The Earliest piece of evidence of Christian accounting: the significance of the phrase eis logon doseos kai lempseos (Phil 4 :15)

Julien M. Ogereau

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Abstract

This paper endeavours to elucidate the phrase εἰς λόγον δόσεως καὶ λήμψεως found in the letter of the apostle Paul to the Christian community at Philippi, Macedonia (Phil 4 :15). By means of a detailed philological survey of each of these terms as they are appear in isolation or in collocation in ancient literary and documentary sources, it is demonstrated that the expression pertains to ancient accounting terminology. It is argued that, contrary to the communis opinio in New Testament scholarship, it should be understood literally, and not figuratively. It is finally concluded that the expression refers to the account of a missionary fund set up by Paul and his Philippian companions to finance his missionary activities. Thus, it constitutes the earliest piece of evidence of Christian financial accounting and organization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalComptabilités
Volume6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Alternatively titled in French 'La plus ancienne référence comptable chrétienne : la signification de l’expression εἰς λόγον δόσεως καὶ λήμψεως (Phil 4 :15)'
and in English as 'The earliest piece of evidence of Christian accounting : the significance of the phrase εἰς λόγον δόσεως καὶ λήμψεως (Phil 4 :15)'

Keywords

  • (Christian) accounting
  • financial organization of the early church
  • logos
  • dosis
  • lempsis
  • Paul
  • Philippians

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