From: Stephen Williamson
Sent: Saturday, December 05, 2009 1:27 PM
Subject: Peter, Petros, and Petra

Hi all

Chris, chatting last Wednesday about

Peter / Petros — a man's name in Greek, a masculine word, and

Petra — the Greek word for Rock — a feminine word, saw this comment in Wikipedia :

Petros had not previously been used as a name, but in the Greek-speaking world it became a popular Christian name, after the tradition of Peter's prominence in the early Christian church had been established.

So, I went checking through the scripture, and sure enough, nowhere is Petros translated as "pebble" or a "small stone". It's only ever used in the Scripture as Peter's name.

So, ok, now, Matthew's words

And I say also to you, That you are Peter (Petros), and upon this rock (Petra), I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

cross references  John 1:42 where Jesus says

"You are Simon the son of John: you shall be called Cephas — i.e. Kephas in Hebrew/Chaldee/Aramaic which is by translation, Petros."

Now, Kephas comes from a Hebrew word "keph" meaning a "hollow rock", not dissimilar to the English word for "cave". And the feminine / masculine wordplay in Greek is the same in Aramaic, where "Kepha" is the feminine word, "Kephas" then becomes a masculine variation.

Thus, Simon — which comes from the Hebrew word "Simeon" which means "to listen attentively" received the prophetic word that he would be called Cephas — the hollow rock, yes, one that needs joining to a corner stone to achieve extra stability.

Takes him (and us) a little while to get there

Ephesians 2:19-22
Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
foundation Isa 28:16   Matt 16:18,   1 Cor 3:11
apostles 1 Cor 12:28
stone Ps 118:22   Matt 21:42   Mark 12:10   Luke 20:17   Acts 4:11   1 Pet 2:7
In whom all the building fitly framed together grows into a holy temple in the Lord:
In whom you also are built together for a dwelling-place of God through the Spirit.

  Hallelujah   Steve

Now, here is the full passage with hyperlinks to the original Greek words.

And Simon Peter answered and said You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you Simon Barjona (son of Jonah): for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also to you, That you are Peter and upon this rock (Petra — a feminine word, the firm Wisdom of God, revealed through Simon, and thus he is renamed as Petros/Peter), I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

From: Stephen Williamson
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 10:16 AM
Subject: Citizens Assemblies and early Church/Ecclesia

Hi all

I've often thought about the mindsets of the people in that early church/ecclesia — the called out ones. Working with the Holy Spirit, how did they ending up forming a formal church (ecclesia) of Rome, of Antioch, of Alexandria.

Following Julia's new "citizens assemblies" , here's an account of early democracy in Athens — 500 years before Christ — called ecclesia — the formal citizens' assembly within the city.

Some background — to vote in the ecclesia, you needed to be an adult male 18 years of age, not a slave, and not the son of foreigners.

Meetings were initially monthly, but grew to three to four meetings a month.

Issues frequently revolved around judicial matters — internally, and wars — externally, with the agenda set by the local council (boule) of about 500 men chosen randomly (i.e. by lot). This is the same word we see in Luke 23:50, though it appears that in Jerusalem, the members probably held office for life, and successors were likely appointed either by the existing members themselves or by the supreme political authorities (i.e. Herod and the Romans).

Many cities, such as Sparta, speak also of a council of elders (gerousia) — as seen in the Senate which met with this Sanhedrin council in Jerusalem in Acts 5:21-24. Voting in the formal ecclesia was done by a show of hands in a public arena. A quorum would be required, 20% of the electorate — e.g. 6000 in Athens. Women could be citizens, but no voting rights when it came to these political matters, yes, probably would have created too much contention, they would have had enough as it was

"A gang of slaves carrying ropes dipped in red ochre would travel through the city on the days the Ecclesia was to meet, and use their ropes to lash those citizens not in attendance. With garments thus stained, shamed citizens could legally carry out no business until they visited the meeting grounds of the Ecclesia" /wiki /Ecclesia_(ancient_Athens)

Apparently, people who didn't want to get involved were then called "private people" or "idiotes" — yes, from which we get the word idiots.

