YEAR                                          VARIOUS FORMS OF THE WORD                                                              

1600        church becomes common spelling during long process of standardization.
1500        church, churche, chirch, chirche, chyrch, chyrche, cherche
1400        churche, chirch, chirche, chyrch, chyrche, cherch, cherche
1300        churche, chirch, chirche, chyrch, chyrche, cherch, cherche
1200        churche, chureche, churiche, cherche, chereche, chyrche, chyreche, chireche, chiriche, chirche
1100        chirche, chiriche, chireche, chyreche, chyrce  (Middle English period 1100-1500)
1000        cirice, cyrice, circe, cyrce, kirk (Old English/Anglo-Saxon period 600-1100)
300+        kirika, kerika (W. German/Old Saxon—Pre-English period)
200+        kyriaka/kuriaka, kuriakon  (Greek)                                                                                                  
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.  2000.
Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Medieval Greek kurikon, from Late Greek
kuriakon (duma), the Lord's house, neuter of Greek kuriakos, of the lord, from kurios, lord.
Webster’s Dictionary, 1828

"Church," n. [Sax. Circe, circ or cyric; Scots, kirk, which retains the Saxon pronunciation; D. Kerk; G.
Kirche; Se. Kyrchia; Dan. Kirke; Gr. Kuriokon, a temple of God, from kuriakos, pertaining to a Lord, or to
our Lord Jesus Christ, from kurios, a Lord;
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911
CHURCH (according to most authorities derived from the Gr. kuriakon , “the Lord’s ,” and common to
many Teutonic, Slavonic and other languages under various forms— Scottish k-irk, Ger. Kirche, Swed. k-
irka, Dan. kirke, Russ. tserkov, Buig. cerkova, Czech cirkev, Finn. kirkko, &c.), a word originally applied to
the building used for Christian worship, and subsequently extended to the Christian community (ecclesia)
itself. Similarly the Greek word ecclesia, “assembly,” was very early transferred from the community to the
building, and is used in both senses, especially in the modern Romance and Celtic languages
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Main Entry: Church
Pronunciation: 'ch&rch
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Late Greek kuriakon, from
Greek, neuter of kuriakos of the lord, from kurios lord, master; akin to Sanskrit sura hero, warrior
Date: before 12th century
I am writing so that you may know how you should conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the
church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth
. 1 Tim 3:15

When you read this verse it is obvious that the church is the house of God, ie. the church building. And
when you consider the history of the word it is just as obvious, that it is no accident  this is the meaning  
being conveyed. It can not be sressed to strongly that where ever we find "church" in scripture it is never

that we find in the original Greek. No! the New Testament writers chose ekklesia because it
clearly defines those called out of the world to assemble in Christ.

To show that the Greek
ekklesia should be translated "assembly" or "congregation" consider the following
examples of evidence. The first is from the William Tyndale translation of 1525. Tyndale  labored to give
the people the word of God in their own language that was free from the institutional bias of his day. He
was the first to bypass the the authoritive Latin translation and translated his English NT directly from the
original Greek. And for his labor of love to the people he was burned at the stake by the Institutional

William Tyndale Translation.
"thou mayst yet have knowledge how thou oughtest to behave thy silfe in the house of God which is the
congregacion of the livinge God the pillar and grounde of trueth."  I Tim 3:15

The Greek interlinear.                                                        1577
oíkoo       Theoú   anastréfesthai        heétis   estín     ekkleesía   Theoú
the  house  of  God,    to behave t hyself  which  is the   
assembly    God,

Strongs # 1577--   ekklesia
From a compound of # 1537- ek (out) and a derivative of # 2564- kaleo (to call) = ekklesia

A gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly.

a)         an assembly of the people convened at the public place for the purpose of deliberating.

b)         the assembly of the Israelites

c)         any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously

d)         in a Christian sense:
1)         an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting.
2)         a company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, to
observe their own religious rites, to hold their own religious meetings, and to manage their own
affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order's sake.
3)         those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body.
4)         the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth.
5)         the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received.
(Thayer's Greek Lexicon

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology.
ekklesia, centuries before the translation of the OT and the time of the NT, was clearly characterized as a
political phenomenon, repeated according to certain rules and within a certain framework. It was the
assembly of full citizens, functionally rooted in the constitution of the democracy, an assembly in which
fundamental political and judicial decisions were taken… Paul always understands ekklesia as the living,
assembled congregation. This is expressed particularly in 1 Cor. 15 (vv. 4f., 12, 19, 23, 28). It is only in the
meeting and living together of the members that love, described in 1 Cor. 13 as the supreme gift, can be
made real, just as it is only in this way that the other God-given gifts can be recognized and acknowledged.

BACK TO THE 96th Thesis.