Translation of EKKLHSIA

Marc Pembroke maplaw at
Tue Aug 22 15:30:38 EDT 2000

> What makes you think it had a specifically "religious" tone when used by
> writers of the NT?  Isnt it possible that the NT writers merely used the
> word they had at hand for "assembly" with nothing denoted thereby other
> the fact that folk gathered together?

Recall that "ekklhsia appears at least 100 times in the Septuagint to
translate quahal and edah, which were the religious Jewish assemblies. So
after 300 years of  Biblical usage, it would seem to me that the New
Testament writers were using a term already known to refer to religious

Given the evident familiarity of the New Testament writers with Septuagint
translations, it would seem difficult to argue that their use of the term
came strictly from the general language of the time.

Marc A. Pembroke
P.O. Box 882
Jackman, ME 04945
(207) 668-4160
maplaw at

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim West" <jwest at>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at>
Cc: <b-greek at>
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2000 2:14 PM
Subject: [b-greek] RE: Translation of EKKLHSIA

> At 12:57 PM 8/22/00 -0500, you wrote:
> >Let me try to rephrase it. It appears to me that in Classical Greek
> >was predominantly, if not altogether, a secular word--referring to
> >and, otherwise, secular assemblies. Did the use of the word with
> >to a religious "assembly" have any effect on the way the word was used
> >following the time of the New Testament?
 To be sure, the word later became
> loaded as an ecclesiastical one - meaning "church assembly".  But I dont
> think this happened as early as the NT itself and im not anything near a
> patristics scholar- so the exact date of that transformation is unknown to
> >
> >I hope that's clearer. If not, I may have to give up.
> its not you- its me. im extraordinarily dense.
> thanks for clarifying.
> Jim
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> "going around stirring up apathy "
> Jim West, ThD
> ---
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