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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Heresy. Acts 24:14, A. V. This term, as generally used by the sacred writers, signifies a party or division, R. V. "a sect." It is derived from a word meaning "to choose." The Pharisees, Acts 15:5; Acts 26:5, and the Sadducees, Acts 5:17, as well as the Nazarenes, Acts 24:5; Acts 24:12; Acts 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 Old Testament Church, but the true Church itself. In 1 Corinthians 11:19; Galatians 5:20, and 2 Peter 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.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Heresy'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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