Original Research

The ecclesiastical situation of the first generation Roman Christians

A. B. du Toit
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 53, No 3 | a1658 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v53i3.1658 | © 1997 A. B. du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 1997 | Published: 14 December 1997

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A. B. du Toit, Associate: Research Unit for the New Testament Faculty of Theology (Sec B) University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

Forming pan of a trilogy about the first generation Roman Christians, this anicle concentrates on the ecclesiastical aspect. From some scattered and relatively small groups, the numbers of Roman Christians increased markedly in the second half of the first century. According to Romans 16, Jewish Christians played a significant role in the initial period, although Gentile Christians were in the majority. Friction between these groups may have been a problem, but was not Paul's main concern. The Gentile Christians were mainly from a foreign background. Thus the first Christian community had a strongly cosmopolitan character. The plurality of house-churches was mainly due to practical factors, but social differentiation might have played a role. Meetings most probably took place in the ordinary rented apanments of insulae. Romans 16 renders a vivid picture of the leadership activities of Christian women and of Paul's enlightened position in this regard.

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