MEANING OF THE WORD CHURCH
By Valdemir Mota de Menezes, the Scribe
It is interesting to note how the word ekklesia is used through out the New Testament. Besides being a political assembly Acts 19:39 it is also used of a meeting more generally Acts 19:32, 40 and the congregation of Israel Acts 7:38: Hebrews 2:12. Most of the references of course refer Christians either in a meeting 1 Corinthians 11:18, or a group of Christians living in one place 1 Corinthians 1:2; or to all believers Ephesians 1:22. I am not at all convinced the political option is the best reference point. Paul's and the rest of the New Testaments assumption that the ekklesia of Christ made up of both Jews and Gentiles inherits and is the fulfillment of the promises of made to Israel makes the best sense.
One of the rules of hermeneutics is that the Bible interprets the Bible itself. The term ekklesia is applied forcefully in the Bible, in most cases, to a community of Christians in a particular place, or the spiritual body of Christ composed of people saved by the Lord Jesus.