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I Thessalonians 1

1 Paul and Silas and Timothy to the assembly1 of [the] Thessalonians in God [the] father and [the] Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

2 I thank God always concerning you all, making mention [of you] in my prayers, constantly 3 remembering your work of faith and labor of agape-love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ before our God and father, 4 having known, brothers agape-beloved by God, your selection by[ God], 5 for our good-news did not come to you in word only, but also in ability and in [the] Holy Spirit and in great certainty, just as you know what sort we came to be among you because [of you]. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much distress with [the] joy of [the] Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became [a] pattern to all those believing in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For from you sounded forth the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but to every place your faith towards God went out, so that we were having no need to be speaking anything, 9 for they themselves report concerning you what sort of entrance we had to you, and how you turned towards God from the idols to be slaving to [the] zoe-living2 and true God, 10 and to be awaiting his son from the heavens, who arose from the dead, Jesus the [one] delivering us from the coming wrath.

1EKKLESIA (εκκλησια) from "called out". Appears 114 times in the N.T., but only in two places in the Gospels ( Matt.16:18 (twice) and Matt.18:17 (twice)). It's worth noting that when Jesus uses the term EKKLESIA, Christian community as we know it didn't yet exist—there were only the disciples. EKKLESIA is apparently different from 'synagogue' (SYNAGOGE (συναγωγη) which occurs 56 times in the N.T.) EKKLESIA is used in secular Greek literature of a popular assembly 'called to assemble', and also of those 'called' to a cult. EKKLESIA is used frequently in the N.T. outside of the Gospels to refer to Christian communities, but in Acts.7:38 it is used of the people of Israel led through the desert by Moses, and in Acts.19:32 ff. of a secular assembly. Thus, all told, the common translation of EKKLESIA as 'church' doesn't really reflect 1st century usage—it seems to mean more like 'a group of people assembled for some specific purpose'.

2from ZOE "ZOH-ay" (ζωη)—Life 'collectively', interdependent, interconnected. Although it means 'life' in the conventional sense (for example: Matt.9:18, Matt.27:63, Luke.2:36, Acts.25:24, Rom.7:2, 2Cor.1:8, 1Thes.4:17, 1Tim.5:10, Rev.19:20), Jesus uses ZOE exclusively of 'life eternal' (with the possible exceptions of Luke.15:13, Luke.16:25). The other N.T. writers use ZOE in both senses—temporal and eternal, generally clear from the context. The Father is the 'zoe-living God' (see Matt.16:16). The Septuagint (LXX) in Gen.2:7 has "...[God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of zoe-life, and the man became a zoe-living psyche-life" (and see 1Cor.15:45); and Gen.3:20 (LXX) "And Adam called his wife's name ZOE, because she was the mother of all zoe-living." Contrast PSYCHE (ψυχη): an individual manifestation of life/consciousness. See John.12:25 where both ZOE and PSYCHE occur. Greek also has the word BIOS (βιoς ) for 'life' in the sense of biological processes.