Did Jesus Ever Say the Word "Church"?
Did Jesus Intend to Establish a "Church"?
Or . . .
Was a.k.a. Matthew an Anonymous early Church leader
who wanted to attribute the establishment of the Church to Jesus?
Bible Concordances: Bible Gateway - God's View
The word Church (EKKLHSIA) occurs in only TWO places in the Canonical Gospels
First Reference: The Establishment of "My Church"16:15 He (Jesus) said to them (the Disciples), "But who do you say that I am?"
Click Here to See this Text in its Wider Synoptic Perspective
Second Reference: "Church" Authority based on Two or Three Disciples
18:1 At that time the disciples
came to Jesus saying,
"Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? . . .
18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go and point
out the fault when the two of you are alone.
If he listens to you, you have regained that one.
18:16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two others along with you,
so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church;
and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church,
let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18:18 Truly I tell you,
whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
18:19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask,
it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name,
I am there among them."
18:21 Then Peter came and said to him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?"
18:22 Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times."
Click here to see this Text in its Wider Perspective with Luke 17:3-4
In Matt. 18:20, Matthew's Jesus said:
where two or three are gathered in my name,
I am there among them."
BUT in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus said:.
Greek text of Saying 30+77
from Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1.23-30
Reconstruction below by Prof. Harold Attridge, Yale University
[Jesus sa]id, ["Wh]ere there are [th]r[ee]
t[hey ar]e [without] God.
And [w]here there is only o[ne],
I say, I am with hi[m].
Li[f]t the stone and there you will find me.
Split the wood and I am there."
[See the film Stigmata]
In both "Church" passages in Matthew
Jesus gives the authority to bind and loose in heaven and on earth.
In the first passage, Jesus gives this authority to Peter alone;
In the second passage, he gives it to all the disciples.
In the second passage,
Jesus bases both his own presence and access to "my Father in heaven"
upon two or more of his disciples (as church leaders?)
being gathered together in Jesus' name.
Compare this to the contradictory teaching in
where Matthew is copying from the Sayings Source Q.
Here Jesus states that "your Father in heaven"
responds to and rewards individual piety done in secret
without any need for mediation by middlemen (church leaders?).
6:1 Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 6:2 So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6:3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 6:4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 6:5 And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6:6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.