Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Deeds of the Nicolaitans

But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Rev. 2:6

There is much difficulty in tracing this sect. The prevailing opinion among the Early Church Fathers was, that they were a sect founded by Nicolas, the proselyte of Antioch , one of the seven deacons. (see Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 3:548).

One Bible scholar wrote the following about the beliefs of the Nicolaitans: “They seem to have held that it was lawful to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication, in opposition to the decree of the Church rendered in Acts 15:20, 29. . . .

In a time of persecution, when the eating or not eating of things sacrificed to idols was more than ever a crucial test of faithfulness, they persuaded men more than ever that it was a thing indifferent. Rev. 2:13, 14. This was bad enough, but there was a yet worse evil.

Mingling themselves in the orgies of idolatrous feasts, they brought the impurities of those feasts into the meetings of the Christian Church. And all this was done, it must be remembered, not simply as an indulgence of appetite, but as a part of a system, supported by a ‘doctrine,’ accompanied by the boast of a prophetic illumination.” (Smith, Dictionary of the Bible, p. 447.)

Thayer's Lexicon tells us that the meaning of the word Nicolaitans is the "destruction of people."

1 comment:

  1. This is helpful information--it sheds light on the verse Doctrine and Covenants 117:11 where the Lord admonishes Newel K. Whitney be ashamed of the Nicolaitane band.

    I am glad to know this background.