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Holman Bible Dictionary
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.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Exhortation'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/e/exhortation.html. 1991.