Ekklesia Versus Church and Assembly, Part I - Ekklesia Defined

(Part III of VI - Ekklesia versus church, assembly, and kings & men)

Section I

Paragraphs 1 through 20

Preface

 

 

Richard Bancroft had much influence over the translation of the King James Bible. His motives appear to be that he wanted to further establish the authority of the King of England over a church business. Therefore, the church would belong to the king and not to Christ.

 

NOTE: This treatise explains that the ekklesia are the called-out ones. There is no difference between being an ekklesia, a called-out one, or an elect which is one of the chosen. A companion teaching with this one is KJV Translations, Part VIII - Elect: G1588 eklectos, the elect or the chosen.

 

 

Part I - Ekklesia Defined

 

 

Matthew 22:14 KJV, “For many are called (Strong’s G2822 kletos κλητος), but few are chosen (Strong’s G1588 eklektoi εκλεκτοι).”

 

Matthew 24:22 KJV, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s (Strong’s G1588 eklektous εκλεκτους) sake those days shall be shortened.

 

Acts 2:39 KJV, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Strong’s G4341 proskaleo   προσκαλεω).”

 

1 Peter 3:9 KJV, “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called (Strong’s G2564 kaleo καλεω), that ye should inherit a blessing.

 

1.a. We are going to discuss the meaning of the Greek word ekklesia εκκλησια. In order to thoroughly do so we must also discuss the following Greek words:

 

Strong’s G1537 ek εκ;

 

Strong’s G1577 ekklesia  εκκλησια;

 

Strong’s Gxxxx ekklesiazo εκκλεσιαζω (Strong’s does not assign a number to ekklesiazo εκκλεσιαζω since it is not a word used in the KJV New Testament);

 

Strong’s Gxxxx ekklesiasmos εκκλεσιασμος (Strong’s does not assign a number to ekklesiasmos εκκλεσιασμος since it is not a word used in the KJV New Testament);

 

Strong’s G2564 kaleo καλεω;

 

Strong’s G2753 keleuo κελευω;

 

Strong’s Gxxxx kello κελλω (Strong’s does not assign a number to kello κελλω since it is not a word used in the KJV New Testament, but it is mentioned under the definition of keleuo κελευω G2753);

 

Strong’s G2821 klesis κλησις;

 

Strong’s G2822 kletos κλητος;

 

Strong’s G2960 kuriakon κυριακον.

 

1.b. After this, we will discuss the meaning of the English word church in Part II.

 

1.c. A companion treatise to this one is KJV Translations VIII - Elect. It should be read as well and explains that “the call-out ones” and the elect which are “the chosen” are speaking of the same people; i.e., the Body of Christ.

 

1.d. As we study the lexicons, concordances, and dictionaries, for word definitions we have a responsibility to select reliable texts. Some lexicographers have an agenda and their bias has entered into the text. We need definitions that are as pure, accurate, and unbiased as possible. As an example, I would urge everyone to avoid Wescott and Hort’s work. Please do your own research regarding these two gentlemen if you are inclined to do so.

 

1.e. The same is true for bible translations. We have a responsibility to select bible versions in which the translator(s) is unbiased and has no agenda other than to provide a pure translation. In other words, he strives to understand the information which the original author was imparting to his original audience. But, more importantly, he must realize that the Holy Ghost was the real author, and He was imparting this information to everyone throughout history, even those who had yet to be born. Once the translator understands this, then he strives to find the word or combination of words that will impart this identical message to those in history that will read his translation in the English language. We have found the Byzantine text base with 

 

(1) the Textus Receptus (Desiderius Erasmus 1466-1536), first publish in February 1516, 

 

(2) the Masoretic Text,

 

(3) Jay P. Green Sr.’s The Interlinear Bible (TIB),

 

(4) and the King James Bible (KJV) 

 

to be very helpful and more reliable than other translations. This does not mean, however, that the TIB and the KJV are above scrutiny.

 

1.f. There are many dictionaries, lexicons, and concordances that we could use. 

 

(1) We use (James H. Strong 1822-1894) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance because of its convenient numbering system. You can find out more about JH Strong online (as of this writing) at https://uknow.drew.edu/confluence/display/DrewHistory/James+Strong

 

(2) We use (Evangelinus Apostolides Sophocles 1804-12/17/1883) Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods because his knowledge of the Greek language, dialects, and history is nothing short of astounding. Furthermore, Sophocles’ lexicon has the advantage of not being a theological work and it is not limited to those words only found in the Greek biblical texts or translations of the same. You can find out more about EA Sophocles online (as of this writing) at http://www.jstor.org/stable/25138742?seq=1

 

(3) We use (Reverend Charles Buck 1771-1815) Buck’s Theological Dictionary because at that time in history the near total obliteration of the true meaning of two distinct and separate words in this treatise, ekklesia εκκλησια and church, had not been accomplished. But of course, we choose Buck also because it just happened to be available to us. You can find out more about Charles Buck online (as of this writing) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Buck_(minister)

 

(4) We use Henry George Liddell (2/6/1811-1/18/1898) and Robert Scott’s (1/26/1811-12/2/1887) Greek-English Lexicon (first edition published 1843, revised and augmented by Sir Henry Stuart Jones (5/15/1867- 6/29/1939) assisted by Roderick McKenzie (possibly 1852 -10/9/1934) with the cooperation of many scholars, published with a supplement in 1996, with 2042 pages of extremely small font not counting the hundreds of pages of supplements) because their lexicon has not obliterated the true meaning of ekklesia εκκλησια. You can find out more about Henry Liddell online (as of this writing) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_George_Liddell. You can find out more about Robert Scott online (as of this writing) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Scott_(philologist). You can find out more about Henry Stuart Jones online (as of this writing) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Stuart_Jones. You can find out more about Roderick McKenzie online (as of this writing) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roderick_McKenzie.

