The Difference Between an Apostrophe and Apostasy

Gary Fiscus
Hamilton, Ohio

According to the English usages of punctuation, an apostrophe is used to show possession, indicate plurality, or make a contraction. The apostrophe itself is usually used before the last letter of a word such as, "This is John ~," or "Don't, for Do Not." One will note that the last letter of the word indicated is separated from the rest of the word by the apostrophe.

At this point, one may justifiably ask, "What on earth does this subject have to do with a lesson from the scriptures?" To answer this question one must understand the meaning of apostasy: It is a falling away of one's faith. An apostrophe separates a letter from a word; apostasy separates one from Jesus Christ.

Upon learning the usages of punctuation, one may choose the apostrophe, as has previously been noted, for three essential ways. Let's examine these markings in light of apostasy and the scriptures.

1) Apostrophe - Is used for an indication of possession.

2) Apostasy - Is used for an indication of possession--but it is of the world. The Lord says we must choose between Him and the world (Matt. 12:30; 2 Cot. 11:4). Apostasy only shows possession to Satan and the love of the Father cannot be in such an individual (I Jn. 2:15)

1) Apostrophe- Is used to show a plurality.

2) Apostasy - Is used to show a plurality (Matt. 6:24; Lk. 16:13). Paul taught the Ephesians in 4:5 that there is ONLY, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." Since Paul was emphasizing 'singularity, he was automatically ruling out plurality in the sense of worship. If one desires to get to heaven, he must follow one road, not a plurality of them (Matt. 7: 13-14). If one expects to worship according to Jno. 4:24, he must worship the "Single God"!

Apostasy causes plurality in the evidence of trying to worship the world, as well as God. It will not work, for many have tried and failed.

1) Apostrophe- Is used for a contraction. It abbreviates a longer word.

2) Apostasy- Is used for a contraction. It abbreviates a long spiritual life working for the cause of Christ. Most people are as sincere as they can be when they obey the gospel of the Lord. They realize the divine message of Jesus, "If ye love me keep my commandments" (Jn. 14:15). The problem is that far too many Christians "contract" their spiritual life by bowing to apostasy. Paul said, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine..." (2 Tim. 4: 3). When Christians begin to "...heap to themselves teachers having itching ears..." and "turn away their ears from the truth..." they are headed toward the damnable sin of apostasy.

If you are now a Christian, do not shorten your spiritual life with God. You should lengthen your goals, strengthen your faith, and hope for life everlasting (Gal. 6:8). Members of the Lord's body can learn a great lesson from the simple marking of an apostrophe. Don't separate your life from Christ. Be a possessor of Him, not a possessor of the world. "... Remain thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).


June 11, 1970