From BiblePortal Wikipedia
Revision as of 13:48, 14 October 2021 by BiblePortalWiki (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

This word occurs only three times in the NT, once in the singular ( Luke 2:1), where it is the decree of Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed, and twice in the plural ( Acts 16:4;  Acts 17:7), the reference in the one case being to the decisions of the Apostolic Church at Jerusalem, and in the other to the decrees of the Roman Emperors against treason.

The word in its technical or theological sense of the Divine decree of human salvation, or of the decrees of God comprehended in His eternal purpose whereby He foreordains whatsoever comes to pass, is therefore not found in the NT at all. The Greek word which it most nearly represents is πρόθεσις, which describes the purpose of God in eternity for the salvation of men. ‘They that love God’ are ‘the called according to his purpose’ (οἱ κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοί,  Romans 8:28). ‘The purpose of God according to election’ (ἡ κατʼ ἐκλογὴν πρόθεσις τοῦ θεοῦ,  Romans 9:11) is to stand, not of works but of His own sovereign grace who calls them that believe. Christians are ‘allotted their inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will’ (προορισθέντες κατὰ πρόθεσιν τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐνεργοῦντος,  Ephesians 1:11). The Divine purpose is ‘a purpose of the ages’ which God fulfilled in Christ ( Ephesians 3:11) as He had purposed it in Him (προέθετο,  Ephesians 1:9). God’s eternal decree depends upon the counsel of His own will, for it is ‘not according to our works but according to his own purpose (κατὰ ἴδιαν πρόθεσιν) and grace given in Christ Jesus before times eternal’ that ‘he saved us and called us with a holy calling’ ( 2 Timothy 1:9). See articles Call, Election, and Predestination.

The decree of God, however, is not to be conceived in the same way as that of Darius or Nebuchadrezzar, who could say, ‘I have made a decree: let it be done with speed’ ( Ezra 6:12). God’s decree has no constraining effect on the things to which it is directed, because it is not promulgated to the world, but is really His secret plan for the regulation of His own procedure. It is not the proximate cause of events, yet the objects which it contemplates are absolutely certain, and are in due time brought to pass. Whilst the decrees of God are ‘his eternal purpose whereby he foreordains whatsoever comes to pass,’ yet He accomplishes His ends by the means proper thereto, and even when men are moved by Divine grace to embrace the gospel offer, they do so in the exercise of their liberty as free agents. As St. Paul says; ‘God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth’ ( 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

T. Nicol.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Decree . What theologians speak of as the ‘decrees of God,’ and describe as one, immutable, eternal, all-embracing, free, etc., do not receive this designation in Scripture. The equivalents are to be sought for under such headings as Election, Predestination, Providence, Reprobate. In the EV [Note: English Version.] the term is frequently used in Esther, Ezra, Daniel, with different Heb. and Aram. [Note: Aramaic.] words, for royal decrees (in   Daniel 6:1-28 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘interdict’; in   Daniel 2:9 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘law,’ elsewhere ‘decree’). In the NT also the Gr. word dogmata is employed of decrees of Cæsar (  Luke 2:1 ,   Acts 17:7 ); in   Acts 16:4 it is used of decrees of the Church; elsewhere (  Ephesians 2:15 ,   Colossians 2:20 ) it is tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘ordinances.’ The nearest approach to the theological sense of the term is, in OT, in the Heb. word hôk , ordinarily tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘statute,’ which is used in various places of God’s sovereign appointments in nature and providence (  Job 28:26 ,   Psalms 148:6 ,   Proverbs 8:29 ,   Jeremiah 5:22 ,   Zephaniah 2:2 ). The Hebrews had not the modern conception of ‘laws of nature,’ but they had a good equivalent in the idea of the world as ordered and founded by God’s decrees; as regulated by His ordinances (cf.   Psalms 104:5;   Psalms 104:9;   Psalms 119:88-91 ,   Jeremiah 10:12 ff.). The same word is used in   Psalms 2:7 of God’s ‘decree’ regarding His king; in   Daniel 4:17;   Daniel 4:24 (Aram. [Note: Aramaic.] ) we have ‘decree’ of ‘the watchers’ and ‘the most High.’

James Orr.

