Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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heresy Summary and Overview

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heresy in Easton's Bible Dictionary

from a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. In the Acts of the Apostles (5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5) it denotes a sect, without reference to its character. Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks "heresies" with crimes and seditions (Gal. 5:20). This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church (1 Cor. 11:19). In Titus 3:10 a "heretical person" is one who follows his own self-willed "questions," and who is to be avoided. Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God (2 Pet. 2:1).

heresy in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

HER'ESY , Acts 24:14. _ This term, as generally used by the sacred writers, implies no judgment respecting the truth or error of the peculiar tenets but signifies a party or division. It is derived from a word meaning "to choose." The Pharisees, Acts 15:5; 26:5, and the Sadducees, Acts 5:17, as well as the Nazarenes, Acts 24:5, Acts 24:12, Lev 24:14, were denominated heresies. In these passages the word is translated "sects." In Acts 24:14, where Paul speaks of the Christian religion as "the way which they call heresy," he undoubtedly means to imply that the Christian organization was not a separation from the O.T. Church, but the true Church itself. In 1 Cor 11:19; Gal 5:20, and 2 Pet 2:1 heresies are referred to in connection with the apostolic Church, and in the last two cases the implication is that they are departures from the fundamental truth of the gospel, and to be condemned. Early in the history of the Christian Church the word acquired the signification it now has, of a departure from the fundamentals of gospel truth.

heresy in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

1 Corinthians 11:18-19. Schisms (Greek: "schisma") meant "divisions" through differences of opinion of recent standing. "Heresies" meant "schisms inveterate". "Sect" (Greek "heresy") Acts 5:17; Acts 15:5. Paul means by "there must be heresies among you," that sin must bear its natural fruit, as Christ foretold (Luke 17:1), and schisms (compare 1 Corinthians 12:25) must eventuate in mattered secessions or confirmed schisms. "Heresy" did not yet bear its present meaning, "doctrinal error". However see its use in Acts 24:14.