We translate the Hebrew word ‘sunagoge’ into English as the word ‘synagogue’ and the Greek word ‘ekklesia’ into the word ‘church’. Both of these words in their original languages mean ‘assembly’. For the early believers there was no distinction between the synagogue and the church, they were just ‘assemblies’. Over time they came to represent the assembly for Jewish believers (synagogue) and the assembly for Christian believers (church).

Just to confuse things, the word we translate for church wasn’t actually originally derived from the word ‘ekklesia’. It came from the Greek word ‘kuriakos’ which means ‘pertaining to the Lord’. However time and tradition dictated that the early translators use the word ‘church’ as the translation for ‘ekklesia’. This does not matter to us today as the word church is now understood to mean ‘assembly’. However had the early translators gone with the transliteration of the word ‘ekklesia’ we could well have ended up with a word like ‘ekkel’ instead of church today.

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