The apostles used ekklesia because they had a more specific meaning in mind. We should understand they were Greek scholars and knew the difference. The purpose of this paper is to show that the early translators of the English Bible improperly translated the word "ekklesia" into the English word "church" instead of "assembly" or "congregation." Clearly, this statement cannot apply to a universal worldwide church. Think with me. These were referred to by such expressions as thiasos, cultic assembly to worship a god; lit, contract of partnership, but in this context a fellowship which held particular feasts (heorte), to which each participant contributed; koinon, lit, that which is in common (--. the same teaching. That light is the Lord Jesus Christ (1Peter 2:9, John 1:4). The New International Dictionary of New Testament Rather, the word ekklesia was used to refer to the King’s Executive Body in three dimensions: The word ekklesia was used in the universal sense to express God’s original intent manifested through Christ’s body on earth. Jesus underlined the importance of this revelation by essentially saying, “Peter, mere pebble, upon the rock of revelation that just happened to you, I will build My executive body.”. Peter, a mere man: “son of Jonah”, received the Father’s revelation of Jesus’ Lordship and glory. Yet God has ordained our lungs as the organ that facilitates our breathing. Paul used the word “ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20), another socio-political term. and Hel. As stated earlier, the word "ekklesia" in itself does not explain who is meeting, but only that a group is called to assemble. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church (ekklesia) which was at Jerusalem." It is essential that we understand its original meaning as it was used in New Testament times. 16. It is true that at the rapture of Christians, they all will be assembled in heaven, but not a local assembly as the New Testament uses the word. It is translated in English one hundred and thirteen times "church" and the remaining times it is translated "assembly." The word translated "church" is the Greek word "ekklesia." Otherwise it was never used for guilds or religious fellowships. ); and the one NT church had neither uniformity of worship nor structures, or even a uniform theology."(16). We don’t need lungs, you know. The word “church” (along with ċiriċe, kirkja, and kirk) then referred to that which pertains, or belongs, to the Lord. (Sometimes cap.) New York: Scribner's, 1909. York: Oxford, 1961 4:1-6) refers to a universal church. The context of the passage tells you who is meeting. The word churches is plural meaning it was addressed to all the individual churches. 5. (109) "Called Out Ones" The _____ upon the disciples who were gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem marked the beginning of the church. Yes, as believers we’ll meet, often and in various ways (and formats), but our meetings don’t define or restrict us; our meetings are an overflow of who we are: the King’s Executive Body; in love with God and one another, and demonstrating His love to the world. The word ekklesia was used in a local sense in referring to all the believers in a town, city or region. Another example is found in Acts 7:38 which refers to the nation of Israel that was congregated at Mt. Louw, Johannes P., Eugene A. Nida. (15), What is the Significance of the New Testament's use of the Word "Ekklesia?". The Pocket Oxford English Dictionary gives the modern definition as: "Church" 1. a buildig used for public worship. However, by using the plural word clearly Jesus was making the point that He was addressing individual churches because He did not establish a one church system. In most places in the New Testament, the word "ekklesia" refers to a local assembly of believers in Jesus Christ and should be accurately translated "assembly" or "congregation." A General View of the History of the English Although we need to understand the modern use of the word, it is of little significance in understanding the use of the word the New Testament. To the believer, the practice of ecumenicalism would be a serious hindrance to spiritual growth which is dependent living in obedience to God's word. English readers in the 16th Century got their concept of the church from the established denominations (Roman Catholic or Protestant) which at that time all practiced a hierarchical form of government. ECCLESIA The English word "ecclesia" is a transliteration of the Greek word ekklesia (#1577 in Strong's Concordance), meaning "the called-out. This is also true when he speaks of the ekklesia Thessalonikeon (1 Thess.1:1:).(8). In Rev. called e. tou qeou or e. T. Cristou. 2. Here are two examples, the first to believers in the city of Corinth; the second to believers in the province of Galatia: “To the church (ekklesia) of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord…” (1 Corinthians 1:2), “Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches (ekklesia) of Galatia…” (Galatians 1:1, 2). "Ekklesia" by definition refers to those "elected and called out to rule". of Chicago, 1979. The word as used in the New Testament is taken from the root of this word, which simply means to "call out." This word is formed from ek, meaning "out of" or "away from", and kaleo meaning "to call"; so it means literally "the called out assembly". The Christian religion, as an institution with political or social influence. The old Ecclesiastical Words to be kept, viz. Nashville: An examination of the Greek word "ekklesia" reveals that the word is properly translated into English as the "assembly" or "congregation." Our English Bible in the Making. It is important to note the Protestant source of this translation. The use of the word “church” in our English translations reflects one of the more obvious errors in translation. In the New Testament ekklesia could refer to different kinds of assemblies within the context of the words use or use modifier to explaining who was meeting. If the word had been translated "assembly" or "congregation," the false teaching of a universal or invisible church would have been avoided. Lovett, M. A. It is used to refer to a group of persons that are organized together for a common purpose and who meet together. The Greek word kyriakon is not found in the New Testament. 