Los antecedentes históricos del término iglesia

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Los antecedentes históricos del término iglesia

En su artículo titulado “Iglesia”, The Holman Bible Dictionary (“Diccionario bíblico Holman”) explica los antecedentes de esta palabra: “Iglesia es la traducción de la palabra griega ekklesía. El uso del término griego antes del nacimiento de la Iglesia cristiana es importante, ya que de su uso histórico surgen dos corrientes de significado que entran en el concepto de iglesia en el Nuevo Testamento.

“Primero, el término griego que básicamente quiere decir ‘llamado’ se empleaba comúnmente para indicar una reunión de ciudadanos de una ciudad griega, y así se usa en Acts 19:32 Acts 19:32Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused: and the more part knew not why they were come together.
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, Acts 19:39 Acts 19:39But if you inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.
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. Los ciudadanos, quienes estaban bien conscientes de su condición privilegiada sobre los esclavos y los no ciudadanos, eran llamados a la asamblea por un heraldo y trataban … con asuntos de interés común. Cuando los primeros cristianos comprendieron que ellos mismos constituían una iglesia, no hay duda de que se vieron a sí mismos como llamados por Dios en Cristo Jesús con un propósito especial y que la suya era una condición privilegiada en Jesucristo (Ephesians 2:19 Ephesians 2:19Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
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).

“Segundo, el término griego se empleó más de cien veces en la traducción griega del Antiguo Testamento que se usaba en los tiempos de Jesús. El término hebreo (qahal) simplemente significaba ‘asamblea’ y podía usarse de varias maneras; podía referirse por ejemplo a una asamblea de profetas (1 Samuel 19:20 1 Samuel 19:20And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was on the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
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), de soldados (Numbers 22:4 Numbers 22:4And Moab said to the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.
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) o del pueblo de Dios (Deuteronomy 9:10 Deuteronomy 9:10And the LORD delivered to me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spoke with you in the mount out of the middle of the fire in the day of the assembly.
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). El uso que se le da al término en el Antiguo Testamento en referencia al pueblo de Dios es importante para entender el término iglesia en el Nuevo Testamento.

“Los primeros cristianos eran judíos que usaban la traducción griega del Antiguo Testamento. El hecho de que hayan usado una autodesignación que era común en el Antiguo Testamento revela que entendieron la continuidad que une al Antiguo Testamento con el Nuevo. Los primeros cristianos entendieron que ellos eran el pueblo del Dios quien se había revelado a sí mismo en el Antiguo Testamento (Hebrews 1:1-2 Hebrews 1:1-2 [1] God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, [2] Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
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), que eran los verdaderos hijos de Israel (Romans 2:28-29 Romans 2:28-29 [28] For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: [29] But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
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) cuyo padre era Abraham (Romanos 4:1-25) y que eran el pueblo del nuevo pacto profetizado en el Antiguo Testamento (Hebrews 8:1-13 Hebrews 8:1-13 [1] Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; [2] A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. [3] For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: why it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. [4] For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: [5] Who serve to the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, said he, that you make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount. [6] But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. [7] For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. [8] For finding fault with them, he said, Behold, the days come, said the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: [9] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, said the Lord. [10] For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: [11] And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. [12] For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. [13] In that he said, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away.
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).

“Como consecuencia de esta amplitud de significado en el mundo griego y en el del Antiguo Testamento, el término iglesia se usa en el Nuevo Testamento cuando se habla de una congregación local de cristianos llamados, tales como ‘la iglesia de Dios que está en Corinto’ (1 Corinthians 1:2 1 Corinthians 1:2To 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 on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:
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), y también cuando se hace referencia a todo el pueblo de Dios, como en la afirmación de que Cristo es la ‘cabeza sobre todas las cosas a la iglesia, la cual es su cuerpo’ (Ephesians 1:22-23 Ephesians 1:22-23 [22] And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, [23] Which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.
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)”.