from a Greek word signifying…

  1. a choice
  2. the opinion chosen
  3. the sect holding the opinion

In the Acts of the Apostles (5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5) it denotes a sect, without reference to its character. Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks “heresies” with crimes and seditions (Galatians 5:20). This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church (1 Corinthians 11:19). In Titus 3:10 a “heretical person” is one who follows his own self-willed “questions,” and who is to be avoided. Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God (2 Peter 2:1).

Author: Matthew G. Easton.

Peter and John were falsely accused of heresy by the Sanhedrim (Acts 4:1-23; 5:17-41).