 

2.a. For Strong’s G1577 ekklesia εκκλησια, Strong’s concordance online makes the following entry for us to read: 

 

G1577. “ekklesia ek-klay-see'-ah from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564;

 

a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):

 

--assembly, church.”

 

2.b. This entry provides more information than just the definition of ekklesia εκκλησια. The definition begins after 2564 and the semi-colon (;). The definition ends at the last word prior to the colon (:) followed by two dashes (- -), (:- -). Here is Strong’s definition of ekklesia εκκλησια:

 

“a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both).”

 

2.c. If we parse this definition our choices are

 

(1) a calling out

 

(2) a popular meeting

 

(3) a religious congregation

 

     (a) such as a Jewish synagogue

 

     (b) or, a Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both.

 

2.d. The words, in the entry following the colon and two dashes, show the choice of English words the translators of the King James Bible used for the Greek word ekklesia εκκλησια. They used two words: assembly and church. Are both of these words, assembly and church, valid translations? But more importantly, has Strong’s given us a valid definition of ekklesia εκκλησια to begin with. Our goal in this treatise is to answer these very questions.

 

2.e. We are going to analyze this definition that has been presented to us by Strong. Be prepared, we will prove it to be not in accordance with our Lord and Savior’s use of the word. Matthew 16:18 KJV, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my [ekklesian]; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Along the way, we will give to you the correct Biblical definition. If we prove Strong’s definition to be invalid, then of course, the words ekklesia εκκλησια was translated into - assembly and church - would also be invalid as applied to the chosen of Christ.

 

3.a. The King James Bible translators were given a set of rules they were required to follow. These rules were from King James I (the first) and VI (the sixth) (he had two titles) and not from God. These translators were given political rules that required them to ignore true and accurate (pure) translations in favor of man’s agenda. 

 

I know of two places to find these ungodly rules. 

 

(1)  They are on page 39 of the Introduction to The Holy Bible, King James Version, A reprint of the edition of 1611, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., PO Box 3473, Peabody, Massachusetts 01961-3473. We have a copy of this reprint.

 

(2) They can be found online (as of this writing) at www.kjvonly.org/other/kj_instructs.htm. Although this online version has been slightly altered and is not as reliable as the bible version. 

 

3.b. There were fifteen rules. Rule number three applies directly to the translation of ekklesia εκκλησια into the English language. Rule #3: 

 

“3. The Old Ecclesiastical Words to be kept, viz. the word Church not to be translated Congregation &c.”

 

In other words, these scholars were forbidden to use their credentials and letters, obtained through years of study, and were, instead, required to ignore their scholastic training and best judgment. Ekklesia εκκλησια was to be translated as “church”, regardless of what the correct translation should have been.

 

3.c. Even this rule #3, is very revealing. It does not say that “The Words to be kept…”. This would imply that the proper and correct words should be kept. After all that is what one would expect. But an adjective has been added in front of “Words”. This adjective changes the meaning of the “Words” being referred to. So how are “Old Ecclesiastical Words” different from regular “Words”? Regular words are expected to have a pure meaning. “Ecclesiastical Words” do not need to be accepted by the general population and those grammarians whose business it is to be guardians* of the dictionaries and word meanings. “Ecclesiastical Words” have a meaning that is defined by the church businesses and their clergy. In other words, whatever the church businesses say that a word means, that is what it means to them and their business; even if, it has a totally different meaning when used in the secular world. And some church businesses give different meanings to words that another church business might.

 

Let us look at two examples. 

 

(1) If your church and pastor (or other leader) tells you that Easter Sunday is the day we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead, then you may well accept that, but it is not true.

 

    1) Easter is the name of a pagan fertility deity. Easter bunnies and chicken eggs are all a sign of fertility. Perhaps a rabbit rancher can enlighten you about the fertility habits of bunnies.

 

    2) Maybe their Jesus did rise from the dead on a Sunday, but Yahoshua the Christ, as taught in the Bible, was raised from the dead on Saturday night, prior to Sunday sunrise.

 

(2) We can use “born again” as an example of ecclesiastical authorities assigning contradictory meanings to a term. “Born again” definitely has a different meaning from one church business to another. Some do not consider it to be a significant term at all and some church clubs become hostile to those who would make a claim to being “born again”. Since “born again” is such a drastic change in a person’s spiritual condition, the enemies of Christ (including some church businesses) hate the term with the passion of a demon.

