Category Archives: Ecclesiology – Church

THE GENERIC OR INSTITUTIONAL USAGE OF ECCLESIA


THE GENERIC OR INSTITUTIONAL USAGE OF ECCLESIA
LESSON 6

I.INTRODUCTION
A.We have before shown that 97 of the 115 times which “ecclesia” is used in the New Testament refer to the local, visible church.
B.The remaining 18 will be taken up individually in this lesson to show that the same meaning is retained, and to suppose that a new meaning is to be attached to ecclesia is wrong.
C.Overbey says, “Generally all scholars accept these ninety-two uses as meaning assembly. It should be stated here that the word ekklesia refers to a group of people organized to carry out some purpose that assemble from time to time. To be an ekklesia it need not be a continual assembly. Carroll well stated this when he was asked: ‘But if church means assembly does not that require it to be always in session?’ No ecclesia, classic, Jewish, or Christian, known to history, held perpetual session. They all adjourned and came together again according to the requirements of the case. The organization, the institution, was not dissolved by temporary adjournment’” (The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T., Overbey, p. 20).
D.Overbey again, “The common meaning of a word must stand in every place it occurs as long as it makes sense. When it fails to make sense then a new meaning or a rare meaning must be found in the context for the word. If a new or rare meaning will make sense in a given context we cannot accept it as long as the common meaning will also make sense” (Ibid, p. 22).
E.Warfield says, “The question is, after all, not what can the word be made to mean, but what does it mean . . . only if the sense thus commended to us were unsuitable to the context would we be justified in seeking further for a new interpretation” (Ibid, p. 23).
F.The principle is this: A NEW OR RARE MEANING IS NOT TO BE GIVEN TO A WORD JUST BECAUSE IT WILL MAKE SENSE IN CERTAIN PLACES. THE OLD MEANING MUST BE RETAINED.

II.THE GENERIC OR INSTITUTIONAL USE EXPLAINED
A.Three terms:
1.Generic – Relating to or characteristic of a whole group or class; general.
2.Institutional – an organization as differentiated from other kinds of organizations.
3.Abstract – disassociated from any specific instance.
B.These terms illustrated:
1.Overbey says, “A word may be used generically. In such cases the word may be singular and yet not refer to any particular object of the class but to every object of that class. It is as if some object of the class were taken as a representative of each object of the class and whatever is said of this representative would apply generally to each object . . . In such cases the definite article with the word does not mean there is only one particular automobile singled out from the rest or that there is only one automobile in the world, but the article is called the generic article and distinguishes one class from another class rather than one object in a class from another object in the same class. We use words generically all the time and never think of it” (Ibid, pp. 24, 25).
2.He continues, “ ‘The’ with a singular noun sometimes indicates a class or kind of object. The scholar is not necessarily as dry as dust. The elephant is the largest of quadrupeds. The aeroplane is a very recent invention. Resin is obtained from the pine . . . The singular number with the generic ‘the’ is practically equivalent to the plural without an article” (Ibid p. 25).
3.BuellKadzee declares, “In this sense (generic or institutional) the word indicates a type of institution as differentiated from other kinds of institutions. Thus we speak of ‘the church’ as we do ‘the home’ or ‘the school’ . . . a good example of the Biblical use of a word this way is the word ‘man’ in Genesis 1:26. Here God says, ‘Let us make man in our image.’ Although Adam was the first specific example of this being, we understand the term ‘man’ to mean man in general, including all his race, rather than just the one individual man . . . Thus, by the word ekklesia Jesus could have been speaking of the type of institution He would build” (The Church and the Ordinances, Kazee, pp. 1, 2).
4.Roy Mason concurs, “The word (ekklesia) is used fourteen times to denote an institution. When it is used in this way it is, according to Dr. Carroll, used in either an abstract or generic sense. ‘This follows,’ he says, ‘from the laws of language governing the use of words. For example, if an English statesman, referring to the right of each individual citizen to be tried by his peers, should say: ‘On this rock England will build her jury, and all the power of tyranny shall not prevail against her,’ he uses the term jury in an abstract sense, i.e., in the sense of an institution. But when this institution finds concrete expression or becomes operative, it is always a particular jury of twelve men and never an aggregation of all juries into one big jury’ “ (The Church That Jesus Built, Mason, p. 29).
5.A.C. Dayton declares, “Christ did not refer to any particular individual local organization when he said ‘my Church.’ He did not mean the Church at Jerusalem or the Church at Corinth. Much less did her refer to all the churches combined in one great Church. But he simply used the word as the name of his institution.” (Theodosia Earnest, Vol. II, p. 100).
6.He continues, “. . . let me illustrate. You are a lawyer. A client comes to you for legal information. You tell him that the law is thus or so; and so ‘the court’ will instruct ‘the jury.’ What do you mean by the court? And what do you mean by the jury? Not any particular individual judge whom you may have in mind, much less all the judges in the world comprised in one gigantic ‘universal’ judge; but you mean any one of all the judges before whom the suit might be tried; and not any particular set of jurymen, much less all the jurymen in the world united in one vast conglomerate ‘universal’ jury; but simply that jury, whichever or wherever it may be, who may chance to be empaneled on the case. ‘The court’ is the name or title given to a certain official personage when engaged in the performance of certain official duties. ‘The jury’ is the name or title given to a certain official body or assembly, when employed in a certain official capacity. Now, as the courts and juries in the British empire transact business and administer justice by the authority of Queen Victoria, and in her name, they may very properly be called her court, and her jury, meaning thereby simply her institutions, organized by her authority for the transaction of this specific business in her name. The first courts and juries which were organized may have been dissolved; others may have followed, and, like them, have disappeared; but still the institution continues: the jury is still an essential part of the apparatus for the administration of justice . . . . And if I should say that the jury is ‘built’ upon the ‘rock’ of the constitution and that the councils of tyrants can never ‘prevail against’ or overthrow it, I should speak of it just as Christ did about his Church” (Ibid, pp. 100, 101).
7.Dayton further explains, “The principle . . . is the same as that on which the name of an individual is every day applied to the species, genus, or family, to which it belongs. As when we say of the oak that it is the most majestic of forest trees, we do not mean any one oak, nor do we mean all the oaks in the world comprised in one ‘universal’ oak. Each oak is still a separate and individual tree; but we apply the name of the individual to all the species – not considered collectively, as one great oak, but separately, as hundreds and thousands of trees, each having the same name.” (Ibid, p. 105).
C.Simple illustrations:
1.The “horse” is rushed into battle.
2.The “lion” is the king of beasts.
3.The “husband” is the head of the wife.
4.The “home” is the basis of society.
5.The “dog” is the most lovable of all pets.
6.The “oak” is the most majestic of all trees.
7.The “jury” is used in all Western courts of justice.

