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Dictionaries :: Sect

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


(Act 24:14; 1Ch 11:19; Gal 5:20, etc.), meaning properly "a choice," then "a chosen manner of life," and then "a religious party," as the "sect" of the Sadducees (Act 5:17), of the Pharisees (15:5), the Nazarenes, i.e., Christians (24:5). It afterwards came to be used in a bad sense, of those holding pernicious error, divergent forms of belief (2Pe 2:1; Gal 5:20).

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


sekt (hairesis): "Sect" (Latin, secta, from sequi, "to follow") is in the New Testament the translation of hairesis, from haireo, "to take," "to choose"; also translated "heresy," not heresy in the later ecclesiastical sense, but a school or party, a sect, without any bad meaning attached to it. The word is applied to schools of philosophy; to the Pharisees and Sadducees among the Jews who adhered to a common religious faith and worship; and to the Christians. It is translated "sect" (Ac 5:17, of the Sadducees; Ac 15:5, of the Pharisees; Ac 24:5, of the Nazarenes; Ac 26:5, of the Pharisees; Ac 28:22, of the Christians); also the Revised Version (British and American) Ac 24:14 (the King James Version and the English Revised Version margin "heresy"), "After the Way which they call a sect, so serve I the God of our fathers" (just as the Pharisees were "a sect"); it is translated "heresies" (1Co 11:19, margin "sects," the American Standard Revised Version "factions," margin "Greek: ‘heresies' "; the English Revised Version reverses the American Standard Revised Version text and margin; Ga 5:20, the American Standard Revised Version "parties," margin "heresies"; the English Revised Version reverses text and margin; 2Pe 2:1, "damnable heresies," the Revised Version (British and American) "destructive heresies," margin "sects of perdition"); the "sect" in itself might be harmless; it was the teaching or principles which should be followed by those sects that would make them "destructive." Hairesis occurs in 1 Macc 8:30 ("They shall do it at their pleasure," i.e. "choice"); compare Septuagint Le 22:18,21.

Written by W. L. Walker


King James Dictionary

Sect: A Group or Division; a Party.

My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest SECT of our religion I lived a Pharisee. (Acts 26:4-5)

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g139 Greek: hairesis


"a choosing," is translated "sect" throughout the Acts, except in Act 24:14, AV, "heresy" (RV, "sect"); it properly denotes a predilection either for a particular truth, or for a perversion of one, generally with the expectation of personal advantage; hence, a division and the formation of a party or "sect" in contrast to the uniting power of "the truth," held in toto; "a sect" is a division developed and brought to an issue; the order "divisions, heresies" (marg. "parties") in "the works of the flesh" in Gal 5:19-21 is suggestive of this.


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