Interestingly translated in 1 Corinthinians  as   unlearned .

Note too, that when it came to providing protection from (and for) war, the Romans employed Tax Farming i.e. having an auction where people would bid for the right to become a "tolls" collector. It raised considerable revenue upfront using these publicans, the "public contractors" in the provinces. Similar systems of tax collecting can be found historically worldwide frequently run by gangs and secret societies in the Turkish empire (prior to 1923) — in China (prior to 1912) — in Russia (prior to 1862) — in India (prior to 1857) — in the French monarchy (prior to 1789) — in fact going all the way back through the centuries to those Pharaohs in Egypt.

An associated word "Perfect" in Matthew 5:48, is the word for "Complete", a "Toll (paid in full)". It is thus contrasted here with the word for "Publicans", or "Toll Farmers" who invest in the right to collect tolls for their own profit on earth.

Yep, a very different world from today, but I think it helps to understand where Paul was coming from in, say, 1 Corinthians 14. And I think that was Christ's intention in using that specific word regarding what he was going to build.


Further thoughts on assembling together From: Stephen Williamson
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 12:18 PM
Subject: Chatting about Church

Hi all

Yes, while the Jews (and many in the early church) would hold regular worship meetings on the Saturday, i.e. the Sabbath, numerous ones would also gather in a home or building somewhere straight afterwards on the Saturday evening for a special love-feast, celebrating the Lord's resurrection.

Then on March 7th 321, Emperor Constantine issued the following decree: On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. And so from that day in all the cities, Sundays became official state holidays for rest and worship.

In the west throughout Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, Sunday's name changed from Dies Solis to Dominica (the Lord's Day), with Saturday (Dies Saturni) renamed as Sabbatum (the Sabbath). The other weekday names were left unchanged.

In Constantinople (Istanbul), Constantine's new capital city in the east, Friday was renamed in Greek becoming Paraskeue — Preparation day (for the sabbath), Saturday became Savvato (the Sabbath), Sunday became Kyriaki (the Lord's Day), and Monday to Thursday were renamed to Days Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth.

But in the western world, Monday-Saturday was seen of course as a normal working day week. Though working on Saturday was always coming up as an issue with various ones. In Australia, it was 1930 that we went to a 44 hour (5½ day) week, in 1948 a 40 hour (5 day) week.

Now, regarding the Sabbath day rest that in Hebrews 4:11 we are urged to "labour at entering into" (be prompt with, use speed), just reflecting on those words in Song of Songs:
Songs 2:7

I charge you (swear to you), O you daughters of Jerusalem by the roes and by the hinds of the field that you stir not up 55 (shake the eyes) nor awake 34 (my) love till it pleases.

Extract from Using beautiful imagery, the speaker underscores the truth that love must have freedom. Just as gazelles and deer are free to roam, so love should have freedom to move in our hearts in its own time and in its own way. Love should not be manipulated any more than a gazelle should be fettered or caged.

When the time is right, love will bloom. Until then, wisdom advises us to guard our hearts. It will be worth the wait.

The roes and hinds are of course male and female deer, yes, skittish, easily put on alert at any time. Makes me think of kangaroos, mm, yes, night-time country driving. It refers to the love between the lady and her beloved, Solomon, or Christ the bridegroom, in those three passages: Songs 2:7, 3:5, 8:4.

The lady is called a Shulamite, from the Hebrew word Shalom, which means Complete, Perfect, Peace, a Toll paid in full. The principle involved is that we stay in the sabbath (rest), in tune with the Holy Spirit whatever we do, in quietness inwardly. Nothing to be forced by others.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt (rotten) communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister (give) grace to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve (distress) not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed (secretly stamped) to the day of redemption.

