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The Church- A Pagan Concept.



The ekklesia and the kuriakon

Posted by Alan Knox 

The Greek term ἐκκλησία (ekklesia) is normally translated by the English word “church” in the New Testament. This word means the “Called out ones” and is the true meaning of the word.  What most people do not know is that the English word “church” did not originate from the word ἐκκλησία (ekklesia) nor from the concept of the ἐκκλησία (ekklesia) as expressed in the New Testament.

Instead, the English word “church” originated with the Greek word κυριακός‚ (kuriakos), which means “belonging to the Lord”. This word is used twice in the New Testament:

When you come together, it is not the Lord’s [κυριακόν – kuriakon] supper that you eat. (1 Corinthians 11:20 ESV)

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s [κυριακῆkuriake] day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet… (Revelation 1:10 ESV)

In both of these verses, the adjective κυριακός (kuriakos) is used to specify the owner of the “supper” or “day”, that is, the supper and day belonged to the Lord. This word belongs to a completely different somantic domain (range of meanings) than the Greek word ἐκκλησία (ekklesia).

Eventually, the place where believers met together came to be called “the Lord’s house” using the term κυριακόν (kuriakon), which is the neuter version (literally, “the Lord’s thing”). This word made its way into both German (“Kirche”), Anglo Saxon (“circe”), and Middle English (“chirche”). It is interesting that when Luther translated the New Testament into vernacular German, he did not use the word “Kirche” to translate ἐκκλησία (ekklesia), he used the German word “Gemeinde”, which means something similar to the English word “community”. However, many Germans still refer to the “church” as the “Kirche”.

When Tyndale translated the New Testament into English in 1536, he also did not use the word “church” to translate the Greek word ἐκκλησία (ekklesia). Instead, he used the word “congregation”. However, within the next 100 years, all English translations normally used the word “church”.

 A “church” building therefore has NOTHING TO DO with new testament beliefs. It was strictly an assembly of called out believer’s that belonged to YHWH. Called out from SOCIETY. SET APART from the world.

All these church buildings you see on every street corner.