I. Study Goal

 

I am trying to see if there is any scriptural difference between HaShem’s people as revealed in the Tanach (the Old Testament), and HaShem’s people as revealed in the Nazarean Codicil.

 

II. Hypothesis

 

Torah (the law) is a description of the character of HaShem as it is written:

 

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 2:3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of HaShem, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law (torah) will go out from Zion, the word of HaShem from Jerusalem.

 

We know, from the Nazarean Codicil, that the “Word” is Yeshua. This passage is equating the Torah (Law) with the Word. Torah is a description of Messiah. And He is unchanging, as it is written:

 

Malachi 3:6 “I HaShem do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

 

An unchanging God who’s character is defined by Torah, would have a consistent and unchanging requirement for those whom He loves. We know that all those who are saved by grace through faith are called sons of God, as it is written:

 

Romans 8:14 Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

 

A gathering of the sons of God, those who are saved by grace through faith, for the purposes of obeying Torah and worshipping the unchanging God, are called an assembly as it is written:

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:22 These are the commandments HaShem proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.

 

The word “assembly” is qahal in Hebrew. This is the Hebrew word that is translated ekklesia, or church, in the Septuagint.

 

I would, therefore, expect that an unchanging HaShem would have an unchanging requirement for His people to obey the Torah (the law) which is a description of His character. The term “church” and “Israel“ are the two most frequent terms used to describe this called out assembly. I would, therefore, expect these two terms to describe the same group of people.

 

III. The first usage of “assembly”.

 

The first use of assembly (qahal) is in:

 

The first use of “Qahal”, which is translated ekklesia in the Septuagint, is in:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 28:1-4 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham.”

 

In this passage we can see that the community, or church, of peoples were to be Isaac’s offspring, Jacob. From Jacob we have the twelve tribes of Israel!

 

The related word, “edah”, is first found in:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:1 HaShem said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.

 

This passage also brings us back to Israel!

 

Lets examine the words for “church”, in the Nazarean Codicil, and “congregation” in the Tanach.

 

Church” is the English translation of the Greek “ekklesia”. “Ekklesia” is also translated as “congregation” or “assembly”. Strong’s definition is:

 

1577 ekklesia, ek-klay-see’-ah; from a comp. of 1537 and a der. of 2564; a calling out, i.e. (concr.) a popular meeting, espec. a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Chr. community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):-assembly, church.

 

So, a church is an assembly or congregation.

 

Congregation” is the English translation of the Hebrew “qahal”.

 

6951 qahal, kaw-hawl’; from 6950; assemblage (usually concr.):-assembly, company, congregation, multitude.

 

The Greek Ekklesia means simply an Assembly: any assembly of people who are called out (for that is the etymological meaning of the word) from other people. Hence, it is used of the whole nation of Israel as distinct from other nations.

 

The Septuagint uses the word Ekklesia seventy times when it translates the Hebrew word: lhq; (qahal), from which we get our English word “call”. It means to call together, to assemble, to congregant, or gather together. A related word is:

 

5712 `edah, ay-daw’; fem. of 5707 in the orig. sense of fixture; a stated assemblage (spec. a concourse, or gen. a family or crowd):-assembly, company, congregation, multitude, people, swarm. Comp. 5713.

 

The first usage of ekklesia, in the order of the Nazarean Codicil, is in:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 16:18 And I tell you that you are Tzefet (Peter), and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

 

Peter was an Israelite. So, if Messiah’s church has anything to do with people, it has to do with Peter, or with Israelites.

 

V. Idiomatic usage of “Church”:

 

Let’s look at another usage of the word “church”. This usage is an idiomatic phrase: “The Angel of the Church”. This is an officer of the synagogue. The following names and titles also describe this officer:

 

Sheliach Tzibbur (Hebrew)

Angellos Ekklesia (Greek)

(Angel of the Assembly or

Angel of the Church)

Bishop of the congregation

Baal Teffilah (Master of Prayer)

Chazzan

overseer

 

This officer is known today as the Chazzan, Hazzan HaKeneset, or the Beadle. The qualifications for this office, according to Shulhan Arukh - OH 53:4-9, were:      

 


1. Humility

2. Acceptability to the congregation.

3. Knowledge of the rules of prayer and the

 proper pronunciation of the Hebrew text.

4. An agreeable voice.

5. Proper dress.

6. A beard.[1]

 

This man was the public minister of the synagogue. He was responsible for public prayer, or appointing those who read from the Torah, and he sometimes preached if there were no others to discharge this office. This man did not read the Torah publicly, but, every Shabbat, Sabbath, he called out seven of the synagogue (on other days fewer) whom he judged fit to read. He stood by those that read and carefully made sure that they read correctly. He would correct them if they made an error. It is for this reason that he was also called an “overseer”. If you wanted something read in the synagogue, on Shabbat, you would give it to the Angel of the Church; that is why the letters, in the opening chapters of the book of the Revelation, are addressed to the Angel of the Church. He would get folks to read these letters, on Shabbat, to the whole congregation.

