Best Church

On my travels  I have seen a number of churches named ‘(location) 제일 교회’ (je-il gyo-hoe [hway], best church). This seems a remarkable statement for a church (that is, the people) to make, and for the life of me, I  can’t think that any church in any English-speaking country would call themselves that.  But there is a complication. My student dictionary also translates 제일 as ‘first, most’. ‘The most church’ doesn’t make sense, but ‘The first church’ (to be established in that location) does.

An online search for ‘best church’ found a large number of websites devoted to ‘the best church website designs’, some photo-lists of ‘the most extraordinary’ or ‘most famous  churches’ (the buildings) and several discussions of ‘what is the best church for you?’. After a brief look, I couldn’t find any English-speaking church called ‘Best Church’. By comparison, a search for ‘제일 교회‘ shows at least four ‘best’ or ‘first’ churches in my city alone.

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2 thoughts on “Best Church

  1. I know in the US a lot of churches are called the “First [Denomination] Church of [Location]”. Maybe it’s a similar sort of thing?

    I’ve noticed that a lot of Korean churches in Adelaide call themselves “The Adelaide Korean Church of Love/Hope/Blessing/etc” – with the obvious exception of the “Korean Presbyterian Church of Adelaide”. The same goes for Korean supermarkets (“Happy/Lucky/Yes Mart”).

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    • So far as I have been able to see, many Korean churches are non-denominational – or at least give no definite sign of being denominational. The first major churches here were Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist – they are named and/or logoed as such. Yes, lots of ‘Love Church’! I often shop at the ‘Charm Mart’ and noticed today that the other mini-mart I occasionally go to is the ‘Best [some other word] Mart’.

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