Bible Study Article:

Shannon Malaka  2017

The history of the word 'Church'

It isn't a building with four walls that makes a building hallowed...

Shannon Malaka  copyright 2017

The word ‘church’ has come to mean a place of worship in religious circles. It is a place of gathering where God’s elect come to worship Him and learn about His word. However as much as this word has a place in our hearts, the word ‘church’ today has lost its original meaning.

In Hebrew translation, there is no word for the word ‘church’ and instead beyt knesset is defined as a ‘house of assembly’. The Greek word ecclesia means ‘the called out ones’. The word ‘Synagogue’ also comes from the Greek word synagein which means ‘gather together; assemble’.

Historically speaking it was common knowledge that ecclesia meant assemble and it was in reference to any sort of assembly, as in a governmental assembly, a religious assembly or otherwise. Sculpturally speaking ecclesia was a term used to call out a group of Hebrews from the Roman system and come together to form a separate community through the exercise of daily affairs. The ecclesia would form their own governing rules as directed by God through Torah living, and maintain a presence outside Rome’s jurisdiction. Noah and his family are an example of such an ecclesia, although a small one at that, so too Moses and the people from the Exodus are also an ecclesia.

The admonishment of the ecclesia in Revelation 1 is an excellent example as Hebrews were encouraged to worship both pagan and The One True Living God together in public all the while recognizing the Caesar as king. This no doubt allowed for a mingling of Mithraism faith in with Torah living. The admonishment of Jesus was directing the called out ones back to truthful and faithful living exclusively that recognized God through daily living practices that proved Jesus was the ONLY king.

Today, biblical translation, ecclesia is synonymous with the word ‘church’ so too the word synagogue, but in fact this is done so in error because the word ‘church’ is taken from the Greek word kurakon also spelled kyriakon, that holds an entirely different meaning from the word ‘assembly’. Kuriakon is taken from the word Kuriakos in Greek and means ‘Lord’. Kuriakon specifically means ‘as pertaining to the Lord.’ This word eventually morphed into an Old English word known as ‘cirice’, then ‘curche’ eventually meaning ‘a building used to worship the Lord’ as it is known today.

The Temple of the Lord that was build by King Solomon and later destroyed by the Romans was never called a ‘church’. It was never referenced as such and never called a synagogue. With the walls of the Temple toppled, it has however been rebuilt, through the foundations of stone that are the teachings of Jesus through the New Testament. These stones help rebuilt the Temple walls that house the word of God in the hearts of every believer as we are now known as the temple. We are the called out ones that belong to the Lord, and make no mistake we are not called to become church builders, but to spread the Kingdom of the Lord through our faith and by teaching that faith to others through ecclesia living.