[B-Greek] Etymological fallacy?

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Nov 18 19:28:16 EST 2008

The etymological fallacy appears to be alive and well at the Koinonia  
blog in yesterday's "Word study on ekklesia ("church") — Monday with  
Mounce 15 " entry:
= http://tinyurl.com/5n9t54

It's the old chestnut about EKKLHSIA being derived from EKKALEW and  
the word meaning that believers have been "called out of the world" to  
belong to King Jesus. It's worth consulting BDAG on this; the word is  
actually the standard ancient Greek political word for assembly of  
citizens. In the LXX EKKLHSIA was used to convey the Hebrew Qahal,  
"congregation" -- and it is pretty evident the word was carried over  
into early Christian usage for the congregation of believers.

Warnings against the etymological fallacy don't seem to do much good.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)

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