House Church Talk - Pattern or simply an adaptation?

David Miller David at
Mon Feb 2 18:21:49 EST 2004

David Miller wrote:
>> The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, 
>> Volume 14, page 307, Canon 24 "Excursus on the Minor 
>> Orders of the Early Church," speaks about special 
>> church buildings existing as early as the second 
>> century.  It speaks of minister assistants who were 
>> forerunners of the special door keepers being necessary 
>> and even being considered "holy" along with the church 
>> buildings since about 225 A.D.

David Anderson wrote:
> Good to hear from you. I was looking at this quotation and 
> noticed that the part about 225 AD was in parenthesis as 
> if added by one of many editors. Do you know if it was in 
> the original manuscripts?

In my edition, the reference to the third century, 225 A.D., is not in
parentheses, but the reference to church buildings existing in the
second century (100 - 199 A.D.) is.  Nevertheless, the entire paragraphs
in this quote are all notes concerning Canon 24 of the Council of
Laodicea (343-381 A.D.).  These notes are to be taken as additions by
historians to help us understand the Canon itself.  In this case, Canon
24 concerns the fact that nobody in the ecclesiastical order, from
presbyters to deacons, to subdeacons, readers, singers, exorcists,
door-keepers, or any class of the Ascetics, ought to enter a tavern.
When the editors reference the door-keepers, they offer some discussion
concerning what door keepers were and how they became necessary.  It is
in this context that we are told that special church buildings came into
existence in the second century and that the buildings themselves along
with the door keepers had come to be considered holy by about 225 A.D.
There are certainly better references than this one for such being true.
I just did not take the time to locate any.  One reference is enough to
disprove an idea, and this one was handy to me so I quickly referenced
it.  It is sufficient to demonstrate that the idea of church buildings
not coming into existence until the fourth century is erroneous.  I
think those who claim such do so for shock value rather than because of
serious historical study. 

Peace be with you.
David Miller, Beverly Hills, Florida.

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