What Does The Bible Say About "Religion"?
The English word religion, which is generally defined as "a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny" is derived from the Latin word religio which meant to respect, or care for. "Religion" is found only 5 times, in the King James Version of The Bible, to translate (the Old Testament was originally written mostly in Hebrew and the New Testament was written mostly in Greek) 2 Greek words, pronounced thrace-key-yah, meaning observance, and ee-oo-dah-is-mos, which referred specifically to Judaism (the ee-oo-dah refers to the pronunciation of Judah).
References To "Religion"
The apostle Paul speaking of ee-oo-dah-is-mos religion, which referred specifically to Judaism:
"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
"But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." [see On The Road To Damascus]
"For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace, To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen [i.e. Gentiles, as in the RSV]; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles [see Disciples and Apostles] before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus."
"Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother [see Mary's Other Children?]." (Galatians 1:10-19 KJV)
References to thrace-key-yah religion, meaning observance, once by Paul, once by James:
"My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee." (Acts 26:4 KJV)
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves [see Believers]. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:22-27 KJV)
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