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Jason B Pamatmat



The Christian Church, also called The Church, is a term used by some to refer to the whole group of
people belonging to the Christian religious tradition throughout history. In this understanding, which is
generally used by Protestants, "Christian Church" does not refer to a particular Christian denomination,
but to the body of all believers. Others believe the term "Christian Church" or "The Church" applies only
to a specific historic Christian institution (e.g., the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and
Oriental Orthodoxy).

Thus, most Christians (particularly Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox churches) identify
the Christian Church to be a visible structure, while others (generally Protestants) understand the
Church to be an invisible reality, not identified with any earthly structure or individual denomination.
Others equate the Church with particular groups that share certain essential elements of doctrine and
practice, though divided on other points of doctrine and government (such as the branch theory as
taught by some Anglicans).

Most English translations of the New Testament generally use the word "church" as a translation of the
Ancient Greek term "ἐκκλησία" (transliterated as "ecclesia") found in the original Greek texts, which
generally meant an "assembly".[1] This term appears in two verses of the Gospel of Matthew, twenty-
four verses of the Acts of the Apostles, fifty-eight verses of the Pauline Epistles (including the earliest
instances of its use in relation to a Christian body), two verses of the Letter to the Hebrews, one verse of
the Epistle of James, three verses of the Third Epistle of John, and nineteen verses of the Book of
Revelation. In total, ἐκκλησία appears in the New Testament text 114 times, although not every instance
is a technical reference to the church.[2]

In the New Testament, the term ἐκκλησία is used for local communities as well as in a universal sense to
mean all believers.[3] Traditionally, only orthodox and catholic believers are considered to be part of the
true church, but convictions of what is orthodox or catholic have long varied, as many churches (not
only the ones officially using the term "Orthodox" in their names) consider themselves to be orthodox,
and many (for example, Eastern Orthodox Church and Anglicans) consider themselves to be catholic.

The Four Marks of the Church first expressed in the Nicene Creed are oneness, holiness, catholicity, and
apostolicity. The Greek word ekklēsia, literally "called out" or "called forth" and commonly used to
indicate a group of individuals called to gather for some function, in particular an assembly of the
citizens of a city, as in Acts 19:32-41, is the New Testament term referring to the Christian Church (either

a particular local group or the whole body of the faithful). Most Romance and Celtic languages use
derivations of this word, either inherited or borrowed from the Latin form ecclesia.

The English language word "church" is from the Old English word cirice, derived from West Germanic
*kirika, which in turn comes from the Greek κυριακή kuriakē, meaning "of the Lord" (possessive form of
κύριος kurios "ruler" or "lord"). Kuriakē in the sense of "church" is most likely a shortening of κυριακὴ
οἰκία kuriakē oikia ("house of the Lord") or ἐκκλησία κυριακή ekklēsia kuriakē ("congregation of the
Lord").[5] Christian churches were sometimes called κυριακόν kuriakon (adjective meaning "of the
Lord") in Greek starting in the 4th century, but ekklēsia and βασιλική basilikē were more common.[6]

The word is one of many direct Greek-to-Germanic loans of Christian terminology, via the Goths. The
Slavic terms for "church" (Old Church Slavonic црькꙑ [crĭky], Russian церковь [cerkov’], Slovenian
cerkev) are via the Old High German cognate chirihha