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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words


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1: ἐκκλησία
(Strong's #1577 — Noun Feminine — ekklesia — ek-klay-see'-ah )

from ek, "out of," and klesis, "a calling" (kaleo, "to call"), was used among the Greeks of a body of citizens "gathered" to discuss the affairs of state, Acts 19:39 . In the Sept. it is used to designate the "gathering" of Israel, summoned for any definite purpose, or a "gathering" regarded as representative of the whole nation. In Acts 7:38 it is used of Israel; in 19:32,41, of a riotous mob. It has two applications to companies of Christians, (a) to the whole company of the redeemed throughout the present era, the company of which Christ said, "I will build My Church," Matthew 16:18 , and which is further described as "the Church which is His Body," Ephesians 1:22 ; 5:23 , (b) in the singular number (e.g., Matthew 18:17 , RV marg., "congregation"), to a company consisting of professed believers, e.g., Acts 20:28 ; 1 Corinthians 1:2 ; Galatians 1:13 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:1 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:1 ; 1 Timothy 3:5 , and in the plural, with reference to churches in a district.

There is an apparent exception in the RV of Acts 9:31 , where, while the AV has "churches," the singular seems to point to a district; but the reference is clearly to the church as it was in Jerusalem, from which it had just been scattered, Acts 8:1 . Again, in Romans 16:23 , that Gaius was the host of "the whole church," simply suggests that the "assembly" in Corinth had been accustomed to meet in his house, where also Paul was entertained. See CHURCH.

2: πανήγυρις
(Strong's #3831 — Noun Feminine — paneguris — pan-ay'-goo-ris )

from pan, "all," and agora, "any kind of assembly," denoted, among the Greeks, an assembly of the people in contrast to the council of national leaders, or a "gathering" of the people in honor of a god, or for some public festival, such as the Olympic games. The word is used in Hebrews 12:23 , coupled with the word "church," as applied to all believers who form the body of Christ.

3: πλῆθος
(Strong's #4128 — Noun Neuter — plethos — play'-thos )

"a multitude, the whole number," is translated "assembly" in Acts 23:7 , RV. See BUNDLE , COMPANY , MULTITUDE.

Note: For sunagoge, see ASSEMBLE , Note (2).

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Assembly'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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