III.SUGGESTED READING
A.Ecclesia – the Church – B.H. Carroll
B.The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T. – Overbey
C.Theodosia Earnest, Vol. II, – Dayton
D.The Church That Jesus Built – Roy Mason
E.The Church and the Ordinances – Buell Kazee
F.Ekklesia – the Church – Bob Ross

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THE LOCAL VISIBLE CHURCH ONLY LESSON 5


THE LOCAL VISIBLE CHURCH

I.STATEMENT OF FACTS.
A.The word “ecclesia” is used 115 time in the Greek N.T.
B.The ways it is translated:
1.Church – 112 times.
2.Assembly – 3 times.
3.The word “church” in I Peter 5:13 is supplied by the translators, and is not in the original Greek.
C.Of the 112 times the word ecclesia is translated ‘church or “churches” it definitely applies to the N.T. Organization, except in one case – Acts 7:38, Here the reference is to Israel assembled in the wilderness.
D.The following breakdown will prove:
1.That 93 of the 111 times ecclesia definitely refers to local congregations.
2.That the remaining 18 times ecclesia refers to the Lord’s church in the institutiona, generic, or abstract sense (lesson 6).

II.SURVEY OF THE REFERENCE TO LOCAL CHURCHES.
A.The Church at Jerusalem”
1.Acts 8:1; Acts 11:22; Acts 15:4
2.Acts 12:1; Acts 15:22 – proved by the passage.
B.The Church at Antioch (Syria):
1.Acts 11:26; Acts 13:1; Acts 14:27
2.Acts 15:3 – by context.
C.The Church at Cenchrea – Romans 16:1
D.The Church at Corinth:
1.I Cor. 1:2; II Cor. 1:1;
2.Romans 16:23 – written from Corinth.
E.The Curch at Laodicea – Col. 4:16; Revelation 3:14
F.The Church at Thessalonica – I Thess. 1:1; II Thess. 1:1
G.The Church at Ephesus – Revelation 2:1; Acts 20:17
H.The Church at Smyrna – Revelation 2:8
I.The Church at Pergamos – Revelation 2:12
J.The Church at Thyatira – Revelation 2:18
K.The Church at Sardis – Revelation 3:1
L.The Church at Philadelphia – Revelation 3:7
M.Churches in houses – Romans 16:5; I Cor. 16:19; Philemon 2; Col. 4:15
N.Plural usages:
1.In Syria and Cilicia – Acts 15:41
2.In Galatia – I Cor. 16:1; Galatians 1:2
3.In Asia – I Cor. 16:19; Rev. 1:4; Rev. 1:11; Rev. 1:20 (twice); Rev. 2:7; Rev. 2:11; Rev. 2:17; Rev. 2:23; Rev. 2:29; Rev. 3:6; “Rev. 3:13; Rev. 3:22.
4.In Macedonia – II Cor. 8:1
5.In Judea – Gal. 1:22
6.In Judea, Galilee, Samaria – Acts 9:31
7.In Lystra, Iconium, Antioch – Acts 14:23
8.Of the Gentiles – Rom. 16:4
O.Proof by context:
1.Jerusalem – Acts 2:47; Acts 5:11; Acts 8:3; Acts 12:5; Acts 18:22 (not at Caesarea); I Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Phil. 3:6.
2.Corinth – I Cor. 11:18; I Cor. 11:22; I Cor 14:4; I Cor. 14:5; I Cor. 14:19; I Cor. 14:23; I Cor. 14:28; I Cor. 14:35; I Cor. 6:4; I Cor. 14:12.
3.Asia – Acts 16:5; Rev. 22:16
4.Judea – II Cor. 8:19; II Cor. 8:23; II Cor. 8:24; I Thes. 2:14.
5.Macedonia – II Cor. 11:8
P.Churches at any given place:
1.I Cor. 4:17; Phil. 4:15; James 5:14; II Cor. 8:18; III John 6; III John 9; III John 10; Matt. 18:17 (twice); Romans 16:16; I Cor. 7:17; I Cor. 14:33; II Cor. 11:28; II Cor. 12:13; II Thess. 1:4; I Tim. 3:5; I Tim. 5:16; I Cor. 11:16; I Cor. 14:34.

