digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















For other uses, see Koinonia (disambiguation).

Koinonia is a transliterated form of the Greek word, κοινωνία, which means communion, joint participation; the share which one has in anything, participation, a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, etc. It identifies the idealized state of fellowship and unity that should exist within the Christian church, the Body of Christ.

New Testament usage of koinonia[edit]

The essential meaning of the koinonia embraces concepts conveyed in the English terms community, communion, joint participation, sharing and intimacy. Koinonia can therefore refer in some contexts to a jointly contributed gift.[1] The word appears 19 times in most editions of the Greek New Testament. In the New American Standard Bible, it is translated "fellowship" twelve times, "sharing" three times, and "participation" and "contribution" twice each.[2]

In the New Testament, the basis of communion begins with a joining of Jesus with the community of the faithful. This union is also experienced in practical daily life. The same bonds that link the individual to Jesus also link him or her with other faithful. The New Testament letters describe those bonds as so vital and genuine that a deep level of intimacy can be experienced among the members of a local church.[3]

The first usage of koinonia in the Greek New Testament is found in Acts 2:42-47, where a striking description of the common life shared by the early Christian believers in Jerusalem is given:

Communion itself was the breaking of bread and the form of worship and prayer. It was in the breaking of the bread that the Apostles "recognized" Christ and it was in the breaking of bread, called Communion, that they celebrated Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection in obedience to his Last Supper instruction: "Do this in memory of me."

A special New Testament application of the word koinonia is to describe the Communion that existed at the celebration of the Lord's Supper or sacrament of the Eucharist. For example, 1 Corinthians 10:16 (KJV) use the English word "communion" to represent the Greek word koinonia. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" Any common meal certainly could represent a "sharing". The koinonia is viewed as much deeper, however, when the meal is associated with a spiritual purpose. Joining in the Lord’s Supper is uniting oneself with other believers in the objective reality of Christ’s death. [4]

The spiritual meaning of koinonia[edit]

The word has such a multitude of meanings that no single English word is adequate to express its depth and richness. It is a derivative of "koinos", the word for "common". Koinonia is a complex, rich, and thoroughly fascinating Greek approach to building community or teamwork.

Koinonia embraced a strong commitment to "kalos k'agathos" meaning "good and good", an inner goodness toward virtue, and an outer goodness toward social relationships. In the context of outer goodness, translated into English, the meaning of koinonia holds the idea of joint participation in something with someone, such as in a community, or team or an alliance or joint venture. Those who have studied the word find there is always an implication of action included in its meaning. The word is meaning-rich too, since it is used in a variety of related contexts.


Koinonos means 'a sharer' as in to share with one another in a possession held in common as Christ would have it. It implies the spirit of generous sharing or the act of giving as contrasted with selfish getting. When koinonia is present, the spirit of sharing and giving becomes tangible. In most contexts, generosity is not an abstract ideal, but a demonstrable action resulting in a tangible and realistic expression of giving.

In classical Greek, koinonein means "to have a share in a thing," as when two or more people hold something, or even all things, in common. It can mean "going shares" with others, thereby having "business dealings" such as joint ownership of a ship. It can also imply "sharing an opinion" with someone, and therefore agreeing with him, or disagreeing in a congenial way. Only participation as a contributive member allows one to share in what others have. What is shared, received or given becomes the common ground through which Koinonia becomes real.


Koinonos in classical Greek means a companion, a partner or a joint-owner. Therefore, koinonia can imply an association, common effort, or a partnership in common. The common ground by which the two parties are joined together creates an aligned relationship, such as a "fellowship" or "partnership". In a papyrus announcement, a man speaks of his brother "with whom I have no koinonia", meaning no business connection or common interest. In the New Testament, (Luke 5:10) James, John, and Simon are called "partners" (koinonia). The joint participation was a shared fishing business.

Two people may enter into marriage in order to have "koinonia of life", that is to say, to live together a life in which everything is shared. Koinonia was used to refer to the marriage bond, and it suggested a powerful common interest that could hold two or more persons together.

