Sense: church (universal)
n. — all believers across the world understood as if a singular assembly; sometimes of all believers throughout time.
For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church (ἐκκλησία) of God.
1 Corinthians 15:9 (NRSV)
One of the difficulties in studying the concept of the church in the New Testament is that the word ἐκκλησία is sometimes used to refer to the entire church regardless of location, and other times it is used to refer to a local congregation. Today’s example verse contains one of the former usages. However, consider another verse from the same book of the bible: “To the church [ἐκκλησία] of God that is in Corinth, . . .” (1 Cor. 1:2). Here the word is used to refer to the local congregation at Corinth. Unlike some resources that are based strictly on words, the Bible Sense Lexicon allows us to easily look at examples of these two different uses together. If we want to study about the church as a whole, we can look at the entry for “church (universal).” If we want to look at the concept of the local congregation, we can look at the entry with the more generic label of “church.”
What is the Bible Sense Lexicon?
Sense of the Day is based on content from Logos’ Bible Sense Lexicon, which organizes biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words by meaning based on a variety of semantic relationships. Sense of the Day provides examples of senses in context, along with insight into their application for theology and interpretation.
The Bible Sense Lexicon is a Logos dataset available in Logos 5 Gold and higher base packages. If you’re enrolled in the Logos Academic Discount Program, you can also find the Bible Sense Lexicon in the Biblical Languages base package. Take your studies even further by exploring semantic domains, engaging the biblical text like never before.
Learn more about the Bible Sense Lexicon.