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Christian Church

Christian Church is a Protestant ecclesiological term referring to the church invisible comprising all Christians, used since the Protestant reformation in the 16th century. In this understanding, "Christian Church" (or "catholic church") does not refer to a particular Christian denomination but to the "body" or "group" of believers, both defined in various ways. A prominent example of this is the branch theory maintained by some Anglicans. This is in contrast to the one true church applied to a specific concrete Christian institution, a majority Christian ecclesiological position maintained by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East.

Most English translations of the New Testament generally use the word "church" as a translation of the Ancient Greek: ἐκκλησία, romanized: ecclesia, found in the original Greek texts, which generally meant an "assembly" or "congregation". This term appears in two verses of the Gospel of Matthew, 24 verses of the Acts of the Apostles, 58 verses of the Pauline epistles (including the earliest instances of its use in relation to a Christian body), two verses of the Letter to the Hebrews, one verse of the Epistle of James, three verses of the Third Epistle of John, and 19 verses of the Book of Revelation. In total, ἐκκλησία appears in the New Testament text 114 times, although not every instance is a technical reference to the church. As such it is used for local communities as well as in a universal sense to mean all believers. "Christianity", on the other hand, was first by the Church Father Saint Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35–108/140 AD).

The Four Marks of the Church first expressed in the Nicene Creed (381) are that the Church is one, holy, catholic (universal), and apostolic (originating from the apostles).

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