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Did Paul preach in Titius Justus' house?

Acts 18:5-8 (ESV)

5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.

There is no mention of him preaching there. But commentator like Benson just assumes so

Acts 18:7-8. He entered into a man’s house, named Justus — A Gentile, but a worshipper of the true God: and he preached there, though probably he still lodged with Aquila.

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges says

  1. a certain man’s house, named Justus] He used this house for the purposes of teaching and worship. We may suppose that for his own lodging, he still remained with Aquila and Priscilla.
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    In the first century, there were no Christian churches and all congregations either met in a person's home, or by a river or in a cave or under a tree. It appears that there was a church congregation meeting in the house of Justus. However, we are not told explicitly.
    – Dottard
    May 29, 2022 at 11:45

2 Answers 2

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It was to be about 300 years after Jesus before formal Christian churches were used. In the first century, Christians met mostly in homes, but sometimes in other places:

Jewish Synagogues

Some Christians continued to meet, for a while, in Jewish synagogues, Acts 13:14, 14:1, 15:21, 17:110, 18:4, 26, 19:8, etc.

However, as the story quoted by the OP shows, Christians, by the end of the first century AD had been ejected from meeting in Jewish synagogues.

Private Homes

It was common practice in the first century for the local congregation to meet in a private home. There are many examples of this:

  • Rom 16:5 - Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my beloved Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.
  • 1 Cor 16:19 - The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
  • Col 4:15 - Greet the brothers in Laodicea, and also Nympha and the church in her house.
  • Philm 2 - to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church that meets at your house:

Thus, it is entirely possible that when Paul left meeting/preaching in the synagogue of Corinth and continued in the house of Titus Justus next door, that this home was or became one the house churches in Corinth. As shown above; there was also a church meeting in the house of Aquila and Prisca in Corinth, 1 Cor 16:19.

Other Places

We also know from historical records that some local congregations met in other places such as caves and natural settings. One such is recorded in Acts 16:13 -

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river, where it was customary to find a place of prayer. After sitting down, we spoke to the women who had gathered there.

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Yes.

Paul's pattern was to preach first to the Jews of a city, and then to the Gentiles. The local synagogue provided an effective place to start preaching (provided he was permitted to do so), but the Christians did not have their own houses of worship in the earliest years.

In Acts 18, Paul preaches in the synagogue in Corinth until being rejected, at which point he does not cease preaching, he just changes venue (see verses 8-11). We see him do the same thing in Ephesus in Acts 19--he preaches in the synagogue until he is rejected, after which he doesn't skip a beat, but continues preaching in a different venue (see verses 8-10).

Paul was willing to preach in quite a variety of venues--even on Mars Hill! That Christians would congregate (at least sometimes) in the homes of the faithful is explicitly acknowledged in 1 Corinthians 16:19

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