Original Research

The radicality of early Christian oikodome: A theology that edifies insiders and outsiders

Jacobus Kok
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 36, No 3 | a1441 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i3.1441 | © 2015 Jacobus Kok | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 February 2015 | Published: 30 November 2015

About the author(s)

Jacobus Kok, Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa


In this article a study is made of the concept ‘oikodome’ and its derivatives in the New Testament and early Christianity. Hence, in this essay the focus is limited to the use of the term οἰκοδομέω/οἰκοδομὴ(ν) in the New Testament, and briefly turns to inspiring trajectories in early Christianity. A detailed focus on the term(s) reveals the complexity of the matter in the different Biblical contexts with its multi-layered dimensions of meaning. Subsequently, attention is turned to a study of 1 Thessalonians, followed up with a discussion of the trajectories of other-regard and radical self-giving love in the early Church as witnessed by insiders and outsiders in antiquity.


Oikodome, identity, ethics, dialogical self, outsiders, insiders, life in it’s fullness, Paul, Thessalonians, Adolf Harnack, Abraham Malherbe


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