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Dura Europos Church 116

Third Century Christians

Dura Europos BookFirst century Christians needed no "god houses." Their rites were little more than a sacred meal, worship and fellowship. They initially attended both the Temple in Jerusalem and local synagogues in outlying towns but when they were excluded from these because of their message about Jesus the Messsiah they began to congregate in homes. True Christianity does not need buildings. One of the major problems with the institutional church of the Twenty First Century is that Christians are hopeless temple worshippers.

Christian Buildings

First Century ChristiansChristians and worship goers have come to rely more and more on material things, convincing ourselves that four walls and a roof make a church. We forget that the Body of Christ gathered in various places are the real Christian buildings made out of spiritual stones. We do not really need shrines. We are so addicted to buildings that we even keep some shrines going even though the Body of Christ has long since died there. The Early Church realized that worship palaces were secondary. One of the earliest surviving Christian buildings from 232 AD is the Dura Europos Church in modern Syria. A. E. Kraeling in "Excavation at Dura Europos Final Report 8, Part 2: The Christian Building" (New Haven 1967) writes, "it (the Dura Europos church) is little more than a modified house. Two rooms were knocked together for the assembly, and another was turned into a baptistery with a canopied font and elaborate wall paintings." It was the ultimate in simplicity.✞

"Dura Europos Church"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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