Rudiments
Jump to: ISBEConcordanceThesaurusLibrarySubtopicsTerms
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
RUDIMENTS

roo'-di-ments (stoicheia, plural of stoicheion (Galatians 4:3, 9 Colossians 2:8, 20 Hebrews 5:12 2 Peter 3:10, 12)): This word occurs 7 t in the New Testament, and the King James Version translates it in three different ways. In the two passages in Galatians, and in the two in 2 Peter, it is rendered "elements." In the two passages in Colossians, it is translated "rudiments." In He it is rendered "first principles."

1. Etymological Meaning:

The etymological meaning of the word is, that which belongs to a row or rank, hence any first thing, an element, first principle. It denotes, specially

(1) the letters of the alphabet, the spoken sounds, as the elements of speech;

(2) the material elements of the universe, the physical atoms of which the world is composed;

(3) the heavenly bodies;

(4) the elements, rudiments, fundamental principles of any art, science or discipline; compare the phrase, "the a, b, c."

2. Use of Term in the New Testament:

(1) The New Testament use of the word, where it always occurs in the plural, is as follows: In 2 Peter 3:10, 12, "The elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat," that is, the physical elements of the world and of the heavens are to be consumed, or subjected to change, by means of fire. In Hebrews 5:12, the King James Version "Ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God." This means that the Hebrew Christians had not made the advance expected, in grace and in the knowledge of God, but were in need of instruction in the elementary truths of the Christian faith.

(2) The Pauline use of the term is in Galatians and Colossians; see references as above. In Galatians 4:3, 9 the King James Version Paul writes, "When we were children, (we) were in bondage under the elements of the world"; "How turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?" The apostle here means the ceremonial precepts of the worship of the Jews. These requirements involved much and protracted difficulty in their observance; they were "a yoke.... which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear" (Acts 15:10). Yet the Galatian converts were tuning back again to these legal ordinances, and desired to be in bondage to them. These elements were "of the world," they had reference to material and not to spiritual things, they were formal and sensuous. They were "weak," for they had no power to rescue man from condemnation, and they could not save him from sin. They were "beggarly," for they brought no endowment of the heavenly riches. By these epithets Paul signifies that rites, ordinances, sacrifices, observance of days and seasons belonged to the elementary stages of the Jewish religion, which had now attained its end and purpose in the coming of Christ and His work. These things were necessary at the time they were divinely instituted, but the time had come when they were no longer required. They contained and conveyed an elementary knowledge, and were intended, from the first, to lead to an advance in the moral and spiritual life, which is now revealed in Christ.

It has been thought by some that what is meant by "elements" or "rudiments" in Galatians and Colossians is the physical elements, presided over by angels, and that this is in some way connected with the worship of angels, to which Paul refers in Colossians 2:18. The Jews believed that there were, angels of fire and of the wind, and of the other physical elements. The apostle therefore wished to show the foolishness of the worship of angels and of the heavenly bodies which they were supposed to control.

This latter meaning of the term is a possible, but not a probable one. The interpretation, already first given, which understands "elements" to mean the ordinances of Jewish legalism, is most in harmony with the gospel and with the teaching of Paul. "This is probably the correct interpretation, both as simpler in itself and as suiting the context better. Paul seems to be dwelling still on the rudimentary character of the law, as fitted for an earlier stage in the world's history" (Lightfoot, Commentary on Galatians, 167).

In Colossians 2:8 the King James Version Paul writes, "Beware lest any man spoil you.... after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ"; and in Colossians 2:20, the King James Version "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why.... are ye subject to ordinances?" The meaning of the term here is the elements of religious training, the ceremonial precepts of the Jewish Law. In Colossians and Galatians the meaning is that the systems of the false teachers, both in Colosse and in Galatia, laid stress on Jewish ritual, ceremonial law and ascetic observances-things of this world, belonging to the visible sphere, things elementary, and intended, so far as the Jewish Law is concerned, simply as a preparation for the coming of Christ. Such were the rudiments of the world, so far as their source was Jewish. On their heathen side they were still more decidedly anti-Christian. Both of these tendencies, Jewish and heathen, were "not according to Christ." For Christ Himself who atoned for sin, and who now lives and reigns, delivers believers from all such methods, as well as from the need of them.

John Rutherfurd

Library

Galatians Chapter iv.
... appointed of the father. So we also when we were children, were held in
bondage under the rudiments of the world.". The word "child ...
/.../galatians chapter iv.htm

The Danger of Deviating from Divine Institutions.
... "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition
of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.". St. ...
/.../lee/sermons on various important subjects/sermon xxviii the danger of.htm

Preface.
... as truth, says with regard to such: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy
and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the ...
//christianbookshelf.org/origen/origen against celsus/preface.htm

The Impossibility of Renewal.
... For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that
some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God ...
/.../chapter v the impossibility of.htm

Philosophy is Knowledge Given by God.
... of the man who has attained to the elevation of the Gnostic, any more to go back
to the Hellenic "philosophy," figuratively calling it "the rudiments of this ...
/.../the stromata or miscellanies/chapter viii philosophy is knowledge given.htm

What is the Philosophy which the Apostle Bids us Shun?
... in to spoil you." [1918] And again, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy
and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the ...
/.../clement/the stromata or miscellanies/chapter xi what is the philosophy.htm

