SBT Church Or Congregation—disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Acts 11:26

and Compare NamesOfChristainChurches.htm  Church It did not signify a "building".

The Christian word "Church" is used erroneously for the Greek "εκκλησία"

The Christian use of this term has its direct antecedent in the Koine Greek translation of the Old Testament (see also Septuagint), where the noun ekklesia has been employed 96 times to denote the congregation of the Children of Israel, which Christians regard as a type of the "Body of Christ", as they also call the Christian Church of Christ.

SBT Note--Ie –The word "Church" should  Simply be Translated congregation---The Congregation of Christ. and not

the Christian Church of Christ. Compare  BiblePublishersAccountableToWho.htm-and-IntroductionForConcernedStudents.htm and open

[christian] ][church] church Acts 11:26

and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and

taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

Open Acts 11:26 and read Commentaries Study Resource List and Compare NamesOfChristainChurches.htm  

Names of Christian Churches   Is there any Scriptural proof to support any Name of the many Names

Churches have given themselves? NamesOfChristainChurches.htm Continued From Study Acts15-14.htm


The Christian word "Church" is used erroneously for the Greek "εκκλησία" — ekklesia, ref. Strong's Concordance — 1577, Bauer's, Thayer's, and Moulton's) is mentioned in the New Testament. Of the 114 occurrences of the term in the New Testament, Three are found in the Gospel accounts, all spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my ekklesia, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it" (Mt 16:18); and "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the ekklesia; and if he refuses to listen even to the ekklesia, let him be to you as the Gentile and the tax-collector" (Mt 18:17).

The Greek term εκκλησία — ekklesia, which literally means a "gathering or selection i.e. "eklectic" in English" or "called out assembly", was a governmental and political term, used to denote a national assembly, congregation, council of common objective (see Ecclesia (ancient Athens), Ecclesia (Church)) or a crowd of people who were assembled. It did not signify a "building".


It did not signify a "building". + ekklesia, ref. Strong's Concordance-

 Compare Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words church- assembly-congregation & DictionaryExample.htm

With links to names] [With Easton] [With Nave] [With Torrey] [X]

[With Webster dictionary] [With Roget's thesaurus] [With ->German] [With ->German2] [With ->Russian] [With ->French] [With ->Estonian] [X]



A church is an association of people who share a particular belief system. The term church originated from Greek "κυριακή" -"kyriake", meaning "of thee lord". The term later began to replace the Greek ekklesia and basilica within Christendom, c. AD 300, though it was used by Christians before that time.

The Christian use of this term has its direct antecedent in the Koine Greek translation of the Old Testament (see also Septuagint), where the noun ekklesia has been employed 96 times to denote the congregation of the Children of Israel, which Christians regard as a type of the "Body of Christ", as they also call the Christian Church of Christ.

Some minority traditions of Christianity have maintained that the word translated "church" in scripture most often properly refers to local bodies or assemblies. "Church" is a derivative of the Early Greek word "κυριακον", meaning Lord's house, which in English became "church". The Koine word for church is εκκλησία (ecclesia). Before Christian appropriation of the term, it was used to describe purposeful gatherings, including the assemblies of many Greek city states. Christians of this stripe maintain that a centralizing impulse in the church, present from the early days of the church through the rise of Constantine represented a departure from true Christianity. They therefore reject the authority of the Nicene Creed or the Apostles' Creed.

Christian churches

A church is similar to a denomination, the adherents of a particular creed or believers of a particular tradition. The largest church is the Roman Catholic Church, comprising half of Christians worldwide. Various Christian churches are distinguished by their different ecclesiastical hierarchies, their creeds, and their Bibles and other sacred texts. Several Christian churches consider themselves to be the true church established by Christ (see Great Commission), including the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Restorationist churches. The Christian Church is sometimes also understood to mean the totality of believers across the various Christian churches. For example, Roman Catholics consider the Eastern Orthodox to be members of the Body of Christ, even though they are not Catholic.

