|—n , pl -sies|
|1.||a. an opinion or doctrine contrary to the orthodox tenets of a religious body or church|
|b. the act of maintaining such an opinion or doctrine|
|2.||any opinion or belief that is or is thought to be contrary to official or established theory|
|3.||belief in or adherence to unorthodox opinion|
|[C13: from Old French eresie, from Late Latin haeresis, from Latin: sect, from Greek hairesis a choosing, from hairein to choose]|
A belief or teaching considered unacceptable by a religious group. (See heretic.)
from a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. In the Acts of the Apostles (5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5) it denotes a sect, without reference to its character. Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks "heresies" with crimes and seditions (Gal. 5:20). This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church (1 Cor. 11:19). In Titus 3:10 a "heretical person" is one who follows his own self-willed "questions," and who is to be avoided. Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God (2 Pet. 2:1).