Monday, June 26, 2006

"I will build my church" (4) - the church in Hebrews

The writer to the Hebrews was writing to a similar (or same) group of Jewish Christians as was Matthew. It's significant that the sole mention of the church/ekklesia in Hebrews is in the context of comparing and contrasting the assembly of Israel in the wilderness and the community of the new Israel.

After writing of Israel gathered at Mt Sinai, he goes on to say:

"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect ..."

(Hebrews 12:22-23).

This supports the interpretation that on the lips of Jesus the word "church/ekklesia" was a reference to the community of Israel, which He would restore. We need to understand this word in its Jewish context, not from its Greek origins.

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