From: John Lupia (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 16:35:38 EDT
John N. Lupia
501 North Avenue B-1
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
TO the List re: OIKON "house" or "temple"
I am responding to a post and thought it best to answer on-List since it
appears that many inquiring mings have an interest here as it relates to the
original NT Greek passages.
For a discussion on OIKON I refer you to Joseph A. Jungmann, SJ, The Early
Liturgy (Notre Dame, 1962) 13-17
I cite the key passages below (no copyright violation since I paraphrase
Jungmann only giving the gist):
On page 13 Jungmann notes Acts 2,46 says not KAT' OIKOUS in each single
house but KAT'OIKON at the house of this or that, where there was a
hUPERWON "coenaculum" a large dinning room. He notes this is true at
Corinth and Troas. Paul sends greetings to the "gathering" in the house of
Prisca and Aquila at Rome. At Colossae, Philemon is the patron of the
congregation. Jungmann notes that we have a great number of churches
bearing the names of first cent. Christians: S. Clemente, S. Cecilia, S.
Pudenziana, et alia. His thinking is that these old churches were built in
situ where these patrons home first were used as "gathering places" for the
liturgy. The title "saint" was added much later on in the belief that their
relics were buried there.
On page 14 he notes that the Church began to own property. He cites
Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. VII,30 where he discussed the lawsuit over a building
that was decided in favor of the Christian community.
He cites the case of Paul of Samosta, Bishop of Antioch, after being deposed
as a heretic did not want to leave the "house to the Church." The case was
brought before the Emperor Aurelian in AD 272 who decided in favor of the
Christian community in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Before
Constantine the Church was a legally recognized corporation that could own
On page 15 he notes the Church at Dura-Europos in Mesopotamia that dates to
He notes the confiscated Church building in Citra N. Africa by Diocletian.
The documentary account is in PL 8:730-732; and cf. Gregory Dix, The Shape
of the Liturgy (2nd ed. Westminster, 1945) 24f.
On page 16 : This account gives the inventory the officials confiscated : 2
golden chalices, 6 silver chalices, many torches, candelabra and oil lamps,
6 casks, 6 earthen vessels, 82 ladies tunics, 38 cloaks or mantles, 60 pairs
On page 17: 2 Cor 6,16 "You are temples of the living God" a phrase out of
which Jungmann notes is the external structure is only a shadow of that
internal one. Where the oldest name for the Christian house of God is
"house of the EKKLHSIAS, i.e., OIKOS THS EKKLHSIAS
I hope this helps clarify things.
Peace in Christ,
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