Another Instance of Marcion's Tampering with St. Paul's Text the ...
... after such affluence (of grace), they should not have returned "to weak and beggarly
elements." [5341] By the Romans, however, the rudiments of learning are ...
/.../the five books against marcion/chapter iv another instance of marcions.htm

Of the Custom of Set Appointed Retreats for Meditation...
... persons, the said retirements: 1. Are very helpful in the beginning of such a spiritual
state, by teaching with great exactness the rudiments of mental prayer ...
/.../chapter iv of the custom.htm

The Struggle for the Life of Others
... Evolution of Man. Up to this time we have found for him a Body, and the rudiments
of Mind. But Man is not a Body, nor a Mind. The temple ...
/.../the lowell lectures on the ascent of man/chapter vii the struggle for.htm

Defective Learning.
... For brains incomparably superior, such as Erasmus and Hugo Grotius, knew so much
of Greek that they were at least acquainted with the Greek rudiments. ...
/.../kuyper/the work of the holy spirit/xxxix defective learning.htm

Thesaurus
Rudiments (5 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia RUDIMENTS. roo'-di-ments (stoicheia, plural
of stoicheion (Galatians 4:3, 9 Colossians 2:8, 20 Hebrews ...
/r/rudiments.htm - 13k

Elements (7 Occurrences)
... world," "week and beggarly elements," denote that state of religious knowledge existing
among the Jews before the coming of Christ, the rudiments of religious ...
/e/elements.htm - 10k

Element (1 Occurrence)
... (n.) The simplest or fundamental principles of any system in philosophy, science,
or art; rudiments; as, the elements of geometry, or of music. ... See RUDIMENTS. ...
/e/element.htm - 10k

Principles (11 Occurrences)
... Found twice (Hebrews 5:12; Hebrews 6:1). The Greek word (stoicheion) is also translated
in the King James Version as "elements" and "rudiments." As rendered in ...
/p/principles.htm - 10k

Initiate (1 Occurrence)
... or enter upon. 2. (vt) To acquaint with the beginnings; to instruct in the
rudiments or principles; to introduce. 3. (vt) To introduce ...
/i/initiate.htm - 7k

Milk (66 Occurrences)
... 25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of doctrine (1 Corinthians
3:2; Hebrews 5:12, 13), and of the unadulterated word of God (1 Peter 2:2). ...
/m/milk.htm - 34k

Rue (1 Occurrence)

/r/rue.htm - 8k

Education (4 Occurrences)
... of the law since such knowledge is most valuable and the source of happiness"; and
again he commanded (Apion, II, 25) to teach them the rudiments of learning ...
/e/education.htm - 40k

Novice (1 Occurrence)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) A beginner; a newcomer; one unacquainted
or unskilled; one yet in the rudiments; a beginner; a tyro. ...
/n/novice.htm - 8k

Oracles (8 Occurrences)
... Hebrews 5:12 For when by reason of the time you ought to be teachers, you again
need to have someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the ...
/o/oracles.htm - 9k

Concordance
Rudiments (5 Occurrences)

Galatians 4:3
So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the rudiments of the world:
(ASV)

Galatians 4:9
but now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again?
(ASV)

Colossians 2:8
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
(KJV ASV WBS YLT)

Colossians 2:20
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
(KJV ASV WBS YLT)

Hebrews 5:12
For when by reason of the time you ought to be teachers, you again need to have someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God. You have come to need milk, and not solid food.
(WEB WEY ASV)

Subtopics

Rudiments

Related Terms

Elements (7 Occurrences)

Element (1 Occurrence)

Principles (11 Occurrences)

Initiate (1 Occurrence)

Milk (66 Occurrences)

Rue (1 Occurrence)

Education (4 Occurrences)

Novice (1 Occurrence)

Oracles (8 Occurrences)

Truths (15 Occurrences)

Rudimentary (3 Occurrences)

Require (46 Occurrences)

Elementary (4 Occurrences)

Embryo (1 Occurrence)

Elemental (4 Occurrences)

Deliverance (86 Occurrences)

Deception (24 Occurrences)

Deceptive (11 Occurrences)

Prophet (315 Occurrences)

Bud (23 Occurrences)

Considering (10 Occurrences)

Catechist

Catechumen

Alphabet (2 Occurrences)

Spoil (140 Occurrences)

Stem (18 Occurrences)

Solid (13 Occurrences)

Sabbatical (1 Occurrence)

Beware (51 Occurrences)

Maketh (399 Occurrences)

Carrying (88 Occurrences)

Instead (139 Occurrences)

Really (100 Occurrences)

Believers (50 Occurrences)

Year (4027 Occurrences)

Although (167 Occurrences)

Heed (223 Occurrences)

Someone (153 Occurrences)

Eschatology

Gifts (144 Occurrences)

Teachers (87 Occurrences)

Spiritual (42 Occurrences)

Lest (282 Occurrences)

Ought (130 Occurrences)

Tabeel (2 Occurrences)

Mouth (534 Occurrences)

Creeds

Subapostolic

Sub-apostolic

Creed

Teach (172 Occurrences)

Epistles (2 Occurrences)

Literature (2 Occurrences)

John (154 Occurrences)

Links
Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus


Rudimentary
Top of Page
Top of Page