Book Details

Paul’s Ekklesia as a Civic Assembly (by Young-Ho Park)
2015. X, 254 pages (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 393). ISBN 978-3-16-153060-9


The Greek word ekklesia originally meant the civic assembly of all citizens in the classical Greek democracy. Young-Ho Park argues that the strong civic connotation of this term continued to operate in the political culture of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The use of ekklesia in second-temple Judaism should also be understood as part of this political culture in which the Jews were substantially incorporated. By adopting this civic term in his letters to his local Gentile congregations, Paul effectively created a symbolic universe in which the Christ worshippers saw themselves as the honorable citizens who represented the city before God. This civic nature of the community was also used as Paul’s solution to the Corinthian problem, especially with regard to the Lord’s Supper, and provided an organizational principle for the local communities.