the weblog of Alan Knox

The Church or Two Churches?

Posted by on Oct 10, 2006 in definition | 3 comments

According to Romans 16, within the city of Rome there was a church that met in the home of Priscilla and Aquila (Rom 16:5). There was also a church that met with Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, and Hermas (Rom 16:14). Finally, there was a church that met with Philologus, Julia, Nereus and Olympas (Rom 16:15).

Paul recognized each of these groups as the church.

Based on Paul’s use of ekklesia (“church”), when two of these groups met together, would Paul have recognized the combination as the church, or two churches?

I believe he would have recognized them as the church, not two churches.

If this is true, what are the implications for the church today?


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  1. 10-10-2006

    Interesting you should post this. I have been having quite a discussion with Bart Barber over some of the implications of this very question here.

  2. 10-11-2006

    Thank you for the link. There were a couple of comments that were applicable to this discussion. I do not think we can dismiss the possibility in Scripture of a “house church” existing along with a “city church”. If both existed simultaneously, shouldn’t we attempt to deal with this in today’s church?

  3. 10-11-2006


    Especially on the international mission field, where so many of our IMB folks are working with “house church” models, this question is becoming more and more relevant for us as Baptists.

    Another post where I comment about some practical implications of this is here.


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