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Encyclopedia > Church
St. Hripsime Church in Echmiadzin, Armenia
St. Hripsime Church in Echmiadzin, Armenia

A church is an association of people who share a particular belief system. The term church originated from Greek "κυριακή" - "kyriake",[1] meaning "of the lord". The term later began to replace the Greek ekklesia and basilica within Christendom, c. AD 300, though it was used by Christians before that time. A church building (or simply church) is a building used in Christian worship. ... Look up church in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The St. ... The St. ... Echmiadzin or Ejmiatsin (Armenian: Ô·Õ»Õ´Õ«Õ¡Õ®Õ«Õ¶) is the holiest town in Armenia and the headquarters of the katholikos, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

Contents

Origins

The church of Saint Simon in Aleppo, Syria is considered to be one of the oldest remaining churches in the world.
The church of Saint Simon in Aleppo, Syria is considered to be one of the oldest remaining churches in the world.

The Christian word "Church" is used erroneously for the Greek "εκκλησία" — ekklesia, ref. Strong's Concordance — 1577, Bauer's, Thayer's, and Moulton's) is mentioned in the New Testament. Of the 114 occurrences of the term in the New Testament, Three are found in the Gospel accounts, all spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my ekklesia, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it" (Mt 16:18); and "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the ekklesia; and if he refuses to listen even to the ekklesia, let him be to you as the Gentile and the tax-collector" (Mt 18:17). Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 775 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Aleppo Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 775 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Aleppo Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Location of the governorate of Aleppo within Syria Aleppo (Arabic: [ḥalab], ) is a city in northern Syria, capital of the Aleppo Governorate. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (2272 × 1704 pixel, file size: 360 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This pic was voted a featured picture on the huwiki, so i believe it should be uploaded here. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (2272 × 1704 pixel, file size: 360 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This pic was voted a featured picture on the huwiki, so i believe it should be uploaded here. ... The Esztergom Basilica is an ecclesiastic basilica in Esztergom, Hungary, the main church of the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest, and the seat of the Catholic Church in Hungary. ... Basilica in Esztergom. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... The ecclesia or ekklesia was the principal assembly of the democracy of ancient Athens. ... James Strong (1822-1894) Strongs Concordance (strictly Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible) is a concordance of the King James Bible (KJV) that was constructed under the direction of Dr. James Strong (1822–1894) and first published in 1890. ... This article is about the Christian scriptures. ... Gospel, from the Old English good tidings is a calque of Greek () used in the New Testament (see Etymology below). ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον, Kata Maththaion or Kata Matthaion) is a synoptic gospel in the New Testament, one of four canonical gospels. ... “St Peter” redirects here. ...


The Greek term εκκλησία — ekklesia, which literally means a "gathering or selection i.e. "eklectic" in English" or "called out assembly", was a governmental and political term, used to denote a national assembly, congregation, council of common objective (see Ecclesia (ancient Athens), Ecclesia (Church)) or a crowd of people who were assembled. It did not signify a "building". The ecclesia or ekklesia (Greek έκκλησία) was the principal assembly of the democracy of ancient Athens. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Church. ...


The Christian use of this term has its direct antecedent in the Koine Greek translation of the Old Testament (see also Septuagint), where the noun ekklesia has been employed 96 times to denote the congregation of the Children of Israel, which Christians regard as a type of the "Body of Christ", as they also call the Christian Church of Christ. Koine redirects here. ... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh to refer to its canon, which corresponds to the Protestant Old Testament. ... The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons Greek edition and English translation. ... The Children of Israel, or Bnei Yisrael (בני ישראל) in Hebrew (also Bnai Yisrael, Bnei Yisroel or Bene Israel) is a Biblical term for the Israelites. ... A type in biblical theology is a figure, representation, event, or symbol in the bible which is believed to be a prefigurement designed by God to foreshadow things to come. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ...


Some minority traditions of Christianity have maintained that the word translated "church" in scripture most often properly refers to local bodies or assemblies. "Church" is a derivative of the Early Greek word "κυριακον", meaning Lord's house, which in English became "church". The Koine word for church is εκκλησία (ecclesia). Before Christian appropriation of the term, it was used to describe purposeful gatherings, including the assemblies of many Greek city states. Christians of this stripe maintain that a centralizing impulse in the church, present from the early days of the church through the rise of Constantine represented a departure from true Christianity. They therefore reject the authority of the Nicene Creed or the Apostles' Creed. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The literal meaning of the Greek word koine (κοινή) is common. It is used in several senses: Koiné Greek (Κοινή Ἑλληνική), a Greek dialect that developed from the Attic dialect (of Athens) and became the spoken language of Greece at the time of the Empire of Alexander the Great. ...