III.QUOTATIONS BY SCHOLARS.
A.These previous parts have covered 97 (4 plus 93) of the 115 times ecclesia is used in the Greek N.T. (the remaining 18 will be covered in the next lesson – the generic use of ekklesia).
B.Overbey says, “Every time ekklesia appears in the New Testament it makes sense translated according to its common menaing of assembly” (The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T., Overbey, p. 44).
C.Again he says, “In approaching the N.T. We see that the word is admitted by all to have this mianing (assembly) in about ninety places. The other times it is used there is a difference of opinion. Some contend for assembly, others for a new meaning best described as the universal invisible church. How can we tell which is correct? The principle is used that says the common meaning will not make sense if we are permitted to assume it has a new meaning. Following this principle we find that the word assembly makes sense in every contested passage so that any new sense must be rejected” (Ibid, pl 46).
D.I. K. Cross says, “We here charge that there is no such thing known in the New Testament as a church that includes every saved man on earth. This is the family of God, but never the church of the New Testament” (Canadian Baptists, Cross, p. 5).
E.A. C. Dayton declares, “Each church was complete within itself – independent of all earthly control, and subject only to the law of Christ” (Theodosia Earnest, Vo. II, p. 116).
F.J. R. Graves said, “The proof given that the very work Ekklesia (an assembly) denotes a complete church, equally implies its independency, i.e., that it is dependent upon no other body for its existence or self-perpetuation, or the discharge of all the functions and trusts of a Church of Christ” (The New Great iron Wheel, Graves, p. 134).
G.Graves again, “I have shown that the idea of a great Universal Invisible Church , or a Visible Universal Church composed of all the visible churches, or, as some claim of all baptized, independent of local churches, can not, by any fair exegesis, be found” (Seven Questions and Answers to Church Authority, Baptist Examiner, p. 37).
H.S. H. Ford asserts, “It should be remembered that by church, Baptists mean what the New Testament teaches – a local, real congregation of baptized believers united together for God’s service” (Ibid).

I.H. E. Dana says, “This matter of qualification for citizenship was quite important, for many residents of such a city had no place in the Ekklesia … The term referred to a body of persons having definite qualifications, assembled to carry out certain organized aims on democratic principles. So there wre elements pertinent to its (Ekklesia) New Teatament meaning.
1.The assembly was local;
2.it was autonomous;
3.it presupposed definite qualifications;
4.it was conducted on democratic principles” (The Church, L. L. Clover, p. 94).
J.Overbey says, “Jesus used the word ‘church’ twenty-three times, twenty times in Revelation, and three times in Matthew. Twenty-two times there is agreement among all that the word means assembly. It is either plural or the context is very clear so that there can be no doubt in any mind that he is speaking of a local, visible body. Matthew 16:18 is the only place where some think it has a new meaning. But if Jesus used the word twenty-two times and there is no question concerning its meaning then it seems that we must believe that the one remaining place has the same meaning” (Brief History of the Baptists, Overbey, p. 26).
K.Boyce Taylor asserts, “ . . . The Etymology of the word ekklesia makes it of necessity a local churhc” (Why Be a Baptist, Taylor, p. 47).
L.Armitage concurs, “In the apostolic age the church was a local body, and each church was independent of evgery other church. The simple term ecclesia designates one congregation, or organization assembly, this being its literal and primal meaning . . . It follows, then, that the New Testament nowere speaks of the ‘Universal, Catholic, or Invisible Church,’ as indicating a merely ideal existence separate from a real and local body . . . A local churhc fully expresses the meaning of the word ‘ecclesia’ wherever it is found in Holy Writ” (History of the Baptists, Armitage, pp. 118-120).

IV.SUGGESTED READING.
A.Ecclesia – the Church – B. H. Carroll
B.Why Be a Baptist – Boyce Taylor
C.Ekklesia – the Church – Bob Ross
D.Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T. – Overbey
E.Seven Questions and Answerw as to Church Authority – Baptist Examiner
F.The Church – L. L. Clover
G.The Origin of Baptists – S. H. Ford
H.Theodosia Earnest, Vol. II – A. C. Dayton.

SUMMATION: The various verses used to try and prove a universal invisible church keeps changing as the correct usage is shown to be always local and visible. Each verse has been addressed and shown the proper usage. There is not, with proper usage and context, any where a universal invisible church can be found in scripture. A hard heart and will-ful desire will resist the truth and destroy even more doctrine in their error.

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LESSON 4


THE USE OF ECCLESIA IN THE SEPTUAGINT

I.DEFINITION OF TERMS.
A.The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament.
B.This translation was made approximately 285-246 B.C. By 72 Jewish schololars living in Alexandria.
C.The notation (LXX) is used extensively in referring to this translation.