 

Formerly, in the Temple service in Jerusalem, the Angel of the Church was the priest who acted as the leader of prayer in intercession with HaShem for the worshippers.

 

This office is found several times in the Nazarean Codicil. I have underlined the word. Note that it is not always translated as “the angel of the church”:

 

Luqas (Luke) 4:14-21 Yeshua returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, And he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 5:25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 10:16-20 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, For it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

 

Revelation 2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:

 

Revelation 2:8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.

 

Revelation 2:12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.

 

Revelation 2:18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

 

Revelation 3:1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

 

Revelation 3:7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

 

Revelation 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.

 

From the above usage we can understand that the “Angel of the Church” was simply an officer of the synagogue and of the Temple. Both of these institutions are associated with Israel.

 

V. Examples

 

I would like to remove the word “church” from the following sentences, and substitute the word “congregation”. This should help us to understand this word “church” a little better:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the congregation; and if he refuses to listen even to the congregation, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

 

In this portion the audience is made up of the Apostles, all of whom are Israelites. These Israelites had no church as we know it. They had only synagogues made up of congregates who are Israelites or converts. They knew nothing of a single pastor because they always had at least three pastors. The singular word “pastor” never occur in the Nazarean Codicil. It occurs ONLY in the plural. They knew nothing of our church songs, church government, church buildings, communion, church baptism, or any of the other trappings associated with a church. They only knew the synagogue!

 

If you analyze the sequence here, you will see that the number of people we “go to” is increasing from one to two or three to an entire congregation. The idea of a congregation is the idea of talking to all the folks of your town or community. Biblically speaking, a congregant ALWAYS walked less than a Sabbath day’s journey to get to the synagogue. So, if you told a matter to the congregation you have effectively ostracized a sinner from his community.

 

VI. The Book of Ruth

 

The book of Ruth gives a beautiful example of the church:

 

Ruth 1:3-5 Now Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, Both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

 

So, we have a Moabitess named Ruth marrying a Jew of the tribe of Judah. The Sages all agree that Ruth became a Jewish proselyte before she married Mahlon. We see this very clearly in Ruth’s declaration:

 

Ruth 1:15-18 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May HaShem deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

 

Here Ruth is identifying with the HaShem of the Jews. In fact, it is from this passage that Jews understand that you should attempt to dissuade a potential proselyte three times and then you should accept them and never dissuade them again.

 

Notice that Ruth and Naomi get to Israel at the beginning of Passover:

 

Ruth 1:22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.

 

The barley harvest ALWAYS begins the day after the first day of Passover. Passover is connected to Hag Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, by counting the omer. When we have finished counting seven weeks and fifty days, we begin to celebrate Hag Shavuot.

 

Now we can see that Ruth gets betrothed on Hag Shavuot:

 

Ruth 2:23 So Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

 

Since we know that the wheat harvest is ALWAYS begun on Hag Shavuot, we can can understand that the end of the barley harvest represents the beginning of the wheat harvest. This was the time of Ruth’s betrothal:

 

Ruth 3:1-13 One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do. When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man, and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet. “Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.” “HaShem bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character. Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to redeem, good; let him redeem. But if he is not willing, as surely as HaShem lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”

 

The Sages all understood that Hag Shavuot is when Ruth became betrothed. The Sages also understand that Hag Shavuot is when Israel became betrothed to HaShem, at the foot of Mount Sinai in the days of Moses.

 

So Ruth, the proselyte, representing the ‘church’, became betrothed on Hag Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks. The ‘church’, typified by Ruth, first became Torah observant and then became betrothed.

 

VII. Connecting “assembly” (qahal) and “church” (ekklesia) in time.

 

We have an interesting Nazarean Codicil which points back to the “church”, or ekklesia, in the wilderness. This is the Nazarean Codicil’s earliest reference, in time, to the church. A careful reading shows that those who constitute the church are the children of Israel.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 7:37-40 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church [ekklesia] in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust [him] from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for [as for] this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 7:37-40 “This is that Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will send you a prophet like me from your own people.’ He was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us. “But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt--we don’t know what has happened to him!’

 

Those called Israelites, in the above passage, also include Gentiles, as it is written:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:37-38 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. Many other people went up with them, as well as large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.

 

We see this same group of Jews and Gentiles, called Israelites, in:

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 29:9-15 Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. All of you are standing today in the presence of HaShem your God--your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, Together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with HaShem your God, a covenant HaShem is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, To confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you Who are standing here with us today in the presence of HaShem our God but also with those who are not here today.

 

The Talmud (the oral law) records that HaShem spoke seventy languages at Sinai, that the whole world might comprehend His Torah:

 

Shabbath 88b: R. Johanan said: What is meant by the verse, The Lord giveth the word: They that publish the tidings are a great host? Every single word that went forth from the Omnipotent was split up into seventy languages. The School of R. Ishmael taught: And like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces, just as a hammer is divided into many sparks, so every single word that went forth from the Holy One, blessed be He, split up into seventy languages.