 

3.d. *NOTE: regarding guardians of the dictionaries from the preceding paragraph. Due to my study of the dictionaries and lexicons it is apparent that the philologians, grammarians, etymologists, and lexicographers, do not consider themselves to be guardians of word meanings. It is important to them to know where a word came from and what its original meaning was, and that they normally will give to you, but not always. However, they will also give you the vulgar meanings that have arisen through common usage. Even if these vulgar meanings have strayed so far from the original meaning of the word so as to make it unrecognizable it makes no difference. They will affirm the new and vulgar meaning of the word as being just as valid as the original meaning. Sometimes it will take centuries or just decades for an altered meaning to take full hold in society so that it is accepted with its new definition. This situation is not only unfortunate, but it is devastating to any language, and destroys the very fabric of that language. Following are just four examples of a plethora that could have been used to explain that which I mean.

 

(1) We just spoke about Easter in the previous paragraph. How did the name of a pagan fertility deity come to mean the resurrection of the God of the Universe? It cannot, in all common sense and logic, and in all that is godly and good, possibly have these two opposing meanings. This is beyond a travesty, this is blasphemy.

(2) We just spoke about being born again in the previous paragraph. Being born again is a one time spiritual change in the total makeup and character of a person. They have moved from death to life, from antichrist to being embraced in the very bosom of God. It is an inward spiritual change that cannot be observed with the eyes of the average soul on the street. Yet some church businesses define it as something that is not permanent; some define it as something that must occur over and over again; and some believe that it is only a temporary and euphoric and emotional state of mind - similar to a chemical (illegal drug) high - that wears off and has nothing to do with one’s spirit. In the secular world, born again is sometimes used to describe a person who had a close brush with death and survived. It is even used in filthy and violent movies to mean even less savory altered states. Born again, in all common sense and logic, and in all that is godly and good, cannot possibly have this duplicity of opposing meanings. This is a travesty and even blasphemous against the one true God who spiritually changed you when you became born again.

 

(3) Gay is yet another word that has been manipulated and destroyed. Gay originally meant happy, even gleeful. Now it is used by the homosexual agenda in our society to mean a homosexual man. Gay cannot, in all common sense and logic, and in all that is godly and good, possibly have these two completely different meanings. This is a travesty. Those who read novels and other literature from the twentieth century and earlier could forever be confused where the proper usage of the word gay is frequently employed.

 

(4) Ekklesia εκκλησια is another word that has been corrupted from its original meaning. The explanation of this corruption is exactly that which this treatise addresses.

 

It is wise to note that I have not even addressed those words whose definitions have been purposefully changed by those with an agenda. That agenda is hidden and its purpose is to confuse the language and prevent people from being able to dialogue or even think freely. The purposeful and deceitful changing of word meanings is designed to manipulate and control others. All one has to do to verify this is read a little history or even current events. Look at how many different ways the words freedom or democracy are used not only in this country but around the world. These are highly propagandized words. And then there is the hidden spiritual world (that I will not address in detail) that is pulling the strings of their human puppets to manipulate even more devastating changes in word definitions.

 

3.e. So now let us look at the word “ecclesiastical”. Amazingly enough it contains one of the very words we are discussing: ecclesia εκκλησια. The transliteration ecclesia εκκλησια is an alternate, and acceptable, spelling for ekklesia εκκλησια. I do not know about your dictionaries, but our copy of A New General English Dictionary, begun by Reverend Thomas Dyche (born before 1695, died c. 1733) and finished by William Pardon, 14th edition of 1771, has a definition for ecclesiastick (now spelled without the ending “k”, ecclesiastic) which as a noun is a single person. Please remember this. In this day and age when everyone is trying to tell you that ekklesia εκκλησια is a meeting or assembly, here we have a word with a suffix added that refers not to a meeting at all. Instead, it refers to a single individual - an ekklesia εκκλησια. You can find out more about Thomas Dyche online (as of this writing) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Dyche. As of this writing I could not find any information available for William Pardon.

 

4.a. However, paragraph 3a above begs a question: Why would King James I make a rule that required his translators to compromise their scholastic judgment? A study of the history of the Church of England would be appropriate at this point, but is too lengthy and unnecessary for this teaching. I believe that if King James allowed ekklesia εκκλησια to be translated in accordance with scholarly requirements, then church would not have been used. If church was not used, then King James would have to admit that God was in charge of the ekklesia εκκλησια and not man. Every king and queen of England since King Henry VIII in 1534 has been the head of the Church of England, and King James I was just one of those along the way.

 

4.b. Yahoshua the Christ, said in Matthew 16:18 KJV, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my [ekklesian]; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” In other words, Christ will build His ekklesia εκκλησια. He is not building a church. Men build churches. So if the ekklesia εκκλησια assemble then it is a calling out by God. If people go to a church business then they have been called out by men.

 

This reminds me of the words to an old hymn. “When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.” When God calls His ekklesia εκκλησια, I’ll be there. When men call me to their church, I will not be there.

 

Does this mean that there is no organization in the Body of Christ? Of course it does not. But it does mean that the doctrine of church, taught in the church businesses,  is not taught in the Bible.

