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Apostasy
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A public denial of a previously held religious belief and a distancing from the community that holds to it. The term is almost always applied pejoratively, carrying connotations of rebellion, betrayal, treachery, or faithlessness.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Apostasy
Apostasy (ἀπόστασις, apostasis, ἀποστασία, apostasia). A public denial of a previously held religious belief and a distancing from the community that holds to it. The term is almost always applied pejoratively, carrying connotations of rebellion, betrayal, treachery, or faithlessness.
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Apostasy
Apostasy. Turning against God, as evidenced by abandonment and repudiation of former beliefs. The term generally refers to a deliberate renouncing of the faith by a once sincere believer rather than a state of ignorance or mistaken knowledge. Apostasy is distinguished from heresy (denial of a part of
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
APOSTASY
APOSTASY [Heb. mešûḇâ] (Jer. 2:19; 5:6); AV BACK-SLIDING; [GK. parapíptō] (He. 6:6); AV, NEB, FALL AWAY. Defection from the faith. The English word occurs only in the passages above (thrice in the RSV, twice in the NEB); the GK. apostasía occurs also in Acts 21:21 (“forsake”) and 2 Thess. 2:3
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Apostasy
APOSTASY Turning against God, as evidenced by abandonment and repudiation of former beliefs. The term generally refers to a deliberate renouncing of the faith by a once sincere believer rather than a state of ignorance or mistaken knowledge. Apostasy is distinguished from heresy (denial of a part of
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Apostasy
apostasy (uh-pos´tuh-see), rebellion against or abandonment of faith. It refers in the Hebrew Bible to Israel’s unfaithfulness to God (Jer. 2:19; 5:6; cf. Josh. 22:22; 2 Chron. 33:19) and in the nt to the abandonment of Christian faith (Heb. 6:6). In Acts 21:21, the Greek root of the word “apostasy”
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Apostasy
APOSTASY (Gr. apostasia, “a falling away or defection from the faith”). While the Gr. word is used only twice in the NT (Acts 21:21; 2 Thess 2:3), it is found in the LXX several times, as in Josh 22:22, to express rebellion of the people from God, and in 2 Chr 29:19 of the casting away of the holy temple
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Apostasy
APOSTASY. In classical Gk. apostasia is a technical term for political revolt or defection. In lxx it always relates to rebellion against God (Jos. 22:22; 2 Ch. 29:19), originally instigated by Satan, the apostate dragon of Jb. 26:13.There are two NT instances of the Gk. word. Acts 21:21 records that
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Apostasy
ApostasyThe act of “standing away,” “rebellion,” or “separation” (Gk. apostasɩ́a, perhaps derived from aphɩ́stēmi, “to stand away from,” “rebel,” “separate,” or “fall away from”). A related term is apostatḗs, “a rebel” or “apostate” (cf. textual variation on Jas. 2:11).In the LXX these terms refer
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Apostasy
Apostasy [ə pŏsˊtə sĭ] (Gk. apostasía).† A term designating the falling away (Gk. apó “away from” and stásis “rebellion”) from the faith. At 2 Thess. 2:3 Paul (himself once accused by the Jews of apostasy from the Old Testament teachings; Acts 21:21) predicts a general apostasy (“rebellion”;
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
Apostasy
Apostasy, falling away, perseveranceIs the perseverance of Christians in faith and in the grace of salvation certain, or might they fall away, be cut off from the benefits of Christ and come short of final salvation? Paul’s response to these questions is disputed.1. Terminology2. Continuity in Salvation
Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments
Apostasy
ApostasyApostasy is the antonym of conversion; it is deconversion. In the literature covered by this volume, the word apostasy (apostasia) occurs only in a context of Jews falling away from the teachings of Moses, for which Paul was being blamed (Acts 21:21; cf. 2 Thess 2:3; see DPL, Apostasy, Falling
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
apostasy
apostasy. In the discipline of the early Church the term was used of the abandonment of Christianity, which was, with murder and fornication, one of the three sins at first accounted unpardonable, if committed by a baptized person, and later pardonable only after public penance. Until recently the word
Key passages
Ex 32:1–6

And the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, and the people gathered opposite Aaron, and they said to him, “Come, make for us gods who will go before us, because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of …

Jdg 2:11–15

The Israelites did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and they served the Baals. They abandoned Yahweh the God of their ancestors, who brought them out from the land of Egypt. They followed other gods from the gods of the people who were around them; and they …

Is 1:2–6

Hear, heavens, and listen, earth, for Yahweh has spoken: “I reared children and I brought them up, but they rebelled against me. An ox knows its owner and a donkey the manger of its master. Israel does not know; my people do not understand. Ah, sinful nation, a people …

Mt 13:20–21

And what was sown on the rocky ground—this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. But he does not have a root in himself, but lasts only a little while, and when affliction or persecution happens because of the word, immediately he falls away.

2 Ti 4:3–4

For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound teaching, but in accordance with their own desires, they will accumulate for themselves teachers, because they have an insatiable curiosity, and they will turn away from the hearing of the truth, but will turn to myths.

Heb 6:4–8

For it is impossible concerning those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and become sharers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the coming age, and having fallen away, to renew them again to repentance, because they have crucified …

See also
Topics & Themes