Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History

Naves Topical Bible Dictionary

blasphemy Summary and Overview

Bible Dictionaries at a GlanceBible Dictionaries at a Glance

blasphemy in Easton's Bible Dictionary

In the sense of speaking evil of God this word is found in Ps. 74:18; Isa. 52:5; Rom. 2:24; Rev. 13:1, 6; 16:9, 11, 21. It denotes also any kind of calumny, or evil-speaking, or abuse (1 Kings 21:10; Acts 13:45; 18:6, etc.). Our Lord was accused of blasphemy when he claimed to be the Son of God (Matt. 26:65; compare Matt. 9:3; Mark 2:7). They who deny his Messiahship blaspheme Jesus (Luke 22:65; John 10:36). Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Matt. 12:31, 32; Mark 3:28, 29; Luke 12:10) is regarded by some as a continued and obstinate rejection of the gospel, and hence is an unpardonable sin, simply because as long as a sinner remains in unbelief he voluntarily excludes himself from pardon. Others regard the expression as designating the sin of attributing to the power of Satan those miracles which Christ performed, or generally those works which are the result of the Spirit's agency.

blasphemy in Smith's Bible Dictionary

in its technical English sense, signifies the speaking evil of God and in this sense it is found #Ps 74:18; Isa 52:5; Ro 2:24| etc. But according to its derivation it may mean any species of calumny and abuse: see #1Ki 21:10; Ac 18:6; Jude 1:9| etc. Blasphemy was punished by stoning, which was inflicted on the son of Shelomith. #Le 24:11| On this charge both our Lord and St. Stephen were condemned to death by the Jews. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, #Mt 12:32; Mr 3:28| consisted in attributing to the power of Satan those unquestionable miracles which Jesus performed by "the finger of God" and the power of the Holy Spirit. It is plainly such a state of wilful, determined opposition to God and the Holy Spirit that no efforts will avail to lead to repentance. Among the Jews it was a sin against God answering to treason in our times.

blasphemy in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

BLAS'PHEMY . Col 3:8. The word, in its original use, denotes all manner of detraction or calumny, such as is expressed by the terms rail, revile, speak evil, etc.; but in the restricted sense of the Scriptures and of common use, it denotes reproachful, irreverent, or insulting language concerning God or any of his names or attributes. Lev 24:10-16. Whoever thinks of the character of God as infinitely holy, just, and good will not be surprised that this offence was regarded as very heinous, and was punished by stoning. There is no reason to suppose that the sin of profane swearing, so common at this day, is less odious and offensive to God than it was in the time of Moses. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, Matt 12:32, such as the Pharisees were guilty of or were in danger of committing, when they ascribed the miracle of curing the blind and dumb man (who was also possessed with a demon) to the agency of Beelzebub or Satan, is declared to be unpardonable. It is far worse than ''grieving the Spirit." Some persons are apprehensive that they have committed this sin and give themselves up to despair, but such fears prove that they are still open to recovery and pardon. The sin against the Holy Ghost implies a state of final and hopeless impenitence, and is committed by those who have again and again wilfully resisted the influences and warnings of the Holy Ghost, and have made themselves incapable of repentance, and consequently of pardon.

blasphemy in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Literally a "railing accusation" against anyone (Judges 1:9). "Evil speaking" is probably meant by it in Colossians 3:8. But it is more often used in the sense of any speech directly dishonoring God (1 Kings 21:10; 2 Samuel 12:14; Psalm 74:18; Isaiah 52:5; Romans 2:24). Stoning was the penalty, as upon the son of Shelomith, a woman of Dan, and of an Egyptian father (Leviticus 24:11); Stephen was so treated by a sudden outbreak of Jewish zeal (Acts 7:57-60). The Savior would have been stoned for the blasphemy alleged as the ground of His condemnation (Matthew 26:65; Luke 5:21; John 10:36); but the Romans, to whom He was delivered, used crucifixion. So the fulfillment of the prophecy (contrary to what might have been expected, seeing that crucifixion was not a Jewish punishment) was brought about, "they pierced My hands and My feet" (Psalm 22:16; compare John 18:31-32; John 19:6-7). The Jews, in spite of themselves, fulfilled the prophecies to the letter (John 11:50-52). The hearer of the blasphemy rent his garment, which might never be mended, and laid his hand, putting the guilt wholly, on the offender's head. The Jews, because of Leviticus 24:16, superstitiously shrank from even naming Jehovah. In Exodus 22:28, "thou shalt not curse the gods" (elohim) refers to disrespectful language toward magistrates. From Exodus 23:13, "make no mention of the name of other gods," they thought themselves bound to turn the idols' names into nicknames, as Baal into Bosheth, Beth-aven for Beth-el, Beel-zebul for Beel-zebub. When the Jewish rulers, who had such numerous proofs of Jesus' Messiahship, shut their hearts against conviction, and at last stifled conscience and the light so utterly as to attribute His miracles of love, as the casting out of unclean spirits, to the help of the prince of demons, Christ pronounced that they were either committing or on the verge of committing the sin against the Holy Spirit which is forgiven neither in this world nor in the world to come, though all sin against the Son of man can be forgiven (Matthew 12:31, etc.; Mark 3:28, etc.). None can now commit formally the same sin of attributing Jesus' miracles against Satan's kingdom to Satan's help, so evident a self contradiction that nothing short of a seared conscience, and a hardened determination to resist every spiritual impression and even malign the Spirit's work before other men, could have given birth to such a sin. But a man may commit virtually the same sin by continued malignant resistance of the gracious Spirit in one's own heart, with, at the same time, blasphemous and Satanic misrepresentation of it to others. He who has committed it is so given over to a reprobate mind as to have no pang of conscience about it, and the very fear of anyone that he has committed it is proof positive that he has not, for if he had he would have been "past feeling" (Hebrews 6:4-6; 1 John 5:16).