The singular ekklesia (“church, assembly, community”) is used in several respects in Scripture:
- The “church” meeting in a house though considered part of the “church” in a city (Rom 16:5).
- The “church” in a city (1 Cor 1:2).
- (Possibly) The “church” in a region (Judea, Samaria, Galilee) (variant: could be “churches”; Acts 9:31).
- The “church” composed of all believers of all times (Matt 16:18).
I have been thinking about these different uses of ekklesia and how they relate to our modern use of the term “church.” Here are some of the questions that I have been asking:
- Does it matter how I use the word “church”?
- Is the word “church” the best word to use when translating ekklesia?
- When I think of the “church” which biblical usage best matches my usage?
- If my usage of “church” does not match the biblical usage, should my usage change?
As I continue to think about these questions, I would love to hear how others would answer these questions.