the weblog of Alan Knox

Church Gatherings – History of Interpretation

Posted by on Dec 31, 2010 in church history, personal | 7 comments

Church Gatherings – History of Interpretation

I’m about to begin an exciting aspect of my dissertation research: history of interpretation. For those who are new to my blog, I’m currently writing a dissertation (for a PhD) on the topic of the gathering of the church in the New Testament. One chapter of that dissertation will cover the history of interpretation and understanding of the meeting of the church.

The chapter will cover five broad historical eras: post-apostolic age, medieval age, Reformation age, and modern age.

I’ve already completed some research for this chapter, but I have much more to research. So, don’t be surprised if you find some quotes and snippets showing up on my blog.

Which historical era do you think will be the most interesting when it comes to studying church gatherings?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 12-31-2010

    I am interested in the years between the first century and the conversion of Constantine, what was happening in those intervening years. Also interested in the early Anabaptist era.

  2. 12-31-2010

    The Reformation age would be interesting, especially any divergence relating to small vs. large, hierarchical vs. communal, etc.

  3. 12-31-2010

    Hi Alan,

    I’m looking forward to when you finish your dissertation, and I’m hoping that you will get it published so that I can read it!

    As you research the history of interpretation of the church, will you be looking at the Plymouth Brethren and their teachings? This is the tradition I’m a part of.


  4. 12-31-2010


    Yes, the early years of the church are very interesting to me as well. That lacked much of what we have, but also had much that we now lack.


    There were also some changes (even in individuals’ understandings and teachings) from the early part of the Reformation to the later part.


    Although Dave Black has decided that we’re not related, in the southeastern part of the United State (where I was raised), we would consider ourselves “second cousins.”

    Do you have any particular Plymouth Brethren authors that you would recommend?


  5. 1-2-2011
    What an Early Christian Worship Service Was Like (just commentary, but the next link is to a book that includes this in an extended way)
    D. Bercot. If you were able to go back to the year 100 A.D. and attend a Christian worship service, what would you experience? Would you hear a sermon? Would you sing hymns? What day of the week would it have been—and what time of day? In this unique message, Bercot takes you to the actual writings of the early Christians to provide you with a window to see for yourself what their weekly services were like. (CD – audio)
    The Spirit of Early Christianity

    There were distinguishing characteristics of Christianity when it was still young—many of which earmarks have been lost over the centuries. But it is not too late to recover those original earmarks. (This may largely be a call to a lifestyle akin to amish ways, but it sounds intriguing.)

  6. 1-3-2011

    Hi Alan

    I am honoured to be your second cousin!

    If you want to read some PB interpretation related to the church, check out the online writings at Stem Publishing. If you go to the link below, you’ll find articles and books under categories such as The Church and Worship and the Lord’s Supper.

    William Kelly and J. N. Darby may be the best authors to read…although I don’t think I could yet say that I recommend them…


  7. 1-4-2011


    Thanks for accepting me as your “cousin,” and thanks for the link.