Yes, the thread got buried rather quickly. I just want to reiterate that this thread is about the door to door preaching and not general telling of the gospel (good news). One additional thing; I'm no expert about this and I am certainly not trained in debating. I just want to discuss this with someone because it interests me and my mind has changed on the matter since I was a regular pioneer.
I see that you quoted extensively from Godbey. That's ok by me. However, he was sort of an odd duck. You may have better success finding someone a little more respected by the millenialist community. Although he was an avid preacher, revivals and the sort, I reviewed my information on him and couldn't find anything about him actually preaching from house to house. That doesn't make my opinion definitive, there is probably more information on him than I posess.
I reviewed the quotes you put up and didn't find any direct statement that one would preach the good news house to house. Yes, yes, I see the house to house quotes in the boxes. What is missing though is his understanding of what house to house actually meant. He says the following (the source of these 4 quotes see David2002's prior post):
Then preach the gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, on the streets, and from house to house, like the apostles,
In the Apostolic succession, we should preach from house to house, everywhere ministering to' the sick in the interest of the soul and body.
preaching on the streets and from house to house through the week
Preaching and teaching publicly and from house to house, "the whole counsel of God
I'm not trying to say that the apostles and first century christians didn't discuss or edify each other or have something akin to bible studies with others in their private homes (whether that be the christian or the interested individual's home). In my opinion that probably went on. I am saying, however, that the apostles and first century christians didn't cold call on door after door to see if someone at home may be interested hearing the good news.In fact I believe that is what this quote is saying (from David2002's previous post):
The book Word Pictures in the New Testament, by A.T. Robertson, agrees that the apostle Paul preached house to house "By (according to) houses. ; It is worth noting that this greatest of all preachers preached from house to house and did not make mere social calls." (Vol. III, pages 349-350
The apostle Paul preached to individuals in different homes. Makes sense to me. Mere social calls? Of course not. He was talking to those who had already shown interest or were already christians.
Matthew 10:5-14 - "When you enter any town or village, find out who is worthy, and stay there until you leave." You said "The finding out of who is worthy obviously required visiting different peoples homes to find them. ." What you didn't say, and neither does the text, is that they preached at multiple homes and when someone was receptive they lodged there. That requires a leap of logic that isn't in the text. It seems that rather than knocking on every Jewish door (the lost sheep of Israel right?) in a city, that they could go to the synagogue and simply ask around about who was worthy. Since they were to say there this text is logically talking about lodging. As far as a house that they thought was worthy but wasn't (whether for lodging or listening to the good news) Jesus says shake the dust from your feet and move on.
I just don't see the injunction for these ministers to knock on each Jewish door in town and discuss Jesus with them. That is why synagogues were around, to congregate the people and discuss spiritual matters.
As far as Acts 5:42 and the translation "house to house" I have no problem with that rendering. However, I do have a problem with the assumption that house to house meant going from one door to the next in consecutive order. In fact the WT itself said (highlights mine):
***w91 1/15 p. 11 Teach Publicly and From House to House ***
4At Acts 5:42 the words "from house to house" are translated from kat’ oi´kon. Here ka·ta´ is used in a "distributive" sense. Hence, the preaching of the disciples was distributed from one house to another
Notice it is distributive not consecutive. Yes, they went to different houses.
Read each and every example in the New Testament of someone who was preached to. There isn't even one example of someone being first contacted at their home whether interested in the good news or not.
Again, in my opinion, the fist century christians, including the apostles and Jesus preached to individuals. This sometimes occurred in people's homes. Preaching to individuals in their homes, however, does not indicate that they preached consecutively from one door to another.
Like I said I'm not a trained debater nor have I really done much of it. If I wasn't completely clear with my arguments or didn't cover all of your points in enough (or any) detail I apoligize.