Pauline Communities as 'Scholastic Communities'
Edwin Judge’s description of early Christian communities as ‘scholastic communities’ provides the starting point of a search for a sociological description of the Christian communities portrayed in 1 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. An original methodology uses a multi-layered exegetical approach to study every occurrence of the vocabulary of ‘teaching’ in the letters. The focus is on the activity of teaching (e.g., participants, method, manner, purpose, result, etc). The vocabulary represents ten semantic groupings, which shed further light on the place and practice of education in the communities ( core-teaching, speaking, traditioning, announcing, revealing, worshipping, commanding, correcting, remembering / imitation, and false teaching ). Claire S. Smith supports and develops Judge’s 1960 description, advancing on it by showing that the communities are better described as ‘learning communities’ with horizontal (human-human) and vertical (divine-human) dimensions.