An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


An expression of contempt for God. A Scottish jurist in the seventeenth century characterized it as “treason against God.” The term has been used differently in different eras. Understandings of what constitutes blasphemy have changed with changing sensibilities, social norms, and political considerations. The Judeo-Christian tradition rejects blasphemy on the basis of Ex 22:28, “You shall not revile God.” The punishment for blasphemy in the OT was death by stoning. Blasphemy laws in England date from 1558.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.