Heterodoxy • Party Spirit
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Heresy[Gk haíresis < haírein—‘take,’ mid ‘select’]. The term has three meanings in classical Greek: “seizure” (e.g., of a city); “choice” or “selection”; “resolve” or “effort directed to a goal.” In Hellenism it acquired the related senses of “teaching” and “school.” In the latter sense it came to
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
HERESY A sectarian group or teaching that deviates from the norm. The Greek word (hairesis), literally meaning “choice,” designates a sect or faction. For example, the Sadducees were a sect within Judaism (Acts 5:17), as were the Pharisees (15:5). When many Jews first believed that Jesus of Nazareth
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
HERESY1. This term originally meant choice. It is used in this sense only in the LXX.2. A chosen way of thinking or course of action; hence, an opinion or view held by an individual (1 Cor 11:19), or by party such as the Pharisees (Acts 15:5; 26:5), the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), or the Christians (Acts
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
HERESY. The Gk. word hairesis properly denotes ‘choice’, and this is the meaning which it always bears in the lxx; in classical authors, however, it can refer to a philosophical school which the individual chooses to follow. Similarly, the NT uses the word to denote a ‘party’, with the suggestion of
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
HeresyCommonly, aberrant doctrine or opinion arising within the Church in opposition to biblical revelation or apostolic tradition (1 Cor. 11:19; 2 Pet. 2:1; cf. Tit. 3:10). Gk. haɩ́resis originally meant “choice” and is so used in the LXX. It came to refer to a chosen way of belief, either by individuals
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Heresy (Gk. haíresis, from hairéō “take, choose”).* In New Testament usage, a sect or party. Derived from the Hellenistic concept of philosophical schools (cf. Eusebius Praep. ev. xiii.12.10), the term was applied to various branches of Judaism, such as the Sadducees (Acts 5:17; RSV “party”)
Catholic Bible Dictionary
HERESY (Greek, “sect” or “party”) Knowing denial of the truths of faith. In the New Testament, the Greek term is commonly translated as “party,” and does not have the force of the later Christian usage; it applied to the Sadducees and Pharisees (Acts 5:17; 15:5; 26:5), and the term was also used for
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
heresy. The formal denial or doubt of any defined doctrine of the Catholic faith. In antiquity the Greek word αἵρεσις, denoting ‘choice’ or ‘thing chosen’, from which the term is derived, was applied to the tenets of particular philosophical schools. In this sense it appears occasionally in Scripture
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
HERESY (Gk. hairesis, a “choice”). Means, in the NT: (1) a chosen course of thought and action; hence one’s chosen opinion, tenet, and so a sect or party, as the Sadducees (Acts 5:17); the Pharisees (15:5; 26:5); and the Christians (24:5, 14; 28:22); (2) dissensions arising from diversity of opinions
Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith
HeresyThe rejection or distortion of a major element of Christian doctrine, particularly as defined in the church’s Creeds and confessions. John Calvin cites Augustine’s distinction: “Heretics corrupt the purity of the faith with false dogmas, but schismatics, while sometimes of the very same faith,
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Heresyfrom 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
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Heresyheresy, a term derived from the Greek word hairesis, originally an opinion or way of thinking. It was used as a designation of a sect, party, or philosophical school. It is used in this sense of the Sadducees and Pharisees in Acts 5:17 and 15:5. Later Christian usage (from late second century
Key passages
Ac 24:14

But I do confess this to you, that according to the Way (which they call a sect), so I worship the God of our fathers, believing all things that are in accordance with the law and that are written in the prophets,

1 Co 11:18–19

For in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For indeed it is necessary that there be factions among you, in order that those who are approved may become evident among you.

2 Pe 2:1

But there were also false prophets among the people, as there will be false teachers among you also, who will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, thus bringing on themselves swift destruction.