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  4  definitions  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Church  \Church\,  v.  t.  [imp.  &  p.  p.  {Churched};  p.  pr  &  vb  n. 
  To  bless  according  to  a  prescribed  form  or  to  unite  with  in 
  publicly  returning  thanks  in  church,  as  after  deliverance 
  from  the  dangers  of  childbirth;  as  the  churching  of  women. 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Church  \Church\,  n.  [OE.  chirche,  chireche  cherche  Scot.  kirk, 
  from  AS  circe,  cyrice  akin  to  D.  kerk,  Icel.  kirkja,  Sw 
  kyrka,  Dan.  kirke,  G.  kirche,  OHG.  chirihha  all  fr  Gr  ? 
  the  Lord's  house,  fr  ?  concerning  a  master  or  lord,  fr  ? 
  master,  lord,  fr  ?  power,  might  akin  to  Skr.  [,c][=u]ra 
  hero,  Zend.  [,c]ura  strong,  OIr.  caur,  cur,  hero.  Cf 
  1.  A  building  set  apart  for  Christian  worship. 
  2.  A  Jewish  or  heathen  temple.  [Obs.]  --Acts  xix.  37. 
  3.  A  formally  organized  body  of  Christian  believers 
  worshiping  together.  ``When  they  had  ordained  them  elders 
  in  every  church.''  --Acts  xiv.  23. 
  4.  A  body  of  Christian  believers,  holding  the  same  creed, 
  observing  the  same  rites,  and  acknowledging  the  same 
  ecclesiastical  authority;  a  denomination;  as  the  Roman 
  Catholic  church;  the  Presbyterian  church. 
  5.  The  collective  body  of  Christians. 
  6.  Any  body  of  worshipers;  as  the  Jewish  church;  the  church 
  of  Brahm. 
  7.  The  aggregate  of  religious  influences  in  a  community; 
  ecclesiastical  influence,  authority,  etc.;  as  to  array 
  the  power  of  the  church  against  some  moral  evil. 
  Remember  that  both  church  and  state  are  properly  the 
  rulers  of  the  people,  only  because  they  are  their 
  benefactors.  --Bulwer. 
  Note:  Church  is  often  used  in  composition  to  denote  something 
  belonging  or  relating  to  the  church;  as  church 
  authority;  church  history;  church  member;  church  music, 
  {Apostolic  church}.  See  under  {Apostolic}. 
  {Broad  church}.  See  {Broad  Church}. 
  {Catholic  or  Universal}  {church},  the  whole  body  of  believers 
  in  Christ  throughout  the  world. 
  {Church  of  England},  or  {English  church},  the  Episcopal 
  church  established  and  endowed  in  England  by  law. 
  {Church  living},  a  benefice  in  an  established  church. 
  {Church  militant}.  See  under  {Militant}. 
  {Church  owl}  (Zo["o]l.),  the  white  owl.  See  {Barn  owl}. 
  {Church  rate},  a  tax  levied  on  parishioners  for  the 
  maintenance  of  the  church  and  its  services. 
  {Church  session}.  See  under  {Session}. 
  {Church  triumphant}.  See  under  {Triumphant}. 
  {Church  work},  work  on  or  in  behalf  of  a  church;  the  work 
  of  a  particular  church  for  the  spread  of  religion. 
  {Established  church},  the  church  maintained  by  the  civil 
  authority;  a  state  church. 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
  n  1:  a  group  of  Christians;  any  group  professing  Christian 
  doctrine  or  belief;  "church  is  a  biblical  term  for 
  assembly"  [syn:  {Christian  church},  {Christianity}] 
  2:  for  public  (especially  Christian)  worship;  "the  church  was 
  empty"  [syn:  {church  building}] 
  3:  a  service  conducted  in  a  church;  "don't  be  late  for  church" 
  [syn:  {church  service}] 
  v  :  bring  someone  to  church  for  a  special  rite,  as  of  a  woman 
  after  childbirth 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
  Derived  probably  from  the  Greek  kuriakon  (i.e.,  "the  Lord's 
  house"),  which  was  used  by  ancient  authors  for  the  place  of 
  In  the  New  Testament  it  is  the  translation  of  the  Greek  word 
  ecclesia,  which  is  synonymous  with  the  Hebrew  _kahal_  of  the  Old 
  Testament,  both  words  meaning  simply  an  assembly,  the  character 
  of  which  can  only  be  known  from  the  connection  in  which  the  word 
  is  found  There  is  no  clear  instance  of  its  being  used  for  a 
  place  of  meeting  or  of  worship,  although  in  post-apostolic  times 
  it  early  received  this  meaning.  Nor  is  this  word  ever  used  to 
  denote  the  inhabitants  of  a  country  united  in  the  same 
  profession,  as  when  we  say  the  "Church  of  England,"  the  "Church 
  of  Scotland,"  etc 
  We  find  the  word  ecclesia  used  in  the  following  senses  in  the 
  New  Testament:  (1.)  It  is  translated  assembly"  in  the  ordinary 
  classical  sense  (Acts  19:32,  39,  41). 
  (2.)  It  denotes  the  whole  body  of  the  redeemed,  all  those  whom 
  the  Father  has  given  to  Christ,  the  invisible  catholic  church 
  (Eph.  5:23,  25,  27,  29;  Heb.  12:23). 
