Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ecclesia does not = church


The word. "Church" comes from the Old English and German word pronounced "kirche." In Scotland, it was "kirk."
The following entries are from the Oxford Universal English Dictionary:
Church [Old English cirice, circe; Middle English chereche, chiriche, chirche; whence churche, cherche, etc.: -Greek Kuriakon...]
Kirk The Northern English and Scottish form of CHURCH, in all its senses.
The meaning of "Ku-ri-a-kos" is understood by its root: "Ku- ri-os," which means "lord." Thus, "kuriakos" (i.e., "church") means "pertaining to the lord." It refers to something that pertains to, or belongs to, a lord. The Greek "kuriakos" eventually came to be used in Old English form as "cirice" (Kee-ree-ke), then "churche" (kerke), and eventually "church" in its traditional pronunciation. 
A church therefore is something that "pertains to, or belongs to, a lord."
The word "church" would have been an acceptable translation for the Greek word "kuriakos" but most English versions of the bible translate the Greek word “ecclesia” into the word "church", which is incorrect.
"Ecclesia" is an entirely different word with an entirely different meaning than "kuriakos." In fact, the Greek word "kuriakos" appears in the New Testament only twice. It is found once in I Corinthians 11:20 where it refers to "the Lord's supper," and once again in Revelation 1:10 where it refers to "the Lord's day." In both of those cases, it is translated "the Lord's..." - not "church." This word does not appear again in the New Testament. 
THE CORRECT MEANING OF "ECCLESIA"
The Greek word ecclesia" appears in the New Testament approximately 115 times. That's just in this one grammatical form. It appears also in other forms. And in every instance, except three, it is wrongly translated as "church" in the King James Version. Those three exceptions are found in Acts 19:32, 39, 41. In these instances the translators rendered it "assembly" instead of "church." But, the Greek word is exactly the same as the other 112 entries where it was changed to "church" wrongly.
In Acts 19, "ecclesia" is a town council: a civil body in Ephesus. 
The Greek word "ecclesia" is correctly defined as: "The called-out (ones)" [ECC = out; KALEO = call]. Thus, you can see how this word was used to indicate a civil body of select (called, elected) people.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
In the New Testament, "ecclesia" (signifying convocation) is the only single word used for church. It (ecclesia) was the name given to the governmental assembly of the city of Athens, duly convoked (called out) by proper officers and possessing all political power including even juridical functions.
Obviously, in Greece an ecclesia had no resemblance to a church. An "ecclesia" was a civil assembly in Athens even before the writing of the New Testament. 
Oxford Universal English Dictionary :
Ecclesia [mediaeval Latin, and Greek - from : SUMMONED] -A regularly convoked assembly, especially the general assembly of Athenians. Later, the regular word for church.
Thus, two of the most prestigious word resources in the English language confirm the fact that an "ecclesia" was originally a select civil body, summoned or convoked for a particular purpose. 
What, then, did the writers of the New Testament mean when they used the word "ecclesia" to describe a Christian body of people? 
We can assume that they intended to convey the original Greek meaning of the word: “a body of Christians called out of the Roman and Judean system to come together into a separate civil community”
It meant a politically autonomous body of Christians under no king but Jesus; under no other jurisdiction but that of Jesus. No man ruled them! Only Christ. And that was the reason these same Christians ran into trouble with kings and rulers; were arrested, crucified and martyred. They dropped Caesar as their King and took up Christ.
In Acts 17, verses 1-6 we see that Paul and Silas had a reputation that preceded them. They were "turning the world (system) upside down." What was their inflaming message? What were these guys doing that was "turning the world system upside down"? The answer is found in verse 7: "Whom Jason hath received (into his house): and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus."
They were announcing ANOTHER KING! Not Caesar! This was a king who was bigger than Caesar. They were forming civil bodies that no longer looked to Caesar as their king. Paul and Silas weren't "church builders" they were kingdom builders! They were dethroning rulers in the minds of the people and alienating them from the mental hold Caesar had upon them. They were teaching the principles of Kingdom government. They were putting forth the call of God to whomever would hear and obey, and those whose hearts responded to the call became citizens of Christ's kingdom and joined themselves to the ecclesia, or community of believers.
William Tyndale was the fifteenth century reformer and Bible translator martyred for his unyielding love of the truth of the Word of God. Tyndale was willing to die for God's word and truth. Tyndale, and other sixteenth-century reformers did not translate the word ecclesia into "church." They used other words like "congregation," "governmental assembly," etc. 
From Wikipedia: In January 1604, King James VI of Scotland and I of England convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans,[7] a faction within the Church of England.[8]
James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy.[9] The translation was done by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England.[10] 
(It was in the commissioning of this translation (KJV) that the word “ecclesia” was first translated as “church” in order to align the translation with the existing church structures, rather than aligning the translation with what Jesus intended as recorded in Matthew 16:18)
When you consider the fact that an "ecclesia" was "a civil body politic", this is strong proof that the Christian ecclesias we read about in the New Testament were independent civil bodies of Christians - independent from worldly kings and governors, ruled by the Theocratic government of God's Spirit. They wanted freedom to serve King Jesus. The ecclesia system, with it's Theocratic government and individual responsibility, is capable of freeing believers from the bondage of religion. True peace and liberty cannot be found outside of Christ. Christ's system is the ecclesia system.
Matthew 16: Peter understands that Jesus Is the Messiah, Jesus declares that on this “rock” i.e. revelation of this truth that Jesus is the Messiah, He will build His ecclesia
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my ecclesia, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
In this passage Jesus talks about the fact that a body of believers or ecclesia will be established through the revelation that Jesus is the Messiah. 

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