19 May 2023

What is koinonia according to the Bible? – Koinonia or Communion

By Donald

The term koinonia appears repeatedly in the sacred texts of the Bible, although in some versions the word is not reflected due to translation and interpretation. So, this article explains what koinonia is, its function in the scriptures and the origin of the term, in the same way it talks about its relationship with communion and the reception of the Eucharist.

Definition and concept of koinonia in the Bible

In the Bible there are a large number of words written in Greek or Hebrew that represent spiritual elements, however, many of them have disappeared with translations and interpretations. In this sense, with the passage of time, the Bible was translated into other languages, so the words were modified and adapted so that people had a better understanding. One of the terms that changed the most was koinonia, which in biblical texts suggests an allegory of communion, although this can occur in various ways.

The term koinonia refers to Christian communion, since it is a biblical word product of the transliteration of the Greek word κοινωνία. It is a concept of theological origin that is related to the communion with the catholic church, Similarly, it alludes to the link between God and his church, where Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are also revealed.

It is used exclusively in the doctrine of Christianity, where it refers to the participation of individuals in the faith, it speaks of the fellowship that the members of the Christian church should have in their faith in Jesus Christ. Said communion should not have any distinction between people who believe in the Roman Catholic Church or those who put their faith in the Orthodox Church.

Where does the word koinonia appear in the Bible?

The writing of the term koinonia appears at least 19 times in the texts of the sacred scriptures, however, it is possible that in some versions of the Bible the word does not appear due to the process of translation and adaptation to other languages. In this sense, on certain occasions it appears as a noun, while on other occasions it adapts to a verb through the term koinonos.

Koinonia is generally translated as communion, but in some cases it designates the verb to share, likewise, other terms related to Greek are translated into Spanish as participant and partner. Therefore, it is very important to know how to understand the context in order to understand what the text means with the word koinonia or communion.

In 1 Corinthians 1:9 and 1 John 1:3, koinonia is used to speak of the participants in Jesus Christ, while in Philippians 1:5 it describes the participants in his passion. In Philemon 1:6 and in 1 Corinthians 8:4 the term is described as part of the Community involvement primitive in the Christian faith or be part of the church service.

Now, in 1 Corinthians 10:16 the word koinonia translated into Spanish refers to the Eucharist as part of sacramental grace. where, should receive the body and the blood of Christ to join the communion of Christianity and its church.

The book of the Acts of the Apostles 2:42 also describes the reception of the eucharist like communion. In this sense, in said section of the Bible, he explains that the first Christians were totally willing to listen to the word of God through the apostles, just as they shared bread and wine.

On the other hand, some authors such as J. Dupont state that koinonia is the communion between the members of Christianity, therefore, in his words ‘there would be no dignified community if some of the members live in abundance and others do not have what is necessary’. Therefore, the union of people who are members of the catholic church It is vitally important for the organization to persist in history.

In this way, koinonia as a biblical word has the objective of rescuing the church in a single faith, uniting both religions as there were in ancient times. Thus, according to several theological writings such as the first epistle of Peter, it is described that communion is work of the Holy Spiritwhich seeks the communion of humans with God.

What is the synonym of kononia?

The main synonym of the word koinonia is communion, as this was the translation given to the term in Spanish. However, this communion can be represented in various ways, from the members brotherhood of the church, up to the act of receiving the Eucharist.

In the same way, another communion to which this word can refer is that of being one with the church, which implies participate in activities. In that sense, this ranges from the act of baptism imposed by John the Baptist, to the reception of communion in each Catholic act.

As a theological concept, koinonia also seeks the communion of the entire Christian church, that is, the union between the churches that developed in the East and the West. Well, we must remember that in 1054 the great schism occurredwhere the internal conflicts of the church produced a rupture, in which the Byzantine Empire would adopt Orthodox Christianity.

What is needed to achieve koinonia?

If a person wants to achieve koinonia or communion he must have a lot of faith in God and believe in their church, in that sense, by participating in religious activities and fraternity with other people, feelings of love and peace are created, which leads to communion. Thus, unity is achieved between the one who is Christ and the many, who are the members of his church.

What are the types of koinonia?

In the Vulgar Greek word, the word koinonia is translated as communion, but with a sense of participation in any religious activity. In this sense, it speaks of being part of some act or process within the Christian church, although it could also be used to talk about things in common.

Koinonia is used in the new Testament as a type of communion developed by the so-called Holy Fathers, that is, the first priests and bishops. Where, in communion it had a meaning of sanctification and divinization. Therefore, the first members of the church had the thought of receiving something sanctified.

The second type of koinonia is related to the Eucharist that is carried out in Christianity through bread and wine; the term began to gain popularity with this meaning from the second century, where its use was restricted to the act of receiving communion. There, the word acquires a mystical meaning, since it refers to the act in which all men must participate. to receive the grace of Godwhich indicates the communion of men with Christ.

For its part, in the Catholic ecclesial sense, koinonia is related to other terms that are also synonymous with communion, as an example it can be mentioned that both the Roman and Orthodox churches used terms such as peace, love and unity.

What is the relationship between koinonia and diakonia?

Diakonia or diakonia is a term that was used in any primitive Christian community, which refers to a hospice or hospital for for the assistance of sick and the poor. In these places, help was provided to the people who most needed food, a roof, or those who had an illness. The relationship of koinonia with diakonia is that Catholics participated in these hospitals without expecting any reward in return, so there was a union and disinterested participation that had the objective of serving the people of God.