Weekly U.S.A. Church Attendance: The Sociologists Weigh In
Guder, Hays and Barth on the missionary nature of the local church

Working bibliography of biblical studies books on ecclesiology

I have prepared a working bibliography of biblical studies books on ecclesiology.  Below I have also reviewed Longenecker's compiliation which is quite good.  Elsewhere, I have reviewed Barrett's book

Update: See also the input from different people on Chris Tilling's post asking for suggestions on this topic

Working bibliography of biblical studies books on ecclesiology

Book review: Community Formation: In the Early Church and in the Church Today edited by Richard Longenecker

Richard N. Longenecker, ed. Community Formation: In the Early Church and in the Church Today (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2002). 


5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book on biblical and historical backgrounds of church leadership structures, November 22, 2008

Andrew D. Rowell (Durham, NC) - See all my reviews

The subject of this book is church leadership structures. It addresses the question: "What are bishops, elders and deacons?"
There are 11 chapters plus a fantastic introduction to the history of the debate by editor Richard Longenecker. "Most of the chapters in this volume were originally presented at the Bingham Colloquium, held June 26-27, 2000, at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada" (xvii). I will highlight the chapters I happened to find particularly helpful. I found the first two chapters by Richard Ascough on Greco-Roman associations, and Alan Segal on the Jewish institutions, to be excellent concise descriptions of the context from which the church emerged. Then there are chapters by well known New Testament scholars Craig A. Evans, Richard Longenecker, and I. Howard Marshall on the church in the Gospels, Paul, and the Pastoral Epistles respectively. Frances Young traces the development of the forms of church leadership in the whole New Testament and into the Greek fathers--arguing that probably elders meant "senior citizens" and not a church office. Finally, there is a brilliant essay by theologian John Webster on how church leadership should be considered; an interesting essay by David Hester about the development of Presbyterian polity and whether it is still valuable today; and then finally a summary by Miroslav Volf of his book After Our Likeness. If I were teaching ecclesiology in a seminary, I would require all of these essays. They are concise and well-written by outstanding scholars.
Because of my own interests, I did not delve into the chapters by Peter Richardson, Scott Bartchy, and Alan Hayes.