Christian churches

A church is similar to a denomination, the adherents of a particular creed or believers of a particular tradition. The largest church is the Roman Catholic Church, comprising half of Christians worldwide. Various Christian churches are distinguished by their different ecclesiastical hierarchies, their creeds, and their Bibles and other sacred texts. Several Christian churches consider themselves to be the true church established by Christ (see Great Commission), including the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Restorationist churches. The Christian Church is sometimes also understood to mean the totality of believers across the various Christian churches. For example, Roman Catholics consider the Eastern Orthodox to be members of the Body of Christ, even though they are not Catholic. For other uses, see Creed (disambiguation). ... In Christian tradition, the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples, that they spread the faith to all the world. ...


Each church recognizes more or fewer of its fellow Christian churches as legitimate. Mainstream denominations are generally compatible enough that members do not have to be rebaptized when they switch from one denomination to another. Still, even mainstream denominations can be far apart ecumenically. Since Vatican II, Roman Catholic theologians have referred to Protestant and Restorationist denominations not as churches but as associations. These theologians acknowledge Eastern Orthodox churches as true churches, albeit defective ones.


Attributes

Spiritual authority

The Christian church is said to be guided by the Holy Spirit and given spiritual authority by Christ. Membership in the Christian church has traditionally been defined by baptism. The church administers Christianity's sacred acts: baptism, the Lord's supper, worship, etc.


Visible and invisible churches

Many believe the Church, as described in the Bible, has a twofold character that can be described as the visible and invisible church. As the Church invisible, the church consists of all those from every time and place, who are vitally united to Christ through regeneration and salvation and who will be eternally united to Jesus Christ in eternal life. The Church visible consists of all those who visibly join themselves to a profession of faith and gathering together to know and serve the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. The visible church exists globally in all who identify themselves as Christians and locally in particular places where believers gather for the worship of God. The visible church may also refer to an association of particular churches from multiple locations who unite themselves under a common charter and set of governmental principles. The church in the visible sense is often governed by office-bearers carrying titles such as minister, pastor, teacher, elder, and deacon. This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Born again is a soteriological term used primarily in the Evangelical, Fundamentalist, and Pentecostal branches of Protestant Christianity, where it is associated with salvation, conversion and spiritual birth. ... For other uses, see Salvation (disambiguation). ... Immortality is the concept of existing for a potentially infinite or indeterminate length of time. ... Monument honoring the right to worship, Washington, D.C. In Christianity, worship has been considered by most Christians to be the central act of Christian identity throughout history. ... For other types of minister, see Minister In Christian churches, a minister is a man or woman who serves a congregation or participates in a role in a parachurch ministry; such persons can minister as a Pastor, Preacher, Bishop, Chaplain, Deacon or Elder. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      A pastor is an... A religious elder (in Greek, πρεσβυτερος [presbyteros]) is valued for his or her wisdom, in part for their age, on the grounds that the older one is then the more one is likely to know. ... Deacon is a role in the Christian Church which is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. ...

Small church in southern England, Easter 2007
Small church in southern England, Easter 2007

Others make the claim that no reference to the church is ever made in the Bible that is not referring to a local visible body, such as the church in someone's house or the church as Ephesis. Those that make this claim believe that the term is sometimes used in an institutional sense in which the term refers to all of a certain type, meaning all of the local visible churches. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 554 pixelsFull resolution (4018 × 2784 pixel, file size: 975 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) photo, easter 2007, R. de Salis, Rodolph 22:37, 17 May 2007 (UTC) I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 554 pixelsFull resolution (4018 × 2784 pixel, file size: 975 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) photo, easter 2007, R. de Salis, Rodolph 22:37, 17 May 2007 (UTC) I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute...


Universal church

Church is taken by some to refer to a single, universal community, although others contend that the doctrine of the universal church was established until later. The doctrine of the universal, visible church was made explicit in the Apostles' Creed,[citation needed] while the less common Protestant notion of the universal, invisible church is not laid out explicitly until the Reformation. The universal church traditions generally espouse that the Church includes all who are baptized into her common faith, including the doctrines of the trinity, forgiveness of sins through the sacrificial action of Christ, and the resurrection of the body. These teachings are expressed in liturgy with the celebration of sacraments, visible signs of grace. They are passed down as the deposit of faith. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      The Apostles... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ... A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      In Christianity...


