Κοινωνία

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Κοινωνία: a Wikiversity practicum
Κοινωνία

κοινωνία - (Koinonia) essentially means having much in common, sharing in a complete way.

School of Theology
New Testament Greek Department
Module: Κοινωνία
Wikimedia Foundation

Biblical Studies and Introductory Ancient Greek Language

Λεξικόν: κοινωνίαἐκκλησίααγάπηφιλίαστοργήερωςθέλημα

So many people are lost and confused about the wonderful and simple message of the New Testament. A good way to dive in is to look for key concepts that are easy to grasp and plug the main terms into a lexicon (Λεξικόν). Things like community, church, love, brotherhood and family are starting points. κοινωνία (koin-o-ni-a) is perhaps one of the most mistranslated words in the common English versions of the New Testament.

John's Epistle[edit | edit source]

κοινωνία is a principle applied to deep communal sharing. A stunning passage that demonstrates this principle is the opening section of John's first general letter (I John 1). He uses the first person plural "we" referring to the fact that Peter, James and he saw something on that mountain top. (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:1-10, Luke 9:28-36). This letter was written long after James has been killed, but John is being inclusive of other eyewitnesses to a myriad of additional remarkable events including the ascension and the subsequent miraculous manifestations of healing and deliverance. By verse three he has included the rest of the ἐκκλησία (the called out) of his day and is including even us - the readers - into the collective for a purpose...

"...that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ:"

Then in verse three he states the remarkable purpose for writing the general epistle:

"...and these things we write, that our joy may be made full."

The Greek phrase for "our joy" doesn't connote simply himself, his co-authors and the assembly of the believers of his day. It is an extremely plural second person inclusion meaning "our collective joy" - Peter, James, John, and the other eight, The Seventy, The First Century Church, The Seven Churches, The Father, The Son, you and me. "Our joy may be made full" in the Ancient Greek language has not yet been fully translated into English. This expansion of context comes from the true meaning of an Ancient Greek word translated into English as "fellowship" - κοινωνία.

Modern usage of the word "fellowship" especially in a "church" setting has been reduced to getting together once or twice a week to listen to some guy "preach" and then maybe have sandwiches and coffee downstairs in the "fellowship hall". This meaning is no where close to κοινωνία in the context of communion and oneness.

Other instances[edit | edit source]

The greek word κοινωνία has been translated to:

  • fellowship
  • conversation
  • communication
  • communion
  • citizenship
  • ...

Next ἐκκλησία

Notes, References and External links[edit | edit source]

Strong's number: 2842 - κοινωνία