555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

186. What Was the "Heresies" of Apostolic Times?

The Greek word translated "heresies" in Gal. 5:20 means either an opinion or a party. As used in the New Testament it stands for an opinion "varying from the true exposition of the Christian faith" (as in II Peter 2:11), or a body of men following mistaken or blameworthy ideas, or, as a combination of these two meanings, "dissensions." This latter definition "dissensions" is the rendering given by Thayer in this passage. The American revision translates the word "parties," leaving, however, the expression "heresies" as the marginal reading. The three last words of the verse, "strife," "seditions," "heresies," are, in the American revision, "factions, divisions, parties."