Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Church Organization
(1,262 words)

From the very beginning, the organization of the ancient church found itself in a process of increasing complexity that remains without parallel in the history of ancient religions.

Development of the Local Congregation in the First Three Centuries CE

The process began with a variety of different congregational models. While the Corinthian congregation of Paul’s (Paul [Apostle])  lifetime onl…

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Schöllgen, Georg, “Church Organization”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 03 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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