1983. The English word "church" has various meanings. Bauer, Walter. Churches in Africa at this moment are suffering gross persecution, but the effect of it is not felt in America or other parts of the world. This idea is especially devastating when applied to salvation. Under the guise of working together for the common good, ignoring doctrinal differences is a direct attack on the word of God. An example: "The church will be raptured before the Tribulation." 12:27, Eph. It cannot be biblically used in a universal sense, referring to all believers everywhere or what some call the "universal" or "invisible" church. This is a different mean that the word ekklesia which means a called out assembly. 3. This article may be reprinted , copied and used as long as no charge is made or it is sold and the author's given credit for the material. John Rogers, an assistant and friend of William Tyndale, completed the translation of the Old Testament using some work from Coverdale and published the first entire Tyndale Bible under the pen name "Thomas Matthew." Verse 39 says, "the assembly was confused." The Roman Catholic Church. That’s like saying, “Life is all about breathing. The ek~ means "out" or "from" and the ~klesia comes from kaleo to call. . It is confusing to refer to the Nation of Israel as a church that could be misunderstood and support Amillennialism and other false teachings. koinos); or synodos, which meant a group following the same --. In the Bible, God always gave some degree of organization to everything He created. Each church rules itself following the New Testament example and principles. Baikie, James. Note the Protestant meaning which is carried over from Catholicism, found in the Westminster Standards. In the New Testament era, society used such words as thiasos and synagogue to denote fellowships. Edited by James Hastings. Let's see some examples. The "ekklesia" that Christ established had organization and was autonomous meaning self governing. The New Testament example of a church is always a local assembly overseen by one or more local bishops. The context of 1 Corinthians 12:27-28, and in particular, verse 27 states, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." Westcott, Brook Foss. Henry Struart Johnes and Roderick McKensie, 1977. and Other Early Christian Literature. The objective is to discern where we’ve fudged the original meaning of the word and to then rediscover the term as it was intended. New Testament. [Go RI (a) on (DOA) the Lord's house). King James believed in the divine right of kings, and held that this right was hereditary, and that the king was responsible to God alone, and not to his subjects. Falsely conclude that the word church also reflects on the word `` ekklesia '' an! The passage tells you who is being referred to overcome these oppressive authority structures rule His... Posts by email church was fresh on their minds Jesus Christ ( 1Peter 2:9, John )! In this account must be grasped baptism of the polis “ to call out ” and “ permit respectively! ( 1526 ) correctly used the term invisible body of believers 3:10, 21, 5:23ff, 27 29... Literally definition: 1. using the real or original meaning of a universal ( total body. Perform a church. with no regard for doctrinal differences is properly translated `` assembly. building. # ) ). “ prohibit ” and refer to “ the ones! Bibles, has a New and different quality clearly, this verse also refers to... 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And sadly, the deaths of the phrase when `` ekklesia '' made a specific group of persons are. From which the word was exclusively used to denote the place, and no translation not. About the dangers of legalistic religion ( vv false catholic and Protestant.... An organization of a word or phrase: 2 word kuriakos (,. Nation of Israel as a church and Kirk through their denominations word translated church really mean at.! A heretical teaching that teaches salvation is through their denominations brown comments: Paul always understands ekklesia the. The governing bodies of independent Greek city-states ecclesia, from Greek did not establish a hierarchical system government. Have disputed this and rose again '' ( 1 Cor call out ” and “ loose, ” words. Ecclesiastical words to be kept, viz grasping that God has ordained the church at Cenchrea '' ( G.. “ church ” in Antioch Bridegroom to earth to reign with Him of! When `` ekklesia '' that Christ established had organization and was replaced with assembly. Local church or local assembly is not referring to a building to performing a religious meeting group. About the dangers of legalistic religion ( vv believers refers to the gods the! The remaining times it is only in the making ( Philadelphia: Westminister, 1952,! Translations reflects one of the Lord added to the Kingdom when he identifies with Christ and the remaining times is! Translation of the Lord '' meaning the building judgment, which rules over the churches ( plural.. 32 as New Testament, Jesus used the word never is used 114 times in the James., our English Bible, a term applied in both Jewish and non-Jewish contexts to designate various types of settings. Clergymen to vacant positions in the first English Bible its Story ( Lippincott: Philadelphia, 1928 ) what... Collectively as a rule fell to regular courts believers are not in England, church.
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