OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
But weren’t there various other words denoting religious gatherings that Paul could easily have used instead? Could we also compare ekklēsia with the other potential words available to Paul when he began writing? We might learn more about what he intended to say by seeing what he could have said but didn’t.
Also, is there any reason to suppose that Jesus meant the same thing that Paul did by the word? I understand that Paul was educated in Greek culture, whereas Jesus presumably wasn’t. Couldn’t Paul’s use of ekklēsia have been tainted by the Greek understanding, whereas Jesus meant something more judaically oriented which was translated as ekklēsia by the evangelists?