Religious - Berry's New Testament Synonyms


θεοσεβής, εὐσεβής, εὐλαβής, θρῆσκος, δεισιδαίμων.

θεοσεβής, according to derivation and usage, means worship of God (or of the gods), a fulfillment of one's duty towards God. It is a general term, meaning religious in a good sense. εὐσεβής is distinguished from θεοσεβής in two ways. It is used to include the fulfillment of obligations of all kinds, both towards God and man. It is thus applied to the fulfillment of the duties involved in human relations, as towards one's parents. Furthermore, when used in the higher sense, it means not any kind of worship, but, as the etymology indicates, the worshipping of God aright. εὐλαβής, meaning originally careful in handling, in its religious application means careful in handling divine things. It characterizes the anxious and scrupulous worshipper, careful not to change anything that should be observed in worship, and fearful of offending. It means devout, and may be applied to an adherent of any religion, being especially appropriate to describe the best of the Jewish worshippers. θρῆσκος is one who is diligent in the performance of the outward service of God. It applies especially to ceremonial worship. δεισιδαίμων, in accordance with its derivation, makes prominent the element of fear. It emphasizes strongly the ideas of dependence and of anxiety for divine favor. It may be used as practically equivalent to θεοσεβής. Often, however, it implies that the fear which it makes prominent is an unworthy fear, so that it comes to have the meaning superstitious. In the N.T. it is used, as is also the noun δεισιδαιμονία, in a purposely neutral sense, meaning simply religious, neither conveying the highest meaning, nor plainly implying a lower meaning.