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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words
signifies "religion" in its external aspect (akin to threskos, see below), "religious worship," especially the ceremonial service of "religion;" it is used of the "religion" of the Jews, Acts 26:5; of the "worshiping" of angels, Colossians 2:18 , which they themselves repudiate (Revelation 22:8,9 ); "there was an officious parade of humility in selecting these lower beings as intercessors rather than appealing directly to the Throne of Grace" (Lightfoot); in James 1:26,27 the writer purposely uses the word to set in contrast that which is unreal and deceptive, and the "pure religion" which consists in visiting "the fatherless and widows in their affliction," and in keeping oneself "unspotted from the world." He is "not herein affirming. ... these offices to be the sum total, nor yet the great essentials, of true religion, but declares them to be the body, the threskeia, of which godliness, or the love of God, is the informing soul" (Trench).
primarily denotes "fear of the gods" (from deido, "to fear," daimon, "a pagan deity," Eng., "demon"), regarded whether as a religious attitude, or, in its usual meaning, with a condemnatory or contemptuous significance, "superstition." That is how Festus regarded the Jews' "religion," Acts 25:19 , AV and RV marg., "superstition" (RV, "religion"). See RELIGIOUS , Note (1), and under SUPERSTITIOUS.Notes: (1) Threskeia is external, theosebeia is the reverential worship of God (see GODLINESS), eusebeia is piety (see GODLINESS), eulabeia the devotedness arising from godly fear (see FEAR). (2) For "the Jews' religion," Galatians 1:13,14 , see JEWS , B.
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Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Religion'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ved/r/religion.html. 1940.