- Anathema used once.
- Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 16:22
- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
- Included in Naves: No
- Included in Smiths: Yes
- Included in Websters: Yes
- Included in Strongs: Yes
- Included in Thayers: Yes
- Included in BDB: No
- G331 Used 1 time
Anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a temple or set apart as sacred. In this sense the form of the word is anath(ee)ma, once in plural used in the Greek New Testament, in Luke 21:5, where it is rendered "gifts." In the LXX. the form anathema is generally used as the rendering of the Hebrew word herem, derived from a verb which means (1) to consecrate or devote; and (2) to exterminate. Any object so devoted to the Lord could not be redeemed (Numbers 18:14; Leviticus 27:28, 29); and hence the idea of exterminating connected with the word. The Hebrew verb (haram) is frequently used of the extermination of idolatrous nations. It had a wide range of application. The anathema_ or _herem was a person or thing irrevocably devoted to God (Leviticus 27:21, 28); and "none devoted shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death" (27:29). The word therefore carried the idea of devoted to destruction (Numbers 21:2, 3; Joshua 6:17); and hence generally it meant a thing accursed. In Deuteronomy 7:26 an idol is called a herem = anathema, a thing accursed.
In the New Testament this word always implies execration. In some cases an individual denounces an anathema on himself unless certain conditions are fulfilled (Acts 23:12, 14, 21). "To call Jesus accursed" [anathema] (1 Corinthians 12:3) is to pronounce him execrated or accursed. If any one preached another gospel, the apostle says, "let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8, 9); i.e., let his conduct in so doing be accounted accursed.
In Romans 9:3, the expression "accursed" (anathema) from Christ, i.e., excluded from fellowship or alliance with Christ, has occasioned much difficulty. The apostle here does not speak of his wish as a possible thing. It is simply a vehement expression of feeling, showing how strong was his desire for the salvation of his people.
The anathema in 1 Corinthians 16:22 denotes simply that they who love not the Lord are rightly objects of loathing and execration to all holy beings; they are guilty of a crime that merits the severest condemnation; they are exposed to the just sentence of "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord."
separated; set apart
which literally means a thing suspended, is the equivalent of the Hebrew word signifying a thing or person voted. Any object so devoted to Jehovah was irredeemable. If an inanimate object, it was to be given to the priests, (Numbers 18:14) if a living creature or even a man, it was to be slain. (Leviticus 27:28,29) The word anathema frequently occurs in St. Paul's writings, and is generally translated accused. An examination of the passages in which it occurs shows that it had acquired a more general sense as expressive either of strong feeling, (Romans 9:3) or of dislike and condemnation. (1 Corinthians 12:3; 16:22; Galatians 1:9)
ANATH'EMA, noun [Gr. to place behind, backward or at a distance, to separate.]
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.
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.
ANATHEMAT'ICAL, adjective Pertaining to anathema.
ANATHEMAT'ICALLY, adverb In the manner of anathema.
ANATHEMATIZA'TION, noun The act of anathematizing.
ANATH'EMATIZE, verb transitive To excommunicate with a denunciation of curses; to pronounce an anathema against.
ANATH'EMATIZED, participle passive Excommunicated with curses.
ANATH'EMATIZING, participle present tense Pronouncing an anathema.