II.TESTIMONY OF SCHOLARS
A.In the Septuagint ekklesia is used about 100 times.
B.In the Hebrew (language of the O.T.) two words were used to refer to the gathering together of the people of Israel – ‘edhad and qahal.’
C.Of these two words Hort says, “Neither of the two Hebrew terms was strictly technical; both were at times applied to very different kinds of gatherings from the gatherings of the people, though qahal had always a human reference of some sort, gatherings of individual men or gatherings of nations. The two words were so far coincident in meaning that in many cases they might apparently be used indifferently; but in the first instance they were not strictly synonymous. ‘Edhah’ (derived from a root “y’dh used in the Niphal in the sense of gathering together, specially gathering together by appointment or agreement) is properly, when applied to israel, the society itself, formed by the children of Israel of their representative heads, whether assembled or not assembled. On the other hand qahal is properly their actual meeting together: hence we have a few times the phrase qehal ‘edhah the assembly of the congregation” (The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T., Overbey, p.12).
D.Vitringa says, “Synagogue always means an assembly gathered together, but not necessarily joined by any bond of union. Eclesia, Kahal, always denotes some multitude which constitutes a people bound among themselves by law and obligation” (Pillars of Orthodoxy, Bogard, p. 410)/
E.Dana says, “In it ekklesia was used to translate the Hebrew word quahal which means an assembly, convocation or congregation” (Overbey, Op, Cit.,p. 13).
F.Dana also says, “The Old Testament and Jewish literature nowhere use ekklesia where it may justly be construed as ‘spiritual Israel’” (Op, Cit.).
G.Carrol says, “By an inductive study of all the ecclesia passages, you will see for yourselves that in the Septuagint it never means ‘all Israel whether assembled or unassembled, but that in every instance it means a gathering together, as assembly” (Ecclesia-the Church, Carroll, p. 44).

III.CONCLUDING REMARKS
A.Because of the fact that the Hebrew word “quahal” sometimes means the whole Israelitish people and is sometimes translated by ekklesia, it has been mistakenly concluded that ‘ekklesia’ must have the same breadth of meaning as ‘quahal’.
B.Ecclesia never translates ‘edhah, the broad term.
C.Carroll says, “The testimony here is univocal. It is as solis as the Macedonian phalanx.” (Ibid, p. 52).

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ADD TO THE END OF LESSON 1


NOTE: There is an effort today to say that the translators of the King James Bible did some shoddy translation in the formidable effort of taking the Greek and Hebrew into English. I disagree with those that would make such a statement. What I see is an issue of clarity. There are many different assembies. There is only one assembly that is the LORD’S. (So Johnny was walking down the street and met Billy. Billy asked Johnny where he was going and Johnny replied, “to the assembly.” Billy said, “ oh, to the baseball players assembly.” No to the LORD’S assembly.) Read the instructions given the translators about the terms or words to be used. Now show me that Hebrew or Greek scholar that knows 17 different Oriental languages, or that is so conversant in Greek that they keep their daily journal in that language or at the age of 5 was reading Greek and Hebrew. I am not trying to marginalize the study of Greek or Hebrew but express the thought that 4 years of Greek study does not create a scholar that is equivalent to those that translated the King James Bible. A friend of mine began a translation of Bible that would be more accurate than any before. He soon realized that the King James he held in his hand was the most accurate available. Yes, the word Church is good enough for me. I can explain this word just as well and teach it as I can explain assembly and it not being just any assembly but the LORD’S assembly.

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Just a note that should follow Lesson 1


NOTE: The Scriptures state that Satan will use whatever means he can to confuse and undermine God’s Word and work. He has been very effect by playing upon men and womens natural, carnal, fleshly desires. One does not have to know Greek or Hebrew to understand the truth. The problem to-day is that few know how to study the Bible and we are called to “Study to show thyself approved before God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

The implications of the above passage is as plain as the sun in the sky. The statement, “rightly dividing” indicates there is a wrong way to divide. Those that wrongly divide, if they have been born again will stand before the Lord one day and give account. There IS no excuse for being wrong.

Most people are wrong because they reject truth with-out study, therefore falling under the influence of Satan and his demons by believing a lie that Satan has made available and appeals to the flesh. Read John 6:53 -66 which tells of the disciples that heard some things that did not appeal to their flesh and they found abhorrent, they turned and walked with Jesus no more.

There are many well intentioned people that have been born again and going to glory that have not found the exquisite beauty that the Word holds for those that ‘study’ to show themselves approved. The interrelationship of the Old Testament and the New Testament is astounding.

This leads us to the study in front of us. If we are wrong on the doctrine of the Church, we will be wrong on many other doctrines and not understand the blood that Jesus shed. Then we will stand before the Lord and have to give account for our lack and for misleading others.

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ECCLESIOLOGY (A Study Of The Church) Lesson 3


LESSON 3
THE MEANING OF ECCLESIA IN THE CLASSICAL GREEK

I.DEFINITION OF TERMS.
A.The New Testament was written in the koine or “common” Greek.
B.The Koine differs in many respects to the modern or classical Greek.
C.Classical Greek refers basically to the ancient Greek tongue which found its roots in the Indo-Germanic family of languages.
D.The Koine age is approximately 300 B.C. To 500 A.D. Classical Greek is thought of as preceding the Koine; modern Greek is thought of as succeeding the Koine.

