Glossary of Terms

Certain important terms and their definitions as used in this paper are listed here:

  • church network: interconnected local churches that share a common leadership structure and doctrinal persuasion. This term includes formally-structured networks such as denominations as well as unstructured networks such as simple house church movements.
  • global church: the household of God (Ephesians 2:19), the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23), the sum total of all believers in the one faith (Ephesians 3:8-10), including all languages and cultures (Matthew 28:19-20), and including all traditions that are faithful expressions of sound doctrine (Ephesians 4:4-5), at the current time.
  • lingual church: an element of the global church that is linguistically homogenous, speaking either the same language or variants that have a sufficient degree of mutual intelligibility, and including all traditions that are faithful expressions of sound doctrine (Ephesians 4:1-6; 1 Timothy 6:3; Titus 2:1). This term is proposed with the intent to affirm the unity of the global church, while also recognizing the ecclesiological and missiological implications (particularly in terms of effective use of Bible translations and biblical resources) inherent in the existence of one global church that speaks many languages.
  • local church: a church body in close geographic proximity that meets together regularly. This term attempts to define a local church with regard to its geospatial existence, not essential ecclesiological functions.
  • church-centric Bible translation: a Bible translation that is commissioned by leaders of a lingual church and done by believers translating into their own language, to meet their own needs pertaining to evangelism, discipleship, and spiritual formation.