I’ve invited several people to write “guest blog posts” for this blog. There are several reasons for this: 1) To offer different perspectives. 2) To generate even more discussion and conversation between blogs. 3) To introduce other bloggers to my readers.
(If you are interested in writing a guest blog post, please contact me at aknox[at]sebts[dot]com.)
Today’s post was written by Marc Winter. You can connect with Marc via his Facebook page.
What is wrong with the Word “Church”?
When we use the word “church” in our everyday conversations, we say things like: “Where do you go to church?” or “I will meet you at the church.” Most people understand that Jesus did not mean He would build a building; “And the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” But we continue to use this word; a word that in our current and historical usage means: a building where religious services are held. The King James Version translates the Greek word “ekklesia” as “church” 80 times in the New Testament. No wonder we have this word “church” stuck in our heads and in our vocabulary.
Language is the fundamental method we use for conveying information and understanding. When translating the Scriptures, the changing of one word can literally change the world, and in this case it has.
Jesus did not say in Matthew chapter 16, “I will build my church”. He did say, “I will build my ekklesia (ek-klay-see-ah).” The ekklesia is correctly translated: “called out assembly or community”. The word “church” is taken from the Greek word “kuriakon”(koo-ree-ak-on’), not “ekklesia”. Kuriakon, means: belonging to the Lord. Specifically, in the first century it was commonly understood to be a temple or house in which pagans worshiped their gods. We should ask why the word ekklesia was incorrectly translated “church” meaning a building, when the correct meaning was clear. When King James and Arch Bishop Bancroft set up 14 rules to be followed in translating the scriptures into English, the third rule required “the old ecclesiastical words to be kept, such as “church” instead of “congregation.” They also wanted the old offices of bishop, deacon, and pastor to relate to their “most common use by the most eminent fathers” (rule four). There was a deliberate focus on translating words favorably to the Anglican Church (of which King James was the head) to maintain control over the people. Without a building to gather the people around, the clergy, the pope, and to some degree, the king, would have lost control over the people. Even today without the use of buildings, the clergy and all denominations would lose control over the people.
When my wife and I read our English Bibles we insert the word “ekklesia” when we read or discuss what was incorrectly translated as “church”. The use of the word “church” has contaminated our hearts and minds to the Lord’s true purpose for His called out assembly or community. We get building focused, and we get clergy focused, which is exactly what King James, Bancroft and the spiritual forces behind them intended.
Remember the movie The Matrix? Church is just a prison built for your mind. When you know the truth, the truth will set you free.
All Comments Welcomed.