Building Your Bible Vocabulary: “Church”
[EGW editor’s note: proper viewing of the Greek vocabulary used in this article requires the true-type font “Greek” (download here)]


     The English word “church” is used to translate the Greek word “
ejkklhsia” (ekklehsia) which means “the assembly; the called out”.   The name of the Old Testament book “Ecclesiastes” comes from this word.  This word also forms the root of our English word “ecclesiastical.”  In the New Testament this word refers to several things.

          1. A collection or assembly of people.  This word is translated “assembly” in Acts chapter 19, verses 32,39, & 41.
          2. All Christians as a whole everywhere.  Used this way in Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22, 3:21, 5:27; Philippians 3:6; Col. 1:24.
          3. Local Christians as a whole in a particular region or city.  Acts 8:1; Acts 11:26; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 4:17; Romans 16:1.
          4. The gathering together of local Christians in an assembly.  I Corinthian 11:18, 12:28, 14:4, 14:19, 14:28, 14:35.

     In the New Testament the word “church” never refers to a physical building, especially in connection with God's people or His religion.


      Prepared by David G. Churchill; used by permission.
      Unless otherwise noted, “Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION.  Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.”
      This article's presentation in Exploring God's Word ©2002, 2017 David G. Churchill.
      For additional quality Bible-study materials, contact your local church of Christ or access Exploring God's Word at www.exploringgodsword.co.
      Send us your Bible-related questions.