A Few Thoughts on the Ekklesia

Colossians 1:18
And He is the head of the body, the church ekklēsias (ἐκκλησίας), who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in all things He might have the preeminence;

This English interpretation of this particular scripture is a little misleading. The word for church in the Greek is ekklēsias. The ekklēsias is those called out ones for a solemn assembly. Most use this word in the sense that we are called out of the world and called to follow Jesus. The HELPS Word Studies even says this. “Properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) – i.e. the universal (total) body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom.”

This definition is true but it means more than that. First off, the word is translated in English as church. We know the body of Christ is the church. But…”the English word “church” comes from the Greek word kyriakos, “belonging to the Lord” (kyrios). 1577 /ekklēsía (“church”) is the root of the terms “ecclesiology” and “ecclesiastical.” If it was going to technically be called the “church” in English then the Greek word would’ve been kyriakos and not ekklēsias.

Ekklēsias can also be seen as “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place” and “an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating”. The ekklēsias is in fact a public gathering in PUBLIC. It was meant for believers to come together but not in private or in a four walled room. The ekklēsias or the body of Christ was to come together as one in a public place. This is why the assembly or the ekklēsias of Israel was called this in the wilderness.

In Deuteronomy this assembly was called the congregation. Qahal. “The pictograph is a picture of the sun at the horizon and the gathering of the light, the J is a picture of a shepherd staff representing authority. Combined these mean “gathering to the staff”. When the shepherd called the sheep they swiftly came to him. The staff of the shepherd was his tool of authority. With it he would direct, discipline and protect the flock.”

This is the perfect picture of the ekklēsias. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)

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