II.TESTIMONY OF SCHOLARS.
A.Dana says, – “In classical use ekklesia meant ‘an assembly.” It was derived from a combination of Greek root and prefixed preposition, the resultant meaning of which was ‘to call out.’ It was commonly used in reference to bodies of qualified representatives ‘called out’ for legislative functions” (Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T., Overbey, p. 10).
B.Ewing writes, – “In every case, the word means an organized body, in opposition to a casual meeting…” (Ibid).
C.Liddell and Scott – “An assembly of the citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly” (Ibid).
D.Seyffert’s Dictionary: – “The assembly of the people, which in Greek cities had the power of final decision in public affairs” (Ibid).
E.Thomas – “It was the organized assembly of the authorized voters of the local community met to transact business of common concern. It corresponded to the town-meeting of New England of later days” (Ibid).
F.Overbey says, “A distinction should be maintained between the etymology of a word and its meaning at some particular time in history. Sometimes the two are the same; many times they are quite different. ‘Hussy’ came from ‘huswife’ which means housewife; today it means a worthless woman or girl, or a pert girl. ‘Constable’ came from ‘comes stabuli’ which means attendant of the stable; today it means a peace officer. ‘Ekklesia’ came from ‘ekkletos’ which means called out but in the times prior to the New Testament it meant assembly or called out assembly. To say it means the called out is not correct” (Ibid p. 11).
G.Broadus writes, – “The Greek word ekklesia signified primarily the assembly of citizens in a self-governed state, being derived from ekkaleo to call out; i.e., from their homes or places of business, to summon, as we speak of calling out the militia. The popular notion that it meant to call out in the sense of separation from others is a mistake” (Ibid).
H.F. J. A. Hort says, – “There is no foundation for the widely spread notion that ekklesia means a people or a number of individual men called out of the world of mankind” (Ibid p. 11).
I.Prof. Royal of Wake Fores College said, – “I do not know of any passage in classical Greek, where ekklesia is used of unassembled or unassembling persons: (Why Be a Baptist, Taylor, p. 45).

III.SUGGESTED READING.
A.Ecclesia – the Church by B. H. Carroll
B.Meaning of Ecclesia in the N. T. by Overbey

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ECCLESIOLOGY (Study of the Church) Lesson 2


LESSON 2
THE MEANING OF ECCLESIA

I.DEFINITION OF TERMS.
A.As previously stated, most scholars agree that the English word “church” comes from a Greek word (kuriakos) which means “the Lord’s” and joined with day (hemera) or supper (deipnon) describe exactly what is refered to as being the Lord’s.
B.When the Greek kuriakos (church) is used to replace ecclesia (assembly), it is used to define what assembly. It is not simply any assembly, It is the LORD’S.
C.I. K. Cross says, “In Acts 19:39-41 the term is used twice. Once to refer to the ‘lawful assembly’ which was called out of the citizens of Ephesus to handle legal matters in the city. The other to refer to the assembly that had been called together to run Paul and his companions out of town. In either case the assembly, or ecclesia (for this is the word used here), was a called out group, called together for a specific purpose, and local in nature. This was the common usage of the term and always the proper definition of an ecclesia. THIS IS WHAT OUR LORD SAID HE WOULD BE BUILDING.”
D.Cross continues, “If Jesus Christ had intended to build another kind of company there were other words in the language He could have used. He could have used the word ‘Synagoga,” a term without such limitations and yet designating an assembly. It would certainly have been more fitting for a ‘universal company.’ He could have also used the word ‘panagris’ if he had a solemn assembly in mind of a massive and festal nature. But these were rejected in favor of the most limiting term in the Greek language with reference to an assembly; a term that can only be properly interpreted as an assembly local in nature” (Ibid).
E.Cross in another place says, “The word ‘ecclesia’ is more than a mere assembly. The word is really a compounding of two words. ‘Kaleo,’ to call; and ‘ek,’ meaning out, or literally ‘to call out.’ Thus, an ‘ekklesia’ is a Called out assembly, implying some conditions. The Lord did not call all Christians in the area that cared to assemble into His ‘ekklesia,’ but he was very selective about it in Matthew 4:17-22; Matthew 9:9; John 1:43,44 and on until he had 120 in that assembly by the time he went back to the Father. I Cor. 12:28 says that ‘God hath set some in the church (ekklesia)…,’ not all. The same passage states that He set the apostles in the ‘ekklesia,’ and on the occasion when the apostles were chosen there was quite a congregation of disciples present of whom he chose the apostles – and Paul says the apostles, not the crowd, were set in the ‘ekklesia’” (Landmarkism on Trial, Cross, p. 7).
F.Overby concurs, “To change the meaning of a word you must have good evidence that the speaker or writer of that word intended it that way. A basic principle that all scholars recognize is that a word must retain its usual meaning as long as the word used makes good sense that way. Only when it will not make good sense are we allowed to give it a new or rare meaning. If we apply this principle in this passage (Matthew 16:18), we will see that ‘assembly’ makes good sense so we cannot agree with those who would try to change the meaning here” (Brief History of the Baptists, Overbey, pp. 26,27).
G.Roy Mason asserts, …I submit the proposition that the church that Jesus founded was the local assembly, and that to use the word ecclesia to designate a ‘universal,’ or ‘invisible’ church is to pervert its meaning, and to fall into serious error” (The Church That Jesus Built, Mason, p. 26).
H.Mason also says, “The word ecclesia rendered ‘church’ in English translations, was not a new word coined by Jesus, but a word already in current use at that time and moreover a word the meaning of which had become definitely fixed and established” (Ibid, p. 27).
I.A. C. Dayton said, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ consisted of certain individuals who, when assembled and organized, constituted an official body for the transaction of such business as might come before them. It was not merely an assembly, but an official assembly, consisting of persons specifically qualified, and who had each his specific rights and duties as a member of the ekklesia. It was not every resident in the city who was, strictly speaking, a citizen; nor was it every citizen who was a member of the ekklesia to which was intrusted the management of public business; but the ekklesia were called out from the mass… Every assembly was not an ekklesia, nor was every ekklesia an ekklesia of Christ” (Theodosia Earnest, pp. 72, 73).
J.Again, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ was an assembly of called and qualified citizens, invested with certain rights, and registered in the city records” (Ibid, p. 129).

