The Language of the Early Church

Brothers, sisters, and saints. Strikingly, the early Christians referred to one another as “brother” and “sister.” This is because they authentically saw themselves as part of a new family. Unfortunately, we live in a day when such language is foreign to many Christians. But it’s been part of my spiritual vocabulary for the last two decades.

      Throughout this book, therefore, I will be referring to Christians by the following names: “Brothers,” “sisters,” “brethren,” “believers,” and even “saints.” The word “saints” is an English translation of a Greek word which means “holy ones.” En The Greek word is hagios. It was a favorite term of Paul of Tarsus. He used it to refer to every Christian. (Just look at the opening lines of most of his letters.)

      As time went on, the word devolved into referring to a select portion of the Body of Christ. The first-century Christians, however, had no such concept. Every believer was a saint . . . a holy one, in God’s eyes. Regrettably, this understanding along with the vocabulary that goes with it has been overwhelmingly lost to the Christian faith.

For more, click Frank Viola on the Church