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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Origin and Meaning of Ekklēsia in the Early Jesus Movement
Korner, Ralph J.

Leiden: Brill, 2017 pp. xv + 366. $143.00

Series Information
Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, 98

Description: 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.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Judaism, Greco-Roman Period, Early Church Origins, Social-Scientific Approaches

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Review by John H. Boyles
Published 1/9/2020
Citation: John H. Boyles, review of Ralph J. Korner, The Origin and Meaning of Ekklēsia in the Early Jesus Movement, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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