Published Online: 25 NOV 2011
Copyright © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization
How to Cite
Schmidt, A. J. 2011. Adiaphora. The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .
- Published Online: 25 NOV 2011
Most lay Christians probably have never heard of the concept adiaphora (plural) or adiaphoron (singular). Adiaphora, a word borrowed from the Greek, means “things that are indifferent.” It has its origin among the Greek Stoic philosophers (4th century bc) who first used the concept to indicate a given act was neither a virtue nor a vice. The Greek word diaphoron means “difference,” but when the letter alpha (a) is prefixed to diaphoron, the word means “indifferent.” Hence, in regard to given theological or ecclesiastical beliefs or practices, adiaphora refer to beliefs or practices that are biblically indifferent, that is, neither commanded nor forbidden in the Bible. Adiaphora are those matters that Christians in their God-given liberty are free to do or not to do.
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