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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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This word occurs only once in the NT, viz. in 1 Corinthians 12:25. St. Paul, in writing to the Corinthians on spiritual gifts, teaches them that one member of the Church should not look down upon another because he has not the same spiritual gift. All members are necessary to the perfection of the Body of Christ. He illustrates this from the analogy of the human body, showing that even the smallest member is necessary to its perfection and that ‘there should be no schism in the body.’ In this passage σχίσμα has its simple meaning of ‘rent’ or ‘division.’ The Gr. word occurs in other passages, where it is translation ‘divisions.’ The later ecclesiastical use of ‘schism’ does not occur in the NT. See Heresy, Divisions.

Morley Stevenson.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Schism'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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Schism (2)
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