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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Exhortation

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Argument (Acts 2:40 ) or advice intended to incite hearers to action. The ability to exhort or encourage to action is a spiritual gift (Romans 12:8 ) sometimes associated with prophets/preachers (Acts 15:32; 1 Corinthians 14:3 ). Elsewhere mutual exhortation is the responsibility of all Christians (Romans 1:12; 1Thessalonians 5:11,1 Thessalonians 5:14; Hebrews 3:13 , Hebrews 10:24-25 ). The Hebrew Scriptures provided New Testament preachers with a source of exhortation (Romans 15:14; Hebrews 12:5-6 ). The synagogue sermon was described as a “word of exhortation” (Acts 13:15 ). As such it called for applying the truths of the scriptural text to life. Indeed, exhortation is the goal of orderly worship (1 Corinthians 14:31 ). Letters of exhortation were common in the ancient world. Messengers often supplied additional encouragement to supplement the written message (2 Samuel 11:25; Ephesians 6:22; Colossians 4:8 ). Two New Testament documents describe themselves as exhortations (1 Peter 5:12; Hebrews 13:22 ). The effect of the letter of the Apostolic Council was similarly described as exhortation (Acts 15:21 ). Though it does not designate itself as such, the Epistle of James is an exhortation.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Exhortation'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/e/exhortation.html. 1991.

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