Jump to: ISBEWebster'sThesaurusGreekLibrarySubtopicsTermsResources
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A statement of religious belief set forth by a church or council; a tenet; a doctrine.

2. (n.) A formally stated and authoritatively settled doctrine; a definite, established, and authoritative tenet.

3. (n.) A doctrinal notion asserted without regard to evidence or truth; an arbitrary dictum.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

dog'-ma (dogma, from dokeo, "that which seems," "an opinion," particularly the opinion of a philosopher):

1. As Law and Ordinance:

In the decadent period of Greek philosophy, the opinion, or ipse dixit, of the master of a philosophical school came to be quoted as authoritative truth; also, the opinion of a sovereign imposed as law upon his subjects: a decree or ordinance of the civil authority. The word never appears in English Versions of the Bible, although it is used 5 times in the Greek New Testament, but with the one exception of Acts 16:4, in a sense widely different from that which ecclesiastical usage has given to it from the 2nd century downward. "Dogma" is used in the New Testament,

(1) of Roman laws: "a decree (Greek dogma) from Caesar Augustus" (Luke 2:1); "the decrees of Caesar" (Acts 17:7) = the whole body of Roman law;

(2) of ordinances of religious law: "the law of commandments contained in ordinances" (Ephesians 2:15); "the bond written in ordinances" (Colossians 2:14) = the Mosaic ordinances as expressing the moral law which condemned the sinner, and whose enmity Christ abolished by His death. It is a significant revelation of the spirit of Greek theology that all the Greek commentators understood by ordinances in these two places, the gospel as a body of dogmas which had removed the commandment or bond that was against us (see Lightfoot, Colossians, at the place);

(3) of the decrees of the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:20), which Paul and his companions delivered to the Gentilechurches (Acts 16:4). Here we have one element that entered into the later ecclesiastical meaning of the word. These dogmas were decisions on religious matters, imposed by a more or less authoritative council of the church as a condition of admission to its membership.

2. As Formulated Teaching:

There is however one important difference. These decrees relate to moral and ceremonial matters, but from the 2nd century downward, dogma means especially a theological doctrine. In Greek theology "doctrine" and "dogma" meant the same thing. Each had its origin in the opinion of some great teacher; each rested upon revelation and claimed its authority; each meant an exposition of a particular truth of the gospel, and of the whole Christian truth, which the church adopted as the only right exposition. Each word might be used for the teaching of a philosopher, or of a heretic, although for the latter, "heresy" became the regular term. On the one side stood the doctrines or dogmas of the majority or the "Catholic" church, and on the other side, those of the heretics. So long as the "Catholic" ideal of orthodoxy and uniformity of belief held the field, there was no room for the distinction now made between "doctrine," as a scientific and systematic expression of the truth of the Christian religion, and "dogma," as those truths "authoritatively ratified as expressing the belief of the church." This distinction could only arise when men began to think that various expressions of Christian truth could coexist in the church, and is therefore quite modern and even recent. Dogma in this sense denotes the ancient conception of theology as an authoritative system of orthodoxy, and doctrine, the modern conception, outside the dogmatic churches, where theology is regarded as a scientific exposition of truth.


Harnack, History of Dogma, I, chapter i; Drummond, Studies in Christian Doctrine, 1-7.

T. Rees

1378. dogma -- an opinion, (a public) decree
... 1377, 1378. dogma. 1379 . ... see GREEK dokeo. (dogma) -- 1 Occurrence. (dogmasin) --
2 Occurrences. (dogmata) -- 1 Occurrence. (dogmaton) -- 1 Occurrence. ...
// - 6k

1379. dogmatizo -- to decree, to subject oneself to an ordinance
... Word Origin from dogma Definition to decree, to subject oneself to an ordinance
NASB Word Usage decrees (1). ... see GREEK dogma. ...
// - 6k


A Refutation of this Dogma on the Ground of Familiar Human ...
... II."From the Books on Nature. II. A Refutation of This Dogma on the Ground
of Familiar Human Analogies. How, shall we bear with ...
/.../dionysius/the works of dionysius/ii a refutation of this.htm

In what Manner in the Confession of the Three Hypostases we ...
... BIBLION. Chapter XVIII. In what manner in the confession of the three hypostases
we preserve the pious dogma of the Monarchia. Wherein ...
/.../basil/basil letters and select works/chapter xviii in what manner.htm

