New Testament authors expressed the essence of Christianity in one word. It is the Greek word koinõnia usually translated as “fellowship.” St. Paul reduces the whole Christian vocation to a koinõnia when he writes “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship (koinõnia) of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9). St. Luke uses the same term to depict the life of the first Christians: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship (koinõnia), and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). 1 John goes a step further and affirms “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship (koinõnia) with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). Fellowship with Christ, leading to a fellowship with the Father, and fellowship with one another in Christ: there you have Christianity in one word.
Interesting studies on the term koinõnia have appeared from the 1930’s onward. But almost all the works on koinõnia which have been encountered are concerned with the discussion of the philological aspects of the word koinõnia. Using these works as a basis, the author attempts in this study to find the theological implications of the NT koinõnia. The depth and beauty of the NT koinõnia could serve as guidelines to a new Ecclesiology, resulting from an enriched Christology.
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- Analysis of the concept of fellowship in the New Testament
- Examination of various philological considerations
- Title: Koinõnia in the New Testament: A Dynamic Expression of Christian Life
- Author: George Panikulam
- Publisher: Pontifical Biblical Institute
- Publication Date: 1979
- Pages: 161
About George Panikulam
George Panikulam was born in Puthenchira on October 26, 1943. After his school education he joined St. Mary’s Minor Seminary in Thope, Thrissur. His major seminary formation was in St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary in Aluva. His priestly ordination occurred in 1967. After the one year service at Lourde Cathedral, Thrissur as the Assistant Vicar, he was sent to Rome for higher studies. He secured doctorate in Scripture and Post Graduation in Canon Law and Sacred Theology. Later he joined the diplomatic service of the Vatican. While serving as the Vitan observer in the U.N.O., he was nominated Titular Bishop of Arpaia in Rome and the Apostolic Nuncio of Honduras. He was ordained as the Archbishop in Rome by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 2000.