Word Origin & History
O.E. clerc, from L.L. clericus "a priest," from Gk. klerikos (adj.) in church jargon "of the clergy," derived from kleros "lot, inheritance" (orig. "a shard used in casting lots"), used by early Gk. Christians for matters relating to ministry based on Deut. xviii:2 reference to Levites as temple assistants:
"Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance," transl. of Heb. nahalah "inheritance, lot." If the word choice was meant to remind clerics of anything, however, the reminder was lost with the knowledge of ancient Gk. Or else from the use of the word in Acts i.17. Modern bureaucratic usage is from c.1500, a reminder of the dark ages when clergy alone could read and write.