Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Church, the word

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Church. There is some dispute about the derivation of the word, but the prevailing opinion is that it comes from the Greek Kyriake, "the Lord's (House)." Most of the Slav and Teutonic languages have it, but the Latins followed the Greeks in preferring ecclesia, which means a conference or assembly. The nearest Aramaic or Hebrew equivalent of this Greek word meant the assembly of the people of Israel; hence the text in Matthew (xvi, 18), in which Christ is said to have founded his Church on Peter, is, apart from the childlike pun on the word "rock," a piece of second-century fiction. A Jewish speaker of the first half of the first century would have been unintelligible to his hearers if he had used the word.

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Scanning, HTML Rae West. First upload 2012-04-13