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Is The Church Christ's Church Or Is It His Father's Church?

Dear Mike,

I hope the Lord is continuing to shower you with spiritual knowledge and understanding.

My former church contends that the proper translation of the phrase ekklesia theos in Acts 20:28
should be Church of Christ (using the George Lamsa translation) instead of Church of God.
Recently, their minister handed me a literature about this and here's some excerpts from it:

If we shall check the version, into what language were the Greek manuscripts of the New
Testament first translated? into SYRIAC - an Aramaic dialect

It was at Antioch of Syria, the third largest city of the Roman Empire, that the followers of Jesus
were first called Christians. Outside the gate of Antioch, Syriac was the language of the people.

Why is it wrong to assume that the original rendition of the Greek text of Acts 20:28 is "Church
of God" although this phrase is present in some of the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament?

The Eastern text reads: "The church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood. Jewish
Christians could not have used the term God, because in their eyes God is spirit, and spirit has no
flesh and blood. It was Jesus of Nazareth who shed his blood on the cross for us, and not God.
[Lamsa, George, New Testament Commentary, pp. 149 - 150]

My reaction: I know that there is a reason the Holy Spirit inspired the writer of Acts to use theos
and not Christos in this verse (or kurios). So if we follow the admonition of having a pattern of
sound words, it is but proper to translate it Church of God. As for God not having blood because
He is Spirit, I totally agree if we are talking about God the Father. So is God the Father the one
being refferred in that phrase or is it our Lord Jesus Christ? (Remember my former church do
not believe that Christ is God). Even if we understand ekklesia theos as church of God (the
Father), there will be no contradiction with the phrase "purchased with his blood" because
spiritually speaking Christ is indeed God's blood (as God's Son). For me, the only time that
contradiction arises is when we look at this verse literally. We shouldn't do so, as much as we
must not take John 6:54 ("drink my blood") literally.

Can you please add your insight into this subject?

Your brother in the Lord Jesus Christ,

V____
Hi V____,

Thank you for your question.

I'm not very familiar with this doctrine. There are literally thousands of Greek manuscripts of the
New Testament which have this verse and seven other verses in the New Testament with this
same Greek phrase translated "The church of God."

The only thing I feel needs to be asked is how do these people deal with the other seven
instances of this phrase "church of God?" Do they contend that they are all mistranslations?

Here are the other seven instances:


1Co 1:2 Unto 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 upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both
theirs and ours:

1Co 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of
God:

1Co 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God,
and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise [you]
not.

1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I
persecuted the church of God.

2Co 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy [our] brother, unto the
church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that
beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church
of God?)
I wish I could give you a better answer than just a question, but I am frankly mystified that
anyone sees a need to deny that the church of Christ, is of necessity also the church of God. Here
is why:
John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also
may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
If there is any truth to that verse then there is no denying that the church is the church of God as
well as the church of Christ. Those are complementary, not contradictory statements.

Your brother in Christ and in the Father,

Mike