Backslide • Backsliders • Relapse • Wayward
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Backsliding. To wane in religious commitment, to become less arduous in piety or less upright in morals. Grieved by the spiritual defection of his chosen people, God declared that “backsliding Israel committed adultery” (Jer 3:8 kjv). Through Hosea the Lord lamented the fact that “Israel slideth back
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
BACKSLIDING To wane in religious commitment, to become less arduous in piety or less upright in morals. The principal Hebrew word for backsliding means “turning back” or “turning away.” The people of Israel repeatedly turned from God and engaged in the sin and idolatry of their pagan neighbors. In the
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
BACKSLIDING. A term used in the OT by God of Israel, particularly in Jeremiah, where the nation is spoken of as backsliding children (Jer 3:22), a backsliding daughter (Jer 31:22), and in Hosea where He calls Israel a backsliding heifer (Hos 4:16). Children who get into evil and a daughter who chooses
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
BACKSLIDING. In the Heb. the idea is of “going back” (sûg, “backsliding,” Prov. 14:14), “being stubborn or refractory like a heifer” (sōrēr; Hos. 4:16, KJV; NASB, “stubborn”) and “turning back” (mshūbâ; Jer. 3:6, 8, 11–12, 14, 22; 8:5; 31:22; all KJV; NASB reads, “faithless” or “turned away”) to
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Backslideto draw back or apostatize in matters of religion (Acts 21:21; 2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1). This may be either partial (Prov. 14:14) or complete (Heb. 6:4–6; 10:38, 39). The apostasy may be both doctrinal and moral.
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
BACKSLIDE — to revert to sin or wrongdoing; to lapse morally or in the practice of religion. “Backsliding” is a term found mainly in the Book of Jeremiah (2:19; 31:22; 49:4). It refers to the lapse of the nation of Israel into paganism and idolatry.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
BACKSLIDE<bak’-slid’> מְשׁוּבָה‎ [meshubhah]; Hosea 11:7; 14:4 and often in Hosea and Jer, שׁוֹבָב‎ [shobhabh]; שׁוֹבֵב‎ [shobhebh], in Jer, 4 times: all meaning “turning back or away,” “apostate,” “rebellious.” סָרַר‎ [carar], in Hosea 4:16 = “stubborn,” “rebellious”; the Revised Version
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
BACKSLIDING Term used by the prophets to describe Israel’s faithlessness to God (Isa. 57:17 RSV; Jer. 3:14, 22; 8:5; 31:22; 49:4; Hos. 11:7; 14:4). In these passages it is clear that Israel had broken faith with God by serving other gods and by living immoral lives. See Apostasy.
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 1, A–C
backsliding. This English term is primarily a translation of the Hebrew noun mĕšûbâ H5412 (from šûb H8740, “to turn back”), especially in the book of Jeremiah (Jer. 2:19; 3:22; 5:6; 14:7; the NIV also uses it as a verb in 15:6 to translate the phrase ʾāḥôr tēlēkî, lit., “you are going backward”).
The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Volumes 1–5
BACKSLIDE, bakʹsīdʹ (מְשׁוּבָה‎, meshūbhāh; Hos 11:7; 14:4 and often in Hos and Jer, שׁוֹבָב‎, shōbhābh; שׁוֹבֵבshōbhēbh, in Jer, 4 times: all meaning “turning back or away,” “apostate,” “rebellious.” “סָרַר‎, ṣārar, in Hos 4:16 = “stubborn,” “rebellious”; RV “stubborn”): In all places the word
Key passages
2 Ti 4:9–10

Make haste to come to me quickly. For Demas deserted me, because he loved the present age, and went to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia; Titus went to Dalmatia.

Re 2:4–5

But I have this against you: that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the works you did at first. But if you do not, I am coming to you, and I will remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

See also
Topics & Themes