II.IMPROPER MEANINGS ATTACHED TO ECCLESIA.
A.The worship service (in contrast to Sunday School).
B.The clerical profession (so used in most modern terminology).
C.Building in which Christian assemblies meet:
1.Dayton says, “…history informs us that the Chrisitans had no such buildings (church-houses) for some two hundred years after this, (the time of the apostles), but continued to meet from house to house, or in the Jewish synagogues, or wherever they might. And the word (ekklesia) is never used in the New Testament, or any other Greek book written before or during the time of the apostles, to signify a house or building” (Ibid, p. 81).
2.This usage, so common even among those who know the truth, has come about by an original misconception of the word ekklesia.
D.All of One denomination:
1.That each denomination is a “branch” off the one big church.
2.Thus, the “Methodist Church,” the “Presbyterian Church,” etcl
E.Historical sense – the whole field of ecclestiastical activity in history since the days of Jesus here on earth – “the church in history.”
F.Modal sense:
1.Terms like “a scriptural church” “church of the N.T.,” etc.
2.These terms are not unscriptural as far as teaching, but the terms themselves are found nowhere in the Bible.
G.Universal, invisible sense:
1.That all the saved are in the mystical body, the church.
2.This theory is dealt with thoroughly in a further lesson.
H.From the modern usage of “church” one can easily see that the vast majority of those who use the word are totally ignorant of the Greek ekklesia.

III.QUOTES FROM RECOGNIZED SCHOLARS.
A.Liddell and Scott (Lexicon) – “An assembly of people called together; an assembly called out.”
B.Dean Trench – “Ekklesia, as all know, was the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs” (Synonyms of the N.T., p. 17).
C.Edward Robinson – “Ekklesia, a convocation, assembly, congregation. In the literal sense a popular, or rather assembly, composed of persons legally summoned” (Lexicon).

D.A. H. Strong – “Ekklesia signified merely an assembly, however gathered or summoned. The church was never so large that it could not assemble” (Systematic Theology).
E.Vincent – “Originally an assembly of citizens, regularly summoned” (Word Studies in the N.T.)
F.Thayer – “Take the entire range of Greek literature in all its dialects, secular and sacred, and there is not one passage in which ecclesia means an invisible and universal spiritual assembly” (Lexicon).
G.Alexander Campbell – “Ekklesia literally signifies an assembly called out from others and is used among the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, for their popular assemblies, summoned by their chief magistrates and in which none but citizens had a right to sit. By inherent power it may be applied to any body of men called out and assembled in one place. If it ever loses the idea of calling out and assembling, it loses its principal features and its primitive use” (Ekklesia – The Church. Ross, p. 7).LESSON 2
THE MEANING OF ECCLESIA

I.DEFINITION OF TERMS.
A.As previously stated, most scholars agree that the English word “church” comes from a Greek word (kuriakos) which means “the Lord’s” and joined with day (hemera) or supper (deipnon) describe exactly what is refered to as being the Lord’s.
B.When the Greek kuriakos (church) is used to replace ecclesia (assembly), it is used to define what assembly. It is not simply any assembly, It is the LORD’S.
C.I. K. Cross says, “In Acts 19:39-41 the term is used twice. Once to refer to the ‘lawful assembly’ which was called out of the citizens of Ephesus to handle legal matters in the city. The other to refer to the assembly that had been called together to run Paul and his companions out of town. In either case the assembly, or ecclesia (for this is the word used here), was a called out group, called together for a specific purpose, and local in nature. This was the common usage of the term and always the proper definition of an ecclesia. THIS IS WHAT OUR LORD SAID HE WOULD BE BUILDING.”
D.Cross continues, “If Jesus Christ had intended to build another kind of company there were other words in the language He could have used. He could have used the word ‘Synagoga,” a term without such limitations and yet designating an assembly. It would certainly have been more fitting for a ‘universal company.’ He could have also used the word ‘panagris’ if he had a solemn assembly in mind of a massive and festal nature. But these were rejected in favor of the most limiting term in the Greek language with reference to an assembly; a term that can only be properly interpreted as an assembly local in nature” (Ibid).
E.Cross in another place says, “The word ‘ecclesia’ is more than a mere assembly. The word is really a compounding of two words. ‘Kaleo,’ to call; and ‘ek,’ meaning out, or literally ‘to call out.’ Thus, an ‘ekklesia’ is a Called out assembly, implying some conditions. The Lord did not call all Christians in the area that cared to assemble into His ‘ekklesia,’ but he was very selective about it in Matthew 4:17-22; Matthew 9:9; John 1:43,44 and on until he had 120 in that assembly by the time he went back to the Father. I Cor. 12:28 says that ‘God hath set some in the church (ekklesia)…,’ not all. The same passage states that He set the apostles in the ‘ekklesia,’ and on the occasion when the apostles were chosen there was quite a congregation of disciples present of whom he chose the apostles – and Paul says the apostles, not the crowd, were set in the ‘ekklesia’” (Landmarkism on Trial, Cross, p. 7).
F.Overby concurs, “To change the meaning of a word you must have good evidence that the speaker or writer of that word intended it that way. A basic principle that all scholars recognize is that a word must retain its usual meaning as long as the word used makes good sense that way. Only when it will not make good sense are we allowed to give it a new or rare meaning. If we apply this principle in this passage (Matthew 16:18), we will see that ‘assembly’ makes good sense so we cannot agree with those who would try to change the meaning here” (Brief History of the Baptists, Overbey, pp. 26,27).
G.Roy Mason asserts, …I submit the proposition that the church that Jesus founded was the local assembly, and that to use the word ecclesia to designate a ‘universal,’ or ‘invisible’ church is to pervert its meaning, and to fall into serious error” (The Church That Jesus Built, Mason, p. 26).
H.Mason also says, “The word ecclesia rendered ‘church’ in English translations, was not a new word coined by Jesus, but a word already in current use at that time and moreover a word the meaning of which had become definitely fixed and established” (Ibid, p. 27).
I.A. C. Dayton said, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ consisted of certain individuals who, when assembled and organized, constituted an official body for the transaction of such business as might come before them. It was not merely an assembly, but an official assembly, consisting of persons specifically qualified, and who had each his specific rights and duties as a member of the ekklesia. It was not every resident in the city who was, strictly speaking, a citizen; nor was it every citizen who was a member of the ekklesia to which was intrusted the management of public business; but the ekklesia were called out from the mass… Every assembly was not an ekklesia, nor was every ekklesia an ekklesia of Christ” (Theodosia Earnest, pp. 72, 73).
J.Again, “The Greek ‘ekklesia’ was an assembly of called and qualified citizens, invested with certain rights, and registered in the city records” (Ibid, p. 129).