Each church recognizes more or fewer of its fellow Christian churches as legitimate. Mainstream denominations are generally compatible enough that members do not have to be rebaptized when they switch from one denomination to another. Still, even mainstream denominations can be far apart ecumenically. Since Vatican II, Roman Catholic theologians have referred to Protestant and Restorationist denominations not as churches but as associations. These theologians acknowledge Eastern Orthodox churches as true churches, albeit defective ones.


Spiritual authority

The Christian church is said to be guided by the Holy Spirit and given spiritual authority by Christ. Membership in the Christian church has traditionally been defined by baptism. The church administers Christianity's sacred acts: baptism, the Lord's supper, worship, etc.

Visible and invisible churches

Many believe the Church, as described in the Bible, has a twofold character that can be described as the visible and invisible church. As the Church invisible, the church consists of all those from every time and place, who are vitally united to Christ through regeneration and salvation and who will be eternally united to Jesus Christ in eternal life. The Church visible consists of all those who visibly join themselves to a profession of faith and gathering together to know and serve the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. The visible church exists globally in all who identify themselves as Christians and locally in particular places where believers gather for the worship of God. The visible church may also refer to an association of particular churches from multiple locations who unite themselves under a common charter and set of governmental principles. The church in the visible sense is often governed by office-bearers carrying titles such as minister, pastor, teacher, elder, and deacon.

Others make the claim that no reference to the church is ever made in the Bible that is not referring to a local visible body, such as the church in someone's house or the church as Ephesis. Those that make this claim believe that the term is sometimes used in an institutional sense in which the term refers to all of a certain type, meaning all of the local visible churches.

Universal church

Church is taken by some to refer to a single, universal community, although others contend that the doctrine of the universal church was established until later. The doctrine of the universal, visible church was made explicit in the Apostles' Creed, while the less common Protestant notion of the universal, invisible church is not laid out explicitly until the Reformation. The universal church traditions generally espouse that the Church includes all who are baptized into her common faith, including the doctrines of the trinity, forgiveness of sins through the sacrificial action of Christ, and the resurrection of the body. These teachings are expressed in liturgy with the celebration of sacraments, visible signs of grace. They are passed down as the deposit of faith.

Church government

Major forms of church government include hierarchical (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodoxy), presbyterian (rule by elders), and independent (Baptist, charismatic, other forms of independency). Prior to the Protestant Reformation, clergy were understood to gain their authority through apostolic succession, an understanding still affirmed in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

History of Christian churches

Early Christian Church

The Christian church began as Jesus' following among the Jews. Paul and other missionaries spread Christianity among the Hellenized gentiles of the Roman Empire. Christians were sporadically persecuted, but the religion spread, and in the 4th century Constantine declared it the official religion of the Empire.

Seven Ecumenical Councils

Constantine's Council of Nicea united the Christian church around the Nicene Creed. Six more ecumenical councils followed, representing a time of harmony between East and West.

East and West

When the Roman Empire fell to the barbarians, the church effectively split into East and West. This split became an official schism in 1054.

Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther and other reformers broke away from Rome, establishing Protestant churches. Other new churches formed over the next centuries.


Christian scriptures use a wide range of metaphors to describe the church. These include:

  • Family of God the Father (,)
  • Brothers and sisters with each other in God's family ()
  • Bride of Christ ()
  • Branches on a vine ()
  • Olive tree ()
  • Field of crops ()
  • Building ()
  • Harvest (,)
  • New temple and new priesthood with a new cornerstone ()
  • God's house ()
  • Pillar and foundation the truth ()
  • Body of Christ ()
  • Temple of the Holy Spirit ()
  • House of Prayer ()

See also


  • Anderson, Robert A., Church of God? or the Temples of Satan: A reference book of Spiritual understanding and Gnosis, TGS Publishers, Texas, 2006. ISBN 0-9786249-6-3.
  • Bannerman, James, The Church of Christ: A treatise on the nature, powers, ordinances, discipline and government of the Christian Church, Still Waters Revival Books, Edmonton, Reprint Edition May 1991, First Edition 1869.
  • Grudem, Wayne, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England, 1994. See particularly Part 6: The Doctrine of the Church
  • Kuiper, R.B., The Glorious Body of Christ, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1967
  • Mannion, Gerard and Mudge, Lewis (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church, 2007



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