-by Andrew Strom.
The original church met in two places - (1) Homes; and (2) In the huge
temple courtyard (open-air) known as the "Court of the Gentiles".
Obviously, in homes they had their smaller 'fellowship'
and in the huge temple courtyard they had
their 'public' gatherings led by the apostles.
Quite a few people wrote
to me asking about "synagogues".
It is clear that both Jesus and the apostles went into the
Jewish synagogues to preach
to the JEWS. For awhile
they were able to get away with preaching in there, but
eventually the persecution got so bad
that they were
unable to do so. But these synagogues were never
"Christian" buildings at all. They were part of the
system and the apostles went in there to preach to the
Jews. It was an outreach. There is no record of them
building their own "Christian synagogues"!
A number of people also seemed confused about the
'Temple' in Jerusalem.
-For the Bible often speaks of
Jesus or the apostles "teaching in the temple". As I
said above, the part of the temple
where they taught
was called 'Solomon's Porch', which was in the huge
open-air courtyard attached to the temple. It
like a massive 'public square' - very busy. It was an
absolutely brilliant place to preach to the public. So
is what it means when it says "Jesus taught in
the temple". This was not some 'church building'! It
was a very open
As one of my readers, Kelly Weiler, commented:
"I didn't know when the scriptures referred to
the temple, which was destroyed later, that they were
meeting in the big area you described, and it wasn't
religious as but simply free for use, out in the open, and
available as an excellent location."
That's why it was so perfect to gather there.
So why do we hide ourselves away behind "four walls" today?