Building Your Bible Vocabulary: “Religion”

     You may have noticed that many “religious” words originally had rather ordinary meanings.  These words, usually in crossing language barriers, became more intense in meaning and then gradually restricted to their present-day usage.  For example, the Latin word for “shepherd” has become our English word “pastor.
     “Religion” is another such word with its roots in a simple and basic definition.  According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the ordinary meaning of this word is: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.”  This definition identifies Christianity, idolatry, and even atheism as religions.

      Prepared by David G. Churchill; used by permission.
      Unless otherwise noted, “Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION.  Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.”
      This article’s presentation in Exploring God's Word ©2002, 2017 David G. Churchill.
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