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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Congregation

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  1. An assembly convoked for a certain time and purpose ( = ἐκκλησία, 1 Kings 8:65; Joel 2:16; Ps. 10. For and in Psalms 26:12, 68:26, "assemblies" would be more correct than "congregations" [A.V.]; and in Psalms 74:4 should be rendered " synagogues," not "congregations," as in A. V.).
  2. A single community ( = συναγωγή, Numbers 35:23 et seq.).
  3. The whole body of Israel, called ("the congregation of the Lord," Deuteronomy 23:1 et seq.; R. V. "assembly is incorrect); Numbers 27:17; "the congregation of Israel," Exodus 12:3; "the congregation of the children of Israel, Exodus 16:1; "the assembly of the congregation of Israel," Exodus 12:6 and Numbers 14:5; or simply and used indifferently, Leviticus 4:13 et seq.; Proverbs 5:14, where is preferably translated by LXX. συναγωγή, and ἐκκλησία. To this must be added "the congregation of Jacob," Deuteronomy 33:4 (R. V. "assembly"; LXX. συναγωγαίς, plural; so also Ecclus. [Sirach] 24:23).From the Apocryphal and other Hellenistic writings (see Ecclus. 24:2, 44:15,1. 13 et seq.; I Macc. 2:56, 3:13, etc.), and the inscriptions in Schurer ("Gesch. des Jüdischen Volkes," 2:432 et seq., 3:40-46), it appears that "synagogue" = συναγωγή was the name, corresponding to , Aramean , given to the Jewish congregation as a community, as well as to the place of worship; while the name ἐκκλησία (τοῦ Ωεοῦ, or Κυρίου= "assembly of the Lord"; hence κυριακή [οἰκία] "church") was chosen to designate the assembly of worshipers.It was owing to the influence of Paul that ἐκκλησία (= "church") became the distinctive name of the Christian communities, while "synagogue" became that of the Jewish congregation, and for some time, also, of the Judæo-Christian congregations (compare Schürer, c.). See Community, Organization of; Minyan; Synagogue.
K.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Congregation'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/c/congregation.html. 1901.

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