Sect [in Biblical Usage]

Sect [In Biblical Usage]

(αἵρεσις, i.e. division; hence "heresy," Ac 24:14; 1Co 11:19; Ga 5:20; 2Pe 2:1), a religious party (Ac 5:17, etc.); hence discord (1Co 11:19, etc.). Among the Jews there were several sects mentioned in the New Test., distinguished by their practices and opinions, yet united in communion with each other and with the body of their tuition. SEE SECTS, JEWISH. Christianity was originally considered as a new sect of Judaism; hence Ter-tullus, accusing Paul before Felix, says that he was chief of the seditious sect of the Nazarenes (Ac 24:5); and the Jews of Rome said to the apostle when he arrived in that city that, "as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against" (Ac 28:22). Peter (2Pe 2:1-10) foretells that false teachers should arise among them "who privily shall bring in damnable heresies [or sects], even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." He adds that these people, being great lovers of themselves, are not afraid to introduce new sects, where the word sect is taken in the same sense as heresy. SEE HERESY.

Among the Greeks the philosophers were divided into different sects; as the Academics, the Stoics, the Peripatetics, the Cynics, the Epicureans, etc. The Jews, in imitation of the Greeks, began to divide themselves into sects about the time of the Maccabees; and it seems as if the Corinthians had a mind to introduce something like this into Christianity when they boasted, I

am a disciple of Peter, I of Paul, I of Apollos (1Co 1:12; 1Co 3:22, etc.). SEE DIVISION.

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