other hand:

1. They come from the same nation as Paul; they are former Jews and now Christians – just like him.
2. They were together in prison with Paul.

The last two characterisations stand to the preceding in an increasing relationship and place Andronicus and Junia into outbidding relation to Paul. This happens first qualitatively: They raise high among the apostles, while Paul calls himself in 1 Cor 15:9 expressly as the smallest one under the apostles. Then they exceed Paul in addition, regarding their temporal affiliation to Christ. They already were in Christ before him. Thus it remains thereby: In Rom 16:7 Paul testifies to Junia as a female apostle.

4.2 Christian House-Communities under social influence

Christian community life in the first years has been organized just in a private framework[23]. A key role came to the wealthier church members, because they had apart from financial resources also a good house structure. As self-sufficient economic and social unit such an antique house structure with its personnel and spatial infrastructure offered optimal conditions for the development of parish life. When now expectation of the “parusia” in the second generation diminished gradually, the question about the order and guidance of the for the community eminent important houses became central. The answer can be found in the so called house boards of the letter to the Colossians and Ephesians (cf. Col 3:18-4:1 and Eph 5:21-6:9)[24]. They take up the moderate patriarchal concept of the “Oikonomia” which is one of several socially discussed possibilities[25]. This concept recommends to the head of the household not to use his patriarchal authority against the subordinated members of the house (wife, children and slaves) because of economic considerations. This concept was taken over by the Christian communities in a modified way because economically flourishing households were the base of the life of the communities. The Christian modification exists fundamentally in the following: The pattern of over and subordination is broken open on the religious level, as the heads of the households are reminded of Christ as their Lord in heaven (Col 4:1 and Eph 6:9). Here they are equal to women, children and slaves and have to take the responsibility for their deeds. On the social level however the patriarchal descent remains. The experiences of the reality in the communities, which knew a functional equalization of men and women, are not made fruitful thus in the second generation for the social order of Christian houses.

In any case with the Christian adoption of the concept of “Oikonomia” in the house boards an adjustment to total socially dominating patriarchal structures takes place.

4.3 The Revision trough the Authors of the Deutero-Pauline Writings

As we have seen the structure of the Christian communities has been adapted to the structure of the Christian houses. Its social order however had already been defined by the house boards in a fundamental patriarchal way. Thus up to then the charismatic leadership of the communities of the Pauline mission area has been replaced. In this time it seems that the community was led by group of men and women. In contrast to this the author of the Deutero-Pauline writings determines the community leadership as a task, for which man can apply, if certain considerable civil criteria are fulfilled (1 Tim 3:1-7). As far as the community has been understood as a “household of God” (1 Tim 3:15), a central condition is the probation in the own house (1 Tim 3:5). Following this concept, the community could only be led by only one person, by a man. This model had incontestable advantages in view of the intentions pursued by the author of the Deutero-Pauline writings[26]. The concentration of the leadership of the community in the hand of only one person has been the most effective protection against the influence of erring teachings. Besides it made a good impression to the patriarchal structured society if the representative of the community was a man.

A lot of different examples could be added which shows that women played a very important role in the early church – even in leading functions. It was the aim of the Deutero-Pauline writings to reduce female influence.

5 Conclusion

The undisputed Pauline writings offer a great variety and diversity of charismatic leadership in the first Christian Communities, which where founded by Paul. We find a lot of different gifts and kinds of grace in upbuilding and preserving the community. 1 Cor 12:12ff where Paul uses the symbol of the body shows in a very impressing and harmonious way the construction of the Christian community like Paul had it in mind. Even in his self-understanding as an apostle and a model Christian he refused a centralistic authority over all local churches. But the only head of the body is Christ (ὅς ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλή, χριστός).

In this body, which is the community of all believers, “is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female.”(οὐκ ἔνι ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ, Gal 3:28). Paul saw the different talents and tasks of every single member of the community. He saw that Gods grace is with men and women, slaves and citizens. Everybody shall bring his or her part in the life of the church - either as a prophet, a teacher or as a deaconess or bishop. There is no domination of gifts or special groups in the community. But even more: every part of the community needs each other (cf. 1 Cor 12:15ff). Even the bishops as a part of the body shall not work against or rule over the community.

In a special way this research shows the importance of women for and in the community and how it can be proved in the undisputed letters of Paul. Founded in patriarchal society, the early Christian communities gave women unusual powers and responsibilities. But it is even an historical fact, that already in the first decades men dominated the church.

To find Paul’s real attitude towards women and her status in the church it is important to separate the Deutero-Pauline and the Proto-Pauline letters. Then we find that Paul already had in mind the aim, which is not yet reached in the Roman Catholic Church even two thousand years after Paul founded the first Christian communities: πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ.

6 Bibliography


Ascough, Richard S.

The Formation of Pauline Churches?

