ECCLESIOLOGY (A Study Of The Church)


LESSON 1.
THE ENGLISH WORD “CHURCH”

I.THE WORD DEFINED.
A.Overbey says, “According to most scholars the word church comes from a Greek word meaning ‘the Lord’s’ with the word house usually understood.” (The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T.. – Overbey, p. 7)
B.The Greek “kuriakos”:
1.Easton’s Bible dictionary says, “Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship. In the New Testament is is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the “Church of England,” the “Church of Scotland,” etc.
2.Smith’s Bible Dictionary says,
a.The derivation of the word is generally said to be from the Greek kuriakon, “belonging to the Lord”. But the derivation has been too hastily assumed. It is probably connected with kirk,the Latin circus, circulus, the Greek kuklos, (kuklos), because the congregations were gathered in circles.
b.Ecclesia, the Greek word for church, originally meant an assembly called out by the magistrate, or by legitimate authority. It was, in this last sense, that the word was adapted and applied by the writers of the New Testament to the Christian congreagation.
3.Kuriakos used in the New Testament.
a.Revelation 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day (kuriake hemera), and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.”
b.I Corinthians 11:20, “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper (kuriakon deipnon).”

II.SUGGESTED READING.
A.Ecclesia – the Church – B. H. Carrol
B.Ekklesia – the Church – Bob L. Ross
C.Theodosia Earnest, Bol. II – A. C. Dayton

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