II.IMPROPER MEANINGS ATTACHED TO ECCLESIA.
A.The worship service (in contrast to Sunday School).
B.The clerical profession (so used in most modern terminology).
C.Building in which Christian assemblies meet:
1.Dayton says, “…history informs us that the Chrisitans had no such buildings (church-houses) for some two hundred years after this, (the time of the apostles), but continued to meet from house to house, or in the Jewish synagogues, or wherever they might. And the word (ekklesia) is never used in the New Testament, or any other Greek book written before or during the time of the apostles, to signify a house or building” (Ibid, p. 81).
2.This usage, so common even among those who know the truth, has come about by an original misconception of the word ekklesia.
D.All of One denomination:
1.That each denomination is a “branch” off the one big church.
2.Thus, the “Methodist Church,” the “Presbyterian Church,” etcl
E.Historical sense – the whole field of ecclestiastical activity in history since the days of Jesus here on earth – “the church in history.”
F.Modal sense:
1.Terms like “a scriptural church” “church of the N.T.,” etc.
2.These terms are not unscriptural as far as teaching, but the terms themselves are found nowhere in the Bible.
G.Universal, invisible sense:
1.That all the saved are in the mystical body, the church.
2.This theory is dealt with thoroughly in a further lesson.
H.From the modern usage of “church” one can easily see that the vast majority of those who use the word are totally ignorant of the Greek ekklesia.

III.QUOTES FROM RECOGNIZED SCHOLARS.
A.Liddell and Scott (Lexicon) – “An assembly of people called together; an assembly called out.”
B.Dean Trench – “Ekklesia, as all know, was the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs” (Synonyms of the N.T., p. 17).
C.Edward Robinson – “Ekklesia, a convocation, assembly, congregation. In the literal sense a popular, or rather assembly, composed of persons legally summoned” (Lexicon).

D.A. H. Strong – “Ekklesia signified merely an assembly, however gathered or summoned. The church was never so large that it could not assemble” (Systematic Theology).
E.Vincent – “Originally an assembly of citizens, regularly summoned” (Word Studies in the N.T.)
F.Thayer – “Take the entire range of Greek literature in all its dialects, secular and sacred, and there is not one passage in which ecclesia means an invisible and universal spiritual assembly” (Lexicon).
G.Alexander Campbell – “Ekklesia literally signifies an assembly called out from others and is used among the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, for their popular assemblies, summoned by their chief magistrates and in which none but citizens had a right to sit. By inherent power it may be applied to any body of men called out and assembled in one place. If it ever loses the idea of calling out and assembling, it loses its principal features and its primitive use” (Ekklesia – The Church. Ross, p. 7).

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ECCLESIOLOGY (A Study Of The Church)


LESSON 1.
THE ENGLISH WORD “CHURCH”

I.THE WORD DEFINED.
A.Overbey says, “According to most scholars the word church comes from a Greek word meaning ‘the Lord’s’ with the word house usually understood.” (The Meaning of Ecclesia in the N.T.. – Overbey, p. 7)
B.The Greek “kuriakos”:
1.Easton’s Bible dictionary says, “Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship. In the New Testament is is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the “Church of England,” the “Church of Scotland,” etc.
2.Smith’s Bible Dictionary says,
a.The derivation of the word is generally said to be from the Greek kuriakon, “belonging to the Lord”. But the derivation has been too hastily assumed. It is probably connected with kirk,the Latin circus, circulus, the Greek kuklos, (kuklos), because the congregations were gathered in circles.
b.Ecclesia, the Greek word for church, originally meant an assembly called out by the magistrate, or by legitimate authority. It was, in this last sense, that the word was adapted and applied by the writers of the New Testament to the Christian congreagation.
3.Kuriakos used in the New Testament.
a.Revelation 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day (kuriake hemera), and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.”
b.I Corinthians 11:20, “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper (kuriakon deipnon).”

