Church or Ecclesia?

Christian gathering

The Correct Meaning of the Word “Church”

Let’s start by defining the word. “Church” comes from the Old English and German word pronounced “kirché.” 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 kuriakón…]

Kirk The Northern English and Scottish form of CHURCH, in all its senses.

In the earlier Greek it was pronounced “ku-ri-á-kos” or “ku-ri-á-kon.” As you can see, this word doesn’t even resemble the Greek word “ecclesia” whose place it has usurped.

The meaning of “ku-ri-á-kos” is understood by its root: “kú-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-ké), then “churche” (kerké), and eventually “church” in its traditional pronunciation. A church, then, is correctly something that “pertains to, or belongs to, a lord.”

Now, as you can see, there is a major problem here. The translators broke the rules in a big way. When they inserted the word “church” in the English versions, they were not translating the Greek word “kuriakos,” as one might expect. Rather, they were substituting an entirely different Greek word. This was not honest!

The word “church” would have been an acceptable translation for the Greek word “kuriakos.” However, not by the wildest imagination of the most liberal translator can it ever be an acceptable translation for the Greek word “ecclesia.”

Are you following this? Consider it carefully. This truth will answer many questions you’ve had about “churches,” “the kingdom,” and government.

“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. Nonetheless, this is the unlikely and strange history of the word “church” as it came to the English language. Eventually, through the manipulation of organized religion, “church” came to replace “ecclesia” by popular acceptance. Again, I must emphasize the importance of knowing word meanings in order to know the intent of those who wrote the Scriptures.”

5 comments on “Church or Ecclesia?

  1. In the end the Church means a “separated people” to God. Thus are we that people.

  2. Scarlett says:

    I’m starting to become aggravated when even hearing or seeing the word, “Church”; a word which has caused so much harm and confusion to folks seeking truth and not finding what they were looking for in “it”. Yet, like this writer, I find it almost impossible to get away from at times….like my own shadow that keeps following me around.

    “I’ve repeatedly said that God uses the institutional form of church. I was saved and baptized in it. To wit, God’s people are there, and God uses pastors and all kinds of clergy—even Catholic priests and Anglican bishops. But that doesn’t mean that these things … in their present form at least … are God’s full thought or ideal.”

    No kidding! Yes, God “uses it”.What else is He supposed to do, since man has literally forced even God to be limited by man’s “creation”, not His? I mean, He “uses it: and even blesses it as much as He can under the circumstances. This is what is so confusing to many people, and I pondered this fact myself….while still in “church” even knowing it bore no resemblance to the ecclesia Jesus started in the beginning. See Book of Acts.

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