Thursday, April 27, 2017

Continuity of expression: assembly of God

[In the Septuagint] ekklēsia often renders the Hebrew word, qahal, in references to the people of Israel as “the assembly of the Lord.” In other cases, there are references simply to “the assembly/congregation” where it seems that the word designates followers of God, perhaps gathered liturgically in the Jerusalem temple. In a key text from Qumran, the site of the “Dead Sea scrolls,” the Hebrew term qahal is used to designate the chosen people of God of the last days. In this instance, the full expression is “the assembly/congregation of God” (Hebrew: qahal ēl), which is the exact equivalent of the Greek expression frequently used in the New Testament, “the assembly/church of God” (Greek: ekklēsia tou theou).— Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, page 98

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