Holman Bible Dictionary [3]

 Jonah 3:5-7 Daniel 3:4 1 Samuel 11:7 Ezra 1:1 Ezra 6:1-2 Proverbs 8:15 Isaiah 10:1 Ezra 6:3-5 Esther 9:32 Luke 2:1

As King of the earth, God issues decrees regulating the world of nature (the sea,  Proverbs 8:29; rain,  Job 28:26 ) and of humanity ( Daniel 4:24 ). God also decrees the reign of the Messianic King ( Psalm 2:7 ).

The KJV uses “decree” to describe the decision of the Apostolic Council ( Acts 16:4 ) and of a human inward decision not to marry ( 1 Corinthians 7:37 ). NIV refers to God's righteous decree of death for sinners ( Romans 1:32 ). NAS uses “decree” for God's law which led to disobedience and death ( Colossians 2:14 ,Colossians 2:14, 2:20 ). NRSV uses “decree” to speak of God's eternal wisdom and plan for creation. Any translator using “decree” is interpreting the meaning of a more general Hebrew or Greek term, resulting in each translation using “decree” for several different words of the original language.

King James Dictionary [4]

DECREE, n. L. To judge to divide.

1. Judicial decision, or determination of a litigated cause as a decree of the court of chancery. The decision of a court of equity is called a decree that of a court of law, a judgment. 2. In the law, a determination or judgment of the emperor on a suit between parties. 3. An edict or law made by a council for regulating any business within their jurisdiction as the decrees of ecclesiastical councils. 4. In general, an order, edict or law made by a superior as a rule to govern inferiors.

There went a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.  Luke 2

5. Established law, or rule.

He made a decree for the rain.  Job 28

6. In theology, predetermined purpose of God the purpose or determination of an immutable Being, whose plan of operations is, like himself, unchangeable.


1. To determine judicially to resolve by sentence as, the court decreed that the property should be restored or they decreed a restoration of the property. 2. To determine or resolve legislatively to fix or appoint to set or constitute by edict or in purpose.

Thou shalt decree a thing, and it shall be established.  Job 22

Let us not be solicitous to know what God has decreed concerning us.

Webster's Dictionary [5]

(1): ( n.) A decision, order, or sentence, given in a cause by a court of equity or admiralty.

(2): ( n.) A determination or judgment of an umpire on a case submitted to him.

(3): ( n.) An edict or law made by a council for regulating any business within their jurisdiction; as, the decrees of ecclesiastical councils.

(4): ( n.) An order from one having authority, deciding what is to be done by a subordinate; also, a determination by one having power, deciding what is to be done or to take place; edict, law; authoritative ru// decision.

(5): ( v. i.) To make decrees; - used absolutely.

(6): ( v. t.) To determine judicially by authority, or by decree; to constitute by edict; to appoint by decree or law; to determine; to order; to ordain; as, a court decrees a restoration of property.

(7): ( v. t.) To ordain by fate.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [6]

1: Δόγμα (Strong'S #1378 — Noun Neuter — dogma — dog'-mah )

transliterated in English, primarily denoted "an opinion or judgment" (from dokeo, "to be of opinion"), hence, an "opinion expressed with authority, a doctrine, ordinance, decree;" "decree,"  Luke 2:1;  Acts 16:4;  17:7; in the sense of ordinances,  Ephesians 2:15;  Colossians 2:14 . See Ordinance.

 1—Corinthians 7:37

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

(properly דָּת Dath [ Daniel 2:9;  Daniel 2:13;  Daniel 2:15, elsewhere "law"], Δόγμα [ Luke 2:1;  Acts 16:4;  Acts 17:7, elsewhere "ordinance"], an edict; also גָּזִר , Gazar [ Esther 2:1, Κρίνω [ 1 Corinthians 7:37, elsewhere usually "judge"], to determine; but represented by several other Heb. words), an official resolution passed by magisterial authority (see Crabbe's Engl. Synonymes , s.v.). Among the Orientals the enactments of the kings were proclaimed publicly by criers ( Jeremiah 34:8-9;  Jonah 3:5-7), who are designated in Daniel ( Daniel 3:4;  Daniel 5:29) by the term כָּרוֹזָא , Karoza , the herald. They were made known in distant provinces, towns, and cities by messengers sent for that purpose ( 1 Samuel 11:7;  Ezra 1:1;  Amos 4:5). The message thus to be communicated in any town or city was publicly announced when the messenger had arrived in the gate of the city, or in some other public place. At Jerusalem it was announced in the Temple, where there were always a great many persons present. It was for the same reason that the prophets were accustomed to utter their prophecies in the Temple. (See Proclamation).