Matthew 16 - first use of word "church"? Bible geeks help! :)


#1

Forgive my ignorance on this matter :o I'm just having a time tracking down a basic definition.

My question is - can someone point me to what the word church meant then, and explain how since Jesus was a Jew and attended temple or synagogue, when He founded the Church on Peter the "Rock" what significance should we as Catholics take from the new word? Thanks! :bible1: :idea:


#2

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, NT (the one-volume one) says Matthew is the only Gospel author who uses it. In the Greek OT, it means "congregation" or "assembly" of Israel united to God, and Jesus uses it in a similar way about the New Covenant community.

The Navarre didn't say anything about the word itself.

The online Greek interliner shows the actual Greek word as "ecclesian," and their literal translation is "out-called." Sounds good to me - aren't we called out of the world, to enter God's house? :yup:

Hope this helps!


#3

Thanks Ruthie, good starting place.

It's interesting - I just never noticed before a few months ago and finally got round to posting this thread. Probably it gets overlooked because that particular Scripture is focused on more about Peter and the translation of "rock" in Aramaic and Greek, and the whole Catholic vs. Protestant difference with that word.

But I got to thinking - there weren't "churches" before Jesus started one, right? And of course the word's definition has grown as the Church itself has grown and developed.

My first Google searches weren't very fruitful because the terms "Jesus church word" were too general. I tried something else like "Jesus established church not temple synagogue" or something and got some Protestant sites whose insights were possibly helpful though probably not synonymous with a Catholic one. :shrug:

Bible geeks . . . or Church history geeks . . . are you out there? :wave:


#4

The word "church" only appears twice in the gospels, first in Matthew 16 and again in Matthew 18. Both passages are associated with the power to bind and loose that Christ gave to the apostles and, by extension, to the church. The Greek word literally means "assembly." It was a new concept laid down by Jesus to be taken up by the apostles and used very often throughout the rest of the New Testament.


#5

The Hebrew for church is a KAHAL, and in Greek ecclisia. In both cases it means assembly.
There were promises of a KAHAL in Gen 28:3; 35:11; 48:4; 49:6
Israel is first called this is Exodus 12:6 the whole KAHAL.
KAHAL is translated by ecclesia in the LXX.
It is rare in the NT but appears more than a hundred times in the OT.
grace and peace,
Bruce


#6

Thanks for the definitions. 'Out called assembly' is an interesting way to view the Christian people.


#7

Looks like my next step will be to get my concordance and look for those OT references. :coffeeread: Just knowing they exist adds a new dimension to my quest.


#8

[quote="Zenas, post:4, topic:329218"]
The word "church" only appears twice in the gospels, first in Matthew 16 and again in Matthew 18. Both passages are associated with the power to bind and loose that Christ gave to the apostles and, by extension, to the church. The Greek word literally means "assembly." It was a new concept laid down by Jesus to be taken up by the apostles and used very often throughout the rest of the New Testament.

[/quote]

Right. And then the word is used 112 more times (RSVCE) in 109 additional verses :nerd:

1577 ἐκκλησία [ekklesia /ek·klay·see·ah/] n f. From a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; TDNT 3:501; TDNTA 394; GK 1711; 118 occurrences; AV translates as “church” 115 times, and “assembly” three times. 1 a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly. 1A an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating. 1B the assembly of the Israelites. 1C any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously. 1D in a Christian sense. 1D1 an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting. 1D2 a company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake. 1D3 those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body. 1D4 the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth. 1D5 the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven.


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.