The Origin and Meaning of Ekklēsia in the Early Jesus Movement
Ralph J. Korner, Taylor Seminary
In The Origin and Meaning of Ekklēsia in the Early Jesus Movement, Ralph J. Korner explores the ideological implications of Christ-follower associations self-designating collectively as ekklēsiai. Politically, Korner’s inscriptional research suggests that an association named ekklēsia would have been perceived as a positive, rather than as a counter-imperial, participant within Imperial Greek cities. Socio-religiously, Korner argues that there was no universal ekklēsia to which all first generation Christ-followers belonged; ekklēsia was a permanent group designation used by Paul’s associations. Ethno-religiously, Korner contends that ekklēsia usage by intra muros groups within pluriform Second Temple Judaism problematizes suggestions, not least at the institutional level, that Paul was “parting ways” with Judaism(s), ‘Jewishness’, or Jewish organizational forms.