chapter  I
32 Pages

The Primitive Christian Congregation

This chapter presents an overview of the primitive Christian congregation. The proletarian who had become accustomed to city life no longer felt at home when in the country. The mass of the proletarians necessarily preferred, in Jerusalem as well as in other large cities, to remain in the city. A good outline of the proletarian character of the primitive Christian congregation is given by Friedlander in his Roman Life and Manners under the Early Empire. This proletarian character of early Christianity is not the least of the reasons for our being so poorly informed on this early phase. The chapter concers only the original communistic tendencies of Christianity. It has in their favor the testimony of the New Testament, the proletarian character of the congregation, and the strongly communistic tendency of the proletarian section of the Jews during the two centuries preceding the destruction of Jerusalem, which was very clearly expressed in Essenism.