 

4.c. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Let us go back to paragraph 2d and continue to answer the questions posed: Has Strong’s given us a valid definition of ekklesia εκκλησια? And are assembly and church valid translations of ekklesia εκκλησια? In order to answer these questions we must dig further into the information provided to us by Strong’s concordance and other references, and we must search the whole counsel of the Word of God as well.

 

5.a. The definition of ekklesia εκκλησια at G1577 says that it is a compound word and that the first part of that compound comes from Strong’s G1537 ek εκ. Strong’s Concordance online gives this definition:

 

G1537. “ek ek or ex ex [sic] a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative; direct or remote):

 

{Remember, the definition has ended at the colon. The rest of the entry shows the various words in which ek εκ has been translated into in the English language in the King James Bible, et al.}

 

--after, among, X are, at, betwixt(-yond), by (the means of), exceedingly, (+ abundantly above), for(- th), from (among, forth, up), + grudgingly, + heartily, X heavenly, X hereby, + very highly, in, ...ly, (because, by reason) of, off (from), on, out among (from, of), over, since, X thenceforth, through, X unto, X vehemently, with(-out). Often used in composition, with the same general import; often of completion.”

 

5.b. It would appear that the ek εκ part of ekklesia εκκλησια means “out”. More specifically, it means out of some other place, or some other time, and even out of some other cause. To be out means a place different than where it or he was originally. A movement has taken place. As an example, picture that you were somewhere and you went out to some other place. You went from point A to point B, either geographically or philosophically. 

 

6.a. The second part of this compound word, ekklesia εκκλησια, is klesia. Klesia is not in the concordance or lexicon that I can find. However, we are told in G1577 that ekklesia εκκλησια is a compound of ek εκ and of Strong’s G2564 kaleo καλεω. Strong’s Concordance online gives this definition:

 

G2564. “kaleo kal-eh'-o akin to the base of 2753;

 

to "call" (properly, aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise):

 

--bid, call (forth), (whose, whose sur-)name (was (called))[sic].”

 

6.b. We could stop here and draw our conclusions. Ek εκ has been shown to mean out. Now kaleo καλεω has been shown to mean call or called. So we can conclude that ekklesia εκκλησια means the called out ones. Remember that which Christ spoke in Matthew 16:18: He will build His ekklesian εκκλησια; in other words, those individuals that He will call out. We know that the ekklesia εκκλησια, the called out ones, are referring to true born again Christians, indwelt by the Holy Ghost, accepted by Christ Yahoshua Himself, and presented to God the Father as one of His own. No one can self declare that they are a Christian, except that they have been indwelt by the fullness of the Godhead. This is not a club or business that one joins at his or her whim, it is a total spiritual permanent change in one’s makeup for now and into the infinite future, forever!

 

2 Corinthian 5:17 KJV, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

6.c. At this point, I believe that we have the full definition for ekklesia εκκλησια as used by Christ Yahoshua in the Bible. However, we have more words and resources connected to this puzzle to explore. Also, we have several secular uses of the word ekklesia εκκλησια in the Bible, which take on a different meaning than that appropriated by Christ for his chosen.

 

7.a. In the definition of G2564 kaleo καλεω we were told that it is akin to the base of Strong’s G2753 keleuo κελευω. Let us see how this figures into our definition of ekklesia εκκλησια. Strong’s Concordance online gives this definition:

 

G2753. “keleuo kel-yoo'-o from a primary kello (to urge on);

 

"hail"; to incite by word, i.e. order:

 

--bid, (at, give) command(-ment).

 

Hail means to salute or call someone. It can also have the meaning of a point of origin. For example, we hail from Washington, DC.

 

7.b. So we already know that G1577 ekklesia εκκλησια means the called out ones, and now we see how they are called out. They are hailed or given a command to come out. But this, of course, begs the question, from out of what or where are they called? Paragraph 10c below provides part of the answer to this question: They are called out of the general population. Also, they are called from death to life. Let us continue with investigating more words that have been introduced to us.

 

8.a. In G2753 keleuo κελευω we are given yet another link to the word kello κελλω. (Kello κελλω does not have a Strong’s number assigned to it since it is not used in the King James version of the bible). We were told that it means “to urge on”.

 

8.b. If we apply kello κελλω to our definition of the word ekklesia εκκλησια, we can assume that ekklesia εκκλησια means the called out ones with an urgent command.

 

8.c. At this point in our investigation of ekklesia εκκλησια, it is not being used for Christians to mean a popular meeting or an assembly, rather individuals. However, in secular usage it may well mean an assembly. For Christians, I am seeing a group of people being described that are urgently being commanded to come out of where they are (either physically or spiritually). Let us continue our investigation.

 

9.a. Another word that is involved in the definition of ekklesia εκκλησια is G2821 klesis κλησις. We already discussed above G2564 kaleo κελευω, which was the second part of the word ekklesia εκκλησια, i.e., klesia. But as it turns out G2821 klesis κλησις is a shorter form of G2564 kaleo κελευω. Strong’s Concordance online gives this definition of G2821 klesis κλησις:

 

G2821. “klesis klay'-sis from a shorter form of 2564;

 

an invitation (figuratively):

 

—calling.”

