Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"You’ve Been Duped! Ekklesia Does Not Mean 'Called Out Ones'.”

points to "7 Ways to do a Bad word Study" by Nick McDonald:

You’ve heard this: “The word ekklesia is a Greek word for the church that literally means, “called out ones””. Technically, this isn’t true. While combining the two root words (“called out from”) does indeed create something like “called out ones”, the truth is, the word ekklesia is never used that way in the New Testament or its contemporaries. In fact, ekklesia was used to refer to a group of philosophers, mathematicians, or any other kind of assembly in the Greco-Roman world. So unless we’re supposing that actors and gladiators were called to a holy lifestyle by assembling together, we can’t create a relationship between holiness and ekklesia necessarily. While it’s true that the church is composed of “called out” ones – that’s not the particular point of this word. It just means “assembly” or “gathering.” 
Nick McDonald
See also Craig Keener:

Another example of this problem occurs when interpreters speak of the Church as the “called-out ones” based on the Greek word for church,ekklesia.  We are, to be sure, “called-out,” but we know that for other reasons, not because we can determine that from ekklesia.  Some divideekklesia into ek, meaning “out of,” and kaleo, which means “call.”  Butekklesia had already been used by Greeks for centuries to mean an “assembly” or “gathering”; Jewish people who knew Greek spoke of the congregation of Israel in the wilderness as God’s ekklesia.  So the New Testament does not make up a new word to call Christians the “called-out-ones”; rather, it uses a standard term for an assembly, and probably the first Christians thought especially of God’s own assembly in the Old Testament, his people.  LINK

See also:
  1.  ekklesia NOT "called out" and separate from society

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