The Definition of the word Anathema
Anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a temple or set apart as sacred. In this sense the form of the "word is anath(ee)ma, once in plural used in the Greek New" "Testament, in Luke 21:5, where it is rendered "gifts." In the" LXX. the form anathema is generally used as the rendering of the "Hebrew word herem, derived from a verb which means (1) to" consecrate or devote; and (2) to exterminate. Any object so devoted to the Lord could not be redeemed (Num. 18:14; Lev. "27:28, 29); and hence the idea of exterminating connected with" the word. The Hebrew verb (haram) is frequently used of the extermination of idolatrous nations. It had a wide range of application. The anathema_ or _herem was a person or thing "irrevocably devoted to God (Lev. 27:21, 28); and "none devoted" "shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death" (27:29). The" word therefore carried the idea of devoted to destruction (Num. "21:2, 3; Josh. 6:17); and hence generally it meant a thing" "accursed. In Deut. 7:26 an idol is called a herem = anathema, a" thing accursed. "In the New Testament this word always implies execration. In some cases an individual denounces an anathema on himself unless "certain conditions are fulfilled (Acts 23:12, 14, 21). "To call" "Jesus accursed" [anathema] (1 Cor. 12:3) is to pronounce him" "execrated or accursed. If any one preached another gospel, the" "apostle says, "let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8, 9); i.e., let his" conduct in so doing be accounted accursed. "In Rom. 9:3, the expression "accursed" (anathema) from Christ, "i.e., excluded from fellowship or alliance with Christ, has" occasioned much difficulty. The apostle here does not speak of his wish as a possible thing. It is simply a vehement expression "of feeling, showing how strong was his desire for the salvation" of his people. "The anathema in 1 Cor. 16:22 denotes simply that they who love not the Lord are rightly objects of loathing and execration to all holy beings; they are guilty of a crime that merits the severest condemnation; they are exposed to the just sentence of everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.