heresy (n.)

“doctrine or opinion at variance with established standards” (or, as Johnson defines it, “an opinion of private men different from that of the catholick and orthodox church”), c. 1200, from Old French heresieeresie “heresy,” and by extension “sodomy, immorality” (12c.), from Latin hæresis, “school of thought, philosophical sect.” The Latin word is from Greek hairesis “a taking or choosing for oneself, a choice, a means of taking; a deliberate plan, purpose; philosophical sect, school,” from haireisthai “take, seize,” middle voice of hairein “to choose,” a word of unknown origin, perhaps cognate with Hittite šaru “booty,” Welsh herw “booty;” but Beekes offers “no etymology.”

The Greek word was used by Church writers in reference to various sects, schools, etc. in the New Testament: the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and even the Christians, as sects of Judaism. Hence the meaning “unorthodox religious sect or doctrine” in the Latin word as used by Christian writers in Late Latin. But in English bibles it usually is translated sect. Transferred (non-religious) use in English is from late 14c.


heretic (n.)

“one who holds a doctrine at variance with established or dominant standards,” mid-14c., from Old French eretique (14c., Modern French hérétique), from Church Latin haereticus “of or belonging to a heresy,” as a noun, “a heretic,” from Greek hairetikos “able to choose” (in the New Testament, “heretical”), verbal adjective of hairein “to take” (see heresy).

[T]he heretic is not an unbeliever (far from it) but rather a man who emphasizes some point of doctrine too strongly and obsessively. [Russell Kirk, “T.S. Eliot and his Age”]

Okey dokey. I have seen hints/suggestions that the word Heresy is not formed from “Ancient Greek” or “Ancient Latin.” I think it is a modern word. A Reformed word (?)

I, also, think that “Heresy” is very close to “Hearsay.”

Many moons ago – in a former timezone –  when I learned Judges Rules and Rules of Evidence blah, blah, Hearsay was Not Admissible in a Court of Law. 

Rules of Evidence state that nothing that has not been heard first hand, by the witness, is allowed to play any part in the upcoming trial and judgement.

But there is no stipulation about the bearer of said “Hearsay.” From whence came such information. It’s not permitted. Full Stop.




This is linked to the previous post :o)

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