In his comments on Matthew 18:15-20, Thomas begins by defining the Greek term á¼ÎºÎºÎ»Î·ÏƒÎ¯Î± (ekklesia – normally translated “church”). He defines the term here because it is one of only two occurences of the term á¼ÎºÎºÎ»Î·ÏƒÎ¯Î± (ekklesia) in any of the four Gospels.
Here are his comments:
It seems necessary, at the outset or our endeavour to reach and develop the spirit of this passage, to get a clear and a definite idea of the thing which Jesus here designates á¼ÎºÎºÎ»Î·ÏƒÎ¯Î± â€”the church. It is scarcely necessary to remark that the simple meaning of the word is an assemblyâ€¦ The term is never used to designate a building, a class of religious functionaries, or a system either of doctrine or of worship. In the Christian sense it means nothing more than an assembly of Christians. The assembly may be large or small, held in a city or a village, in a public building or in the open air. (pg 359) (italics in original)
The more I read older commentaries, the more I find comments and definitions like this. As a definition of á¼ÎºÎºÎ»Î·ÏƒÎ¯Î± (ekklesia), “assembly” is much better than “called out ones,” which relies primarily on etymology instead of usage.