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February 22, 2017 / compassioninpolitics

What is the meaning of chuch–what is the difference between Ekklesia and Koinonia in the Greek?

The essential meaning of the word church is:

Assembly, community, fellowship, sharing, or the called out.

I believe there are two Greek words for church used in the New Testament:

  • Ekklesia 
  • Koinonia

Here is a simple definition:

Here is a more theological definition of Ekklesia versus Koinonia:


a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly

  1. an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating
  2. the assembly of the Israelites
  3. any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously
  4. in a Christian sensean assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meetinga company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sakethose who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one bodythe whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earththe assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven

Source: Ekklesia – New Testament Greek Lexicon – King James Version


fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse

  1. the share which one has in anything, participation
  2. intercourse, fellowship, intimacythe right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship (in fulfilling the apostolic office)
  3. a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship

Source: Koinonia – New Testament Greek Lexicon – New American Standard

Based on a previous reading, I felt that koinonia was more verb-like. However, I’m sure the intent of both is to be active. Its about living out community that one becomes a true community.


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