Updated: Mar 12, 2021
When we think of the word "church," we think of it as a specific building, as a group of people, even as a long service to sit through. We hardly ever think of it as world-changing–and neither does society. Yet this is exactly what the first-century ekklesia was.
In these vital, eye-opening pages, Silvoso takes you back to the first days of the church. Digging into Scripture, he shows how the New Testament church–devoid of buildings, professional clergy, and religious freedom–was able to transform the hostile, pagan places into which it was born and set in motion a process that changed the world forever..
Graeco-Roman Understanding of Ekklesia
The ekklesia was an Assembly of voting citizens which would meet to discuss affairs of the state (or city), very much like a city council. The very nature of the Assembly was that it was local. It was a function of geographic locality. It's mandate is to bring about a culture that the ruler (king, emperor, etc.) desires.
Ekklesia in the Marketplace
“The popular view that the church is somehow to separate itself from society, based on the derivation of ekklesia from ekkaleo (to call out) affords a classic example of what linguists call the etymological fallacy. Words often develop meanings over time that differ from their roots. The only sense in which the word church in New Testament times means those who are called out is that believers routinely gather together by leaving their separate places of residence or work.” - Craig Blomberg Commentary on Matthew