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An Open Letter from the Staff...

Confusion is epidemic within the so-called
Christian world today. One of the worst mix-ups has to
do with the use of the terms “church” and “ecclesia.” In
fact, the vast majority of people today are not even
aware of the term ecclesia -- and DO NOT have the
slightest idea of what it means!
Of the few who recognize both terms, most
treat them as synonymous. Yet, there is a DISTINCT
difference in the meaning of these two words -- a
CRITICAL difference -- which is vital if we are to
understand YEHOVAH’s message and Kingdom.
This confusion has been caused primarily by
the MISTRANSLATION of scripture and the MISUSE
of the word church, coupled with a general ignorance of
the meaning and use of the word ecclesia. This lesson
will examine the origins and meanings of the words
church and ecclesia and demonstrate the difference
between them. Once this difference is understood, the
scriptures will take on their intended meaning.
In the Christian Greek scriptures the Greek
word rendered “church” is ek-kle-si’a, from which the
English word “ecclesia” is derived. Ek-kle-si’a comes
from TWO Greek words, ek, meaning “out,” and
ka.le’o, meaning “call.” Hence, it pertains to a group of
either officially or unofficially.
It is the word used with reference to the
congregation of Israel at Acts 7:38 and is also employed
for the “assembly” stirred up by the silversmith
Demetrius against Paul and his associates in Ephesus
(Acts 19:23, 24, 29, 32, 41). Most often, however, it is
used with reference to the Christian congregation. It is
applied to the Christian congregation in general (I
Corinthians 12:28); to a congregation in some city
such as Jerusalem (Acts 8:1), Antioch (Acts 13:1), or
Corinth (II Corinthians 1:1); or to a specific group
meeting in someone’s home (Romans 16:5; Philemon
2). Accordingly, individual Christian congregations or
“congregations of YEHOVAH” are also mentioned.
Some English versions use “church” in texts
pertaining to the Christian congregation. Since many
people think of a church as a building for religious
services rather than a congregation engaging in
worship, the rendering “church” can be misleading.
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