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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers what the Pauline epistles reveal about the nature of the Pauline churches and to this end looks at a range of issues: their genus; their formation; their composition; how Paul configures their identity; their leadership structure; their rituals; their meetings; the kinds of places in which they met. The discussion reflects the state of contemporary scholarship on the Pauline communities, but it also seeks to make a fresh contribution to the subject. A critique of the now dominant ‘house-church’ reconstruction of the Pauline congregations is offered, and a more diversified picture is proposed.

Keywords: ecclesiology, ekklēsia, house church, meeting places, New Testament ecclesiology, Pauline churches, rituals

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