Monday, September 05, 2005

CQOD: 09/06/05 -- Dodd: the Body of Christ

Christian Quotation of the Day

September 6, 2005
Commemoration of Allen Gardiner, founder of the South American Missionary Society, 1851Commemoration of Albert Schweitzer, Teacher, Physician, Missionary, 1965
    Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours...
    -- 1 Corinthians 1:2 (KJV)

    In this Body of Christ, Paul sees “the ecclesia of God.” Ecclesia is a Greek word with a splendid history. It was used in the old free commonwealths of Greece for the general assembly of all free citizens, by which their common life was governed. When political liberty went, the name still survived in the restricted municipal self-government which the Roman State allowed. It was taken over by the brotherhoods and guilds which in some measure superseded the old political associations. Among the Jews who spoke Greek, this word seemed the appropriate one to describe the commonwealth of Israel as ruled by God—the historical Theocracy. Our translation of it is “Church.” That word, however, has undergone such transformations of meaning that it is often doubtful in what sense it is being used. Perhaps for ecclesia we may use the word—simpler, more general, and certainly nearest to its original meaning—“commonwealth.”
    ... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today [1920]

Quiet time reflection:
    Do I lack love for the common life of the church?

See Believer's Desktop Companion 2004

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