[b-greek] Oikos and House Churches

From: James A. Gehman (jagehman@cantv.net)
Date: Sat Apr 28 2001 - 11:11:20 EDT

It is sometimes argued that the early churches were house churches, based on
the use of oikos in the New Testament (such as Acts 2.42-47: KAT' OIKON).
This seems to be so as best as I can tell, however, joined to this argument
is sometimes the idea that the church became corrupted with the result that
the house chuches were moved into 'church buildings.' However, as I look
through the various lexicons (Liddell & Scott, BADG, Louw & Nida, Kittel,
etc), it seems that this argument will not hold water, given the fact that
oikos can also refer to wider semantic ranges such as synagogues, rooms,
meeting-houses, etc. Does oikos refer to houses of nuclear families or
could it refer to other public meeting places?

James A. Gehman, M.A.
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