 

It is written, that the number of nations is seventy, in:

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 46:26-27 All those who went to Egypt with Jacob--those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives--numbered sixty-six persons. With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.

 

With this understanding of what happened at Mount Sinai, when the Torah was given, we can appreciate this scene in II Luqas (Acts):

 

II Luqas (Acts) 2:1-47 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (Both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs--we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Yoel (Joel): “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ “Men of Israel, listen to this: Yeshua of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him: “‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, Because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ “Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Mashiach, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Yeshua to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand Until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”‘ “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Yeshua, whom you crucified, both Lord and Mashiach.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Yeshua Mashiach for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 

HaShem repeatedly emphasizes, in the above passage, that the men who are being added to their number, are JEWS! Not only are they Jews, but they are Torah observant Jews! God-fearers were proselytes to Judaism, so we would consider them Jews too. The only other group of people mentioned, are the men who lived in Jerusalem. These are most likely Jews too. This is exactly the same makeup as the people in the wilderness of Sinai, in the days of Moses. The mixed multitude were demonstrably proselytes to Judaism. In fact, the rules for how Gentiles are received into Judaism are derived from the acts that the people performed just prior to the declaration of the Torah.

 

There are many who see II Luqas (Acts) 2 as the beginning of the Church. This cannot be. First the word for ‘church’ is not used in this passage. Second, it occurs 1300 years after the giving of the Torah, which was, clearly, called the ‘church’, according to:

 

II Luqas (Acts) 7:37-40 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church [ekklesia] in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust [him] from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for [as for] this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.

 

It is instructive to note that the giving of the Torah, in II Luqas (Acts) 7:37-40, and the events of II Luqas (Acts) 2, both took place on Hag Shavuot. So, I would agree that the church was first formed on Hag Shavuot, but I would suggest that it happened in the days of Moses, which was 1300 years before the events of II Luqas (Acts) 2.

 

VIII. Conclusion

 

To put it another way:

 

The first church was formed

in the days of Moses,

of Israelites and a large mixed multitude (Gentile proselytes),

at the foot of Mount Sinai,

on the Feast of Weeks

(Shavuot [Hebrew] - Pentecost [Greek]).

 

Most Christians agree that the first church was formed on the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), but, they see the time frame as the time of II Luqas (Acts) chapter 2. Even so, the people in II Luqas (Acts) chapter two were composed of Israelites (Jews and proselytes), in Jerusalem, while observing the Torah’s command to celebrate the Feast of Weeks. These were not like the Christians of today who do not observe the feasts, and are not Torah observant!

 

IX. The Etymology of the Word ‘Church’

 

The word ‘church’ is probably not a very good word to use when we are describing HaShem’s chosen people. This word is a mixture of the Holy and the profane. Let’s look at what the dictionary says about this word:

 

DEFINITION:

 

church (chûrch) noun

Abbr. c., C., ch., Ch.

1. A building for public, especially Christian worship.

2. Often Church a. The company of all Christians regarded as a mystic spiritual body. b. A specified Christian denomination: the Presbyterian Church. c. A congregation.

3. Public divine worship in a church; a religious service: goes to church at Christmas and Easter.

4. The clerical profession; clergy.

5. Ecclesiastical power as distinguished from the secular: the separation of church and state.

6. Christian Science. “The structure of Truth and Love” (Mary Baker Eddy).

 

verb, transitive

churched, church·ing, church·es

To conduct a church service for, especially to perform a religious service for (a woman after childbirth).

 

adjective

Of or relating to the church; ecclesiastical.

 

[Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Medieval Greek kurikon, from Late Greek kuriakon (doma), the Lord’s (house), from Greek kuriakos, of the lord, from kurios, lord.][2]

 

Note that the dictionary says that “church” is the translation of “kuriakon” not “ecclessia” as we find in most Bible translations.

 

Now lets see who “circe” is:

 

Cir·ce (sûr¹sê) noun - Greek Mythology.

A goddess who turned Odysseus’s men temporarily into swine but later gave him directions for their journey home.

 

— Cir¹ce·an (sûr¹sê-en, ser-sê¹en) adjective[3]

 

Circe (sûr¹sê) (sûr¹se), in Greek mythology, enchantress; daughter of HELIOS. In HOMER’s Odyssey she turned ODYSSEUS’ men into swine, but was forced to break the spell.[4]

 

So, I am not sure if we even want to use the word “church” after we understand it’s etymology. The word ‘church’ is the name of a pagan goddess who turns men into swine! This is certainly not what I want to be called by. We might be wiser just to call these folks the ‘congregation’ or the ‘assembly’.

 

* * *

 

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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Send comments to Greg Killian at his email address: gkilli@aol.com

 

 



[1] Magen Avraham to Shihan Arukh OH. 53:6

[2] The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

[3] The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

[4] The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia