"Church"--where did that come from?
above photo is of the top of an ancient, partially restored and used amphitheater in Bet She'an, Israel.
By Brandi Usher, Board Member
Have you ever wondered why no mention of the church is found in the Old Testament? Have you believed the church is a new entity that Jesus instituted to replace Israel after Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah? If so, you’re not alone. Let’s examine that idea with Scripture.
The word “church” comes from the Greek word “ekklesia” in the New Testament. In the Old Testament this Greek word was used to translate the Hebrew word “kahal,” and both of these words translated into English as “assembly,” “congregation,” or “community.” The tribes of Israel are referred to as “kahal” and meant all of Israel. “Ekklesia” is used in the Greek translation when referring to a group of worshippers in the Temple or an assembly of all Israel. It is clear that this Greek word “ekklesia “is not new to the New Testament.
So why then is the word “church” new to the New Testament? Sadly, this newly introduced word was placed in Scripture to encourage Believers in Jesus to reject being a part of Israel. This led us to view the assembly of Israel with disdain and as a thing of the past, no longer to be desired by God or by Believers.
If we take out this newly crafted word and allow for Scripture to read from beginning to end as it was originally written, we find that “church” becomes “assembly of Israel” like it was in the Old Testament. Then we begin to understand that the Church is a large subset of Believers in Messiah who are a part of the greater assembly of Israel! This does not imply that the remainder of that assembly has been rejected, only that it has not yet accepted the Messiah. He still longs to gather them under His wings and He will when he returns, just as promised in Romans 11. How exciting is that! We have not replaced Israel. We have been adopted into Israel!
We, the Church, stand together with them – the greater assembly of Israel – together as one new man in Messiah!
Reference : https://torahclub.ffoz.org/portions-library/weekly-torah/the-church-at-mount-sinai.html