Definition of Church

So when did the definition that the Church is an unseen collection of all who believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour first pop up?

Sometime when non-denomination churches showed up?

I think you will find St Paul had something to do with it.

the word “church” is an English word. However, the English word can be clearly traced back to the Greek word “kuriakon” which means “of the Lord” or “that which belongs to the Lord.” The word became “cirice” in the old English; then “chirche” in Middle English; and ultimately “church” in Modern English


I throught the Greek word that correlates to the English work ‘church’ is Ekklesia.

I too would be interested in historical writings (including Scripture) or sermons that emphasize that the Lord’s church was to be spiritual only and not a unified, visible assembly.

I often think of the Christian church in the first 300 years of existence. They risked life, or at minimum torture, to assemble in private homes or in Catacombs. Why? Couldn’t they sit at home and just read their bibles? {sic}

Or as some have said, they gathered to hear the Word proclaimed? Which is true, but to risk life and limb! There must have bee something more to it, because they could have shared the word on a one on one basis and avoid assembling and risking their lives.

Just my rambling thoughts…

Sincerely in Christ,

It was a Protestant invention, primarily Calvinist, although some previous heresies approached it.

If anyone has a chance to read it, then Cardinal Ratzinger’s book “Called to Communion” has an excellent section which examines the nature of “ekklesia” or assembly in the Bible, especially in relation to both the Hebrew and Greek understandings of this concept during Biblical times as compared to modern, non-Catholic distortions.

Do you mean the time he said that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth?

I was thinking more along the lines of something like 1 Cor 12. (Many members, many gifts, one body.)

I guess I’ll have to get that book …

I suppose this definition is just the result of trying to explain ‘unity’ in a Protestant world where there is no doctrinal unity whatsoever.

A consequence of this is that now they have a ‘Church’ that teaches everything and nothing at all … Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.

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