Church government

Major forms of church government include hierarchical (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodoxy), presbyterian (rule by elders), and independent (Baptist, charismatic, other forms of independency). Prior to the Protestant Reformation, clergy were understood to gain their authority through apostolic succession, an understanding still affirmed in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... Eastern Orthodoxy (also called Greek Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy) is a Christian tradition which represents the majority of Eastern Christianity. ... Presbyterianism is part of the Reformed churches family of denominations of Christian Protestantism based on the teachings of John Calvin which traces its institutional roots to the Scottish Reformation, especially as led by John Knox. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Baptist is... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The charismatic movement began...


History of Christian churches

Early Christian Church

The Christian church began as Jesus' following among the Jews. Paul and other missionaries spread Christianity among the Hellenized gentiles of the Roman Empire. Christians were sporadically persecuted, but the religion spread, and in the 4th century Constantine declared it the official religion of the Empire.


Seven Ecumenical Councils

Constantine's Council of Nicea united the Christian church around the Nicene Creed. Six more ecumenical councils followed, representing a time of harmony between East and West.


East and West

When the Roman Empire fell to the barbarians, the church effectively split into East and West. This split became an official schism in 1054.


Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther and other reformers broke away from Rome, establishing Protestant churches. Other new churches formed over the next centuries.


Metaphors

Christian scriptures use a wide range of metaphors to describe the church. These include:

  • Family of God the Father (Ephesians 3:14-15,2 Corinthians 6:18)
  • Brothers and sisters with each other in God's family (Matthew 12:49-50)
  • Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:31-32)
  • Branches on a vine (John 15:5)
  • Olive tree (Romans 11:17-24)
  • Field of crops (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)
  • Building (1 Corinthians 3:9)
  • Harvest (Matthew 13:1-30,John 4:35)
  • New temple and new priesthood with a new cornerstone (1 Peter 2:4-8)
  • God's house (Hebrews 3:3-6)
  • Pillar and foundation the truth (1 Timothy 3:15)
  • Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
  • Temple of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 6:16)
  • House of Prayer (Template:Biblever)

See also

The Body of Christ is a term used by Christians to describe believers in Christ. ... The Bride of Christ is a metaphor for the Church, Ecclesia. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Church. ... In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of doctrine pertaining to the Church itself as a community or organic entity, and with the understanding of what the church is —ie. ... Look up evangelist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Church historian... There are a number of factors to be considered in determining which churches are the largest - total square footage, cubic footage, seating capacity, surface area, height, and others. ... A synagogue (from ancient Greek: , transliterated synagogÄ“, assembly; ‎ beit knesset, house of assembly; Yiddish: or Template:Lanh-he beit tefila, house of prayer, shul; Ladino: , esnoga) is a Jewish house of worship. ... The Masjid al-Haram in Mecca as it exists today A mosque is a place of worship for followers of the Islamic faith. ... Temple of Hephaestus, an Doric Greek temple in Athens with the original entrance facing east, 449 BC (western face depicted) For other uses, see Temple (disambiguation). ... MyChurch is a Christian social networking website offering an user-submitted network of friends and other featues modeled after those found in MySpace. ...

References

  1. ^ http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-9475%281890%2911%3A2%3C229%3AANEDOH%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Z&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage
  • Anderson, Robert A., Church of God? or the Temples of Satan: A reference book of Spiritual understanding and Gnosis, TGS Publishers, Texas, 2006. ISBN 0-9786249-6-3.
  • Bannerman, James, The Church of Christ: A treatise on the nature, powers, ordinances, discipline and government of the Christian Church, Still Waters Revival Books, Edmonton, Reprint Edition May 1991, First Edition 1869.
  • Grudem, Wayne, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England, 1994. See particularly Part 6: The Doctrine of the Church
  • Kuiper, R.B., The Glorious Body of Christ, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1967
  • Mannion, Gerard and Mudge, Lewis (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church, 2007
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Church

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CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Church (12925 words)
Church who are alive on earth but those, too, whether in heaven or in purgatory, who form part of the one communion of saints.
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Church involves no more than that it must ever be a public, not a private profession; a society manifest to the world, not a body whose members are bound by some secret tie.
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Lakewood Church (242 words)
Lakewood Church is the largest evangelical church in the United States.
The congregation has grown so large, that the church has recently begun renovating the sports arena formerly known as Compaq Center (former home of the NBA Houston Rockets) to be the Central Campus in early 2005.
The church's original campus is located near the Kingwood area of Houston.
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