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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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from σχισμα , a rent or fissure. In its general meaning it signifies division or separation; and in particular, on account of religion. Schism, is properly a division among those who stand in one connection or fellowship; but when the difference is carried so far that the parties concerned entirely break off all communion and intercourse one with another, and form distinct connections for obtaining the general ends of that religious fellowship which they once cultivated; it is undeniable there is something different from the schism spoken of in the New Testament. This is a separation from the body. Dr. Campbell shows that the word schism in Scripture does not usually signify an open separation, but that men may be guilty of schism by such an alienation of affection from their brethren as violates the internal union in the hearts of Christians, though there be no error in doctrine, nor separation from communion.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Schism'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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