 

9.b. So, we can see that G2821 klesis κλησις has a direct connection to G2564 kaleo καλεω. We were not given this information in the entry for G1577 ekklesia εκκλησια nor in G2564 kaleo καλεω, we had to dig deeper; and because we dug deeper it now is making more sense. We started with ekklesia εκκλησια. It has been broken down into two parts: ek, meaning out of; and klesia meaning call or calling or called. Once again, therefore, we can reasonably assume that ekklesia εκκλησια means a calling out or better still, an urgent calling out - even a command - of certain individuals.

 

9.c. After I discerned this meaning of ekklesia, I found a resource that agrees with me: Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon. Under the word εκκλησια (ekklesia), among many descriptions for the word and its usages, you can find “…to be a member of the Assembly…”. We are told by most modern sources that ekklesia εκκλησια means assembly, but rarely are we told that ekklesia εκκλησια really means an individual member of that assembly; yet here we have Liddell and Scott giving us this additional definition. And this definition agrees with that which we just investigated and discerned from Strong’s definition of ekklesia εκκλησια. 

 

10.a. We have yet another word that is directly connected to G2564 kaleo and G2821 klesis. It is Strong’s G2822 kletos κλητος. Strong’s Concordance online gives this definition:

 

G2822. “kletos klay-tos' from the same as 2821;

 

invited, i.e. appointed, or (specially), a saint:

 

- called.”

 

This word is telling us that someone special has been called out, in particular a saint. Children of God, those born again, are sometimes referred to as the saints.

 

10.b. So, taking into consideration this word and its applicability to ekklesia εκκλησια we can expand our understanding of that which ekklesia εκκλησια refers to. We can reasonably assume that ekklesia εκκλησια means a calling out or better still, an urgent calling out - even a command - of certain people (saints, i.e. ekklesia εκκλησια). Go back to G1577 ekklesia εκκλησια in paragraph 2b above and you will see the definition given here is compatible with the definition from Strong’s concordance.

10.c. So, I say again, ekklesia εκκλησια means that people with a common qualification were called out from the general population. Since G1577 tells us that these can be referring to religious people, then Christ in Matthew 16:18 adopted this word ekklesia εκκλησια when referring to those He said He would build.

 

1 Peter 2:5 KJV, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by [Yahoshua the] Christ.” Are not these called out ones the lively stones that are used to build that which Peter is talking about? The answer is yes. Are not these lively stones that are used to build that which Christ our Lord was talking about in Matthew 16:18 “…I will build my [ekklesian]…”? The answer is yes.

 

11. Now that we have expanded upon a working definition, let us return once again to the question in 2d above. Is assembly a valid translation of ekklesia εκκλησια? Is church a valid translation of ekklesia εκκλησια? The secular use of ekklesia εκκλησια can be applied to assembly. However, church is not a valid translation. Yet this begs the question, why are the King James translators translating it into church? Because, as mentioned above, it is rule number 3 given to them by King James I. And most other bible translations, albeit not all, also translate ekklesia εκκλησια into church. But, if church is not a scholarly translation of ekklesia εκκλησια, then where did church come from? Rather than answer this question now, instead we will continue to further explain about the connection between ekklesia εκκλησια and assembly. We will address church in Part II of this teaching.

 

12. Using Strong’s concordance I believe the case has been made above that ekklesia εκκλησια does not mean assembly when applied to the called out ones, Christians. This begs the question: How did this widely used definition for the Greek word ekklesia εκκλησια come about in the religious world? We will now look at the definition of ekklesia εκκλησια in other sources.

 

13.a. In Sophocles’ Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods we find a definition for ekklesia εκκλησια and for assembly that was not available to us in Strong’s concordance. It begins with “the church, the Christians considered as one body.” Now before anyone jumps to a false conclusion and says, “See, it’s right there, Sophocles just said it means church,” we need to discern that which Sophocles is writing.

 

If one does any research into the type of lexicographer and man that Sophocles was, they will find that though he was familiar with the Christian religion in his day, it was not where his heart was. He loved the Greek language and his heart was there as a scholar and a teacher. His Greek-English lexicon was not written as a guide for religious men to use to translate the Bible. His lexicon was written so that men would understand the Greek language during the Roman and Byzantine periods, from BC 146 to AD 1100.

 

13.b. Sophocles understanding of the English word “church” in the 19th century in which he lived, was much the same as many Christians today. He was taught that “the church” meant all Christians. This includes those who had departed this life, those alive, and those yet to be born. So, when Sophocles says “church” he immediately identifies what church means: “the Christians considered as one body.” This is totally different than considering that “the church” means a building, or a denomination, or even a congregation or assembly.

 

Thus, Sophocles is telling us that ekklesia εκκλησια means “all Christians”. Whether or not they are assembled is irrelevant and impossible! How can the dead and unborn be assembled with the living? The answer is simple, they cannot.

 

In case you missed this highly compelling and convincing point, let me repeat it. When ekklesia εκκλησια is used by Christ and Christianity it is impossible for it to mean assembly, because the dead and unborn cannot be assembled with the living. Secular uses of ekklesia εκκλησια, of course, may have different applications.

