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The Reading Of Scripture In The Gathering Of The Early Church

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Chapter Summary

The phenomenon of public reading of Scripture in the context of the gathering of early Christian communities has repeatedly received the scholarly attention of both historians of the early Church and liturgi-ologists. However, most studies on the subject seem to depart from questionable historical premises and, as a consequence, lead to unconvincing results. Therefore, this chapter reconsiders the history of public reading in the Christian assemblies and, in particular, the origin and development of public reading of Scripture during the first three centuries of the Church's existence. Particular attention is given to the questions of which genres of writings were read in the communal gatherings. The present chapter shows that the reading of Scripture in the Christian gathering is more likely to have its origins in the custom of reading literary works and other writings during the symposium part of banquets in the Graeco-Roman world.

Keywords: Christian communities; Church; communal gatherings; Graeco-Roman; liturgi-ologists; Scripture



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