... Such imperiling was impossible; and so, indeed, they hardly care to have
sanctification distinguished as a dogma at all. "On the ...
/...// work of the holy spirit/i sanctification.htm

Our Opinion is Directly Opposed to the Pelagian Heresy
... that our interpretation of Romans 7 is professedly adverse to the Pelagian
heresy.2. This is proved from the fact, that the principal dogma of that heresy ...
/.../arminius/the works of james arminius vol 2/our opinion is directly opposed.htm

Unity of Apostolic Teaching.
... The knowledge of God in Christ, as it meets us here, is at the same time
eternal life. [749] We must not confound truth with dogma. ...
/.../history of the christian church volume i/section 67 unity of apostolic.htm

The Papal Definition of the Immaculate Conception of the virgin ...
... HB Smith (Professor in the Union Theological Seminary, NY): The Dogma of the Immaculate
Conception, in the Methodist Quarterly Review, New York, for 1855, pp ...
/.../ 28 the papal definition.htm

Sanctification is a Mystery.
... Sanctification belongs to the mysteries of faith; hence it can not be confessed
but as a dogma. ... It has nothing to do with the mysteries, therefore is no dogma. ...
/.../kuyper/the work of the holy spirit/ii sanctification is a mystery.htm

When a Man is Asked to Write Down what He Really Thinks on ...
... If it be really true that men sickened of sacred words and wearied of theology,
if this largely unreasoning irritation against "dogma" did arise out of some ...
/.../chesterton/whats wrong with the world/chapter 31 when a man.htm

The Calumny of the Pelagians against the Clergy of the Roman ...
... crime of prevarication; so that, contrary to their previous judgment, wherein by
their proceedings they had assented to the catholic dogma, they subsequently ...
/.../augustine/anti-pelagian writings/chapter 5 iii the calumny of.htm

The Properties of Sanctifying Grace
... c) We now proceed to the theological explanation of the dogma embodied
in our thesis. {GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}) The purpose of ...
/.../pohle/grace actual and habitual/section 3 the properties of.htm

... 3. (n.) A doctrinal notion asserted without regard to evidence or truth; an
arbitrary dictum. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. DOGMA. ...
/d/dogma.htm - 10k

... i-mak'-u-lat kon-sep'-shun: 1. Definition: The historic designation of the Roman
Catholic dogma promulgated by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854, in the Papal ...
/i/immaculate.htm - 16k

Conception (6 Occurrences)
... i-mak'-u-lat kon-sep'-shun: 1. Definition: The historic designation of the Roman
Catholic dogma promulgated by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854, in the Papal ...
/c/conception.htm - 19k

... orthodox theology. Indeed, Pietism, too, urged its claims as Biblical dogma,
over against the too scholastic dogma of orthodoxy. 2 ...
/b/biblical.htm - 45k

... orthodox theology. Indeed, Pietism, too, urged its claims as Biblical dogma,
over against the too scholastic dogma of orthodoxy. 2 ...
/t/theology.htm - 95k

Mary (50 Occurrences)
... and the Career of Jesus 4. Mary at the Cross 5. Mary in the Christian Community
6. Mary in Ecclesiastical Doctrine and Tradition (1) Legend (2) Dogma (a) The ...
/m/mary.htm - 72k

Dogs (30 Occurrences)

/d/dogs.htm - 15k

Doctrine (52 Occurrences)
... supported by a teacher, a school, or a sect; a principle or position, or the body
of principles, in any branch of knowledge; any tenet or dogma; a principle of ...
/d/doctrine.htm - 57k

Ordinance (89 Occurrences)
... The word means literally, "anything declared right"; but in these passages ceremonial
and religious regulation; (2) dogma, in Ephesians 2:15 Colossians 2:14. ...
/o/ordinance.htm - 40k

... the products of a tropical jungle, or the shapes and hues of the sunset clouds,
which change under our view as we look at them" (Orr, The Progress of Dogma, 58 ...
/g/gnosticism.htm - 38k

What is dogma? |

What happened at Vatican I / the First Vatican Council? |

What is dogmatic theology? |

Dogma: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Top of Page
Top of Page