 

13.c. Sophocles next definition goes on to say, “In the Fathers it means the true Church, the Apostolic Church, in which case it is often accompanied by…universal.” By “the Fathers” he is referring to the Apostles of Christ and their disciples after them, and possibly any person who rose to a position or reputation of renown and was commonly recognized as a knowledgable leader in Christendom. By writing “the true Church, the Apostolic Church…universal” he was, of course, saying the same thing as the first definition. Although this type of wording appears to be influenced by either Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism and is used by them to endear people only to their brand of religion. But setting that aside, the information given is really just a repeat of “the Christians considered as one body.” Sophocles may well have been ignorant of the fact that Roman Catholicism is not a Christian religion. Are not most people still in confusion about this issue even today?

 

13.d. Next Sophocles says that ekklesia εκκλησια can mean “A particular church, a local church.” In other words, a smaller group of believers can be called the ekklesia εκκλησια, it does not have to include all Christians of all times. Once again, he is employing the use of the word “church” as a group of believers. He is definitely not implying that it means a building. In his possible definitions he even goes so far as to say that the ekklesia εκκλησια can be applied to heretical churches; in other words, groups of heretics, not buildings. Also, this means that ekklesia εκκλησια in secular Greek applies to other groups beside Christians. In other words, true to his understanding of Greek, Sophocles is expanding his understanding of ekklesia εκκλησια beyond the Christian community and into the secular arena. This understanding is reinforced in the following paragraph.

 

13.e. As if Sophocles was reading my mind, next he adds a whole section to explain that which “church” means when it refers to a building. And he shows quite clearly that this type of use of the word “church” does not come from ekklesia εκκλησια at all. It comes from the Greek word kuriakon κυριακον. 

 

Then he goes on to say that ekklesia εκκλησια also was used to describe the Roman comitia. The Roman comitia was a gathering of ekklesia εκκλησια to make laws. Once again, Sophocles is giving a totally secular definition and use of the word ekklesia εκκλησια.

 

Thus, when the word ekklesia εκκλησια is applied to Christians, it has its own meaning. But when it is applied to secular society ekklesia εκκλησια does not refer to Christians at all, instead it refers to other people who have a common qualification in their corner of the world. 

 

14.a. But most importantly to our discussion and investigation is that Sophocles provides us with the Greek word that means assembly and that word is not ekklesia εκκλησια. Instead, the word is ekklesiasmos εκκλεσιασμος. Ekklesiasmos εκκλεσιασμος is not in the Bible manuscripts, therefore it is not in the Bible.

 

14.b. Here is Sophocles definition of ekklesiasmos εκκλεσιασμος: “meeting, assembly”. That is it, short and sweet. He also refers back to ekklesiazo εκκλεσιαζω, which means to hold a religious meeting or call together an assembly. Ekklesiazo εκκλεσιαζω is not in the Bible manuscripts either.

 

14.c. When giving the definition of ekklesiasmos εκκλεσιασμος, Sophocles refers to a source from BC 129, Polybius, a Greek historian. One source to find more information about Polybius can be found online, as of this writing, at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybius.

 

15.a. Sophocles has provided the information we need that goes beyond only words found in the Bible manuscripts.

 

(1) Sophocles and Strong show us that ekklesia εκκλησια can be applied to a single Christian, multiple Christians, or the entire Body of Christ which includes those who have passed and those who have yet to be born.

 

(2) Sophocles shows us that ekklesiazo εκκλεσιαζω, means to hold a religious meeting or call together an assembly.

 

(3) Sophocles shows us that ekklesiasmos εκκλεσιασμος means a meeting or an assembly.

 

15.b. This begs the question. If calling an assembly and having an assembly are words not found in the New Testament, then why have lexicographers and grammarians stretched the meaning of ekklesia εκκλησια to try and make it mean that which it does not? And this problem precedes King James and his ungodly rules.

 

Here are the conclusions I have drawn. If you do not believe that the enemy of your souls is still hard at work in the Earth today, tempting men and trying to drag their immortal spirits to hell, then my conclusions may be of little use to you.

 

Unregenerate men have always been at work in the Christian community. They do not function well when the standard has been raised. Christ brought to us a new form of organization and government. He is our Shepherd, Leader, Ruler, Savior, and God. Men’s organizations were to no longer corral the sheep (ekklesia εκκλησια) and control them. Christ would be the Controller, not men. Nevertheless, fallen men continued to assert their worldly ideas into the Body of Christ, and some in the Body learned these ways from the world. The ekklesia εκκλησια, rather than reject the world’s ways and organizations, embraced them. It is time for the Sons of God, the ekklesia εκκλησια, to throw off the shackles of men and embrace true Christianity and devote themselves to Yahoshua the Christ and His government.

 

15.c. Here are some Scriptures that support my contention that we are to submit to Yahoshua the Christ and His government, not men’s churches nor the desire that some men have to control others.

 

Isaiah 52:1-11 KJV, “1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3 For thus saith [Yahowah], Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. 4 For thus saith Lord [Yahowah], My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith [Yahowah], that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith [Yahowah]; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. 7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! 8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when [Yahowah] shall bring again Zion. 9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for [Yahowah] hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. 10 [Yahowah] hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of [Yahowah].

