Religion Past and Present

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Church Order
(3,561 words)

[German Version]

I. Church History – II. Church Law – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics

I. Church History

1. Early Church

The first written formulations of church law were assembled in church orders, drawing on Old Testament and New Testament legislation. This occurred at a time when the law was generally transmitted orally, sometimes even only in secret (Bas. Spir. 27 [SC 17 bis, 478–491; Ad Joann. 179–185]). Nothing is known of the original scope of this transitional literary genre. Only ten churc…

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Metzger, Marcel, Fix, Karl-Heinz, Sichelschmidt, Karla and Herms, Eilert, “Church Order”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 16 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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