II.SUGGESTED READING.
A.Ecclesia – the Church – B. H. Carrol
B.Ekklesia – the Church – Bob L. Ross
C.Theodosia Earnest, Bol. II – A. C. Dayton

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ECCLESIOLOGY (A Study Of The Church)


I.DEFINITION OF TERMS.
A.Ecclesiology is a specialized study of the doctrines of the church. The study includes the origin, the continuity, the nature, and the ministry of this blood-bought institution.
B.Etymology of the word “ecclesiology”:
1.Ecclesia – assembly; congregation; church
2.Logos – word; study of
C.This study comprises one of the most imlportant, yet sadly neglected doctrines of the Bible.

II.THE NEED FOR THIS STUDY
A.Never before in the history of the church has there been such a need of the Bible meaning of the Lor’s “church.”
B.G. D. Boardman, of last century fame, stated, “What is the church? Is the great problem of this century.” (Ekklesia The Church, Bob Ross, p. 3).
C.Satan has chosen a few doctrines to specifically concentrate his energies on to pervert: Genesis account of creation, inspiration of the Scriptures, virgin birth and deity of Christ, salvation by grace, perseverance of the saints, and the church of the New Testament.
D.Chester Tulga says, “The fundamentalists knew very well that many other spiritual movements had cooled off and departed from the faith, and they adopted many careful doctrinal confessions and required many sighnings, forgetting at times that eternal vigilance is the price of orthodoxy… they did not forsee that schools chich they founded would be infected by the culture of their day, the natural tendency of the human mind toward philosophical theology, and the adoption of the popular notions of the hour. Many movements are lulled to sleep with the conviction that ‘it can’t happen to us’…church history records that every movement eventually diminishes in vigor and strength of conviction; that the truths held dynamically in the beginning eventually come to be held formally.” (Fundamentalism Of Yesterday, The Evangelicalism of Today, and the Fudamentalis of Tomorrow, Chester Tulga, pp. 7,8).
E.The controversy centers around the question: “What is the nature of the church?” “Is it local or universal, visible or invisible?” IT CANNOT BE BOTH.
F.The ordinances of the church – baptism and the Lord’s Supper – can never have their full meaning, if the nature of the church be not properly understood.
G.Scriptural exhortations:
1.II Timothy 4:3,4 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and athey shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
2.Matthew 24:12 – “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
3.II Timothy 3:1 – “This know also, that in the last days perilous (difficult) times shall come.”
4.I Timothy 4:1 – “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart form the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
5.Revelation 3:14-22 – the whole spirit of this Laodicean age is characterized by apathy, indifference, likewarmness, non-concern, and looseness – both morally and doctrinally.

III.SUGGESTED READING
A.The meaning of Ecclesia in the New Testament – Eddward Overbey
B.The Church That Jesus Built – Roy Mason
C.The Origin of Baptists – S. H. Ford
D.Theodosia Earnest – Volume II – A. C. Dayton
E.Baptist Succession – D. B. Ray
F.Concise History of Baptists – Orchard
G.The Curch and the Ordinances – Buell H. kazee
H.Alien Baptism and the Baptists – Nevins
I.The Baptist Story – A. A. Davis
J.The Church – L. L. Clover
K.Brief History of the Baptists – Edward Overbey
L.John’s Baptism – J. R. Graves
M.N. T. Baptists and Infant Sprinkling – Chester Tulga
N.Case for Dispensationalism – Chester Tulga
O.Seven Dispensations – J. R. Graves
P.independence of the Local Church – Chester Tulga
Q.Southern Baptist Convention – A Study in the Development of Ecclesiology – William Wright Barnes
R.The Baptist Heritage – Holliday
S.History of the Baptists – Thomas Armitage
T.The New Great iron Wheel – J. R. Graves
U.Truth About Conventionism – I. K. Cross
V.World System and the Social Gospel – S. E. Jones
W.Trilemma – J. R. Graves
X.Communism, Democracy, and Catholic Power – Paul Blanshard
Y.American Feedom and Catholic Power – Paul Blanshard
Z.First Baptist Church in America -Graves and Adlam
AA.Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History
AB.The Letters to the Seven Churches – Ramsay
AC.The Patmos Letters – Tatford
AD.The Churches of the New Testament – McDaniel
AE.Repent or Else – Vance Havner
AF.Seven Churches of Revelation – Ford
AG.Why Be a Baptist – Boyce Taylor
AH.Pillars of Orthodoxy – Ben Bogard
AI.Ecclesia – the Church – B. H. Carroll
AJ.Ekklesia – the Church – Bob Ross
AK.The Glorious Church – Roy M. Reed
AL.God’s Plan With Man – A. J. Kirkland
AM.Seven Questions & Answers as to Church Authority – Baptist Examiner
AN.Origin and perpetuity of the Baptists – Baptist Examiner
AO.The New Testament Church – A Local Body – A. J. Kirkland
AP.Biblical Proofs for identifying the True Church – L. D. Forman
AQ.The Trail of Blood – J. M. Carroll

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