[B-Greek] understanding TWN EKKLESIWN
cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri Oct 30 07:28:46 EDT 2009
On Oct 29, 2009, at 11:51 PM, hoshi411 wrote:
> SECULAR USE
> In all the cases I have found on Perseus so far, the Genitive Plural
> TWN EKKLHSIWN is only used in reference to conferences or civil
> committee meetings or discussions or negotiations. It seems to refer
> to meetings where dialogue and negotiation happens.
> FOR EXAMPLE
> εἴρηκε δὲ ὡς ἐν τῇ προτέρᾳ τῶν
> ἐκκλησιῶν δημηγορήσαντος
> Φιλοκράτους, ὕστερον ἀναβὰς ἐγὼ
> κατεμεμψάμην ἣν εἰσηγεῖτο ἐκεῖνος
> EIRHKE DE hWS EN TH PROTERA TWN EKKLHSIWN DHMHGORHSANTOS FILOKRATOUS,
> USTERON ANABAS EGW KATEMEMYAMHN HN EISHGEITO EKEINOS EIRHNEN
> But he has said that at the first OF the two MEETINGS OF THE CIVIL
> COMMITTEE, after Philocrates had spoken,
> (Aeschines. Speeches [ Aeschin. speech 2 section 63 ])
> English and Greek were taken from the following site.
> Full text can be seen here.
The EKKLHSIA was a regular meeting of the assembled people of Athens
(clearly the setting here in a speech of Aeschines the Attic Oraor);
in this instance the EKKLHSIA gathered on successive occasions. It is
not a "committee" but a public assembly; in the Athenian democracy
major decisions were made in gatherings of the entire male citizenry
of the Polis. That's what's being referred to here.
> PAUL'S USE
> But Paul uses it as if TWN EKKLHSIWN refers to individuals themselves
> and not to any kind of meeting.
> FOR EXAMPLE
> * 2 Corinthians 11:28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily
> pressure on me of my anxiety for THE COUNCIL MEMBERS (the of ekklesia)
> (how can he be burdened for anything but people? this cant be a
> * 1 Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brothers, became imitators of THE
> MEMBERS OF THE CIVIL COUNCIL (of God in Christ Jesus) that are in
> Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as
> they did from the Jews,
> (there was only one church in judea. Unless paul is referring to
> individual people as assemblies this sentence makes no sense. How can
> you imitate an assembly? It must be individuals he is referring to.)
This is erroneous. EKKLHSIA in Pauline usage refers to a local
congregation of believers. In English the word ordinarily used for
this is "church" but it refers to the organized body of believers.
> Is it possible that in all of secular Greek speaking history the word
> EKKLHSIA has ever even once meant "member"? To be one "of ekklesia".
Not to my knowledge. You really need to consult a standard lexicon.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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