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Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by seitt, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. seitt Senior Member


    With thanks to our friend and helper Perseas:
    Η θεία λειτουργία τελείται στο ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου.
    Σε ποια εκκλησία λειτουργεί ο παπα-Γιάννης;

    Please, what is the exact difference between ναός and εκκλησία?

    Can any εκκλησία be called a ναός?

    All the best, and many thanks,

  2. Perseas Senior Member

    First of all both are ancient Greek words. I am not specialist in religious matters, but I think that any εκκλησία can be called ναός in those examples, in that both mean the religious place where people go to worship their God. I think though that ναός is somewhat more formal here. To say in daily conversation "We are going to church" we use εκκλησία: "Πάμε στην εκκλησία."
    Apart from that, ναός defines also an ancient Greek (not Christian) temple, while εκκλησία defines only Christian churches. Eκκλησία also means at colloquial the devine service , e.g. "Πότε τελειώνει η εκκλησία;".
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  3. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    I think that there is a large degree of correspondence between these two words and their English counterparts. In a formal registry the word εκκλησία is more or less used as the word church and the word ναός is more or less used as the word temple.

    A couple of other colloquial uses of the words:

    εκκλησία can be used to describe something (a process, a place - not a person) that was/is/will be really quiet and peaceful (sometimes unexpectedly so)
    Ο πρόεδρος υποσχέθηκε ότι άυριο το γήπεδο θα είναι εκκλησία.

    νάος can also be used to describe any kind of place that is considered "sacred", "holy" for a particular activity.
    Το Γουέμπλεϊ είναι ο ναός του ποδοσφαίρου, το Λας Βέγκας ο ναός του τζόγου, η Γουόλ Στριτ ο ναός του χρήματος κτλ
  4. greekuser New Member

    ναός may refer to the temple of any religion. Also, it is used to describe the actual edifice. And as mentioned by Tassos, it has a number of other metaphorical uses.
  5. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks, very helpful indeed.

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