This is me on Garett on Murray (of Oxford Dictionary fame)


When the Oxford Volume containing the entry for the word "CHURCH" came out, Murray's work was reviewed by James M. Garnett in The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 11, No. 2 (1890), pp. 229-231.

Garnett says,
Dr. Murray gives his adhesion to the view that it is derived from the Greek κυριακόν (sc. δωμα, or the like), “which occurs, from the third century at least, used substantively = ‘house of the Lord,’ as a name of the Christian house of worship.” He says further that “the use of κυριακὴ in Greek appears too late to affect the question.

Allow me to make a couple of observations on his remarks: First notice how plain it is to Garnett that the point of view given by Murray is "his adhesion to (a particular) view" that is, that it is from κυριακόν. Garnett is obviously well aware that other schools of thought exist, and that Murray happens to be of the kyriakist opinion. In saying "his adhesion" Garnett is saying this opinion is "HIS view." We would all be better served if more men stated this for their readership, that the kyriakist opinion is not "gospel" but rather is only the particular view of some. My next observation is Murray's VALUABLE contribution of the fact, that, “the use of κυριακὴ in Greek appears too late to affect the question.” Observe carefully: κυριακὴ is not κυριακόν. Murray tells us that the word κυριακὴ or "kuriake" "appears too late." I'll "transliterate" for clarity: The first word, "kuriakon" means "the lord's" or "of the lord." The next word, "kuriake," is the term that many present day kyriakists (forgive me) "foist" upon people as supposedly what church "came from." But even Murray admits that it is not so. THIS word "appears too late" in the Greek language to have been the source word. Even dedicated kyriakists (like Murray) must limit their theorizing to only the older word, κυριακόν (kuriakon). In that earlier period of Greek, see that Murray has it that doma (δωμα) may have been used in conjunction with κυριακόν (kuriakon), but that "kuriake" is "too late" a word. Let me explain. Kuriake (κυριακὴ) is a later "invented" word that was possibly made by joining κυριακόν (lord's) with the Greek "oikia" (or house) to come up with the "lord's house" or, more elegantly as the kyriakists would like it, the "house of the Lord." The old "doma" (δωμα) doesn't fit as "neatly" as that would. Doma basically meant "rooftop" or "roof" (or more precisely, that which is "constructed" or "built" on top of some structure), and is actually where we derived the modern word "dome." In time though, because of use in reference to the roof of a house among other structures, it evolved into a term for a house. Compare with a man saying to an unruly son, "these are the rules as long as you are under my ROOF." In other words, "in my house." So, "under one's roof" comes to mean "in one's house." But kyriakists like Murray are correct, that "doma" was in use in the period, and might have been conjoined with kuriakon to refer to the house of some lord (thus, the lord's house). Unfortunately though, for the kyriakists, sources are not propagating kuriakon-DOMA combination "words" but merely κυριακόν (kuriakon), with OIKOS "associated" with it by mere hope or implication (such as in "kuriake"). But Murray lets the cat out of the bag: Such constructs would only appear in later Greek, "too late" or well AFTER the Germanic keerkay (circe, etc) has appeared and has widely spread.

Garnett also found it worth repeating Murray's rightly telling us (as I have already noted), concerning the word church, circe, etc., that
"the word is held on good ground to be common W. Ger., and to go back at least to the fourth or fifth century."