Die betekenis en ekklesiologiese implikasies van die uitdrukking "oikos tehou" in 1 Timoteus 3:15 : 'n openbaringshistoriese ondersoek
The central theoretical argument of this study demonstrates that the ... as used in 1 Timothy 3:15 points towards both the house of God and the family of God. It further serves as a powerful metaphor to be employed within reformed churches. The exegetical examination of the use of the ... metaphor in 1 Timothy 3:15 as undertaken in this study, has led to the following conclusions. (1) A semantical and socio historical analysis of the expression ... as used in the New Testament (consult Chapter 2) indicates that the expression does not have its roots in the Greek Roman society, but rather in Judaism, specifically the Old Testament. (2) The study of the use of ... elsewhere in the Old and New Testament (consult Chapter 3) has brought the following to light: • The dominant role of the tabernacle/temple community with its accompanying ceremonial stipulations as the house of God in the Old Testament is gradually displaced in the New Testament with the coming of Christ and subsequent Pentecost. House members in the faith have since Pentecost become the house of God. In contrast to a static Old Testament house of God the new structure can therefore be seen as dynamic. • Both Testaments portray God the Father as holy. It follows logically that in both instances the community of faith is consistently required to be holy, too. • On the one hand the house of God is set against the idolatry and errors of heathenism, but on the other hand it is also set on the salvation of heathens. Paradoxically therefore, the house of God has walls like a fortress while the very same walls are continually expanded outward. • The institutions of marriage and family are the basic building blocks of the house of God. God's economy and the economy of the believers are interrelated. In both you will find Fatherly love and authority. In both provision has been made for the foreigner, widow and orphan. In both the Godly economy is reflected in the sense that members of the household are equal in worth but not in duty. (3) When the ... of 1 Timothy 3:15 is viewed within the macro structure of the letter (consult Chapter 4) the following aspects of the metaphor are prominent: • The house of God consists of smaller households of God who gather to pray under the leadership of their heads. In this manner the combined smaller households form the larger household of God, also called the congregation. The congregation therefore consists of believing brothers and sisters. • There is godly authority within the house of God. God delegates this authority to the minister of the Word, Timothy. In turn, he delegates this authority to the elders from the ranks of the male heads of households. Only men, who have accepted responsibility in the smaller household of God, can qualify as elders to serve in the congregation. • Under this Godly authority worship takes place in the house of God, knowledge of the faith is transferred, and a Godly way of life is encouraged. • Helpers in the house of God assist the elders. In the case of male helpers this help may be interpreted as assistance in ruling, but not in teaching. If 1 Timothy 3:11 points towards woman helpers, the responsibility of co-rule is excluded. In such a case the responsibilities mentioned in 1 Timothy 5:10 are probably indicated. • Women in the house of God are especially encouraged to perform good works. These good works manifest in hospitality and care for those within the faith community that require it. The main task of women however, is to expand the house of God by giving birth and raising children. (4) Considering the ecclesiastical background of the Pastoral Epistles (consult Chapter 5) the ... metaphor in 1 Timothy has the following implications: • The New Testament congregation has its roots in the confession concerning .the living God who sent his Son Jesus Christ to the world to save sinners. A unique and dynamic structure, the house of God, admits this confession and carries it forth. • The house of God is first and foremost guardian of the confession. In this regard it can be seen as a holy and well-guarded temple. • Simultaneously the house of God is a carrier of the confession. In this regard it manifests itself as a growing household. • The house of God reveals itself in the form of the ordinary household and the church as congregation. In both these houses the fathers have to accept spiritual responsibility. Prayers, confessions and doxologies function within both contexts of the house of God. Both houses are expected to bring forth and educate believing children. The house of God in the form of church and the house of God as ordinary household can be distinguished as follows: service in the household serves as practice for service in the congregation. • The Pastoral Epistles has a remarkable focus on the twofold authority in the house of God: the authority of the Holy Scriptures; house authority in both the household and the church house. • The congregation as house of God are expected to gather in worship. Worship consists of prayers, Word service, song and confessions. • The house of God is also called to mutual service in the form of education and welfare. • Service groups maintain authority and facilitate mutual service. In this regard the elders and deacons receive most attention. There are indications that the elder widows were employed in some service capacity. (6) Above mentioned accents placed by the ... metaphor in 1 Timothy 3:15, have the following implications for the ecclesiastical debate within the reformed churches in South Africa (consult Chapter 6). • Over and above the church models leaning on the Shepherd metaphor, the Body metaphor, the Build metaphor and the Family metaphor, serious attention should be given to the House of God metaphor as model. Such a model brings the following to the fore: • There exists a close correlation between congregation and the ordinary household. Both congregation and household functions as house of God. • The house of God requires the maintenance of Biblical structures of authority in both congregation and household. • If the House of God model is utilised in the church, the context of the ruined family in the contemporary society must be kept in mind. Embracing the concept of the ... will have social implications These cannot be side stepped. • In the light of this study it is essential that two current practices of the church, namely small groups and youth service, have to be re-evaluated. According to the passages of Scripture analysed, there is a correlation between the missiological and preservational functions of the church. On the one hand God called forth the house of God to preserve the New Testament evangelical truth against an apostate world. On the other hand, the very same evangelical truth must be brought to the world by word and deed. Therefore the house of God stands isolated from the Idolatry and errors of heathenism, but it also has the salvation of heathens as a calling.
- Theology