Community of Goods
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Whether it is Lawful for a Man to Possess a Thing as his Own?
... Now according to the natural law all things are common property: and the
possession of property is contrary to this community of goods. ...
/...// theologica/whether it is lawful for 5.htm

Whether Two Species of Justice are Suitably Assigned, viz. ...
... Now it is hurtful to the common good of the many, if the goods of the community
are distributed among many, both because the goods of the community would be ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether two species of justice.htm

Of the Precepts of Plato, and Censures of the Same.
... For the ownership of property contains the material both of vices and of virtues,
but a community of goods contains nothing else than the licentiousness of ...
/.../lactantius/the divine institutes/chap xxii of the precepts of.htm

Peter's First Sermon
... The so- called community of goods was not imposed by commandment, as is plain from
Peter's recognition of Ananias' right to do as he chose with his property. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/peters first sermon.htm

Still Another Triplet
... There is no trace in the Pauline Epistles of the community of goods which for a
short time prevailed in the Church of Jerusalem and which was one of the causes ...
/.../maclaren/romans corinthians to ii corinthians chap v/still another triplet.htm

The Progress of the Gospel from the Death of Christ to the Death ...
... Still, even at this period, the principle of a community of goods was not carried
out into universal operation; for the foreign Jews who were now converted to ...
/.../ ancient church/chapter iv the progress of.htm

On the Fast of the Seventh Month, iii .
... make their common supplications [1191] ? IV. Community of goods and of
actions is most precious in God's sight. It is a great and ...
/.../leo/writings of leo the great/sermon lxxxviii on the fast.htm

Whether Temporal Goods Should be Foregone on Account of Scandal?
... are consigned to us to take care of them for someone else; thus the goods of the
Church are consigned to prelates, and the goods of the community are entrusted ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether temporal goods should be.htm

The Preachings on the Lake.
... The community of goods was for some time the rule in the new society.[1] Covetousness
was the cardinal sin.[2] Now it must be remarked that the sin of ...
/...// life of jesus/chapter x the preachings on.htm

The Church of Jerusalem and the Labors of Peter.
... of God, members of one body under one head, Jesus Christ; and this fraternal unity
expressed itself even in a voluntary community of goods"an anticipation ...
/.../schaff/history of the christian church volume i/section 25 the church of.htm

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Community of Goods


ko-mu'-ni-ti, (hapanta koina eichon, literally, "They had all things (in) common"): In Acts 2:44, it is said that, in the infant church at Jerusalem, "all that believed were together, and had all things common," and (Acts 4:34) "as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet." The inference from this, that there was an absolute disposal of all the property of all the members of the church, and that its proceeds were contributed to a common fund, has been disputed upon the ground that the example of Barnabas in selling "a field" for this purpose (Acts 4:37) would not have been mentioned, if this had been the universal rule. The thought conveyed is that all believers in that church held their property as a trust from the Lord, for the benefit of the entire brotherhood, and, as there was need, did as Barnabas.

No commandment, of which record has been preserved, prescribed any such course. It came from the spontaneous impulse of the sense of brotherhood in Christ, when the band of disciples was still small, making them in a sense one family, and under the external constraint of extreme want and persecution. So much there was, that they realized, under such conditions they had in common, that they were ready to extend this to all things. It was, in a sense, a continuance of the practice of a common purse in the band of immediate followers of our Lord during his ministry. The penalty inflicted on Ananias and Sapphira was not for any failure to comply fully with this custom, but because this freedom which they possessed (Acts 5:4) they falsely professed to have renounced, thus receiving in the estimation of their brethren a credit that was not their due. This custom did not last long. It was possible only within a limited circle, and under very peculiar circumstances. The New Testament recognizes the right of individual property and makes no effort to remove the differences that exist among believers themselves. The community of goods which it renders possible is spiritual (1 Corinthians 3:21 f), and not one of visible and external things. With respect to the latter, it enjoins upon the Christian, as a steward of God, the possession and administration of property for the progress of the kingdom of God, and the highest interests of men. The spirit of Acts 4:34 is always to pervade the association of believers as a true Christian community. Meyer, on the above passage, has suggested that it is not unlikely that the well-known poverty of the church at Jerusalem, and its long dependence upon the alms of other churches, may be connected with this early communistic practice, which, however justifiable and commendable at the time, bore its inevitable fruits in a subsequent season of great scarcity and lack of employment.

H. E. Jacobs



Community of Goods

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