  (3.)  A  few  Christians  associated  together  in  observing  the 
  ordinances  of  the  gospel  are  an  ecclesia  (Rom.  16:5;  Col.  4:15). 
  (4.)  All  the  Christians  in  a  particular  city,  whether  they 
  assembled  together  in  one  place  or  in  several  places  for 
  religious  worship,  were  an  ecclesia.  Thus  all  the  disciples  in 
  Antioch,  forming  several  congregations,  were  one  church  (Acts 
  13:1);  so  also  we  read  of  the  "church  of  God  at  Corinth"  (1  Cor. 
  1:2),  "the  church  at  Jerusalem"  (Acts  8:1),  "the  church  of 
  Ephesus"  (Rev.  2:1),  etc 
  (5.)  The  whole  body  of  professing  Christians  throughout  the 
  world  (1  Cor.  15:9;  Gal.  1:13;  Matt.  16:18)  are  the  church  of 
  The  church  visible  "consists  of  all  those  throughout  the  world 
  that  profess  the  true  religion,  together  with  their  children." 
  It  is  called  visible"  because  its  members  are  known  and  its 
  assemblies  are  public.  Here  there  is  a  mixture  of  "wheat  and 
  chaff,"  of  saints  and  sinners.  "God  has  commanded  his  people  to 
  organize  themselves  into  distinct  visible  ecclesiastical 
  communities,  with  constitutions,  laws,  and  officers,  badges, 
  ordinances,  and  discipline,  for  the  great  purpose  of  giving 
  visibility  to  his  kingdom,  of  making  known  the  gospel  of  that 
  kingdom,  and  of  gathering  in  all  its  elect  subjects.  Each  one  of 
  these  distinct  organized  communities  which  is  faithful  to  the 
  great  King  is  an  integral  part  of  the  visible  church,  and  all 
  together  constitute  the  catholic  or  universal  visible  church."  A 
  credible  profession  of  the  true  religion  constitutes  a  person  a 
  member  of  this  church.  This  is  "the  kingdom  of  heaven,"  whose 
  character  and  progress  are  set  forth  in  the  parables  recorded  in 
  Matt.  13. 
  The  children  of  all  who  thus  profess  the  true  religion  are 
  members  of  the  visible  church  along  with  their  parents.  Children 
  are  included  in  every  covenant  God  ever  made  with  man.  They  go 
  along  with  their  parents  (Gen.  9:9-17;  12:1-3;  17:7;  Ex  20:5; 
  Deut.  29:10-13).  Peter,  on  the  day  of  Pentecost,  at  the 
  beginning  of  the  New  Testament  dispensation,  announces  the  same 
  great  principle.  "The  promise  [just  as  to  Abraham  and  his  seed 
  the  promises  were  made]  is  unto  you  and  to  your  children"  (Acts 
  2:38,  39).  The  children  of  believing  parents  are  "holy",  i.e., 
  are  "saints",  a  title  which  designates  the  members  of  the 
  Christian  church  (1  Cor.  7:14).  (See  {BAPTISM}.) 
  The  church  invisible  "consists  of  the  whole  number  of  the 
  elect  that  have  been  are  or  shall  be  gathered  into  one  under 
  Christ,  the  head  thereof."  This  is  a  pure  society,  the  church  in 
  which  Christ  dwells.  It  is  the  body  of  Christ.  it  is  called 
  invisible"  because  the  greater  part  of  those  who  constitute  it 
  are  already  in  heaven  or  are  yet  unborn,  and  also  because  its 
  members  still  on  earth  cannot  certainly  be  distinguished.  The 
  qualifications  of  membership  in  it  are  internal  and  are  hidden. 
  It  is  unseen  except  by  Him  who  "searches  the  heart."  "The  Lord 
  knoweth  them  that  are  his"  (2  Tim.  2:19). 
  The  church  to  which  the  attributes,  prerogatives,  and  promises 
  appertaining  to  Christ's  kingdom  belong,  is  a  spiritual  body 
  consisting  of  all  true  believers,  i.e.,  the  church  invisible. 
  (1.)  Its  unity.  God  has  ever  had  only  one  church  on  earth.  We 
  sometimes  speak  of  the  Old  Testament  Church  and  of  the  New 
  Testament  church,  but  they  are  one  and  the  same  The  Old 
  Testament  church  was  not  to  be  changed  but  enlarged  (Isa. 
  49:13-23;  60:1-14).  When  the  Jews  are  at  length  restored,  they 
  will  not  enter  a  new  church,  but  will  be  grafted  again  into 
  "their  own  olive  tree"  (Rom.  11:18-24;  comp.  Eph.  2:11-22).  The 
  apostles  did  not  set  up  a  new  organization.  Under  their  ministry 
  disciples  were  added"  to  the  church"  already  existing  (Acts 
  (2.)  Its  universality.  It  is  the  catholic"  church;  not 
  confined  to  any  particular  country  or  outward  organization,  but 
  comprehending  all  believers  throughout  the  whole  world. 
  (3.)  Its  perpetuity.  It  will  continue  through  all  ages  to  the 
  end  of  the  world.  It  can  never  be  destroyed.  It  is  an 
  "everlasting  kindgdom." 

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