Paul's Ekklesia as a Civic Assembly: Understanding the People of God in their Politico-Social World

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. No.393

Paul's Ekklesia as a Civic Assembly

By: Young-Ho Park
June 2015
Mohr Siebeck
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9783161530609
264 Pages
$129.50 Paper original


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.