Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Reclaiming the Lord's Supper From the Auditorium: House Churches Together in One City

From the Supper Table...
"Together" (epi to auto)

Contrary to the mandate that a church must meet in "one place" to be Scriptural based on the KJV translation of 1 Cor. 11:20:

Eugene LaVerdiere writes:

“In 1 Corinthians 11:20, Paul places the expression epi to auto "together" parallel to the expression en ekklesia, meaning "as a church" (11:18)."

"... After Pentecost, when the community grew to more than three thousand (Acts 2:41), it was not possible to assemble in one place. As we read later in the first major summary, "every day they devoted breaking bread in their homes" (2:46)."

"That presumes that the community not only lived, but assembled to break bread in a number of homes. That, however, did not take away from their koinonia (fellowship). Nor did it prevent them from sharing life with one another and sharing their possessions with those who were needy."

He continues:

Apostasy:To The Government Lecture Hall (basilica)...
"...Referring to the community as a whole, Acts 2:44 uses the Greek expression epi to auto. In the Septuagint, the expression appears very frequently, always as the translation for the Hebrew word yahdau, meaning "together." In the New Testament, however, the expression epi to auto has a quasi-technical meaning, designating the community as such and stressing the koinonia (fellowship, common-union) of its members."

"The expression epi to auto, therefore, does not mean that they lived or assembled "in one place" or "together," as it meant in the Septuagint. It means that they met "as a body" (Acts 1:15; 2:1), and after Pentecost, "as a church"--as a community of believers who were one in Christ. That was true whether they assembled in the same place or in various places."

"A good translation for 2:44, therefore, would be, "All who believed were united as a church" or "common-union" epi to auto. A good translation for 2:47 would be, "And everyday, the Lord added those being saved to their common-union (epi to auto)."

Citing Bruce Metzger,

To The Audio-Video Room...
Jovan Payes writes:
"Again we disagree with the A.V./KJV-Byzantine tradition in Acts 2.47, where the word “church” (ekklesia) is part of a variant reading of the text. Instead, we agree with others who find that the ending better reads epi to auto, a phrase often used to refer to the “Christian body” in a collective sense (Acts 1.15; 2.1, 47; 1 Cor 11.20; 14.23; Metzger, Bruce, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. [Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2001]; pgs. 264-65)."
LaVerdiere concludes:

Restoration Plea: Back to the Family Supper Table.
"Devoting themselves to the common-union (koinonia) included the small ecclesial community or sub-community to which they belonged. So did their sharing with the poor."

"Devoting themselves to the common union, however, reached beyond their immediate ecclesial community [house churches within one city, Rom. 16:5, 23; cf. Titus 1:5 sp] to the greater ecclesial community in Jerusalem" [see 1 Cor. 16:1-4; Acts 11:27-30; Gal. 2:10; cf. Rom. 15:25-26, sp].

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