Bible Articles on the Topic of excommunication

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.’

The Parable of the Tares of the Field

All seven parables of Matthew 13 are connected by a common theme describing the rudiments of the kingdom of heaven. This establishes the context of the second parable recorded in Matthew 13:24-30 with its interpretation in vss. 36-43. Although it was coined by the disciples as the parable of the tares of the field, a review of the parable’s types reveals that Jesus’s primary purpose was focused more so on the welfare of the wheat than on the judgment of the tares.

To Deliver Such an One unto Satan

“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5)

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]?

Do Not Separate from the Community

Parshas Bo [Torah portion: Exodus 10:1 to 13:16] tells us of the final three of the ten plagues that God inflicted upon the Egyptians before the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. The second from last plague was the plague of darkness, in which the entire land of Egypt experienced a supernatural darkness.

Code of Justinian: Concerning Heretics

The Codex Justinianus (Latin for “The Code of Justinian”) is one part of the Corpus Juris Civilis, the codification of Roman law ordered early in the 6th century AD by Justinian I, who was an Eastern Roman (Byzantine) emperor in Constantinople. Two other units, the Digest and the Institutes, were created during his reign. The fourth part, the Novellae Constitutiones (New Constitutions, or Novels), was compiled unofficially after his death but is now thought of as part of the Corpus Juris Civilis.

Code of Justinian: Concerning Jews and Samaritans or Heretics

That Jews and Samaritans or heretics shall not be liberated from their curial condition on account of their religion, but that they shall indeed be subject to curial duties without enjoying the privileges of curials; that they may, however, give testimony against the orthodox who are subject to the curial condition, since they may also give testimony in favor of an orthodox state.²

Code of Justinian: Holy Baptism Not To Be Repeated

The Codex Justinianus (Latin for “The Code of Justinian”) is one part of the Corpus Juris Civilis, the codification of Roman law ordered early in the 6th century AD by Justinian I, who was an Eastern Roman (Byzantine) emperor in Constantinople. Two other units, the Digest and the Institutes, were created during his reign. The fourth part, the Novellae Constitutiones (New Constitutions, or Novels), was compiled unofficially after his death but is now thought of as part of the Corpus Juris Civilis.

Code of Justinian: Concerning the Hebrews

Concerning the Hebrews. (De Hebraeis.)

Code of Justinian: Concerning the High Trinity

The Codex Justinianus (Latin for “The Code of Justinian”) is one part of the Corpus Juris Civilis, the codification of Roman law ordered early in the 6th century AD by Justinian I, who was an Eastern Roman (Byzantine) emperor in Constantinople. Two other units, the Digest and the Institutes, were created during his reign. The fourth part, the Novellae Constitutiones (New Constitutions, or Novels), was compiled unofficially after his death but is now thought of as part of the Corpus Juris Civilis.

Code of Justinian: Concerning the Samaritans

The Codex Justinianus (Latin for “The Code of Justinian”) is one part of the Corpus Juris Civilis, the codification of Roman law ordered early in the 6th century AD by Justinian I, who was an Eastern Roman (Byzantine) emperor in Constantinople. Two other units, the Digest and the Institutes, were created during his reign. The fourth part, the Novellae Constitutiones (New Constitutions, or Novels), was compiled unofficially after his death but is now thought of as part of the Corpus Juris Civilis.

Code of Justinian: Concerning Women of Heretic Faith

Concerning women of heretic faith. (De mulieribus fide haereticia.)

Elihoreph and Ahijah Delivered Unto the Angel of Death

But we must know, that whereas, amongst other mighty powers conferred, we reckon that as one, viz. ‘delivering over unto Satan,’ we are far from meaning nothing else by it but ‘excommunication.’ What the Jews themselves meant by that kind of phrase, let us see by one instance:

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.

Paul’s “Satan” Judgment: A Severe Physical Affliction?

“...to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5)

Sirmondian Constitutions: Title 12: Against Heretics and Pagans

Emperors Honorius and Theodosius Augustuses to Curtius, Praetorian Prefect.

Sirmondian Constitutions: Title 2: Bishops Condemned by the Judgment of Other Bishops

Emperors Arcadius, Honorius, and Theodosius Augustuses to Hadrianus, Praetorian Prefect.

Sirmondian Constitutions: Title 6: Heretics Must Be Cast Out of the Municipalities

Emperor Theodosius Augustus and Valentinian Caesar to the Illustrious Amatius, Praetorian Prefect of Gaul.

