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Online Christian Library
of Virtual Theological Resources

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every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17



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Christian Church

Christian Church - Source: Wikipedia

The term Christian Church, or Catholic Church, as it was known beginning in AD 314, expresses the idea that organized Christianity (the Christian religion) is seen as an institution. The phrase "The Church" in its widest sense (as "the Body of Christ") has a similar breadth. In traditional Christianity, the term translates ecclesia (in Greek, εκκλησια).

In historical context, the term may refer to the Catholic Church as the oldest and most established institution of Christianity —claiming apostolic succession from the apostles (in the Pope's case from St Peter). The Catholic Church remained dominant in the West after the Great Schism of 1054, and it was not until the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century (~1517) that the current divisions between Protestantism and Catholicism existed, although there were earlier movements considered heretical by the Catholic Church. The Orthodox Church claims the same origins as the Catholic Church, and this term is often applied to it as well.

The term Christian Church may also refer to particular denominations within Christianity, such as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ or the Christian Church of North America.

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