The passage on "Church" no one talks about - Twisted Bible Part 5

This Twisted Bible series seeks to unpack and develop many words in English translations of the Bible that seem to be lacking. In this series, we will start by looking at words that could have been translated better (or at least more accurately), and then we will gradually build to translated words that were more heavily twisted, censored, or out-right butchered. If you have not read the introductory post on this series, please read it here. For every word I will give you the link so you can look it up on Blue Letter Bible. There you can see the Greek word, the full definition, and the cross references. Here is an article on how to use it for all its worth.

Did you know the term "Church" was not coined by Jesus in Matthew 16:18? That is the first occurrence in our English Translations: "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt 16:18). My whole life I thought Jesus invented a new idea and it finally came to fulfillment in the book of Acts. Yet this is not the case; this again is a problem of translations. 

Let's read Acts 19:28-41 together:
"When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel. But when Paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him. And even some of the Asiarchs, who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater. Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. Some of the crowd prompted Alexander, whom the Jews had put forward. And Alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the crowd. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky? Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. For you have brought these men here who are neither sacrilegious nor blasphemers of our goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. But if you seek anything further, it shall be settled in the regular assembly. For we really are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.” And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly."

Did you see the word "church" in there? No? It's there 3 times, look again. Still don't see it? The word translated "assembly" is the Greek word "ekklÄ“sia" which is translated "church" 115 times in the New Testament, except for these three times! This exact same Greek word is used 80 times throughout the Old Testament in the Septuagint (The Greek translation of the Hebrew, which is quoted from explicitly throughout the New Testament). With this observation, we can see that the term "church" has a history and a meaning long before Jesus uttered Matthew 16:18. Instead of allowing the word to carry these connections, translators coined this word out of literally nowhere. 

"Church" simply means the assembled people. We would never say, "We are going to assembly" because without "the" preceding assembly it is simply bad English! Likewise we really should not say, "We are going to church," without "the," since it confuses what the Church actually is. We are the Church. We are the people of God gathered together to be the hands and feet of Jesus. While I realize my critique of the word "ekklÄ“sia" will not change our terminology. I hope we do understand the word better. We are the assembled people of God, like Israel in the Old Testament. As you can have an assembly of angry masses wanting to kill someone over lost money, we are the assembled people of God purposed to share the love the Jesus to the world. 
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