Theodosian Code: Title 1: The Catholic Faith (De Fide Catholica)

1. Emperors Valentinian and Valens Augustuses to Symmachus, Prefect of the City.

Theodosian Code: Title 4: Those Persons Who Contend About Religion

1.² Emperors Valentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius Augustuses to Eusignius, Praetorian Prefect.

Theodosian Code: Title 5: Heretics (De Haeretics)

1.² Emperor Constantine Augustus to Dracilianus.³

Theodosian Code: Title 6: Holy Baptism Shall Not Be Repeated

1.² Emperors Valentinian and Valens³ Augustuses to Julianus, Proconsul of Africa.

Theodosian Code: Title 7: Apostates

1. Emperors Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius Augustuses to Eutropius, Praetorian Prefect.

Excommunication

eks-ko-mū-ni-kā ́shun: Exclusion from church fellowship as a means of personal discipline, or church purification, or both. Its germs have been found in (1) The Mosaic “ban” or “curse” (חרם, ḥērem, “devoted”), given over entirely to God’s use or to destruction (Leviticus 27:29); (2) The “cutting off,” usually by death, stoning of certain offenders, breakers of the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14) and others (Leviticus 17:4; Exodus 30:22-38); (3) The exclusion of the leprous from the camp (Leviticus 13:46; Numbers 12:14). At the restoration (Ezra 10:7, 10:8), the penalty of disobedience to Ezra’s reforming movements was that “all his substance should be forfeited (ḥērem), and himself separated from the assembly of the captivity.” Nehemiah’s similar dealing with the husbands of heathen women helped to fix the principle. The New Testament finds a well-developed synagogal system of excommunication, in two, possibly three, varieties or stages. נדּוּי, niddūy, for the first offense, forbade the bath, the razor, the convivial table, and restricted social intercourse and the frequenting of the temple. It lasted thirty, sixty, or ninety days. If the offender still remained obstinate, the “curse,” ḥērem, was formally pronounced upon him by a council of ten, and he was shut out from the intellectual, religious and social life of the community, completely severed from the congregation. שׁמּתא, shammāthā', supposed by some to be a third and final stage, is probably a general term applied to both niddūy and ḥērem̌. We meet the system in John 9:22: “If any man should confess him to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue” (ἀποσυναγωγός, aposunagōgós); John 12:42: “did not confess ... lest they should be put out of the synagogue”; and John 16:2: “put you out of the synagogue.” In Luke 6:22 Christ may refer to the three stages: “separate you from their company (ἀφορίσωσιν, aphorísōsin), and reproach you (ὀνειδίσωσιν, oneidísōsin = ḥērem, “malediction”), and cast out your name as evil (ἐκβάλωσιν, ekbálōsin).”

Hymenaeus

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).

Excommunication

Excommunication the judicial exclusion of offenders from the religious rites and privileges of the particular comemunlity to which they belong. It is a power founded upon a right inherent in all, religious societies, and is analogous to the powers of capital punishment, banishment, and exclusion from membership which are exercised by political and municipal bodies. If Christianity is merely a philosophical idea thrown into the world to do battle with other theories, and to be valued according as it maintains its ground or not in the conflict of opinions, excommunication, and ecclesiastical punishments and discipline are unreasonable. If a society has been instituted for maintaining any body of doctrine and any code of morals, they are necessary to the existence of that society. That the Christian Church is an organized polity, a spiritual “kingdom of God” on earth, is the declaration of the Bible; and that the Jewish Church was at once a spiritual and a temporal organization is clear. Among the Jews, however, excommunication was not only an ecclesiastical, but also a civil punishment, because in their theocracy there was no distinction between the divine and the statutory right (Exodus 31:14; Ezra 10:3,11; Nehemiah 13:28). But among Christians excommunication was strictly confined to ecclesiastical relations, as the situation and constitution of the Church during the first three centuries admitted of no intermingling or confounding of civil and religious privileges or penalties. Excommunication, in the Christian Church, consisted at first simply in exclusion from the communion of the Lord’s Supper and the love-feasts: “with such a one, no, not to eat” (1 Corinthians 5:11). It might also include a total separation from the body of the faithful; and such a. person was, with regard to the Church, “as a heathen man and a publican.” But this excision did not exempt him from my duties to which he was liable in civil life, neither did it withhold from him any natural obligations, such as are founded on nature, humanity, and the law of nations (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:5,11; 10:16-18; 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14; 2 John 1:10-11). SEE CHURCH.

Hymenaeus

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

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.