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EKKLESIA

Ek (out from) and kaleo (to call) = meaning to be called out.

It is a gathering of citizens.

Church is a building for public worship.

Christians today also call it "the body of Christ".

** Means a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly, those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body, the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth. 

** Church is defined as “a building for public, especially Christian worship”.  Transferred over to be called “the body of Christ”.  However, in Acts 17:24 it says that “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands”.  Church was created so we could have jurisdiction over it. 

The Timeline for How "Ekklesia" Changed to "Church"

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Ekklesia was originally "congregation of Israel" in the Septuagint (earliest Greek translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew in 280 BC.

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First time spoken by Christ is in Matthew 16:18 “That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my ekklesia."  Matthew only recorded it.  

 

What is His ekklesia?  Isaiah says, "go ye out from the midst of her," what does that mean? Well, when you go to the original Greek, "out from the midst" means "out from the center." And the word "her" is from the Greek autos which means "self." So basically, what this verse is saying is to depart and separate yourself from your self will (those wants of the world) and touch not the impure. We're called out of the self-will and all of those things that have to do with the flesh. And that is His ekklesia.

 

Ekklesia was understood in the culture of Jesus’ day.

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When Catholic Was First Used

Saint Ignatius (35-107/108), the Bishop of Antioch and student of the Apostle John, was the first known person to use the word “Catholic”.   He was killed when Trajan reigned.

When The Catholic Church Says It First Began

Paul and Peter (founder of the Church in Antioch, is considered the longest reigning pope in history until 64-68 AD) the Apostles are considered major saints in Catholicism as well as the founders of the Church in Rome. Catholic scholars maintain that the Catholic Church was established exactly 50 days after the Crucifixion.  In the first 50 years it was called "The Way".  Pentecost in the Greek is pentekoste which means fiftieth.  Observed on the seventh Sunday after Easter, which is 50 days after Easter Sunday.  Sometimes referred to as the birthday of the Christian Church. The Apostolic Age is viewed as a purview of the Catholic Church.  Others (non-Catholic scholars) say Constantine founded the Catholic Church – therefore it would begin in the early 4th century.

The Spread

Then there was "The Spread" - The Council of Jerusalem (48-50 AD) solidified the exemptions for Gentiles from Jewish laws which established the early Church’s (ekklesia’s) identity and paved the way for the spread of Christianity beyond the Jewish community.  The first schism.

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“Church” name spread outside of Jesus’ original intention - Constantine aligned the interests of state and church.  This started the government meddling in the church’s affairs.

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"Church" was used around 325 AD (during the Council of Nicaea, a council of Christian bishops convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I, which attempted to unite Christianity and establish a single, imperially approved version of faith).  However, it caused deep divisions created by the disputes after the Council of Nicaea and carried through the Reformation period (16th century/17th century) when John Calvin, of the Protestant Reformation, set up the civil government in Geneva.   They would discuss the government providing such welfare needs that were taken away when traditional institutions of welfare, that were performed by the monasteries, were lost with the spread of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. 

 

King James needed to have jurisdiction over the church - so he could control their every move.  

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The Edict of Thessalonica (380 AD) marked the first time that Christianity was recognized as the official religion of the empire and it solidified the power of the Church in the state.  It paved the way for the establishment of the Byzantine Empire which would be ruled by Christian emperors for over a thousand years. 

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The First Council of Constantinople was a gathering of Christian bishops in 381 AD called by emperor Theodosius I to address several theological issues.  They put forth canons (church laws) and developed Christian theology and church governance.  Beginning of standardizing church practices and procedures.  This helped to solidify the power of the bishop of Rome who was recognized as the leader of the Western Church and later became the Pope.  In the decades to follow – the Roman Empire clamped down on non-Trinitarians and pagans – they were given the death penalty. 

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The first complete English Bible was the Tyndale Bible in about 1524 AD and that Bible did not use the word “church” anywhere in its pages, it used the word "congregation" or "assembly".  Sometime after they replaced "congregation" with the word “church”.

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KJV – Commissioned in 1604 and published in 1611 – sponsored by King James VI (included 80 books – 39 books in the OT, 14 books of Apocrypha and 27 books in the NT).  King James made 15 edicts, and one of those edicts (#3) stated that this Bible was to retain the word “church” in the translation.  He doesn’t have jurisdiction over a congregation (people) but he does over physical church buildings. KJV approved translation was reserved for an absolutist monarch.  Mainly to be read orally in public than to be read in private.  It was originally intended for a largely illiterate public. 

 

King James considered himself to be a god based on his own writings.  He put himself on the same level as God.  Prior to commissioning the KJV Bible, he had made himself the head of the Church of England.  He wanted to maintain its top-down hierarchal order.  The mistranslation of "church" he ordered was to protect his own interests.

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