Apostasy in the Church -- By: Charles C. Ryrie
Apostasy in the Church
[Charles C. Ryrie, Dean of the Graduate School, Professor of Systematic Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary.]
Apostasy is a subject more often discussed than defined these days. Neverthless, since the church is warned against apostasy repeatedly, it is a proper subject for discussion. First, however, a definition and some distinctions are necessary.
Meaning and Usage of Words Involved
Apostasia. The substantive occurs twice in the New Testament (Acts 21:12; 2 Thess 2:3). The first instance concerns a departure from the teachings of Moses and the second refers to the eschatological apostasy. In the papyri it is used in the general sense of rebellion.1 Liddell and Scott give the meaning as follows: “defection, revolt, especially in religious sense, rebellion against God, apostasy… 2. departure, disappearance. 3. distinguishing… 4. distance.”2 Sometimes it was used of political revolt. It is important to note that all lexicographers give the primary meaning as apostasy or rebellion and the secondary meaning as departure, which latter meaning is only found in classical Greek unless 2 Thessalonians 2:3 be a Biblical exception.3
BSac 121:481 (Jan 64) p. 45
Testament (Luke 2:37; 4:13; 8:13; 13:27; Acts 5:37, 38; 12:10; 15:38; 19:9; 22:29; 2 Cor 12:8; 1 Tim 4:1; You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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