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How important is a word ? The translation of the word "congregation" is so important that, God took a verse containing the word "congregation" and placed that same verse, in both the Old Testament (O.T.) and the New Testament (N.T.). This insured that the translation of the word "congregation" into any language would be the same in both the O.T. and the N.T.
The first complete English Bible was the Tyndale Bible in about 1524, and that Bible did not use the word "church" anywhere in its pages, it used the word "congregation."
The Hebrew word for "congregation" is correctly translated in the English Old Testament as "congregation." (see Psalms 22:22 )
In the early English New Testaments, the Greek word for "congregation" (ekklesia) was correctly translated in the English New Testament as "congregation." (see Hebrews 2:12, which should accurately quote Psalms 22:22, by using the word "congregation" (not "church") )
However, the Greek word for "congregation" (ekklesia) was later translated to "church" in the English New Testament for political and control purposes. The word "church" is used by many religions, and is derived from the word "circle", where people worship in a circle, such as in the church of satan, or church of wicka.
Under the Old Covenant, the "house of God" referred to the temple at Jerusalem (see Mat 12:4, Mar 2:26, Luk 6:4). However, under the New Covenant, the "house of God" is the family of God, which is the congregation of the living God.
And having [since we have] an high [great] priest [Jesus Christ] over the house [family] of God; (Heb 10:21)
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house [his family [more or less related] [see 1Ti 3:5 ]]; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Heb 11:7)
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house [family] of God: and if it first begin at us [the church [ the congregation ] of the living God], what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (1Pe 4:17)
Jesus Christ views those, who have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour, as a single congregation of people. (Also known as "the Body of Christ.") (Also known as "the church" when ekklesia is translated to "church", rather than "congregation.")
Jesus Christ proceeds to build his ekklesia: "And the Lord [Jesus Christ] added to the ekklesia [to his called out congregation] daily such as should be [those who were being] saved [those who were accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, thereby having their sins forgiven, thus being saved from eternity in Hell, and accepting Jesus Christ's free gift of eternity in Heaven]." (Act 2:47)
And when he [Barnabas] had found him [Saul], he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they [Barnabas and Saul] assembled themselves with the ekklesia [with Jesus Christ's congregation located in Antioch], and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. (Act 11:26)
Revelation 2 & 3 gives us 7 more geographical locations used to describe the ekklesia [Jesus Christ's congregation] of Ephesus, in Smyrna, in Pergamos, in Thyatira, in Sardis, in Philadelphia, of the Laodiceans.
The churches [congregations] of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the ekklesia [Jesus Christ's congregation] that is in their house [in their family [more or less related]]. (1Co 16:19)
Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the ekklesia [Jesus Christ's congregation] which is in his house [in his family [more or less related]]. (Col 4:15)
And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the ekklesia [Jesus Christ's congregation] in thy house [in thy family [more or less related]]: (Phm 1:2)
But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful ekklesia [assembly]. (Act 19:39)
And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the ekklesia [assembly]. (Act 19:41)
The first complete English Bible was the Tyndale Bible in about 1524, and that Bible did not use the word "church" anywhere in its pages, it used the word "congregation." Sometime after this Bible, they started replacing the word "congregation" with the word "church."
The comparison below will enable you to prove to yourself that "church" should be translated "congregation.
As God intended, there is an Old Testament verse that is also "quoted" in the New Testament.
In the Bible's New Testament, Hebrews 2:12 reads: Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (The Greek word "ekklesia" #1577 is translated here to "church".)
Therefore, whenever you see the word "church" in your Bible, substitute the word "congregation", and the true meaning will become clear.
Likewise, under the New Covenant, the "house of God" is the family of God, which is the congregation of the living God. (not a church building) (1Ti 3:15)
This congregation is Jesus' (Christ's) "my congregation." (Mat 16:18)
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