religion Summary and Overview
religion in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
RELIGIOUS. James 1:26-27, threeskos, threeskeia; distinct from eulabees ("reverent"; from the Old Testament standpoint; "cautious fear toward God"), "devout" (Luke 2:25); theosebees, "godly"; eusebees, "pious." "If any man seem a diligent observer of the offices of religion (threeskos) ... pure and undefiled religion (not the sum total or inner essentials of religion, but its outer manifestations) is to visit the fatherless," etc. The Old Testament cult or "religious service" (threeskeia) was ceremony and ritual; the New Testament religious service consists in acts of mercy, love, and holiness. "Religion" refers to the external service, "godliness" being the soul. James as president of the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:13-21) had decided against ritualism; so he teaches, instead of Judaic ceremonialism, true religious service is (1) active, (2) passive (Micah 6:7-8; Matthew 23:23); compare Acts 26:5, "our religion"; Colossians 2:18, "worshipping," threeskeia.