Ecclesiastic, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastic, Ecclesiastical of or belonging to the Church (ecclesia). In later times the word ecclesiastic came to be applied solely to clergymen as a name, and ecclesiastical is often confined in use, improperly, to the affairs of the clergy. In the early Church, Christians in general are spoken of by this title, in opposition to Jews, infidels, and heretics. The word means men of the Church, and was applied to Christians as being neither of Jewish synagogues, nor heathen temples, nor heretical conventicles, but members of the Church of Christ; e.g. ἀνδρές ἐκκλησιαστικοί, Eusebius, 4:7, cited by Bingham, Orig. Ecclesiastes book 1, chapter 1, § 8.

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