The term can also relate to a spiritual relationship. In this sense, the meaning something that is held and shared jointly with others for God, speaking to man's "relationship with God". Epictetus talks of religion as ‘aiming to have koinonia with Zeus". The early Christian community saw this as a relationship with the Holy Spirit. In this context, koinonia highlights a higher purpose or mission that benefits the greater good of the members as a whole. The term "enthusiasm" is connected to this meaning of koinonia for it signifies “to be imbued with the Spirit of God in Us."

To create a bond between comrades is the meaning of koinonia when people are recognized, share their joy and pains together, and are united because of their common experiences, interests and goals. Fellowship creates a mutual bond which overrides each individual’s pride, vanity, and individualism, fulfilling the human yearning with fraternity, belonging, and companionship. This meaning of koinonia accounts for the ease by which sharing and generosity flow. When combined with the spiritual implications of koinonia, fellowship provides a joint participation in God’s graces and denotes that common possession of spiritual values.

Thus early Greco-Roman had a fellowship God, sharing the common experience of joys, fears, tears, and divine glory. In this manner, those who shared believed their true wealth lay not in what they had, but in what they gave to others. Fellowship is never passive in the meaning of koinonia, it is always linked to action, not just being together, but also doing together. With fellowship comes a close and intimate relationship embracing ideas, communication, and frankness, as in a true, blessed interdependent friendship among multiple group members.


The idea of community denotes a "common unity" of purpose and interests. By engaging in this united relationship a new level of consciousness and conscience emerges that spurs the group to higher order thinking and action, thus empowering and encouraging its members to exist in a mutually beneficial relationship. Thus community and family become closely intertwined, because aiming at a common unity strives to overcome brokenness, divisiveness, and, ultimately gaining wholeness with each of the members, with their environment, and with their God. By giving mutual support, friendship and family merge. Both fellowship and community imply an inner and outer unity. Nowhere in the framework of community is there implied a hierarchy of command and control. While there is leadership, the leader’s task is to focus energy, and align interests, not impose control.

Koinonia creates a brethren bond which builds trust and, especially when combined with the values of Wisdom, Virtue and Honor, overcomes two of humanity’s deepest fears and insecurities: being betrayed and being demeaned.

Whether working collectively or individually, the innovators of ancient Greece worked for the greater good of the whole — to propel their community forward, to share their understanding with others so that all ships would rise on a rising tide. Thus loftier goals and dreams are more easily manifested in the mind and achieved in reality. The team’s sense of Purpose became manifest.[5]

The sacramental meaning of koinonia[edit]

The Eucharist is the sacrament of communion with one another in the one body of Christ. This was the full meaning of eucharistic koinonia in the early Catholic Church.[6] St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "the Eucharist is the sacrament of the unity of the Church, which results from the fact that many are one in Christ."[7]

The problem associated with the etymological meaning of koinonia[edit]

In his book Communitas (1998), Roberto Esposito suggests that "koinonia" is not "completely equivalent" to "communitas", "communio", or "ekklesia":

"Indeed, one could argue that it is the arduous relation that the 'koinonia' has with the originary form of 'munus' that distances it from its strictly ecclesiastical inflection."[8]


  1. ^ Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 352.
  2. ^ NAS Exhaustive Concordance
  3. ^ Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 275-276.
  4. ^ Robinson, "Communion; Fellowship," in Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, pp. 752-753.
  5. ^ Lynch, "How the Greeks created the First Golden Age of Innovation".
  6. ^ Hertling, L. Communion, Church and Papacy in Early Christianity Chicago: Loyola University, 1972.
  7. ^ ST III, 82. 2 ad 3; cf. 82. 9 ad 2.
  8. ^ ESPOSITO, Roberto ([1998]2010). Communitas. The Origin and Destiny of Community, tr. by Timothy Campbell, Standford: Stanford University Press, p.10 Read the full introduction Introduction: Nothing In Common

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  • NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries. The Lockman Foundation. 1981, 1998. 
  • Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (1979). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 
  • Lynch, Robert Porter; Ninon Prozonic (2006). "How the Greeks created the First Golden Age of Innovation" (Word document) (in English). p. 14. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  • Richards, Lawrence O. (1985). Expository Dictionary of Bible Words. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Corporation. 
  • Thayer, Joseph H. (1885). Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koinonia — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
74932 videos foundNext > 

코이노니아 ( koinonia : 친교) - 우리 모두 선물이 된다

프란치스코 교황의 한국 방문을 기념하며 천주교 문화예술체육인이 함께 한 홍보영상입니다. "코이노니아 ( Koinonia · 친교) - 우리 모두 선물이 된다" -----------------------------------------가사-------------------------...

