James 2:2 Always Assembled

James 2:2 (KJV)
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

Many Bible students place a very early date on the authorship of this epistle. They cite, as one of their main reason, James’ blatant connection between Judaism and Christianity. The inference, they claim, is that he wrote at such an early date that Christianity had not yet progressed to include the Gentile church. Indeed, one of their arguments is that the word, “assembly” in this verse is the Greek word for synagogue and not church. Perhaps, they opine, the church had not yet developed.

I have no problem giving this book an early date.

First, the church obviously existed even before Christ was crucified
Matthew 16 and 18 both have Christ mentioning the church. It does not begin in Acts chapter 2 but in the Gospel period.

Second, the Greek for word, “church” existed as a secular term prior to the existence of the Christian church
It was originally used to describe what we might call a “town council” today. The Bible has at least three terms that were all used to describe an early church:

  • Eklessia (used in about 115 times)
  • Sunogoge (James 2:2)
  • Episunogoge (Hebrews 19:25) “a complete gathering”

It seems to me that the key point is that the church always means a gathering.

  • It is never universal. It is never Catholic. It is never invisible.
  • It is always local. It is always visible.  It is always assembled.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

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James 2:2 Always Assembled

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Author: marvinmck

Marvin McKenzie was born in the Pacific Northwest and became a Christian at the age of eighteen. He has been in the Baptist ministry for thirty years and has planted and pastored churches in Washington and Oregon. Besides his pastoral ministry, Marvin has been actively involved in training men for the Baptist ministry. He has conducted local church Bible Institutes in those churches he has pastored, from which a number of men have entered the ministry. Marvin also served as: Vice President of the Western States Baptist Bible Fellowship, The Board of Directors of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA, Dean of men at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, Executive Vice President of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA and Executive Vice President of Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, OK. Marvin is married to Anita. They have two sons, Bohannan and Caleb. Both are Baptist pastors in Washington State. Marvin enjoys camping, fishing and horses.

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