Extended Christian Household
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Extended Christian Household
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Emperor Constantine

Statue of ConstantineThe extended Christian households was the only model of "church" in the first three centuries. There were very few church buildings as we know them today. The extended Christian household continued until religious freedom was declared during the reign of the Emperor Constantine at the beginning of the fourth century, specifically 313 AD. Saint Paul in Romans 16.23 wrote of extended Christian households, "Gaius welcomed me and the whole church into his home." Saint Paul said in Romans 16.5 concerning Priscilla and Aquila's extended Christian household, "Greet the church that meets in their home." The fact that Saint Paul also listed the names of twenty five individuals and their families, whom he seems to know personally in Romans 16.5-15, indicated the warmth and closeness of the extended Christian households in the vicinity of Rome. Roman and Greek societies were founded upon extended Christian households in the early centuries AD. The extended Christian household consisted of a family or several families with grandparents, parents, children, teenagers and widowed relatives, as well as servants, slaves, many babies and infants living together. The extended Christian household also appeared to have embraced other childless couples, small family units and visiting Christians.

"Extended Christian Household"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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