#01 Koinonia: The Biblical Foundation

The church theme for 2019 is Koinonia.  This is a Greek word that comes from the Bible.  It means “common being”, a word that depicts “a group of believers sharing life together in Christ”.

Koinonia is a noun, appearing twenty times in the New Testament, and refers to “a state of common being”.  Another noun Koinonos (common being-er) is used ten times, meaning “partner” or “sharer”.  The verb Koinoneo (to make common) translates as “share” or “participate/partake of”, and appears 8 times.  Koinonikos is an adjective appearing once.  These four words appear a total of 39 times in the New Testament.  The following is a list of these 39 times, organized into four categories according to the Greek words. 

  1. Koinonia, noun, 20 times
  2. Koinonos, noun, 10 times
  3. Koinoneo, verb, 8 times
  4. Koinonikos, adjective, 1 time

Each underlined word represents the translation of that particular Greek word in the Bible verse.

There are two translations provided, the New International Version, and the New American Standard Bible.  In a few instances, the King James Version has also been included to further clarify the meaning. 

Koinonia: Life Together in Christ

  1. Acts 2:42   (NIV)  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.   (NASB) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
  2. Rom 15:26  (NIV)  For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.  (NASB)  For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
  3. 1Co 1:9  (NIV)  God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.   (NASB)  God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  4. 1Co 10:16  (NIV)  Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? (NASB)  Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?
  5. 2Co 6:14  (NIV)  Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?   (NASB)  Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
  6. 2Co 8:4   (NIV)  they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.    (NASB)  begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.
  7. 2Co 9:13   (NIV)  Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.    (NASB)  Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all.
  8. 2Co 13:14   (NIV)  May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  (NASB)  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
  9. Gal 2:9   (NIV)  James, Cephasand John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.(NASB)  and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
  10. Eph 3:9   (NIV)  and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.(NASB)  and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things.   (KJV)  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.
  11. 1Php 1:5   (NIV)  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,(NASB)  in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.  (KJV)  For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
  12. Php 2:1   (NIV)  Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,(NASB)  Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,
  13. Php 3:10   (NIV)  I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,(NASB)  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
  14. Phm 1:6   (NIV)  I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.(NASB)  and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.
  15. Heb 13:16   (NIV)  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.(NASB)  And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
  16. 1Jn 1:3  (NIV)  We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.    (NASB)  what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
  17. 1Jn 1:6   (NIV)  If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. (NASB)  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
  18. 1Jn 1:7   (NIV)  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from allsin.(NASB)  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Koinonos:  Common being-er, noun, 10 times

  1. Mat 23:30   (NIV)  And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’(NASB)  and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
  2. Luk 5:10   (NIV)  and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.  Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”  (NASB)  and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.”
  3. 1Co 10:18   (NIV)  Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?  (NASB)   Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar?
  4. 1Co 10:20    (NIV)  No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.(NASB)  No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.
  5. 2Co 1:7   (NIV)  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.(NASB) and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.
  6. 2Co 8:23   (NIV)  As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ.(NASB)  As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.
  7. Phm 1:17   (NIV)  So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.(NASB)  If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me.
  8. Heb 10:33   (NIV)  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.(NASB)  partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.
  9. 1Pe 5:1   (NIV)  To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:(NASB)  Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
  10. 2Pe 1:4   (NIV)  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.(NASB)  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Koinoneo:  make common, verb, 8 times

  1. Rom 12:13   (NIV)  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.(NASB)    contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
  2. Rom 15:27   (NIV)   They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.(NASB)   Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.
  3. Gal 6:6   (NIV) Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.    (NASB)   The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.
  4. Php 4:15   (NIV)  Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;(NASB)   You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone;
  5. 1Ti 5:22   (NIV) Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.    (NASB)   Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.
  6. Heb 2:14  (NIV)  Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—(NASB) Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
  7. 1Pe 4:13  (NIV) But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.    (NASB)   but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
  8. 2Jn 1:11  (NIV)  Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.(NASB)   for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

Kinonikos:  common being, adjective, 1 time

  1. 1Ti 6:18   (NIV)  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.(NASB)   Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.