Church: [ekklesia /ek·klay·see·ah/] Strongs 1577, noun, from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; (those called out)
- A gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly.
- An assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating.
- The assembly of the Israelites.
- Any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously.
In a Christian sense…
- An assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting.
- A company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake.
- Those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body.
- The whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth.
- The assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven.
*The English word «church» is derived from the Greek adjective kyrialos as used in some such phrase as kyriakon doma or kyriake oikia, meaning «the Lord’s house», i.e. a Christian place of worship.
«Church» in the New Testament, however, renders from the Greek: ekklesia, which mostly designates a local congregation of Christians and NEVER A BUILDING…
Although we often speak of these congregations collectively as the NT church or the early church, no NT writer uses ekklesia in this collective way.*
*New Bible Dictionary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.*