Without controversy, the most controversial subject in the Bible is “the church.” This is what most of the fussing is about both between “us” and the denominationalists, and between us and us. In one way or another everybody argues over the Church; not Christ, but the Church. But the longer I linger around Church-anity the more I come to realize that much of this controversy is based on incorrect or unclear concepts.
There was an instance when one of them accused the Admin of fiddling with the Holy Bible and what not. But I do not think I can reply to all those and it is part of a process of breaking the chains of Religion.
I think one Brother/Sister named “I love Jesus” summed it up in a concise way.
I felt there is a slight “out of sync” between you and readers ( some of us ) in taking the definition of the word CHURCH. When you said the word CHURCH, you meant the CHURCH = Body of Christ / Bride of Christ only. ( Correct me if I am wrong ) .
But in common since the word CHURCH refers to Christian Worship place also ( i mentioned in earlier comment. Church is a common term for Christian worship place, Temple for that of Hindus, Mosque for that of Islams .. and so on ) , i think at least some of us who commented felt that the banner of the article “DONT GO TO CHURCH ” sends out a wrong message, when also thought in-terms of common naming conventions mentioned above. As I said earlier there are many buildings ( worship places: be it fellowships/gatherings or anything else ) with a word CHURCH in its NAME given to that ( very common in India at least ).
Some Translation History
Throughout your Bible, wherever you find the word CHURCH is mentioned, it is Ekklesia in Greek. Now, let’s look at the word, “ekklesia”. This Greek word appears in the New Testament approximately 115 times. That’s just in this one grammatical form. It appears also in other forms. And in every instance, except three, it is wrongly translated as “church” in the King James Version. Those three exceptions are found in Acts 19:32, 39, 41. In these instances, the translators rendered it “assembly“ instead of “church.” But, the Greek word is exactly the same as the other 112 entries where it was changed to “church” wrongly.
Have you ever wondered how Ekklesia, which means a called out congregation or assembly, came to be translated as church?
Answer: a King gave an edict. That King was King James.
You see, there already was a Greek word that meant church in Greek. That word was kuriakos, the lord’s house (or a meeting place for a religious group, including pagans). Only the word kuriakos isn’t anywhere in the Greek New Testament manuscripts. But that didn’t matter to King James.
In 1604, the King gave 15 edicts for his translators to follow. Edict number 3 forbade translating ekklesia as congregation (except in specific places like Acts 19:32, where it wasn’t referring to followers of the Messiah). All previous Greek to English translations—Tyndale 1524, Coverdale 1535, Matthew Bible 1537, and the Great Bible 1539—had correctly translated ekklesia as congregation or assembly.
Before the 1611 KJV, the only English Bible to ever translate ekklesia as church was not from the Greek, but from a Latin to English translation from the Catholic Church’s Latin Vulgate done by John Wycliffe in 1382.
What Was The King’s Motive?
Power! What Else? Many historians claim it was political power that caused King James to issue edict number 3, for as England’s Sovereign, King James headed the Church of England.
Beware Of Translator Bias
As a general rule, we should always beware of translator bias. For instance, the Greek word ep-ee-stref, Strong’s G1994, which means to revert, return, or turn about. This word is constantly translated in one form or another of returning, in all but a few strategic passages in the KJV. In those passages, the translators chose instead to translate the word as converted, a word which means to “change in form, character or function.” Why? To perpetrate their agenda of proving Jesus came to start a NEW RELIGION. But do not take my word for it. Download e-Sword look these passages up for yourself. The impact will be much greater. I will list some–not all–of the verses that correctly translate this Greek word in some form or another of “returning”, then I will give you the few strategic places the KJV where the same word is purposely rendered converted.
Ep-ee-stref As Return
- Matthew 9:22; 10:13; 12:44; 24:18
- Mark 5:30; 8:33; 13:16
- Luke 1:17; 2:20; 17:4; 17:31; 22:32
- John 21:20
- Acts 9:35; 9:40; 11:21; 14:15; 15:19; 16:18; 26:18
- 2nd Cor 3:16;
- Gal 4:9
- 1st Tim 1:19
- 1st Pet 2:21
- Rev 1:12
- James 5:19; 5:20
Ep-ee-stref Mistranslated as Converted
Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted…
This same passages can be found in John 12:40, in Mark 4:12, and again in Acts 28:27, and each time it is translated as converted, when it should say, “…lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and RETURN.”
Another strategic place this purposeful poor translation has occurred is in Acts 3:19 “Repent ye therefore, and be CONVERTED, that your sins may be blotted out…” It should read: “Repent ye therefore and RETURN that your sins may be blotted out…”
Why do I appreciate Indian Translators?
