unknown author used these letters to establish rules for early Christian communities, and when he wrote he claimed Paul's authority. At Titus 1.5, the author reminded Titus that he had left him behind in Crete in order to correct those things that needed correcting. He was to appoint elders (Greek: presbyteroi) in each city to govern the community. The elders should be married only once, their children should be Christians, and they should not live in luxury or moral turpitude. The author of Titus listed the qualifications of an episkopos (Greek for 'steward') as being humble, kind, abstemious, peaceful, prudent and hospitable (Titus 1.7-8). This list of virtues was for the stewardship of small Christian communities who met in households and who received missionaries from other communities from time to time. The episkopoi were married to their churches and should not move from place to place. The author of 1 Timothy gives details about the governance of early Christian communities. He calls the church, strikingly, the 'house of God' (oikos theou) that is 'the church of the living God' (1 Timothy 3.15). The implication of these metaphors is that the church is organised like a Greek or Roman household.

The author of 1 Timothy established norms for procedure in cases when accusations were levelled against the clergy. These rules would remain a part of the canonical tradition for centuries. Christians could accuse elders (presbyteroi) only when two or three witnesses could substantiate the charges (1 Timothy 5.19). Thispassage also illustrates how Christians drew upon the Old Testament for procedural norms. Deuteronomy 19.15 had established that two or three witnesses were necessary for convicting a person of a crime. In addition 1 Timothy 5.20 used public humiliation to chastise sinners: wrongdoers should be publicly rebuked. Their public humiliation would serve as a deterrent for others.

The New Testament epistles were a primary source for the earliest norms of canon law, but they were thoroughly inadequate as guides for Christian communities as they began to evolve into larger, more complicated and integrated organisational structures throughout the Mediterranean world. If the Greco-Roman domus was a model for the organisation of early Christian churches, Greco-Roman public assemblies most likely provided procedural and institutional models for early Christian assemblies. These ecclesiastical assemblies offered a forum for making doctrinal and disciplinary decisions, for garnering the consent of the community and for establishing norms for local communities. These assemblies became a part of ecclesiastical governance very early. Although later church fathers, particularly John Chrysostom, did justify conciliar assemblies on the basis of Acts 15, modern scholars have concluded that the assembly described in Acts 15 at Jerusalem cannot be described as a 'council' or

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