Church has different origins. The ancient British and Welsh term is Eglwys (pronounced egloois). It clearly derives from the Greek, ekklesia. The early Nazarene ekklesia did not own buildings but met in people's houses, the synagogues, or designated open spaces, Acts 16:13.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
'Church' is not what the Bible says!
The idea of 'church' is comes largely from the pagan idea of their assemblies. What the Bible says about assemblies may shock almost everyone that goes to church!
The entire NT uses terms that have nothing really to do with religious gatherings. It uses the current political terms in Greek.
They refer to the Kingdom or Empire of God!
Ecclesia is a political not a religious term. It means a political and legislative assembly or congregation. This is obfuscated in the KJV because King James forbade his Puritan translators to use Congregation (as translated by Tyndale) because it destroyed the church structure with a hierarchy of bishops, over which he presided.
So following this rule, we have the nonsense translation of the 'church in the wilderness' of the Exodus in Acts 7:38. This is the Qahal, the Congregation of the 12 tribes of Israel, J3, p65. The word ekklesia also appears in Acts 19:32 where it is obvious it is a political assembly of pagan Greeks roused against Paul at Ephesus. KJV could not call it a church! v37 should be translated as robbers of (pagan) temples, not churches! Was this the Puritans' revenge?
The message Christ brought was about a legitimate kingdom.
Who is head of an ekklesia in Greek? An epistates.
Jesus is called an epistates 7 times in Luke 5:5 to 17:13. The epistates is the commander of the city and the key holder of the gate. (In Jerusalem it is the key of David.) The epistates also heads the popular assembly called in Greek the Boule. The Greek term sanhedrin can mean any type of council, pagan, Roman or Jewish. Context is important.
SUMBOULION and SENATORS
For Jews to recommend the death sentence to the Roman Governor who had the authority to execute, a super assembly was called to decide, a sumboulion composed of 'high priests, the senate (presbyterion) and the scribes (lawyers) and the sanhedrin,' Mark 15:1 and elsewhere. Note that what some today consider uniquely a religious officer, a presbyter, is a senator, eminently political. (Presbyter = olderman, elder; senator from Latin senex= old man).
When Greece had the presidency of the 28 Member State European Union I noted that the super-council was called a sumboulion.
Apostle means messenger or ambassador. It is political and diplomatic. The High Priest was an ethnarch, a Roman-appointed political figure. Theophilus, the high priest in 37 CE, has the title Most Excellent of an ethnarch, a political leader, Luke 1:3. He had powers to designate ambassadors or apostles. Paul was at first an ambassador of Annas and Caiaphas, or more likely of Jonathan the successor who attacked the Nazarenes, and sent to Damascus but he became an apostle or ambassador of Christ.
When Christ said he would build his ekklesia, his Congregation, it was a political assembly. He designated first 70 for this, Luke 10. It was later expanded with the named ambassadors to 120 of the 12 tribes, Acts 1:15.
Bishop is also a political term. The Greek term, episkopos, meant in the first century a superintendent of the ekklesia and public works sent from the central power to a subsidary state. James is called the bishop of bishops because he certified those who were in charge of the political congregations of Jews and believers at home and abroad, as the legitimate head of government.
Despotes means absolute, Sovereign Ruler. It is used of masters relative to slaves, whom they could kill or torture at will. Free Jews hesitated or refused to use the term about the Emperor. For them there was only one Despot with unchallenged power -- and that was Almighty God. To use it of any human was blasphemy. In the NT Christ used it of himself as the Sovereign Ruler of the House -- the Temple -- oikodespotes, the Chief Priest. The high priests had to obey the Chief Priest, Cohen haRosh. Peter (2Peter 2:1) and Jude 4 refer to Christ as Despotes. The larger family of Christ who were Nazarenes were also called by this name.
See Jesus, James Jesus, p317.
Analyze Disinformation used against you!
These are examples of how disinformation techniques were used, not to change the NT, but to change the meanings of the words in the NT to fit in with the State-run Catholic church of the Roman Empire. The same disinformation technique of changing gradually the meaning of a word is used today. The change of the meaning of Palestine by the Soviet KGB is a case in point. Up to the 1950s Palestine meant Israel and Palestinian meant Jew. The Palestine Mandate defined Jews as Palestinians!