Koinonia - Frontline (Full Album)

1. Gazoot - 00:00 2. Chuncho - 04:34 3. Greatest Love - 10:58 4. Frontline - 15:48 5. Señor - 21:04 6. You Can´t Hide - 25:27 7. Around The Corner (Runt Hörn...

Koinonia: Celebration - Live from Montreux 1984

In the 1970s and 80's, a fusion in jazz music occurred giving birth to a new, more electrified and diverse genre called jazz-funk. Some notable pioneers in t...

Koinonia Scandinavium.avi

the best Jazz Chrisitians,

Koinonia - Koinonia (Full Album) 1989

TRACK LIST: 1. Talk About It 2. We Know the Way by Heart 3. Alegria 4. Is It Too Late 5. Mistral 6. We're All in This Together 7. Come Share My World 8. You ...


코이노니아 (우리 모두 선물이 된다 : Koinonia) MV

2014년 8월 한국을 방한하는 교황 프란치스코를 기념하며, 그의 뜻을 기리는 헌정음악으로 만든 코랄 형식의 합창곡이다. Koinonia란 이노래의 부제는 '우리 모두 선물이 된다'이다. '나를 위한 기도가 아닌 남을 위한 기도를 건네는 세상, 그리하여 서로와 세상을 향한 아름다운...

Min Koinonia de Louvor - Meu prazer

Gravado no Gospel Line.


"Schoolbus". Live from Montreux 1984.

Ministério Koinonia de Louvor - Com Amor Eterno

Parte do CD Adoração 9 (1996). Direitos reservados aos autores.

74932 videos foundNext > 

2525 news items


Tue, 05 Aug 2014 04:03:57 -0700

In addition to language of being and belonging, the New Testament word koinonia is a term used to describe healthy, interdependent congregations. Although typically translated into English as "fellowship" (and reduced from there into images of chit ...
Aitkin Independent Age
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 04:37:30 -0700

As I mentioned last week, we were able to have our family all together for a few days. During that time our son had a chance to go through old pictures from when he was a small boy living in the Philippines. He downloaded about 30 old pictures onto his ...
Aitkin Independent Age
Sun, 10 Aug 2014 04:03:45 -0700

Some of us seem to have a hard time talking to God in our own words. Maybe we're not even sure God would want to take the time to listen to us. And we can't forget how tongue-tied we get when we're standing next to someone. One such person had been ...


Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:15:13 -0700

As Pope Francis tours South Korea through August 18, some 20 Korean household names got together to record a video for a song titled "Koinonia," which means camaraderie and communion in Greek. It was composed by K-pop veteran Noh Young-shim to ...
Aitkin Independent Age
Sun, 03 Aug 2014 04:03:45 -0700

One time while I was in Papua, I was helping in a mountain village during a holiday season (Christmas, or Easter). I wished that I had a “super” kind of camera to capture the line of people coming down a hillside on the opposite side of a valley. They ...
DFW Catholic
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:33:45 -0700

Koinonia Academy, founded in 1984, seeks to fill the position of Headmaster for the overall management of it's Pre-K through grade 12 school. Located in central New Jersey, Koinonia and it's staff are authentically Roman Catholic. The Headmaster will ...
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:24:40 -0700

It happened around 8 p.m. in the area on Riggs Lane. That's near Koinonia Christian Center on Greenville Boulevard. Police say 24-year-old Marlon McMillian, Jr. drove to Vidant Medical Center with a wound to his leg. He was treated and released.
Patheos (blog)
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:15:00 -0700

This overlooks several factors: 1) Paul believes they are missing out on the koinonia and blessings of the Spirit, and the benefits of salvation here and now, and that is truly a sad thing considering Jesus is Israel's Messiah! Think of it in terms of ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Koinonia

You can talk about Koinonia with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!