Bible Articles on the Topic of Excommunicate

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

A Little Leaven

These words are often quoted as supplying the reason for the rooting out of false doctrine. The application made of them is this: ‘Just as leaven, given time, permeates and changes the whole mass of dough, so also any single difficulty in any Christian fellowship will inevitably ruin the otherwise good character of the rest.’

Withdrawing Fellowship

Question: Could withdrawing fellowship from a brother or sister work to their hurt by driving them further away? Might it not be better to overlook their offence in order to keep them connected to the [fellowship of faith]?

The Catholic Faith

Book 16, the final book of the Theodosian Code, treats religion. The tenor and contents of this book give us a sense of how the imperial court refashioned its own religious authority in the centuries following the legalization of Christianity. Although bishops might attempt to subordinate the imperial house to episcopal authority, the emperors still maintained their role as guardians of religious equilibrium. So emperors convoked Christian councils and legislated on religion.


hī-men-ē ́us (Ὑμέναιος, Huménaios, so named from Hymen, the god of marriage, 1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Timothy 2:17): A heretical teacher in Ephesus, an opponent of the apostle Paul, who in the former reference associates him with Alexander (see ALEXANDER), and in the latter, with Philetus (see PHILETUS).


Hymenaeus, (῾Υμέναιος, hymeneal), a professor of Christianity at Ephesus, who, with Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20) and Philetus (2 Timothy 2:18), had departed from the truth both in principle, and practice, and led others into apostasy (Neander, Pfianz. 1, 475). The chief doctrinal error of these persons consisted in maintaining that “the resurrection was past already.” The precise meaning of this expression is by no means clearly ascertained: the most general, and perhaps best-founded opinion is, that they understood the resurrection in a figurative sense of the great change produced by the Gospel dispensation. See below. Some have suggested that they attempted to support their views by the apostle’s language in his Epistle to the Ephesians (νεκροὺς — συνεζωποίησεν — συνήγειρεν, etc., 2, 1-5); but this is very improbable; for, if such misconception of his language had arisen, it might easily have been corrected; not to say that one of them appears to have been personally inimical to Paul (2 Timothy 4:14), and would scarcely have appealed to him as an authority. Most critics suppose that the same person is referred to in both the epistles to Timothy by the name of Hymenaeus (see Heidenreich, Pastoralbr. 1, 111). Mosheim, however, contends that there were two. He seems to lay great stress on the apostle’s declaration in 1 Timothy 1:20, “Whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” But, whatever may be the meaning of this expression, the infliction was evidently designed for the benefit and restoration of the parties (comp. 1 Corinthians 5; 5), and was therefore far from indicating their hopeless and abandoned wickedness. See below. Nor do the terms employed in the second epistle import a less flagrant violation of the Christian profession than those in the first. If in the one the individuals alluded to are charged with having “discarded a good conscience” and “made shipwreck of faith,” in the other they are described as indulging “in vain and profane babblings, which would increase to more ungodliness,” as “having erred concerning the truth,” and “overthrowing the faith” of others. These can hardly be said to be “two distinct characters, having nothing in common but the name” (Mosheim’s Commentaries, 1, 304-306). For other interpretations of 2 Timothy 2:18, see Gill’s Commentary, ad loc., and Walchii Miscellanea Sacra, 1, 4; De Hymenaeo Phileto, Jen. 1735, and Amstel. 1744. Two points referred to above require fuller elucidation.


Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community or to restrict certain rights within it, in particular receiving of the sacraments. Some Protestants practice an alternate form of excusing congregants from the church. Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as the churches of Christ, use the term disfellowship instead.