Our Indian Translators did not have to contend with the Edicts of Kings. I suppose most of the readers of this site has an Indian background. Therefore, it is my privilege to take a shorter route to make you understand.
I know a few Indian Languages but I would like to explain it using Malayalam. Do you know why the Malayalam translators used the Word Sabha(സഭ) instead of the word പള്ളി when they translated Ekklesia? Do you think they were fools?
They knew the difference between both these terms. In the First Term ((സഭ) , the People as a whole is the Important Subject. But in the Second Term (പള്ളി) , the Building is the Subject. You ask any Malayalee and he will tell that. The second term has a religious connotation. But the First Term can be used for any purpose and will be taken according to the context.
Have you heard of Legislative Assembly (നിയമസഭ)? Hindu MahaSABHA ? Clearly, it’s all about Assembly or the Congregation.
So When you Assemble, its a Verb. When you Congregate, its a Verb. Whereas the Second Term പള്ളി (Religious Building) is a NOUN.
As പള്ളി (Religious Building) is a NOUN, you obviously പള്ളിയിലേക്ക് പോകൂ or GO TO CHURCH.
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
ചിലർ ചെയ്യുന്നതുപോലെ നമ്മുടെ സഭായോഗങ്ങളെ ഉപേക്ഷിക്കാതെ തമ്മിൽ പ്രബോധിപ്പിച്ചുകൊണ്ടു സ്നേഹത്തിന്നും സൽപ്രവൃത്തികൾക്കും ഉത്സാഹം വർദ്ധിപ്പിപ്പാൻ അന്യോന്യം സൂക്ഷിച്ചുകൊൾക. നാൾ സമീപിക്കുന്നു എന്നു കാണുംതോറും അതു അധികമധികമായി ചെയ്യേണ്ടതാകുന്നു.
Clearly, the above texts are speaking about assembling/Congregating of the PEOPLE and the Place is not at all the focus.
Church Fellowships – we have gone too far
The Early Church Fathers of the Pentecostal and Brethren Mission Movements in India clearly understood this. Therefore they never bothered about a Church Building. They had House Churches which when later got expanded, and then their progeny chose the carnal nature of Controlling ALL people by the Clergy/Laity System. They did not like to split into smaller units for the House Church model to Continue.
This was the same model in the early Ekklesia. Purpose-built places for worship did not come into existence until about the fourth century. The early Christians met in their homes or rented suitable facilities. “He [Paul] took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” (Acts 19:9-10) And Paul, sending his greetings to Aquila and Priscilla in Rome, states “Greet also the church that meets at their house.” (Romans 16:5).
The practice of the early church was to gather on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2) When the church assembled, they partook of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-33) and collectively worshipped the Lord. Their gatherings provided an opportunity for the believers to receive instruction in the apostles'(Not False Apostles’) teaching (Acts 2:42) and to bless the congregation by the spiritual gifts they had been given for the edification of the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:24-26, 14:26; Romans 12:4-5)
Do you know how does God consider the Ekklesia? Each one of us is considered as his Family member.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, Eph 2:19
If you profess to follow Christ, then it’s time you quit voluntarily feeding the anti-Christ beast. Men who want to sincerely follow Christ must wean themselves from worldly governments and churches. It is the height of absurdity for a Christian to attend and support the very institutions which are destroying his relationship with God. Those who voluntarily support man-made religious church systems, by believing and teaching that they are good in any way, or that they help us, or that we need them, are still living in a dream world of deception. The ekklesia system, with it’s Theocratic government and individual responsibility, is capable of freeing us from the bondage of religion. True peace and liberty cannot be found outside of Christ. Christ’s system is the ecclesia system. Freedom awaits all those who will break away from the religious slavery of church and become a humble bondslave of Jesus Christ. We must stop idolizing men in their religious hypocrisy and let Christ once and for all be our King!
So, there is really no other choice for those who would truly follow the pattern laid down for us in God’s Word. We must do the same thing the apostles did. We must form ourselves into actual communities under the guidance of God’s anointed and appointed leaders, called out and separated from the world, with none other than Jesus Christ as our ruler and King. In other words, EKKLESIA!
As a whole, Christians have departed from the pattern laid down in the book of Acts and have built, according to their own wisdom, an artificial, phony, putrifying religious mess called “church”. It’s time to REVOLT against the wisdom of our religious flesh and get back to the wisdom of God. It’s time to re-evaluate and re-examine everything about how you think the true followers of Jesus should live. It’s time for REVOLUTION against DEAD RELIGION! We are determined to change the way the world thinks about how true followers of Jesus should live.
DON’T GO TO THE RELIGIOUS BUILDING(CHURCH) but BE THE EKKLESIA(CHURCH) By Fellowshipping with Disciples of Christ