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Apostasy

The abandonment or renunciation of Christianity, either voluntarily or by compulsion. The use of the term for religious apostasy in the Hebrew-Christian tradition derives probably from Septuagint usage. Both voluntary (Josh. 22:22; 2 Chron. 22:9) and involuntary aspects occur (1 Macc. 2:15). Mattathias's refusal to apostatize to pagan rites was the occasion for the Maccabean revolt; it denoted deserting from, rebellion against, or abandonment of the Mosaic teaching. While the term does not occur in the KJV, it does in the Greek (Acts 21:21; 2 Thess. 2:3). There are frequent biblical allusions to the evils and the dangers of apostasy. It is described as departure from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1-3), being carried away by the error of lawless men (2 Pet. 3:17), and falling away from the living God (Heb. 3:12). The great apostasy, “The Rebellion” of 2 Thess. 2:3, is associated with the return of Christ. The serious consequences of apostasy are stressed in Hebrew 6:4-6; 10:26 (cf. 2 Pet. 2:2