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The Social Composition of the Philippian Church

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Chapter Summary

This chapter summarizes the major points of the discussion about the social composition of the Philippian church. It is stated that the Philippian church may have included some peasants, although they were more likely the town-dwelling day-laborers than villagers of indigenous Thracian extraction. Further, neither is there any specific information about the private slaves in the church, but at least some of them must have followed their masters in embracing Christianity. On the other hand the church had links with other sub-groups of slaves: public slaves and imperial slaves. Many Christians were probably freedmen and freedwomen such as Lydia. She belonged to the group of craftsmen and small merchants. It is also suggested that the military element was prominent. On the one hand it consisted of ethnic Macedonians who had served in the auxiliary forces and received Roman citizenship upon their release. On the other there were veterans.

Keywords: craftsmen; ethnic Macedonians; imperial slaves; peasants; Philippian church; public slaves; social composition; town-dwelling day-Iaborers



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