See also Consecrate
CONSECRATE, CONSECRATION. The verbal form, “consecrate,” connotes the induction of a person into a sacral office by means of a religious rite, or the declaration of a thing or object to be sacred. The nominative form “consecration” indicates an act by which a person or thing is set apart to a sacred cause or purpose. Involved is frequently the confirmation by religious ceremonies or rites; the word may also indicate an act by which a thing, event, or person becomes memorable or significant.
The major portion of the usages of the terms occurs in the OT and in portions of the NT which are most intimately related by content or symbolism to the Levitical system. In a few cases, particularly in the NT, the basic idea is carried by words other than those usually tr. “consecrate” or “consecration.”
The basic meaning of these terms is that of separation from common or profane use, and dedication to a sacral purpose or use. Implied is the motif of solemnity, as well as an act of will or purpose upon the part either (a) of that which is being set apart, or (b) the one so sacralizing a person or thing. The application of “consecration” to objects includes among other instances, the following: the furniture of the Tabernacle and Temple (
When applied to individuals, the terms suggest not only the motif of setting apart for a sacred service but the acceptance by the subject of such a dedication. Thus Aaron and his sons accept as the garb of their office the garments which symbolize it (
2. NT usage of the terms. The words “consecrate” and “consecration” occur less frequently in the NT than in the old. Major words so tr. are ἐγκαινίζω, G1590, and τελειόω, G5457. The former of these occurs in
The RSV expands the number of usages of the term “consecrate” and “consecration,” particularly in the NT. Among these are, esp., the following cases of the tr. of hagiazo (
Usages of קָדַשׁ, H7727, in the OT which are rendered “sanctify” or “sanctified” in the KJV are frequently tr. by “consecrate” or “consecrates” or “consecrated” in the RSV while similar interchange appears between the VSS in the renditions of ἁγιάζω, G39.
The root idea of consecration is borne by certain other words in NT, as for example παραστῆσαι (
Ecclesiastical consecration forms a special subject, being treated historically and systematically, and in relation to modern liturgism, in HERE, IV, 58-64 (q.v.).
Bibliography Word Study. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (1890), 216; J. Hastings, “Consecrate, Consecration,” in HDB, I (1898), 475; T. Rees, “Consecrate, Consecration,” ISBE, II (1915), 703, 704; C. L. Felloe, “Consecration,” HERE, IV (1917), 58-64; Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible (22nd ed., [n.d.]), 198, 834; Nelson’s Complete Concordance to the RSV Bible (1957), 350, and cf. 1956.
Source Material: H. O. Wiley, Christian Theology, II (1940), 467; L. S. Chafer, Systematic Theology (1948), 384-388; C. F. Henry, Basic Christian Doctrines (1962), 227-233; J. O. Buswell, A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, II (1963), 205-215; C. F. H. Henry, ed., Christian Faith and Modern Theology (1964), 373-386.