First Edition, Paulist Press, Mahwah, New Jersey, 1998

Baumert, Norbert

Women and Man in Paul – Overcoming a Misunderstanding

First Edition, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1996

Branick, Vincent

The house church in the writings of Paul

First Edition, Michael Glazier Inc., Wilmington, Delaware, 1989

Burer, Michael H. and Wallace, Daniel B.

Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Re-Examination of Rom 16:7

in: NTS 47 (2001), p 76-91

Byrne, Brendan SJ

Paul and the Christian Women

First Edition, St. Paul Publications, Homebush, Australia, 1988

Dood, C.H.

The Meaning of Paul for Today

First Edition, Meridian Books, New York, 1957

Ellis, Peter F.

Seven Pauline Letters

First Edition, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1982

Holmberg, Bengt

Paul and Power - The Structure of Authority in the primitive Church as reflected in the Pauline Epistles

First Edition, Fortress Print, USA, 1980

Miguens, Manuel O.F.M.

Church Ministries in New Testament Times

First Edition, Christian Culture Press, Arlington, Virginia, 1976

Osborne, Kenan B. O.F.M.

Priesthood - A History of the ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church

First Printing, 1988 by Paulist Press, Mahwah, New Jersey, USA

Ridderbos, Herman

Paul - An Outline of His Theology

Second Printing, Wm.B. Erdmans Publishing Comp., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1977

Stanley, David M. S.J.

"Become Imitators of me": Apostolic Tradition in Paul

in: Taylor, Michael J. S.J., Readings in Pauline Theology - A Companion to Paul, p 197 - 212,First Edition, Alba House, New York, 1975

Bible & Translations of the Bible


Das Neue Testament - Griechisch und Deutsch

27. Auflage des Novum Testamentum Graece; Deutsche Texte: Revidierte Fassung der Lutherbibel von 1984 und Einheitsübersetzung der Heiligen Schrift von 1979

King James Bible

African Bible

Second Reprint 2000, Paulist Press, Nairobi

Revised Standard Version

Some translations of the Greek text were made by the author himself. These translations are marked in the text and shown as not taken from one of the current Translations of the Bible.

Reference Books, Encyclopaedias, Dictionaries

Kassühlke, Rudolf

Kleines Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament. Griechisch - Deutsch

Dritte, verbesserte Auflage 2001, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart

Dictionary English – German, Deutsch – Englisch

Microsoft Word


[1] Ellis, Peter F., Seven Pauline Letters, p.3

[2] Stanley, David M. S.J., "Become Imitators of me": Apostolic Tradition in Paul, in: Taylor, Michael J. S.J., Readings in Pauline Theology - A Companion to Paul, p.197

[3] Miguens, Manuel O.F.M., Church Ministries in New Testament Times, p.104

[4] cf. 4.1.1 Phoebe, p. 10

[5] Miguens, p.47ff

[6] Osborne, Kenan B., O.F.M., Priesthood - A History of the ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church p. 45

[7] cf. Ridderbos, Herman, Paul - An Outline of His Theology, p.447

[8] Holmberg, Bengt, Paul and Power - The Structure of Authority in the primitive Church as reflected in the Pauline Epistles, p.96

[9] ibid., p.96

[10] ibid., p.98

[11] cf. Dood, C.H., The Meaning of Paul for Today, p.142

[12] cf. Ridderbos, Herman, p.453

[13] Holmberg, Bengt, p.99f

[14] cf. ibid., p.100

[15] Kassühlke, Rudolf, Kleines Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament. Griechisch - Deutsch

[16] cf. Miguens, p.133f

[17] ibid. p.47

[18] Baumert, Norbert: Women and Man in Paul – Overcoming a Misunderstanding, p.205

[19] cf. Byrne, Brendan SJ, Paul and the Christian Women, p.70f

[20] cf. Branick, Vincent, The house church in the writings of Paul, p.13

[21] For more information on this topic cf. Byrne, Brendan SJ, Paul and the Christian Women, p.72f

[22] cf. Burer, Michael H., Wallace, Daniel B., Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Re-Examination of Rom 16:7, in: NTS 47 (2001) 76-91.

[23] Ascough, Richard S., The Formation of Pauline Churches, p.7

[24] cf. Baumert, Norbert: Women and Man in Paul – Overcoming a Misunderstanding, p.216f

[25] cf. Branick, Vincent, The house church in the writings of Paul, p.16f

[26] cf. Baumert, p.249f

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Questions and Concepts of Administration in the first Christian Communities
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Administration and Leadership of Christian Communities were big challenges for the first Christian Communities. Throughout the years the questions of headship developed and led to the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church nowadays. This paper will look on the roots of organizing 'parish'-life as it is mentioned in the Pauline Writings. It will show, that the Pauline communities offer a lot of different kinds of ministry to imitate even today.
Questions, Concepts, Administration, Christian, Communities, Course, Pauline, Writings
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Markus Demele (Author), 2003, Questions and Concepts of Administration in the first Christian Communities, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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