Hallelujah Steve

Stephen Williamson Computing Services Pty Ltd

Kyrie Eleison

From: Stephen Williamson
Sent: Friday, April 12, 2013 3:14 PM
Subject: Background to the word for "church"

Updated: Monday, December 18, 2017 1:59 PM

why do we English say "church" whenever we speak of the Lord's house, when Scots people, Germans, Dutch all pronounce it with a hard "K" sound i.e. a "kerk" or "kirche"

Prayerfully, carefully, I believe it came back to the influence the French had on the English language, the way they pronounce "Monsieur", the way they put that soft "sh" sound into that word /#fr /en /Monsieur when speaking with respect.

The Irish, incidentally call the building a Séipéal , a "Shapelle" or Chapel, the word for a "Cape" — a covering place to keep you warm if it's cold outside. Hmm, I think in December the beach or a pool is a more suitable place for Aussies

It's Christmas, so I just updated my page on Kyrie Eleison and that old chap, Cyrus, with some extra background.

Kyrie — the Greek word for "Lord"

Firstly, we look at the Persian King Cyrus. The name "Cyrus" is a Latinized form derived from a Greek form "Kyrus" (pronounced Kee-ros). The ancient Greek historians Ctesias and Plutarch noted that Cyrus was named from Kuros, the word for "sun" in Persian.

In Hebrew, click here, the word Kur was the word for "furnace".

Proverbs 17:3 The crucible for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tries the hearts.

And his name / his title then became the Greek name for "Lord".

Many of you may know the song Kyrie Eleison — "Lord Have Mercy" — a famous old song in the ancient Greek — a human cry to the Lord.

As it says at the bottom, just about every language worldwide has a version of this phrase — "Mein Herr" in German (in the German Bible, Martin Luther translated the word "Kyrie" as "Herr") — "Mon Sieur" and "Seigneur" in French (in French Cyrus is pronounced See-ros) — "Señor" and "Don" in Spanish — "Senior" and "Domine" in Latin — "Sir" and "Dominant" in English.

"Sieur" in French, the words "shah", "sir" or "cir" from which comes the word "church" in English — the Lord's house — we find another tradition, that of placing "sar" — "the ruler" as a suffix to family names of so many Warrior-Chiefs worldwide.
Click here to see its use in the Old Testament, starting in Genesis. Names like Nebuchadnez-zar, Belshaz-zar, TiglathPile-ser, Shalmene-sar, JuliusKai-sar, AugustusKai-sar, NeroKai-sar. Today, the words Czar, Tsar, Shah, Kai-ser, and the phrases Yes-Sar or Yes-Sir indicate the one who is the boss. We find in Japanese, entering "san" at the end of a person's name, is an ancient tradition of respect.

And so it was that when the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) was put together around 300-150 BC for the Jews scattered worldwide, they decided to use the Greek word Kurios (that became associated with two words Kuros-Sun and Cyrus-Sir) for the Hebrew word for worship Adonai (the "Lord").

To the Captain and the Sun (of righteousness). A holy sacrifice (from sa-cra) in Latin.

A bit like Moses, someone whose face was not watchable, it shone so brightly immediately after speaking to God. Associated by others with the Latin word "curvus" — to curve or bow.

Yes, Cyrus had been the Jews deliverer, their messiah, their anointed one, foreseen and named by God hundreds of years previously in Isaiah 44:28, 45:1 and now sent by God to enable them to return to God's land and to build God's house.

2 Chronicles 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also in writing, saying,

Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has the LORD God of heaven given me; and he has appointed me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.

And later when it came time for Christians to build "houses" for the Lord, yes, where the Ecclesia — where the Lord's called-ones would meet — in Germany, it was then called the Kirche, in Scotland the Kirk, and in England where the word for "Sir" was strong, the Church.

Blessings all Steve

Stephen Williamson Computing Services Pty Ltd

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