 

1 Corinthians 3:9,16-17 KJV, “9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

 

16. We are the ekklesia εκκλησια, the called out ones, both singular or plural. In other words, each and every individual who is a born again believer in Yahoshua the Christ is an ekklesia εκκλησια, and all individuals gathered together (whether two or more) are also the ekklesia εκκλησια.

 

17.a. Now we will list and analyze those Scriptures that use the word ekklesia εκκλησια. Keep in mind that the church businesses incorrectly translate ekklesia εκκλησια into the English word church. The word church does not mean “the called out ones”. The word church refers to a building, or denomination, or business. At times religious persons may use church to even refer to “the body of Christ”, yet this is a total perversion. Church and the Body of Christ are diametrically opposed to one another. We cannot and should not remain in bondage to this manipulation and confusion of the meaning of ekklesia εκκλησια as defined for us by the church businesses. Instead, we should be guided by the definition of ekklesia εκκλησια as given, used and taught to us by our Lord Yahoshua the Christ, beginning in Matthew 16:18.

 

17.b. In each of the following verses, from Matthew 16 to Revelation 22, that has ekklesia εκκλησια translated into the English word church, I have removed the word church and inserted in brackets the original Greek word; e.g., [ekklesia].

 

18.a. Matthew 16:18 KJV, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my [ekklesian]; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Upon this rock, refers to Christ Himself, and He will build His ekklesia. The ekklesia are added to the Body of Christ one person at a time. Christ is building His Body, not a church.

 

1 Peter 2:5 KJV, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by [Yahoshua the] Christ.” This spiritual house is the Body of Christ.

 

This is that which ekklesia εκκλησια truly means and our authority is none less that our Lord Yahoshua the Christ, when He dwelt among us as God in the flesh.

 

18.b. Matthew 18:17 KJV, “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the [εκκλησια]: but if he neglect to hear the [εκκλησιας], let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

 

There is no requirement when presenting your problem to the ekklesia εκκλησια and ekklesias εκκλησιασ that those people must be an organized church. You can just as easily take this problem to your local Bible study group. Besides, what legal requirement, what inducement, can you bring to bear on your adversary to attend? None. If he does not want to show up, he simply does not show up. Of course, that might mean he would not be welcome in the group again. But, his attitude might be, “so what”.

 

19.a. Acts 2:47 KJV, “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the [ekklesia] daily such as should be saved.

 

Substituting church in this verse for ekklesia εκκλησια merely reinforces the mistaken idea that the church is the same thing as the Body of Christ. I believe we have previously refuted the idea that ekklesia εκκλησια means church and instead means the called out ones.

 

19.b. Acts 5:11 KJV, “And great fear came upon all the [ekklesian], and upon as many as heard these things.

 

This use of ekklesian εκκλησιαν is very localized. Eventually this story spread far and wide, but for the immediate time frame in which it happened, only those in the local area would have heard about it. It is rather obvious that this verse is not talking about a church. It is talking about individual people.

 

19.c. Acts 7:38 KJV, “This is he, that was in the [ekklesia] in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:”.

 

This New Testament verse could have been taken from several Old Testament verses. One that fits quite well is Exodus 24:11 KJV, “And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” The fathers in Acts 7:38 are the nobles in Exodus 24:11. The ekklesia εκκλησια in Acts 7:38 are the children of Israel in Exodus 24:11. Although, a more thorough reading of Exodus 24 and perhaps even several chapters prior will give one the full picture.

 

The ekklesia εκκλησια in this case are once again referring to multiple individuals, i.e., the children of Israel. This was not a church in the wilderness. When these ekklesia εκκλησια (not in a Christian sense) were gathered together they were an assembly or a congregation of the children of Israel. The common qualification which these ekklesia εκκλησια had is defined in the phrase “the children of Israel”. If one was not a child of Israel, then they were not one of the ekklesia εκκλησια. But there were some that were part of the congregation that were not sons of Jacob, and therefore, were not technically part of the ekklesia εκκλησια.

 

19.d. Acts 8:1 KJV, “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the [ekklesian] which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” Once again, the need for the word church does not present itself. The called out ones suffices just fine.

19.e. Acts 8:3 KJV, “As for Saul, he made havock of the [ekklesian], entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” It is a stretch to consider that entering into every house was an attack on the church. It was an attack on the individual believers. The idea of a church was not known at that time.

 

19.f. Acts 9:31 KJV, “Then had the [ekklesiai] rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” No need for the word churches here, ekklesiai εκκλησιαι works fine. I have stated earlier that ekklesia εκκλησια was both singular and plural. I believe a plural form of ekklesiai εκκλησιαι was used here because multiple geographical areas were being referenced.

 

19.g. Acts 11:22 KJV, “Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the [ekklesias] which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.” The tidings came to the ears of the Christians, not the church.

 

19.h. Acts 11:26 KJV, “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the [ekklesia], and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Basically, it is being said here that Paul fellowshipped and studied with and taught the Christians in Antioch. There was no such thing as an organized church.

 

19.i. Acts 12:1 KJV, “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the [ekklesias].” I see no indication that Herod vexed a church or churches, he vexed certain individuals.

