555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

514. How Was the Term Saint First Applied to the Evangelists?




During the early days of the Christian Church, there was no authoritative use of the word "Saint" as a title. Wherever the word occurs in our New Testament, it simply means a "devout person," one who has been sanctified and specially consecrated. After the early Christian era, however, the martyrs and apostles were considered as having attained to the dignity of sainthood, although there was no formal canonization until the ninth century A. D., when the Church of Rome introduced formal canonization with special ceremonies. There is no definite rule in the Protestant Church on the use of the title "Saint" The modern Jews have their saints, as well as the Catholics, and the appellation they use is "Kadosh." Their most celebrated saint is Rabbi Judah Hak-kadosh ("Rabbi Judah the Holy"). Protestant writers are not as consistent as they ought to be in this matter, some applying the tide and others not at all. The observance of saints' days applies specially to the Roman and the Oriental Catholic Churches. In the Russo-Greek Church the observance of such days has been carried to extremes and they are so numerous as to interfere seriously with business. Under the influence of the Church of Rome in America, saints' days are becoming numerous among Catholics here also.