ECCLESIALegal Dictionary -> ECCLESIA
ECCLESIA. In classical Greek this word signifies any assembly, and in this
sense it is used in Acts xix. 39. But ordinarily, in the New Testament, the word denotes a Christian assembly, and is rendered into English by the word church. It occurs thrice only in, the Gospels, viz. in Matt. xvi. 18, and xviii. 17; but very frequently in the other parts of the New Testament, beginning with Acts ii. 47. In Acts xix. 37, the word churches, in the common English version, seems to be improperly used to denote heathen temples. Figuratively, the word church is employed to signify the building set apart for the Christian assemblies; but the word eclesia is not used in the New Testament in that sense.