Anathema Definition and Meaning in the Bible

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Anathema Definition and Meaning in the Bible

What is the Anathema Definition and Meaning in the Bible? If you are looking for the Anathema Definition, you have found the right place!

This concise article is your quick reference guide!

In this article on the Anathema Definition, you will discover:

  • The origin of the word – Anathema
  • The definition of the word – Anathema
  • The scriptures in the Bible that contain the word – Anathema

So, now that you know what you are getting into, let’s get started learning the anathema definition.

The Origin of the word – Anathema

When considering or studying the Anathema definition, it is a good idea to start with the origin of the word.

Anathema comes from the Greek – [anáthema] From aná, “up”, and títhēmi, “to place”. – meaning to place up, referring to something that is pledged (given up) for destruction; a divine curse/ban (“accursed”); an “oath-curse.”

The Definition of the word – Anathema

The Anathema Definition, according to Websters 1828 Dictionary is: [ANATH’EMA], noun [Gr. to place behind, backward or at a distance, to separate.]

Anathema Definition 1. Excommunication with curses. Hence, a curse or denunciation by ecclesiastical authority, accompanying excommunication.

This species of excommunication was practiced in the ancient churches, against notorious offenders; all churches were warned not to receive them; all magistrates and private persons were admonished not to harbor or maintain them, and priests were enjoined not to converse with them, or attend their funeral.

There are two kinds of anathemas, judiciary and abjuratory. The former is pronounced by a council, pope or bishop; the latter is the act of a convert who anathematizes the heresy which he abjures.

Anathema Definition 2. In heathen mythology, an offering, or present made to some deity and hung up in a temple. Whenever a person quitted his employment, he set apart or dedicated his tools to his patron-deity.

Persons who had escaped danger remarkably, or been otherwise very fortunate, testified their gratitude by some offering to their deity.

Scriptures in the Bible that contain the word – Anathema

As you study the Anathema definition, here you can see where the word is used in the scriptures.

Acts 23:12–16 “And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse (anathematizo), saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy. 14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse (anathematizo), that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul. 15 Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him. 16 And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.”

Romans 9:1–5 “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed (anathema) from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”

1 Corinthians 12:1–3 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed (anathema): and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

1 Corinthians 16:19–24 “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss. 21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand. 22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.The first epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi by Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus and Timotheus.”

Galatians 1:8–9 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (anathema). 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Now that you have taken the time to read this article, and have considered the origin of the word, anathema, and have read the anathema definition, as well as the scriptures containing the word “anathema”, we hope that this quick reference guide has been helpful to you.