 

19.j. Acts 12:5 KJV, “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the [ekklesias] unto God for him.” Further reading of chapter 12 shows that the called out ones, the Christians, were gathered in a home and praying for Peter.

 

19.k. Acts 13:1 KJV, “Now there were in the [ekklesian] that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.” Using church in this instance merely causes confusion, not clarity. Thus far, it has been the same with all the Scriptures we have referenced.

 

19.l. Acts 14:23 KJV, “And when they had ordained them elders in every [ekklesian], and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” When reading the entire story in Acts 14, one can see that Paul visited many groups of Christians. In each group they appointed elders. Once again, there is no church involved.

 

19.m. Acts 14:27 KJV, “And when they were come, and had gathered the [ekklesian] together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.” When they had come they gathered together all of the called out ones, the believers, the Christians.

 

19.n. Acts 15:3 KJV, “And being brought on their way by the [ekklesias], they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.” They were brought on their way, not by a church, but by the called out ones, the believers, the Christians, the brethren.

 

19.o. Acts 15:4 KJV, “And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the [ekklesias], and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.” There was not a church in Jerusalem. There were called out ones, and apostles and elders.

 

19.p. Acts 15:22 KJV, “Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole [ekklesia], to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:”. No need for church here, it is the brethren.

 

19.q. Acts 15:41 KJV, “And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the [ekklesias].” Ekklesias is sometimes singular and sometimes plural.

 

19.r. Acts 16:5 KJV, “And so were the [ekklesiai] established in the faith, and increased in number daily.” This is a plural use of the word ekklesiai. As in Acts 9:31 multiple geographical locations with Christians were being referenced simultaneously.

 

19.s. Acts 18:22 KJV, “And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the [ekklesian], he went down to Antioch.” No need for church here.

 

19.t. Acts 19:32 KJV, “Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly (ekklesia εκκλησια) was confused: and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.” In this verse, ekklesia was not translated into church. Instead, it was translated as assembly. In this verse, a non-Christian use of the word ekklesia εκκλησια is being applied. Those individuals, usually called out to the public square to address common issues of concern to the city, were there. These individuals were confused. And they indeed may have been legitimately referred to as an assembly. This is a secular use of the Greek word ekklesia εκκλησια, and should not be confused with the use of ekklesia εκκλησια as our Lord and Savior used it.

 

19.u. Acts 19:37 KJV, “For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.” Churches in this verse does not come from ekklesia εκκλησια or kuriakon κυριακον. It appears that the King James translators were being inventive by taking the Greek word hierosylos ιεροσυλος and translating it into “robbers of churches”. Hierosylos ιεροσυλος actually means “guilty of sacrilege”. The KJV translators probably carried the “robbers of churches” over from William Tyndale’s translation. This concerns me greatly. Were the KJV translators really that lazy that they would not correct an obvious embellishment? Or, maybe I judge too harshly. Perhaps, their scholarly rendition is superior to my layman’s approach.

 

19.v. Acts 19:39 KJV, “But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly (ekklesia εκκλησια).” This is the second usage of ekklesia εκκλησια in a secular setting. Once again it is not being used to describe those chosen by Christ.

 

19.w. Acts 19:41 KJV, “And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly (ekklesia εκκλησια).” This translation of ekklesia εκκλησια is no different than it was in verses 32 and 39. It is the third time in the Scriptures in which ekklesia εκκλησια was used in a secular sense and not a religious sense.

 

19.x. Acts 20:17 KJV, “And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the [ekklesias].” No need for the word church. He called for the elders of the believers at that location.

 

19.y. Acts 20:28 KJV, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the [ekklesian] of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” The improper use of the word church is an eyesore in this verse. Yahoshua did not purchase a church organization with His blood (it disturbs my spirit to even write this sentence). He purchased men out of every tribe and nation. Revelation 5:9 KJV, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;”.    

 

20.a. Romans 16:1 KJV, “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the [ekklesias] which is at Cenchrea:”. As usual, there is no justification for ekklesia to be translated into the word church. Cenchrea did not have a “church”. The saints gathered there - and Phebe - was a part of that group, but there is not a church there. The ekklesia meet together there.

 

20.b. Romans 16:4 KJV, “Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the [ekklesiai] of the Gentiles.” This is the plural form of ekklesia εκκλησια again, speaking of all the various groups of ekklesia εκκλησια among the gentiles.

 

20.c. Romans 16:5 KJV, “Likewise greet the [ekklesian] that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.” Church does not fit in this verse either, just as in all the other verses thus far.

 

20.d. Romans 16:16 KJV, “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The [ekklesiai] of Christ salute you.” Plural form again.

 

20.e. Romans 16:23 KJV, “Gaius mine host, and of the whole [ekklesias], saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.” No need for the word church, especially if “whole” had been translated as “all”. Whole and all are both legitimate translations of the Greek word holos ολος (Strong’s G3650).

 

20.f. Romans 16:27 (verse 27 + the subscript) KJV, “To God only wise, be glory through [Yahoshua the] Christ for ever. Amen.

 

Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe servant of the [ekklesias] at Cenchrea.

 

(aka KJV Translations VII - Ekklesia, Part I)