The original Bible wasn’t written in English. Three main languages were used: “Hebrew and Aramaic” for Old Testament books, and “Greek” for the New Testament. Later it was translated into Latin during the times referred to as the Dark Ages.
One of the first Latin Bibles was called the Vulgate Bible. It’s from the Latin version that we have the term, “lucifer.” Lucifer is neither Greek, Hebrew or English. It’s Latin. That makes me wonder why it was left untranslated. It wasn’t left in it’s original Hebrew form “helel” or converted to the Hebrew’s closest translation in English. But that is for another time.
These errors were made with great intent by the great English translator team of those days – King James Version. Don’t attack them completely. They did well in translation, they just didn’t do everything. The church in the times of the Roman Catholic season of the Dark Ages, were more political. The popes ruled. When Martin Luther started with the reformation to break the church out from the government, not every government and ruler liked it.
One of them was King James. He left those inaccurate terms in the English translation just to keep the people in check. This was a battle against the reformation movement.
The people were now reading the Bible for themselves; that didn’t happen before. Therefore, if those terms were left there, they would still retain most of the mindset of the ancient Roman Catholic Church tradition.
There were some erratic changes made in KJV that many (not all) English Bible versions simply followed suit. I have given the first example. Another was that of the English term “Hell” (would leave that for another time).
Our main topic for today is another purpose-oriented erratic translation that replaced “Ecclesia” with the term “church.”
Replacement; Not Translation
Most of us are familiar with the translations and transliteration of the original Greek and Hebrew texts into English. Faith is “Pistis;” and love in English stands for Greek words such as Eros, Philos, Storge and our famous Agape.
When we check our interlinear for the word “church,” we see the original Greek text, Ecclesia. Ecclesia is just the Greek text for church, just as Agape is for love. Wrong!!!
The actual Greek term for “church” is the text “kuriakos” – which has an entirely different meaning from that of the Ecclesia. Like I said before, this was to keep some of the old ideologies of the Roman Catholic Church tradition. The Reformation had opened the eyes of the people too much for their liking.
What church stands for, and that of the Ecclesia are two different things.
It’s quite amazing how a simple change or replacement of a word in the Bible can alter an entire mindset.
“Church (Grk. kuriakos) was not translated from the original Greek text “Ecclesia.” It entirely replaced it.
What Does “Church” Stand For?
Let’s start by defining the word.
“Church” comes from the Old English and German word pronounced “kirché.”
In Scotland, it was “kirk.”
The following entries are from the Oxford Universal English Dictionary:
Church [Old English cirice, circe; Middle English chereche, chiriche, chirche; whence
churche, cherche, etc.: –Greek kuriakón…]
“Kirk,” the Northern English and Scottish form of CHURCH, in all its senses.
In the earlier Greek it was pronounced “ku-ri-á-kos” or “ku-ri-á-kon.” As you can see, this word doesn’t even resemble the Greek word “ecclesia,” whose place it has replaced and usurped.
The word “Kuriákos” stems from the root word “kurios” which means Lord. Therefore, kuriákos means pertaining or belonging to a lord.
The Greek “kuriakos” eventually came to be used in Old English form as “cirice” (kee-ree-ké), then “churche” (kerké), and eventually “church” in its traditional pronunciation.
A church, then, is correctly something that “pertains to, or belongs to, a lord.”
While you may think that the Lord means Jesus, this was far from its intent. The Church belonged to the State and the Rulers (Lords). It was a religious organization that gave the building (religion) more relevance than the people. Why do you think you always say, “Let us go to church?”
Jesus, Paul and all throughout Scripture referred to the people, not the building or organization.
The real “church” of Rome actually referred to the “Ecclesia” that resided in Rome. All the believers (congregation) that lived in Rome. It was never supposed to be used for a particular building.
Now, as you can see, there is a major problem here. The translators broke the rules in a big way. When they inserted the word “church” in the English versions, they were not translating the Greek word “kuriakos,” as one might expect. Rather, they were substituting an entirely different Greek word. This was not honest! Mind blowing, isn’t it?!
Let’s continue this exploration in our next episode. Hope it left you intrigued?
(Author of “Tree of Righteousness: The Planting of Yahweh“)