July 1, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Hairetikos in Greek



Parts of Speech: Adjective

Hairetikos Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 1

  1. fitted or able to take or choose a thing
  2. schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine
  3. heretic


What is the origin of the term “Hairetikos” in Greek as used in the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, the term “hairetikos” appears in the New Testament, specifically in Titus 3:10. To understand the meaning of this term and its significance in biblical history, it is essential to delve into its origins in the Greek language.

The word “hairetikos” comes from the Greek root word “hairetikos,” which means “able to choose” or “pertaining to a sect.” Its primary meaning refers to someone who promotes divisions or factions within a religious community by choosing to follow their own beliefs or doctrines, contrary to the accepted teachings. In the New Testament, this term is used in the context of warning against divisive individuals who cause strife and disrupt the unity of the faith community.

When the apostle Paul wrote to Titus, instructing him to reject a divisive person after a first and second warning, he used the term “hairetikos” to emphasize the gravity of such behavior. The presence of heretical teachings or individuals who promote factions was a significant concern in the early Christian communities, as they posed a threat to the unity and integrity of the faith.

The use of “hairetikos” in the Bible serves as a cautionary reminder of the importance of preserving the unity of believers and guarding against teachings that deviate from the core principles of the Christian faith. It underscores the need for discernment and a commitment to sound doctrine within the church body, emphasizing the value of maintaining harmony and cohesion in the face of potential sources of division.

How is the term “Hairetikos” defined in Greek scriptures and its significance?

In the context of the Bible, the term “Hairetikos” holds a specific meaning that carries weight in the discussions of belief and doctrine. The word “Hairetikos” originates from the Greek word “haĆ­resis,” which means “sect” or “party.” In the New Testament, this term is used in a negative connotation to refer to someone who promotes divisions or factions within the Christian community.

The significance of the term “Hairetikos” lies in its warning against false teachings and divisive behaviors among believers. In Titus 3:10-11, the apostle Paul instructs Titus to reject a divisive person after two warnings, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful, being self-condemned. Here, the term “hairetikos” is associated with those who cause division and promote teachings contrary to the core beliefs of Christianity.

Furthermore, in 2 Peter 2:1, false prophets are mentioned who will secretly bring destructive heresies, denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. The term “heresies” in this verse comes from the same root as “Hairetikos,” emphasizing the danger of false teachings and the importance of remaining steadfast in the true faith.

What consequences are associated with being labeled as “Hairetikos” in the context of the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, the term “Hairetikos” holds significant consequences for those it is applied to. The Greek word “Hairetikos” translates to “heretic” in English, and it carries a weight of judgment and ostracization in religious settings. When someone is labeled as a heretic in the Biblical context, it typically means that they have been branded as deviating from accepted religious beliefs or teachings.

Being labeled as a heretic in the Bible often leads to severe repercussions within the community of believers. It can result in excommunication, where the heretic is cast out from the religious group or congregation. This expulsion can have profound social and emotional impacts on the individual, as they are effectively cut off from their religious community and support network.

Furthermore, the consequences of being labeled as a heretic in the Bible extend beyond social exclusion. In historical contexts, heretics were often subjected to persecution, punishment, or even death for their divergence from established religious doctrine. The label of heretic carried with it the implication of being a threat to the orthodoxy and unity of the faith, leading to harsh consequences for those deemed as such.

The term “Hairetikos” serves as a warning in the Bible against straying from the accepted beliefs and teachings of the faith. It highlights the importance of conformity to established doctrines and the potential dire consequences of deviating from them. In Biblical writings, heresy is portrayed as a serious offense that can result in both earthly and eternal ramifications for the individual labeled as such.


In conclusion, the term “Hairetikos” in Greek holds significant importance in the context of the Bible. It signifies those who cause divisions and spread false teachings within the Christian community, emphasizing the importance of unity and sound doctrine. Understanding the origins and implications of this term can provide valuable insight into the early Christian church and its efforts to maintain theological purity. By exploring the meaning of “Hairetikos” within its historical and biblical context, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the challenges faced by early believers and the enduring relevance of these teachings in today’s Christian faith.

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