Church (Nature of)

“Church” is a translation of the Greek ekkleµsia , literally, “a calling out.” This was a common Greek word for any called or summoned assembly, and reflects the fact that people were called to public meetings by heralds. The Septuagint uses ekkleµsia to translate the Hebrew qahal , which in the OT designates Hebrew assemblies or all Israel, as a community. In the NT ekkleµsia is used to designate (a) Christians gathered for worship ( 1 Cor. 11:18 ; 14:3 , 28 ); (b) local congregations consisting of all Christians living in one place ( Matt. 18:17 ; Acts 5:11 ; 8:3 ; etc.); (c) the entire body of Christians, the church universal to which believers in all places belong ( Matt. 16:18 ; 1 Cor. 10:32 ; 12:28 ; Heb. 12:23 ; etc.). The nature of the church is clarified by the words us...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.