As we’ve looked through many early writings, we’ve seen various descriptions of early church meetings. Each author had their own reason for writing about church gatherings. What do we make of all of these different descriptions of early church meetings?
Justin places a lot of emphasis on an individual that he refers to as “the president.” He uses a unique term here – one that we do not find in the NT and one that we have not seen in other early church writings.
The Epistle of Barnabas is a very early Christian document. It was probably written sometime between 70 AD and 132 AD and was included in Codex Sinaiticus, one of the earliest complete manuscripts of the New Testament.
The Didache (“Teaching”) was probably written in the late first century or early second century (80-150 AD). While it was referenced very early (Eusebius ~ 324 AD), the actual text of the document was not discovered until 1873.
None of the Apostles relied completely on long distance communication methods. The letters were generally sent with other people who were to live among the recipients and help them with any problems they may have.
As many, many scholars have pointed out, the English term ministry comes from the same Greek term as the English term service. “Ministry” is “service” and “service” is “ministry.” In the New Testament, there is not difference.
When I was growing up, I thought that the terms “disciples,” “apostles,” and “the Twelve” all referred to the same group of twelve men who followed Jesus around between his baptism and his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.
During my detailed studies, going through the book verse by verse, I continually compared what I was finding with my outline. Now, I need to consider making any necessary changes to the outline, because the outline will help me decide how to teach Colossians.